There’s no “Population Bomb”

Posted by Storo 1 month ago to Economics
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Our earth is finite. Resources limited. In the arena of public discourse there are those who blame any and all things except overpopulation for the problems of the day and push the idea of overpopulation to the side.
The fact is that most problems today in the areas of the environment, reduced resource availability, water supply issues, pollution, and so forth derive from higher demand from our ever-increasing world population. But those denying the role of over demand put the blame on things like “income inequality”. To them, the solution is income redistribution and increased production, rather than anything associated with population.
Today, countries and even states in the Us are fighting over water resources, and it’s just the beginning. Countries like China and India build more and more coal fired generating plants due to the demands of their burgeoning populations for electricity, and carbon footprints be damned.
Sustainable production of resources requires a lon and hard look at controlling demand based on controlling population. To do otherwise is to bury one’s head in the sand. Wealth redistribution and implementation of other PC programs won’t cut it.
SOURCE URL: https://bigthink.com/the-present/building-population-bomb/


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    Posted by bsudell 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Have any of you looked down at the Earth from a plane? We are definitely not over-populated. Get up in a plane and look. There is plenty of Earth to feed the population. It is the greed of governments, and the hatred of the people running the country. You are doing exactly what they want. You are blaming everything on the existence of other humans. Stop it.
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  • Posted by $ jdg 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Julian Simon, in "The Ultimate Resource," proved for all time that adding more people is on net beneficial to the world economy. Anyone who still thinks the eco-nut movement has a point needs to read it.

    The world's capacity to produce food sailed right on past its predicted end 20 years ago. The oil supply also continued to grow until fake president Biden shut down production on government land in the West. The next president needs to sell that land off so that no future president will be able to do that again.
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    • Posted by 4 weeks ago
      I don’t believe for a second that adding more people is beneficial. The 5.5 million on the earth who earn less than the average worker in Mexico (go to NumbersUSA.com) add 84 million ppl to the world population each year. And where is the benefit? There is none! The actual result is more demand for resources like water, and more demand that groups like the UN, the USA, and other developed parts of the world send them more food and other supplies to support their larger populations.
      This is not sustainable.
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      • Posted by $ jdg 4 weeks ago
        The notion of "sustainability" is a very slippery one, and needs precise use of language. An economy is neither a zero-sum game, nor does it stay static.

        In a poor country, individuals overbreed because it's the only way to get supported in your old age in a country that doesn't have pensions/Social Security. Conversely, rich countries underbreed and wind up having to accept some immigrants (and teach them to behave) lest they be overrun in the next war that the overcrowded poor countries are forced by circumstance to start.

        This kind of unproductive churning of civilizations has happened over and over, most of it (presumably) before recorded history because the history of a conquered country tends to get erased.

        Real sustainability, then, requires that the rich countries breed -- and correctly bring up! -- a lot more people than they would want if they were alone in the world, and more than the individual citizens want. And it may also require that they use other methods, such as colonialism, to grow in both area/resources and population. Nations unwilling to do this will sooner or later disappear from history.

        The "limits to growth" people would tell you that some indispensable natural resources are about to run out forever. But that has proven not to be true of oil (even if the earth isn't making it any more, and we don't know that!), and more importantly human ingenuity has always found us substitutes when previous generations' "indispensable resources" (for example, whale oil) ran short. There is no reason to think that will change for billions of years.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        Is that the problem of more people or of the government entities which restrict these people from gainful employment and education?

        Take Africa for example. Were you aware that in the chocolate industry, African nations aren't permitted to export refined cocoa products like powder and the highly-coveted cocoa butter - both of which require processing plants and expertise. And who prevents them from developing these industries and everything which goes with them (infrastructure, education, jobs, etc.)? It is the European governments themselves!

        If one goes back slightly in history to the Ethiopian hunger crisis of the 1980's, one quickly finds that the problem isn't arable land or water, but government corruption and war.

        Let's examine the US agricultural industry. Were you aware that only 100 years ago the primary occupation of half the US was that of a farmer? Now only about 2% of the population is farmers yet they are so productive that we waste tons of food per year per person AND we export shiploads of grains and other products to other nations?

