Phyllis Schlafly Columns

China Needs More Children – And So Do We

by Phyllis Schlafly

November 4, 2015


It made front-page headlines around the world when China’s Communist Party announced the end of its notorious “one child” policy. Imposed by Chinese dictator Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s, the one-child limit has been ruthlessly enforced with forced abortion, infanticide, sterilization, and heavy fines on families that dared to have a second child.

China one child policyAs a result of that vast experiment in social engineering, China created an unnatural society with 150 million “only” children without siblings, cousins, uncles or aunts. Due to sex selection, some 50 million more males than females were born – 50 million men who can never marry or start their own families.

Don’t assume that China is becoming a free society, or that its Communist rulers concede they were violating fundamental human rights. A new “two child” policy will continue to be enforced by the same apparatus requiring every family to apply for and receive permission to have a child, with severe penalties for noncompliance.

No, the policy was changed because China is literally running out of people to maintain its economic growth. After 35 years of a very low birth rate, China has created a demographic time bomb in which the aging population in need of care is growing much faster than the population of young working people who can support them.

Believe it or not, the working-age population of China, the world’s most populous nation, has already been falling for several years. In the foreseeable future, a fourth to a third of China’s huge population will be over 60 years old and in need of support by younger people, but there will only be 2 workers for each retiree.

Does any of this sound familiar? It’s the same story in our own country, as Social Security and Medicare groan beneath the weight of too many retirees supported by too few working adults. The percentage of Americans who work peaked 15 years ago and has declined almost every month since then.

As Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a powerful member of the House Budget Committee, explained on C-SPAN last week: “The baby boom generation didn’t have nearly as many kids as their parents did, and they are living a lot longer. And so they are drawing more money out than they (or their children) paid in.”

Or, as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said in the CNBC presidential debate, “After the war we had all of these kids, the baby boomers. Now we’re having smaller families. We used to have 16 workers for one retiree; now you have three.”

During the post-World War II baby boom, when I had my six children, most Americans got married in their early twenties and the average family had 3 to 4 children. Now the average age of first marriage has risen to almost 30, and the average family has only 2 children.

A population that merely replaces itself (two parents having two children) doesn’t generate enough savings to support those two parents into a ripe old age. A single working person doesn’t pay enough into Social Security and Medicare to support his own retirement; the system has always depended on having several younger working adults making contributions to support each retired person.

Listening to Republican presidential candidates, we hear a lot of talk about “economic growth” as the way to save Social Security and Medicare without bankrupting the nation. The Chinese Communists, facing a similar problem of reduced economic growth in an aging population, have decided that what really needs to grow is the size of their families.

Jeb Bush has promised to double America’s growth rate to 4 percent, partly by giving a special tax break to induce married women to enter (or remain in) the paid labor force. That’s the wrong policy if you realize, as China’s leaders do, that more young people are needed to sustain the economy of the future.

Most women who marry and have a family leave the labor force during some part of their lives, and we should be glad they do, even if their lifetime earnings suffer as a result. A policy that expects women to remain in the full-time labor force, pursuing a lifelong career of full-time work, may help to close the “pay gap” between men and women, but it will mean fewer children.

A feminist reporter for Bloomberg Business set out to find where women’s participation in the labor force is lowest and the male-female pay gap is the largest. She found that place in Utah, and specifically in the medium-sized cities of Provo and Ogden, which are about an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City.

The reporter was shocked to find that in Utah, only 52.8% of mothers with young children are in the labor force, compared with 95.5% of fathers – “the biggest gap in the nation.” A University of Utah demographer said, “By every major metric, we’re about two generations behind the nation.”

Family-friendly Utah, with the nation’s highest birth rate, also boasts the highest economic growth rate. The best way to improve the economy is to strengthen the family.




Donald Drives the Debate

by Phyllis Schlafly

August 19, 2015


“If it weren’t for me,” Donald Trump told the Fox News moderators at the first Republican presidential debate, “you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration.” The record-breaking audience of 24 million, which is ten times Fox’s usual nightly viewership, had to agree.


Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Trump’s new position paper reinforces the blunt talk that has propelled his rise in the polls: “A nation without borders is not a nation. A nation without laws is not a nation. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation.”


That’s a refreshing contrast to the immigration paper recently released by Jeb Bush, who is the candidate of the big-money, big-business faction of the Republican party. Jeb famously said illegal immigrants were guilty only of “an act of love,” and his plan would reward them with permanent “legal status” which he said must be “combined with” long-overdue measures to secure the border.

If Jeb’s candidacy falters despite the $114 million he raised, the establishment’s next choices, Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich, have basically similar views. Kasich said the 12 million illegals should be “legalized once we find out who they are,” and Rubio said Obama’s executive amnesty “can’t be terminated because there are already people benefiting from it.”

Rubio’s statement was made in Spanish on the Spanish-language network Univision, which is reason enough to eliminate him from serious consideration. When somebody is running for president of the United States, why should we have to get somebody to translate his remarks into English?

Trump’s new position paper answers his opponents with the plainspoken truth that “America will only be great as long as America remains a nation of laws that lives according to the Constitution. No one is above the law” – including the 300-plus sanctuary cities and counties that openly refuse to help remove illegal aliens even after they commit horrible crimes.

Donald Trump launched his campaign in June by accusing Mexico of sending its worst criminals, murderers, and rapists to live here illegally — a charge that was tragically confirmed by the July 1 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. The rampage continued with the July 24 rape and murder of Marilyn Pharis in her own home in Santa Maria, California; the July 27 attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl and murder of Peggy Kostelnik in Lake County, Ohio, near Cleveland; and the July 29 murders of Jason and Tana Shane of the Crow Nation in Montana – all crimes committed by Mexicans living here illegally who should have been deported for previous crimes.

Having proved his point about crimes by immigrants, Donald Trump’s position paper goes on to address the economic harms of unrestricted immigration, both legal and illegal. This subject was introduced to the presidential campaign in April when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said immigration should be “based on making our No.1 priority to protect American workers and their wages” – a statement that alarmed Republican donors and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.

In a section subtitled “Put American Workers First,” Trump’s new position paper elaborates on Walker’s idea by noting that the enormous influx of foreign workers “makes it difficult for Americans – including immigrants themselves – to earn a middle class wage.” Trump would restrict the admission of low-earning workers and he would require companies to hire from the domestic pool of our own unemployed before importing foreigners to fill “jobs Americans won’t do.”

As for the millions of people who settled here illegally since the last amnesty, Trump said without hesitation, “They have to go. We either have a country, or we don’t have a country.”

A recent guest on my weekly radio program, political expert Steve Deace, emphasized that the “ground game” is decisive in Iowa, where voters want to shake hands with the candidates, look them in the eye, and hear them answer questions about issues that are important to the grassroots. Iowans seem to like Donald Trump’s brash New York style, and a Nevada poll even has him winning the Hispanic vote among Republicans.

Trump’s high profile assures that the crisis of uncontrolled immigration can’t be avoided by presidential candidates of both parties. Hillary Clinton’s promise to “go even farther” than Obama in granting legal status to millions of illegal aliens has been challenged by Senator Bernie Sanders, who on July 30 denounced the concept of “a completely open border, so that anyone can come into the United States of America. If that were to happen, there is no question that that would substantially lower wages in this country.”