Model Citizen

Matthew Yglesias on "One Billion Americans"

Episode Summary

About 330 million people inhabit the good ol' US of A. Seems like a lot. But is it enough? Policy journalist and co-founder Matthew Yglesias argues it's not even close. In his new book, "One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger," Yglesias argues that if America's going to remain top dog on the geopolitical block and stay a step ahead of rising giants with 10-figure populations, like China and India, we need to double our numbers ... and then some. That means boosting birthrates and welcoming scads of new immigrants. The book is a detailed examination of the policies we'd need to make this happen. Matt and I explore the under-appreciated virtues of population density and specialized clusters, which turns into a sort of digressive case study of the beneficial long-term effects of our old early-oughts wonk-blogger DC poker game. We talk about whether we really ought to care if America remains king of the mountain, how to encourage larger families in a non-creepy way, and much more. We didn't get to a bunch of stuff I wanted to chat about, but we did cover a lot of ground. I always find talking to Matt fun, stimulating, and oddly relaxing. This conversation is no exception and I hope you enjoy it.