        I'm not sure where you are getting your facts or your ideas, but we haven't even begun to hit the limits of sustainability of this planet. That being said, I filly support colonies on the Moon and on Mars as well as beyond.
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  • Posted by $ DriveTrain 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Merchant gets half of this right: There is not, and never has been, an "overpopulation" problem, except within that airy space between the ears of misanthropes, mostly of the collectivist and "green" cults. She's a bit coy about whether or not she's in agreement with their attempted fusion of Eco-Catastrophic Scary Story and vestigial Marxism, but she does wind up her piece with the conclusion that a.) it's all the fault of the United States and EvilGreedyCorporations, and b.) "the world's most vulnerable" and "the planet" are their victims. Which I take to be a soft-sell of the same conclusion: We must have socialism! Huzzah!

    Here's my appraisal:
    For decades, the Marxian conquest of humanity rested on a reliable mantra: "Capitalism is evil because it can't produce enough! See the people starving homeless in the streets! We must have socialism!"

    So near the close of the 20th century, along comes President Ronald Reagan, who initiates some modest baby-steps back in the general direction of laissez faire - against enormous, withering opposition - and... even that modest adjustment is sufficient to usher in what would become a full quarter-century economic boom period. And guess what: The one economic group that advanced more in their standard of living during the '80s decade (the alleged "Decade of Greed,") was precisely the group who started the '80s decade at the absolute bottom, the poorest of the poor. In 1993 economist Jeff Scott and philosopher David Kelley compiled data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis into an article they named "Gekko Echo" (after the EvilGreedyCapitalist character in Ollie Stone's movie "Wall Street,") in which article they reveal that while the rich got richer in the 1980s, the poor got orders of magnitude richer than anyone else. The article is here, and I recommend bookmarking and viral-izing because it's important:
    https://reason.com/1993/02/01/gekko-e...

    The facts tell us, conclusively: The "Reaganomics" policy works, and benefits everyone working within it, particularly those who are starting out poor. And since Reaganomics was just, again, a minor adjustment away from statist controls and in the direction of economic liberty (a.k.a. capitalism,) it's an irrefutable indicator of the pent-up potential of even a still-constrained capitalist remnant, to improve vastly the human condition, so say nothing of full capitalism's potential. So there's your solution to the "world's most vulnerable" problem among third-world nations: Adopt an American-type Constitution (to lay the essential foundation of human rights, particularly property rights and limited government,) then step aside, permanently, and let the self-regulating market forces work their magic.

    Meanwhile: During that same late-20th-century period, socialism basically imploded worldwide - tossed onto the Trash Heap of History with pointed and righteous contempt by the countless millions who had been enslaved and brutalized under its catchy banners and slogans for decades.

    So what's a poor vestigial Marxist ideologue to do? Simple: Flop to the obverse.

    "Capitalism is evil because it produces too much! We are 'materialist' and 'consumerist' and we're 'raping the Earth' and 'depleting our natural resources' and 'the SKY is falling! Auuugghh!' We must have socialism! Huzzah!"

    The immediate question this farcical flip-flop prompts is "What the hell do these fools want, really?" A step back and the answer to that is simple: It was never anything to do with a concern for "the most vulnerable, but rather the resumption of ...the Marxian conquest of humanity. A simple fact: There are people who are just plain evil, and who have coalesced their evil into a fetish for systematically enslaving and destroying other people. And there is no better system for accomplishing this task, particularly on a large scale, than socialism.

    So this endless avalanche of eco-apocalypse Scary Stories is just a post-Soviet retooling of vestigial, recidivistic Marxism. That's all this entire charade is about.

    As for "depleting natural resources," there is nothing I can possibly attempt that can top the voluminous work that Pepperdine University economist George Reisman has done, particularly in his 1996 treatise "Capitalism," but also in essays such as his 2010 piece "Natural Resources and the Environment" - which I also strongly recommend bookmarking and viral-izing:
    https://georgereismansblog.blogspot.c...


    And the last word on the Schneider-esque Scary Story that is "Overpopulation," is of course the late Julian Simon's book "The Ultimate Resource," which should be considered required reading in this context: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0691003815/

    Every new baby is potentially a vast expansion of usable resources - a potential Edison or Hill or Ford or Jobs - not a depletion of them.
    .
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    The biggest problem we face is a population concentrated in massive city centers, where disease, pollution, and crime spread, creating most of our difficult to solve issues. Big metropolitan areas are a remnant of feudalism, with lords ruling over their peasant labor.

    Modern technology has made massed population centers unnecessary, which is one reason these archaic structures have significant unemployment. Much of today's business can be conducted remotely, with assembly line activity becoming increasingly automated. The freelance worker community has been growing steadily, and even large companies are going increasingly toward remote operations. USAA, an insurer that serves military, both active duty and retired, has over 22,000 employees, and has gone completely remote in its operations, as one example.

