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Robert Reich is a hero to many for his combining values like equity and democracy with effective economic policy making.  But despite his impact, he's watching the future unfold in a way he now admits he never expected - with despots like Putin and Trump defining a world that is anything but democratic and equitable. 

What went wrong? 

Looking over Reich's analysis at the link above you'll see a blind spot. His expectations of change all seem geared from the top down, with government policies abstractly impacting behavior. But democracy is bottom up, and there is no mention of the impact of family planning policy on the happier world Reich wanted - no mention of the concrete and physical creation of that world through family reforms meant to actually achieve it. 

In fact, during this crucial time most economists embraced population growth-based economics, designed more to create crowded shopping malls filled with consumers than functional town halls filed with highly educated and equitable citizens with a common core that ensures trust. 

What kind of world would we expect these policies to physically - or actually - create? In fact, in the phase of time Reich discusses, the population boom of the Twentieth Century was pushing more and more kids through increasingly dismal systems of education and development, all the while fundamentally degrading our ecologies and setting us up for the climate crisis. 

Be effective - think ahead. 

Be effective - think ahead. 

Reich missed the key issue - who we were becoming, or a world filled with people happy to exploit future children for our own desires and needs more than invest in them. 

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Turn Around Families 

Reich can right this wrong by embracing Fair Start reforms that 1) move family planning from parental subjective standards to child-centric objective ones, like the Children's Rights Convention, and 2) honor democracy by focusing on the needs of the majority - future generations. 

It's not too late Robert, but the impacts we need may not be in our lifetimes. 


Fair Start Movement is an international human rights organization dedicated to improving family planning systems worldwide with a simple idea: Every child has a fundamental human right to a Fair Start in life, ecologically and socially, which overrides all competing interests. Our modeling is the subject of several peer-review works, and it includes clear policy pathways for implementation.

Our biggest crises — health, economic, and environmental — are complex, but they all point back to a single issue: failures in family planning. This is reflected by the nearly 50% of pregnancies that are unplanned in the United States. If we hope to effectively make progress on the crises we face, it is essential that we stop looking at them as separate issues. They are intersectional; we cannot address them individually. And they demand an informed and coordinated approach from this administration.

They begin with family planning.