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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Ehrlich’

In full disclosure, I am about to make some broad generalizations here, so if you feel maligned by what I say please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments and we can hash it out. That said-

I recently ran across a Facebook group called “Stop Having Kids“, which led me to “Global Advocates for Negative Population Growth“, both of which have a general interest in sharing with each other how repugnant people are who have children whilst the following is taking place; children un-adopted in undeveloped countries, children starving in foreign countries, global warming increasing due to over-population, and world resources plummeting due to over-population, etc. I was somewhat dismayed to discover the group(s) after seeing some family members join them on my news feed… disheartening because of what they must think about my daughter and their niece. I haven’t spoken to them directly yet so cannot speak to their views exactly.

But these groups bring up a discussion that I have had on numerous occasions with (shall I dare say) my friends that may or may not take offense at being labeled liberals – and most definitely not in the classical sense. They hold the belief that we are vastly overpopulated and having children is highly irresponsible. But the point of this post is not specifically about the views of over-population, but rather with how views from these liberals most often clash with political views they hold simultaneously.

To a man (or woman) they are also, as many liberals are, lovers of big government. They want increased social welfare, universal health care, and seemingly every entitlement imaginable… but who will pay for it? Just yesterday Social Security started receiving less money than it is paying out, a situation we have known is coming for years. Are these no-birthers at the forefront of cutting off social security? What will pay for universal health care – future taxes? We can’t pay for our entitlements with a growing population let alone a shrinking one.  Look at Europe where social welfare is most heavily instituted.  All their birth rates are well below the replacement rate (2.1 per woman), and even the levels they are at are slightly inflated because of immigrant births there.  So they have opened their doors to immigration as the only way to maintain a tax base that will pay for their entitlements.  And speaking of health care, let me be extra cynical and ask why liberal no-birthers would want better health care at all… that just leads to longer lives and that dreaded over-population. To truly support their over-population fears this group of people should be firebrand members of the NRA, knowing that gun-toting blowhards could take out a good portion of the population through their reckless shooting. Maybe they should become active supporters of wars in the Middle East so those ever-reproducing Muslims will be stopped! So who exactly are they talking about to stop having kids?  Westerners?  We are all demographically shrinking if not for immigration, so we can’t be held responsible right?  U.S. birthrate is 2.04 so we are slowly (very slowly) shrinking.  Britain is 1.7 so it’s not their fault.  Where are the immigrants coming from that prop up the population and the birth rate?  Well, mostly Africa.  Poor under- and undeveloped countries are reliant on children to help farm to survive… plus you need extra in case some die (Africa also has the highest mortality rates as well).  Is the answer to cut off aid to Africa so that country can finally be swallowed up and stop over-populating?  Haven’t seen that in too many liberal platforms.  Aren’t liberals pro-immigration too?  Don’t they know that is where America’s growth is coming?  Wouldn’t it be consistent to be anti-children AND anti-immigration?

It is very frustrating when people hold conflicting views – and I’m sure I’m guilty of some as well. How can you support entitlements based on future tax revenue growth, and hold that those future tax-paying generations should be smaller? It’s analogous to an American who wants low prices but supports protectionist price-raising policies. Sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But its not really possible to have no children and reduce benefits is it? In traditional cultural roles, children and grandchildren take care of their elderly parents and grandparents. Whether this is having them come live with you, or constant visits, or paying for them to be admitted to a care facility, the onus is on the family to take care of the plans. With no children, couples are thereby relying on government institutions (I’m assuming, since – remember my broad generalization note – most liberals seem to be anti-private everything) to plan for and take care of them in old age. So therefore they cannot support reduced old-age benefits because they are the very ones who will need them.

It reminds me of people who want gun-free zones, and then are dismayed when armed lunatics disobey the posted rules and kill dozens of students or workers, while no one around has a gun to protect themselves or save others. (I won’t go any further into this, but to say that most accounts of where an even worse tragedy was averted was when some parent or off-duty policeman with a gun took out the assailant).  Policies have consequences… you want no more growth, you need to support smaller government.  But those never seem to go hand in hand.

This has been a bit of a rambling diatribe, to be sure. But the point was to acknowledge the inconsistency I see in the views of those supporting reverse population growth. I’ll rely on you dear reader to do your own reading on the policy itself, and whether or not our resources will be gone (see: Ehrlichs’ population bomb theory – fail) or what population control measures lead to (see: gendercide). I especially feel sorry for the children of the mother who is guilty about having kids because of what it will do to mother Earth.

My final thought on this is highly cynical, and morbidly childish. But I find it interesting that every person that believes the world is over-populated has immediate access to alleviating that problem by one… but I don’t ever hear them offering to do so.

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