    Restructuring populations to smaller communities would significantly reduce the stress on transportation and power systems. Regional nuclear power would improve the reliability, availability, and cleanliness of energy. With fewer workers having to commute, consumption of fossil fuels would be reduced, as would the demand on electric motive power.

    Transitioning to laboratory grown meats (proceeding well in Israel) would significantly reduce the environmental impact of the meat industry. Expanding the use of greenhouse grown produce would lessen the impact of those farming activities on the environment and transportation (if the produce was grown closer to the smaller communities).

    Increasing medical technology to become more automated and enable better remote diagnosis and treatment would create a better distribution of care. Better distribution of medical care facilities in smaller communities would reduce the emergency services delay times, and make the "golden hour" survival time increasingly possible.

    The problem is thinking rooted in fifteenth century social structures. Recognizing the technology revolution that is upon us, and skillfully adapting to the benefits of this revolution can be the solution to our population dilemma.

    Finally, we are about to become a serious space society, with colonies off planet, either on other celestial bodies or in artificial habitats. That immense change in human society will create an environment for new wealth and exploration as we expand into space, insuring our survival.
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    • Posted by CaptainKirk 4 weeks, 1 day ago
      I disagree. The problem is uneducated people that cannot feed themselves, and believe LIES they are told.

      People STILL Believe that Meat/FAT leads to heart disease. That Obesity is NOT caused by ADDICTIVE Processed Foods.

      Every segment of our system is corrupted. And people simply cannot see it. If you try to show them, they have been so dumbed down they cannot comprehend.

      After that, yes, over-crowding. Which technology is starting to fix as people no longer have to work in cities to get jobs for those companies.

      We are inside of a 4th turning. When we come out, it will be a different world.

      the Blockchain, DAO system will allow people to align with like minded people regardless of geographic distance. And to share the benefits ONLY with those who belong, and supported the efforts. Cool stuff comes our way once SOME of this evil is removed!
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  • Posted by ycandrea 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Our Earth also has more unpopulated land than populated land.
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    • Posted by $ jdg 4 weeks ago
      And that says something about Moon-, Mars-, or space-colony schemes.

      The economics of settling the Moon are roughly the economics of settling Antarctica. Both are possible, but very expensive. The only way I see either happening is if somebody discovers big money to be made there. For instance, if the Antarctic were discovered to have a mother lode of oil, or even as much as the Arctic, somebody will settle there, even if they have to fight a war to do it.
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  • Posted by 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    While the so-called “technical revolution” may have a positive impact on the problems of resource availability, pollution, water supply problems, and other such issues for a while, it is no panacea. The fact is that the earth is finite, and production will ultimately run into that fact. Expansion of the economy, and ever-increasing production cannot go on forever. Even now we are taking farmland out of production at a record pace due to a shortage of water, or to build more of Pete Seeger’s “little boxes”. Perhaps of greater concern is that the world’s rain forests are being cut down at an alarming rate. These forests, called “the lungs of the planet”, produce much of the oxygen in our atmosphere,
    All the while we continue creating more people. Even colonizing the moon won’t help creating a stable population on earth. The 5.5 Billion ppl on earth who are living in the third world add 84 million to the world’s population every year. Try shipping 84 million to Mars or the Moon each year to stabilize population on earth.
    Yes, if you fly over the country at night it looks like there’s lots of “open space”, but fly over during the day and that space is farmland, except for areas that are unsuitable. Overpopulation has nothing to do with empty space. It has everything to do with the ability to produce what is required, provide resources where necessary, and the ability to get the necessary materials/products/resources to where they are needed.
    Third world countries like Somalia, and Ethiopia rely on food from elsewhere in the world because they don’t have the water to grow their own. Or as Sam Kennison once said, “They don’t live where the food is!!”.
    The bottom line is that the earth is finite. We must understand and identify the limits, become more prudent in our exploitation of resources, and in increasing our numbers. Consumption is likewise finite, and has its own limits.
    It’s better to address these issues now, while we can, than wait until we hit the limits and have nowhere else to go.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    I’m with you. There are too many people. There are a plethora not contributing, and whining about other people having better phones and TVs. We are wasting gobs of resources keeping these people entertained.

