Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene piped up with more Republican thoughts Monday, and if you know anything about Greene, you already know it’s going to be bad.
This time, the notorious Georgia representative is upset because the American economy is doing so well this year that we’ve been hitting theoretical full employment. Unemployment is currently at about 4%, the number guessed at by many economists as the lowest rate the nation could ever reasonably see (outside of wartime) when you account for the vagaries of retirements, job hunting, hiring, and layoffs.
Leave it to Marge to take it in a wild and wacky direction. Her Monday tweet:
There are major staffing shortages reported in every sector from big companies to small businesses to police departments to air traffic control.
We have a population loss that is starting to show severe effects because over 63 million people have been murdered in the womb.
All right. So the theory here is that there are not enough corporate drones or police officers or air traffic controllers, and the reason is not because after decades of making those jobs extremely unappealing, workers are preferring less miserable workplaces. The fault lies with American women.
American women are not pumping out babies at a high enough rate to ensure that employers have a steady stream of desperate-enough workers, which is ruining America because corporatism relies on a pool of laborers who can be made desperate enough to take any job. Consumerism relies on a steadily growing population of suckers you can sell widgets to so that you never reach full widget saturation. If American women aren’t doing their part by yeeting babies into the workforce at a rapid clip, then the Glorious American Fatherland is going to fall apart. Or something.
So what about all the times in the recent past when labor markets have not been good, when businesses had their pick of workers and didn’t need the whole American supply, causing unemployment rates to soar? Shut up, that’s what. Marge is on a bit and you’re not allowed to sully it with your stupid knowledge of the past.
It would be wonderful to think Greene was just making things up in her own brain-region, but no. This is a thing. The premise that women exist in America primarily to be livestock, birthing and nurturing a steady supply of future workers to be tossed into our economic grinders and be spit back out as corporate profit reports, appears to be growing again after years of being beaten back.
It was The Washington Post editorial board that published that astonishingly incel-premised chastisement of women who find MAGA-spouting American men revolting and unworthy of dating, much less creating kids with. Rather than suggesting that violence-admiring conservative misogynists stop being contemptible dirtbags, the Post instead suggested that American women needed to take one for the team, marrying these dirtbags despite the likelihood of a lifetime of misery because look, somebody’s got to get married and start pumping out babies.
How the hell will we maintain the American fiction of happy families surrounded by white picket fences if nobody wants to play their roles? Conservative men certainly can’t be expected to change their behavior, and that means nonconservative women are going to have to change theirs if we don’t want society to collapse.
But Greene’s version is a blend of the Post’s vision, which blames the nation’s women for making choices that keep contradicting what conservatism’s radical far-right wants to force upon them via theocratic law, and the conservative technocrat version espoused by people like Elon Musk.
Musk has been a big proponent of boosting the world population, but his version is premised more squarely on saving consumerism. If women have fewer children, that means markets will shrink because there’s less people to sell shit to. For the Musks of the world, this is literally a crisis. Screw the environment, sustainability, and the idea of having even a square meter of land somewhere that isn’t either a Starbucks or a parking lot for a Starbucks: If corporate profit reports don’t grow every quarter from now until the sun burns out, people like Musk will shrivel up and die.
“If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words,” Musk has said. This remains an extraordinarily odd position, given that mankind has at all points in history had a lower population than it currently does and, despite worse medicine and less resilient communities, did just fine for itself. Musk’s premise is in fact that even returning to the population levels we had when the first Star Wars film came out will cause a collapse. This is weird—except as pean to consumerist market growth, which it assuredly is.
Whatever the argument, the far right seems to be in agreement that whatever’s wrong with America at any given moment in time can be fixed if America’s women shut up, marry conservative men, and start popping out babies at a rapid clip. This has been a shared fixation of other modern-era authoritarian regimes: Nazi Germany, Italian fascists under Benito Mussolini, and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin all conferred state-issued medals on women who birthed at least four but preferably eight or more children.
Make of that what you will. At the very least, chastising women to have more children regardless of their ability to care for them appears to coincide with a belief that women are tools of the state, not full-fledged citizens with the right to live their lives as they choose. But while past authoritarian regimes at least handed out medals and prizes to the women who complied, it’s difficult to imagine the party of Marjorie Taylor Greene or admirers of Elon Musk being willing to pay for American mothers to receive so much as a single box of diapers.
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There has been a ton of coverage in recent weeks over a streak of poor 2024 polling for Democrats and Target Smart’s Tom Bonier joins us to help us separate the wheat from the chaff. We talk about what to take from these polls and how to balance them against the much more positive election results we’ve seen this year. We also discuss how early voting data continues to evolve and how Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign will use Ohio’s recent abortion and marijuana referendums to find new persuadable voters next year.