The economic case for Life

By Tom Quiner

Demographics, innovation, and capital fuel the economy.

In other words, you need a growing population to avoid stagnation.

You need entrepreneurial energy to create the new products and inventions that not only make our lives better, but that create jobs and wealth.

And you need capital to fund entrepreneurial dynamism.

What happens if you don’t have these three elements? Europe happens.

The Euro area’s GDP hasn’t grown more than one percent in a year since 2008, as you can see in the chart prepared below by

Europe's GDP is in a state of stagnation.

For a society’s population to grow, the average woman has to bear 2.1 children. This is called the replacement birth rate (RBR). If the rate dips below 1.5, a country’s population will be reduced by more than half in seven years or less. Every single nation in Europe has a replacement birth rate less than 2.1. Every one of them. Europe is dying demographically.

As you can see in the chart below, a dozen nations in Europe have RBR below 1.5. They are dying even faster.

Europe is dying demographically, and it is happening fast.

What does this have to do with America?

We are on a course that follows Europe’s. Our RBR is right at 2.1, replacement level, and thirty-five states, including Iowa, have dipped below replacement levels.

As in Europe, our population has been artificially deflated through aggressive expansion of abortion as a method of birth control. To quantify it, the size of our economy has been reduced by 54 million potential consumers since 1973 when Roe v Wade became the law of the land.

The average economic output per person in the U.S. is about $42,000 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. If those Americans had been allowed to live, their collective contribution to the U.S. economy today would be about $2.26 Trillion. Per year.

These lost Americans would have paid about $64 Billion in property taxes to their respective states to help fund education. Per year.

They would have contributed another $202 Billion in income taxes to our country to help fund our expansive, and expanding, network of social entitlements. Per year.

These lost Americans would have offered something else to us, something absolutely vital: innovation.

Innovation is driven by the young. Creativity peaks by the age of thirty-five. In a society like the U.S. that once revered entrepreneurs, and nourished it with favorable tax policies, creativity and innovation were allowed to explode with the associated job growth and national wealth that always accompanies it.

In the new America where Life is viewed as a disease, and the productive (aka “the rich”) are publicly derided as the bad guys, we’ve lost our vitality.

GDP growth is stagnant, falling more in line with Europe’s.

Job creation is a trickle.

We need people.

People aren’t bad as one political philosophy maintains. People are the source of our economic greatness.

Innovation isn’t bad, it is good. We need more of it. We need more youth.

And we need more capital, which can be quickly freed up with lower corporate income and capital gains tax rates.

We have made an economic Choice to diminish America’s prosperity by choosing death over life.


  1. Bob on March 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I kind of think our doom was sealed back when we created Social Security. Once you socialize the costs of aging (while keeping the cost of having children a private expense to be borne by the family), you sever the bond between generations by relieving people of the duty to care for their aging parents (or at least see that they are cared for). Couples who choose not to reproduce can avoid all the expenses of having children, can earn much more income, and can live it up while they’re young and still be able to collect Social Security when they get old. Couples who have children must bear all of the costs themselves, and they either have to forgo a second income or pay through the nose for child care so both parents can work outside the home, and then when they get old they collect no more in SS benefits than the childless couple who never made any financial sacrifices to raise the next generation. It’s pretty much a guaranteed recipe for population decline.

  2. Bob Dopf on March 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I am reminded of the “Overpopulation will destroy us” mantra of the Looney Left of the 1970’s. They took great offense when the guy came along with the “Grow or Die” book to refute their arguments.

    They are also the same people who argued we needed abortion to control overpopulation but now tell us we need open boarders to make up for a labor shortage. But they still don’t get it and never will