    There is no downside to fewer.
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  • Posted by $ Stormi 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Does this mean Biden can give up meeting UN's depopulation via vaccines? Do you realize we have heard the water shortage threat since i was in high school, decades ago. Some countries have addressed the desalination of sea water. Once we accept each by what he earns and stop the equatable cookie cutter existence, it would hlep create more producers. Actually, if the Earth magnetic poles would continue to switch, when they hit the Equator, all the disaster you descibe would happen, people or not. It is an Earth cycle, it has happened before. Ash, floods, volano eruptions, US divided in mid section by new waterway, then feet of packed ice. Ask the Chinese, they once went people into mountain tops to did out living quarters to survive.
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  • Posted by 4 weeks ago
    Many of you miss the point. It’s not that there isn’t empty space, but much of that space is unusable for agriculture due to lack of water or other essentials.
    When we don’t have enough rainfall in an area like much of the Great Plains, we pump water from the ground. That water comes from aquifers that contain what is called “fossil water” because it has taken millions of years for the earth to deposit the water there. These aquifers are not easily restored. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Then we have to rely on local rivers and rainfall. And the use of water will be demanded by all living along them, and water wars will ensue. That’s happening right now in California over the water from central and Northern California between the cities making up Greater Los Angeles, and agricultural interests in the agricultural valleys to the North
    75% or so of earth's human population live within 40 miles of the earth’s coastline. They depend on the interiors of the continents for their daily bread.
    I’m neither a Marxist or communist, and I’m not trying to tell Scary Stories. Scientific studies have shown that in nature, any organism or community will naturally grow and continue to grow until it outruns its food supply, at which point the population will crash, and major portions of the population will die. That’s fact.
    The earth is finite, and likewise it’s ability to provide what humans need. THE EARTH IS LIMITED! We are already seeing huge pressure on resources. That pressure can only increase if we continue to add and add to our population. We cannot grow our population forever because of these limits. That, by definition, is unsustainably.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 3 weeks, 5 days ago
      To quote Dilbert "For every problem there is an engineering solution."

      That solution will be found by people who want to find a solution - not those who simply wish to have what they are not willing to work to obtain.
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  • Posted by 1 day, 18 hours ago in reply to this comment.
    I’ve never thought of this as religion. I guess you could characterize a belief in any thing - population problems, global warming, that Pelosi is a Godsend, or that the Dodgers will win the World Series as a “religion” of sorts. I prefer to think of it as looking at the facts, doing the research and objectively applying common sense.
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  • Posted by Bopalla 1 month ago
    Can one argue that international wealth redistribution/socialism etc caused overpopulation?
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    • Posted by $ blarman 3 weeks, 5 days ago
      I'm not following the train of logic that socialism causes overpopulation, but I'd certainly agree that it causes poverty and destruction for the common Joe. One only needs study the communist revolutions of Russia and China (among others) and tally the body count to see the destructive nature of such a philosophy.
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      • Posted by 2 weeks, 3 days ago
        I’m not suggesting socialism causes overpopulation. And you are right about the poverty and destruction it does cause. My intent is to say that socialism in all its forms is no solution to the fact that we will ultimately run into the finite limits of food, water, and resource production.
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      • Posted by Bopalla 2 weeks, 5 days ago
        Subsidizing irrational/backwards/primitive countries/societies/cultures etc, does not prop up their populations, i.e. the outcome would be the same without outside help/aid?
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        • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 5 days ago
          Not sure what point you are trying to make. In order to analyze one nation's culture, one would have to take into account their governing style and the major cultural influences, not to mention their level of technology and standard of living. In each category one must rate that nation. For example, the United States of America is certainly top-level when it comes to average standard of living and technology, but their culture and their governing style are deteriorating rapidly. Contrast that to a nation like Poland which is recovering from decades of totalitarian rule and has rejected socialism outright. They may be advancing technologically but not top-tier like the United States, but their cultural influences and governmental style have them rising - not falling.

