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What would actually make America great? More people. If the most challenging crisis in living memory has shown us anything, it’s that America has...

What would actually make America great? More people.

If the most challenging crisis in living memory has shown us anything, it’s that America has lost the will and the means to lead. From one of our foremost policy writers, One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger (Portfolio) is the provocative yet logical argument that if we aren’t moving forward, we’re losing.

Vox founder Matthew Yglesias invites us to think bigger, while taking the problems of decline seriously. What really contributes to national prosperity should not be controversial: supporting parents and children, welcoming immigrants and their contributions, and exploring creative policies that support growth—like more housing, better transportation, improved education, revitalized welfare, and climate change mitigation. Drawing on examples and solutions from around the world, Yglesias shows not only that we can do this, but why we must.

Making the case for massive population growth with analytic rigor and imagination, One Billion Americans issues a radical but undeniable challenge: Why not do it all, and stay on top forever?

Matthew Yglesias is a founder of Vox, a host of the podcast The Weeds, and the author of the book The Rent is Too Damn High (Simon & Schuster, 2012). He lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter. Website.


Brian Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is researching African American environmental history. A Maine native, he lives in Western Massachusetts and teaches at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website