An illustration of a red line of a graph shooting upward, with stacks of coins underneath the line and a baby crawling up the line.

Why Do American Economists Refuse To Acknowledge the Reality of a Post-Roe v. Wade Country?

In recent years, economists have taken to clutching their pearls and fainting onto couches at the fact that the U.S. birthrate is declining. Fewer babies means fewer consumers, and fewer consumers means the potential for economic collapse, and the looming threat of economic collapse means capitalism is working flawlessly.

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It’s no secret that the U.S. economy has had some major ups and downs for the last decade or so. Between the Great Recession of the mid-2000s and the recent COVID-19 recession, young Americans have lived through their fair share of economic insecurity. It’s hard not to feel the negative impact of these major fluctuations, especially for families and single parents. The cost of childcare in the U.S. varies from state to state, and even county to county, but one commonality exists among all the data: Having kids is expensive as fuck. Maybe that’s why fewer and fewer adults want to have any.

The fretting and hand-wringing of American economists over how many U.S. citizens will exist to go Black Friday shopping twenty years from now feels more than a little tone-deaf considering the state of reproductive freedom in our country at the moment. Forced birth has become a legitimate concern for Americans in red states, where last year’s repeal of Roe v. Wade has left defending the right to abortion in the hands of Republican state House and Senate majorities.

The reality of having a child they cannot afford poses a serious threat to low-income families and individuals. The cost of living has skyrocketed in recent years, with minimum wage stagnating well below what is actually livable. Not to mention, the average American is in about $90,000 of debt. Throw in the cost of taking care of a child, and you’ve got a full-blown, inescapable, poverty epidemic on your hands.

So, looking at the bigger picture, what do economists really have to worry about? Right as the birthrate started dropping, unwanted pregnancies will inevitably start coming to term. Problem, solution. Oh, and ignore all that talk of a potential increase in poverty rates, it probably won’t affect the holiday shopping rush … Best Buy has killer Christmas deals.

If you think about it, it’s a mighty privilege that we have such vigilant and concerned economic experts keeping an eye on our best interests. Without them, no one would be brave enough to ask the tough questions, like: Who will inherit our flawless, effective, very stable, reliable, capitalist hellscape economy?

(featured image: simplehappyart/Getty Images)


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Scout
Scout (she/her/hers) is a freelance news writer for The Mary Sue. When not scrolling Twitter, she's thinking about scrolling Twitter. She likes short walks on the beach, glitter pens, and burnt coffee. She does not read the comments.