The Atlantic

The Doom Loop of Modern Liberalism

Diversity and equality seem tragically incompatible in the world today. Here’s why.
Source: Toby Melville / Reuters

Here are three trends that are often discussed in isolation:

  1. The low birth rates of advanced economies

  2. The rise of a xenophobic anti-immigration politics

  3. The fragility of the welfare state

While these subjects might seem to have nothing to do with each other, in fact they crash into each other like dominos. As rich countries have fewer babies, they need immigration to grow their prime-age workforces. But as the foreign-born share of the population rises, xenophobia often festers and threatens egalitarian policymaking.

There is no reason to think that

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