The Prosperity Line: Population Control for the Poor

America’s rich have a plan to “thin out the poor.”  It is not as simple as limiting the number of children through the requirement to use contraception, sterilizations, and abortions to ensure compliance and imposed enormous fines for violations.  This policy limited parents from having either one or two children (between 1979 and 2015), based on different conditions like living in a rural or metro area or whether or not one of the parents was an only child. It is reported that this may have reduced the population by hundreds of millions and a billion, longterm (Scharping, Thomas (2003). Birth control in China 1949–2000: Population policy and demographic development. London: Routledge). From the outside, the international community criticized its policy, especially the United States.

Sadly, the United States’ population control is and always has been much more draconian, starting with the arrival of the colonizers, the Europeans. Although unintentional, the first and longest lasting impact of their arrival was the exposure of the indigenous people to diseases, ranging from smallpox to measles (

The second and more intentional act of population control was the trans-Atlantic slave trade. To the detriment of the African people, there were many deaths in the belly of ships along the route, deaths due to exposure to disease, and ultimately the destruction of the family and tribal structures. Today’s outcry for the separation of children from their Latino migrant parents/guardians is America’s “always late to the human rights and decency” party.  During the over two and a half centuries of slave trade, white Europeans did much more damage to the continents of Africa and America than Hitler did to the 6 million Jews or the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan could have possibly done.  The execution of the slave trade created a global economy at the expense of Africa and its people, severing family ties and creating an African Diaspora separated by much more than geographical distance.

Carrying on from the slave trade, the rich in America have done and continue to do everything possible to ensure not only their and their progeny’s survival but their ability to fly above the Prosperity Line. The Prosperity Line is a phrase I coined to better describe the ambiguously fluid line of demarcation between the haves and have-nots.  The upper, middle, and lower classes are fictitious groups, feel-good-medicine for the “higher class” of people.  Those who live above the Prosperity Line are not challenged by things like stricter immigration laws, a living wage, affordable healthcare, or even restricted access to clean drinking water or healthy food.  Those below the Poverty Line are pitted against each other by the top tier of society through the use of fear-mongering tactics like partisan politics, racist systems, mass incarceration, police-led lynchings, and xenophobia. The rich understand that they will not be victims of policy, legislation, and action meant to control the populations of the poor, not just by numbers but to affect the hearts and minds and the will of people below the Prosperity Line to fuel internally driven fears and facilitate divisions.

One of the products of Evangelical Christianity, Prosperity Gospel has done more damage than good. Prosperity Gospel plays on the belief system of people easily influenced by religious doctrine that equates to nothing more than a “pay-for-play/every-man-for-himself” cult.  There are those who, by some chance of fate make it above the Prosperity Line, who buy into their new life, the life above the problems of the poor. Population control is not always about controlling the numbers, but supremacy or sovereignty over what the populous thinks, says, and does.  America’s powerful has shown no interest in sharing power, wealth, or anything that resembles the basic civil liberties, anything faintly resembling the pursuit of happiness.  White supremacy is the consistent and lasting cornerstone of population control meant to keep people of color in a place of perpetual victimhood, with whites below the Prosperity Line suffering as collateral damage.