          A phenomenon in the United States should also be noted in this conversation: the migration of people AWAY from socialist governments and TOWARD more conservative/capitalist ones. California recorded net population losses in every single county in the last Census. After decades of robust growth and an explosion of Representation in the House, they actually lost a seat.
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          • Posted by Bopalla 2 weeks, 4 days ago
            International wealth redistribution/socialism etc has caused some countries/societies/cultures etc to propagate to a larger extent than they would have done if they had been left to develop at their own pace?
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            • Posted by 2 weeks, 3 days ago
              No.
              Let me see if I can be clearer.
              In the arena of population, resources, water, food and the limits thereof, there is little that we can control directly. The earth contains a finite amount of iron ore, bauxite, and other resources. There is a finite amount of fresh water, unless there is massive investment in de-salinization. The amount of food that the earth can produce is limited by availability of water, and suitable soil. We are already abandoning some farmland due to it’s exhaustion of nutrients, and removing arable land to build housing developments around major cities.
              In each case we are bumping into the limits imposed by nature, and all technological responses are only stopgap.
              However, the one thing we can control is population. By controlling population we control demand, and thus reduce pressure on food, water and available resources.
              Reduction of population would allow for the development of population limits which, along with technology, recycling, and other measures, can result in the development of sustainable systems of all essentials for the long term.
              I am NOT a communist or authoritarian or socialist. I’m not advocating such systems which by their nature crush freedom and human rights. Rather I am simply trying (perhaps poorly) to point out the realities we face, and hope that awareness of these limits in the hope that voluntary alternatives can be developed. Like it or not, there is not room on the planet for unlimited population and unlimited growth.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                "The earth contains a finite amount of iron ore, bauxite, and other resources."

                While strictly true, we aren't even beginning to scratch the surface of existing deposits. While I'm not saying that any given resource is infinite, we should be very careful about making broad categorizations about the scarcity of earth's resources since most are very rough estimates. Please understand that I do not advocate for waste, I simply point out that we have to be realistic about the availability.

                "In each case we are bumping into the limits imposed by nature, and all technological responses are only stopgap."

                Technological advances have allowed for more efficient mineral extraction which has greatly increased the available economically-viable deposits. Take the oil in shale deposits and sand for example. Inventions such as these can hardly be described as "stop-gap." Human ingenuity finds a way to solve the problem.

                "I am NOT a communist or authoritarian or socialist."

                Then just how do you intend to enforce population control?

                It should also be noted that the nations with positive population growth aren't the First-World nations. Even the United States just this year dropped below replacement rate for births. Europe has been upside down for decades which is why they have been importing from the Middle East and Africa. China's one-child policy has produced an entire generation where 1/3 of their men have to go looking outside their country for companionship. And good luck persuading Third-World nations to adopt such a mindset when they have repeatedly and pointedly told the UN to take their birth control products and abortion providers and leave - for good. For those peoples - and for many others around the world - children (and grandchildren) are the single biggest source of joy which exists. And you're going to tell them they can't have that? Good luck...
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            • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 4 days ago
              It's an interesting theory. Do you have any examples?
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              • Posted by Bopalla 3 days, 15 hours ago
                Reply to: https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
                Would the population of Africa have increased from 74 mil in 1820 to a projected 1449 mil[1] in 2030, if they hadn't received outside help i.e. health care, utilization of resources etc?
                1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimat...
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                • Posted by $ blarman 3 days ago
                  No idea. It's a hypothetical that one can certainly bandy about in either direction. My personal opinion is that the African nations have two enemies to fight. The first is themselves. So much tribalism and instilled hatred that they are constantly warring with each other. Nations at war destroy themselves and civil wars ten times that. Its no wonder they have no infrastructure, no clean water, and famine prevails when the local tyrant/warlord takes all resources - especially young people - just to fuel that hatred.

                  The second is the very Europeans who claim to want to "help" yet put trade embargoes on African products. Take cacao for example. The raw cacao beans are grown almost exclusively in Africa. They require a tropical climate. But Europe prohibits importing refined cocoa products from African nations. Those refineries could be generating thousands of jobs for Africans. It's disgusting - and racist.
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              • Posted by 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                In 2018 Florida-Georgia lawsuit over water rights to the Chatahoochee river basin was settled by the Supreme Court in Florida’s favor.

                https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/p....

                China, the US, and India are the world’s largest polluters.
                https://worldpopulationreview.com/cou...

                The city of Los Angeles has no water, and must import its water from the Colorado River, Lake Meade and other sources to its north. The growers along the way are being limited in their use of available water.
                https://theproducenews.com/california...

                Egypt and Sudan are in a dispute with Ethiopia over the letter’s planned Blue Nile project.
                https://apnews.com/article/ethiopia-s....

                The world’s population growth is potential disaster.
                https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGC...

                Increasing populations only exacerbate these and other problems. While the world is technically not overpopulated, most population increases take place in areas where most already live in poverty. These areas add some 84 million more people births over deaths from the world’s population each year.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                  The assertion being tested was that "socialism causes some nations to propagate to a larger extent than [if they had selected another governmental ideology.]" I'm not following what the Florida-Georgia lawsuit has to do with this premise - if anything. Most of the examples you cite are examples of how socialist ideologies create problems and lack the important feedback mechanisms which could aid in correcting them in the first place. And I don't see any of them where socialism = population expansion. Please let me know what I missed here...

