This weekend I saw a CBS Sunday Morning Show that I taped a few weeks ago. A parent, usually a woman, had a fairly frustrating part on the amount of money that can be earned versus the cost of childcare. One of the interviewees suggested that the solution was higher government subsidies for children. He missed an opportunity and this is the same opportunity that Matt Iglesias missed in his 2020 book, One Billion Americans: A Case to Think BigAlthough he has fewer excuses.
I review the book here. I like it a fair amount but the book is a bait and a bit of a switch. While Iglesias says he wants to have one billion people in the United States and understands that this would mean massive immigration, he does not go into detail about immigration. He goes into much more detail in his proposal for child subsidies, although he must understand that the number of Americans added because of the incentive effect of subsidies will be a fraction of the number of people added by immigration.
Even more frustrating, the book’s theme is that she wastes the opportunity to get some less hanging fruit with two-fer: allowing more people to immigrate and get a lower cost of child rearing, usually women, who will provide one. Many child care.
Here is a relevant section of my review of his book:
For example, he advocates for the federal government to pay the family অগ্র 3,600 in advance for each birth and then $ 300 / month, which is $ 3,600 per year, until the child is seventeen years old. A math reader will do the math: There are about 70 million people under the age of 17 in the United States. Therefore, ignoring the $ 3,600 baby bonus would cost। 250 billion annually. This is not a small number. With about five million births per year, the annual cost of the bonus would be an additional 18 billion. And those numbers assume that Iglesias planned No. If it works, the birth will increase and so will the cost.
An important number missing from the book that economists would call the elasticity of children’s “supply” in terms of “price” of children. The purpose of Ygelsias with child subsidies is to reduce the perceived value of childbearing. A reasonable estimate is that the time spent on raising children for the first 17 years is 10 hours per week, obviously the front load in the first few years. Even an average parental wage of 20 per hour, of course an underestimation, is about $ 10,000 per year. So his proposal would reduce the perceived value by about 36 percent. Will it lead to 10 percent more children, 50 percent more children, or some number of them? I don’t expect Iglesias to know. No one knows. But he has to solve the problem. Moreover, with my alternative proposal, millions of women in poorer countries, as grandparents hired by their parents, the cost of raising children could easily be reduced by 36 percent, with the huge additional benefit that the cost of Fed would be close to zero. . She cites a study that found that “low-skilled migrants are seen entering a metro area,” adding that college-educated professional women work longer hours and earn more because they can hire housekeepers and babysitters. But he did not pull the trigger and spoke in favor of more low-skilled workers entering. In fact, the extent to which he discusses skills and immigration is a good idea as we “get as many smart, skilled immigrants as we can on our shores”, but the US government should also let a lot of incompetent people go.
Even if millions of women from poorer countries are allowed to become nannies, the cost of raising children is reduced by “just” 15 percent, notice the difference between this and subsidies: subsidies cost our taxpayers where the cost of more immigrant incomes is lower. Remember the Brian Kaplan mantra: The US welfare state mainly targets the elderly, not the young. One proposal, immigration, leads to pi; Other proposals, subsidies, shrink it, or, more precisely, make it smaller than others.