It is commonly understood by social scientists that the poor tend to have more children than the middle class and well-off. The far right complains that many of our policies exacerbate this disparity in birth rates, and that an over-population of ‘less intelligent’ poor people will lead to disaster in the long run. This notion is wrong on so many different levels, both morally and economically. The truth is, each new lower-income citizen is another voice for the poor and disadvantaged, who will vote for progressive social policies that make our country fairer and more prosperous for all.
In the dark days of the past, only those who could afford to have children did so, and up to a point, wealthier people had more children than poor people. Racists and eugenicists argue that this encouraged the proliferation of genes that were more able to thrive in the economies of the time, and discouraged the proliferation of genes that were less able to survive and acquire resources. This is a disgusting form of social Darwinism, reminiscent of the Nazis’ vision for a ‘superior race’, and it has no place in a forward-thinking progressive democracy.
Today, welfare and free housing is available to the poor, and especially to single mothers. Those who cannot make it in today’s brutal dog-eat-dog economy, are not only able to pass on their genes, but they now have far more children than the middle and upper classes. Right wingers continue to argue that many of these people will not be able to find jobs, especially with the rise of automation and a market that demands ever higher IQs. But this wrong for two reasons. Firstly, intelligence is a social construct and has no genetic basis, and therefore with better education and more assistance programs for the poor, these people will be able to take any role in the economy, from doctor to astrophysicist. Secondly, if large segments of the population are unable to find satisfactory jobs, this will lead to a sea-change in social policy, which will lead to far more upward mobility within society and economic prosperity in the long run.
Complaints about ‘dysgenics‘ reek of racism and social Darwinism, and it’s no surprise that these bigoted views come from conservatives and the far right. Today we live in a society where everyone can thrive and have as many children as they choose, regardless of wealth or ability to raise them. This is how it should be, and over time this will allow the proletariat to outnumber the capitalist class and vote for real social changes that make society truly egalitarian, allowing everyone to survive and thrive, regardless of socioeconomic status.