The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in Us History

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 09/24/2012
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

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From the colonial era to the present, the ever-shifting debate about America's almost uninterrupted population growth has exerted a profound influence on the evolution of politics, public policy, and economic thinking in the United States. In a remarkable shift since the 1970s, Americans have celebrated the economic virtues of population growth-but as one of the only wealthy countries experiencing significant growth in the twenty-first century, the United States now finds itself at a crossroads with policymakers unwilling or unable to address the future. From the founders' fears that crowded cities would produce corruption, luxury, and vice to the zero population growth movement of the late 1960s and the continuing emergence of the aging crisis, the debate has often been about much more than race or resource exhaustion. In The State and the Stork, Derek Hoff draws on his extraordinary knowledge of the intersections of population debates and economics throughout American history to explain the many surprising ways that population ideas and anxieties have provoked a wide range of policies, connecting demographic debates and economics to unexpected policies and political developments-including the recent conservative revival. At once a fascinating history and a revelatory look at the national conversation, The State and the Storkcould not be timelier.

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