Planet Ulrich

A Dangerous Subversive Takes on the Future, with Movie Reviews!

A Note on Population

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Any discussion about economics or the environment that ignores population growth is a waste of time.  The trillions spent and technology applied thus far to the problem (of what is called global development) have all too often worsened it by making possible a population explosion that could never have happened in their absence.

It won’t do either to assume that population will stabilize in the “developing” world as it has in the “developed” once economic conditions improve; thus far, this has not proven universally true, nor is there any particular reason why it should prove true (unless you think that everybody everywhere is the same, that people are just little units of production and consumption differing only in input variables like education and net worth).

I’m not one to call for “death squads”, of course, but I do think people should be held responsible, to the extent possible, for the decisions they make.  If they have more children then they can support, they should not be privileged to export or otherwise impose the consequences of their irresponsibility on the rest of us.  Any humanitarian aid/technology we may offer to mitigate the otherwise inevitable consequences of such choices (such as famine), should be contingent upon their adopting policies that will lessen their future likelihood.

And no, the market won’t “provide,” either.  The market “provides” whatever people want, if they can pay for it.  When the population of Africa doubles again to 2 Billion in a few decades, if those 2 billion can not produce or otherwise acquire enough in value to trade for, say, the food they want (to stay alive), the market will provide them with starvation (absent exogenous intervention, of course).

As to why any of that is our problem (in the “West” or the “North” or whatever you’d like to call the places that have developed themselves),the idea that if we have something or build something we are somehow obliged to share it with teeming masses everywhere (who lack it and/or could never create it for themselves), well, that’s another goopy headed post-Christian bit of egalitarian blather.

The filthy hordes out there you pretend to care so much about, whose lack of (uninfected) water or food or clothes or the wheel or fire or anything else you want to lay on my head,

Those people hate you and want you dead. Well to the extent they are aware of you at all, of course.  By all means, hop a plane to the Congo or Bangladesh or Libya or wherever, just don’t pretend any of it has anything to do with me.



Written by ulrichthered

February 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

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