                  As to the world's population growth creating a potential disaster, it's a "what-if" scenario. Here's a reality: the US produces enough agricultural products that not only are Americans incredibly wasteful, but we are net exporters of ag products. Why? Again because of technology. A single farmer can feed a thousand Americans (3.4 million farm workers out of 365 million people according to the USDA https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-product... - and then some. So let's posit another "what-if" scenario: what if this same technology existed the world over?
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                  • Posted by Bopalla 3 days, 15 hours ago
                    Reply to: https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
                    No, international wealth redistribution/socialism etc, i.e. it's one/more countries providing welfare to other countries! The receiving country's ideology has got nothing to do with it.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 3 days ago
                      Still not sure what your argument is.

                      In order for a nation to give, they have to "have" something in the first place. (The US has perverted that by taking advantage of the strength and ubiquity of our currency to give away money we don't have in exchange for taxes on future production.) The problem with socialist nations is that they only survive as long as their producers can out-produce the inevitable rise in spending. So giving money as welfare to other countries hastens their own demise regardless what the other country does with the aid.
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                  • Posted by 1 week, 3 days ago
                    I fear you’re looking too near term. Yes we have a lot of resource deposits, and the US produces and exports many agricultural products. And to a degree what I put forth is a “what if” scenario. But new resource deposits are harder to get to than the old ones in a number of cases, and good farmland is being taken out of production at an ever increasing rate to build housing, shopping and infrastructure for burgeoning populations.
                    As to technology, it can provide many benefits for a while. Maybe for a few hundred years. The problem is that eventually tech will run into limits too. If ag tech as per the US were to exist worldwide, it would be a great boon for many areas - for a while. Again, tech will run into natural limits - either limits in terms of exhausted farm land, or the limits on getting fertilizers at more and more expensive prices, which could cause the cost of food to rise to the point where ordinary people, particularly those in the third world, can’t afford it. And there’s still the question of what to do with places like Ethiopia, Somalia, and other parts of Africa and Asia. Those ppl have little or no water to irrigate crops. Ethiopia, for example, has been in a drought and the population on the verge of starvation for decades. Yet they still reproduce and add more people to their population.
                    More to the bottom line: abundant food leads to increased population. (No, I’m NOT advocating letting anyone starve to death.) the increases in population is fine as long as you can provide them with life necessities such as food. But if you’re going to solve the food-more-people-food-more-people-food viscous cycle, the place to stop it is in the “more people” part of the cycle, and find ways of getting people to accept limits on their populations before we hit the limits mentioned. This would be a whole lot better than letting people starve.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 1 week, 3 days ago
                      I don't debate that there will be in the far future the potential for what you're saying to come to pass. The theory of entropy is compelling. Here's a question: how does your proposal square with Galt's Oath not to live for another man?
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                      • Posted by 1 week, 3 days ago
                        I think that Galt’s vow is a general statement that I believe strongly. I do not believe, for example, that I should necessarily be required to give up half or more of my earnings in order for the government to pay for someone else, or to give up the things I value to make someone else happy with “How I am.”
                        However, if there is a question or issue that effects everyone, I don’t think Galt’s oath precludes my voluntary participation in a solution to a such a problem so long as I retain my right to chose participating or not. I don’t think Rand intended Galt’s oath to mean that I should live in a bubble, isolated from the rest of mankind. There are just too many out there with stick pins.
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                        • Posted by $ blarman 1 week, 2 days ago
                          I agree. The question remains, however: if coercion is not an option, isn't your concern something you can do literally nothing about and therefore a waste of time and energy?
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                          • Posted by 1 week, 1 day ago
                            I suppose one might take the view that the issue is just too big and complicated to deal with it. But if you are headed down a mountain at speed and know that 3 miles ahead there is a curve which you can’t take at the speed you are making, you can choose to do nothing, the result of which will be to crash through the guardrail 3 miles ahead, falling to your death over the cliff, or choose to begin applying the brakes to slow yourself down so that you can take the curve at a slower speed.
                            The same could be said about world population. We can choose to do nothing and charge ahead in our belief that economies and populations can grow forever, or do what we can to begin to apply the brakes so as to develop a sustainable population for the long term without catastrophe.
                            In short, those of us who believe there is a long term problem should do what we can to raise awareness, hence this thread.
                            I should note that when I say “long term” I’m talking 200 to 300 years in the future. You and I will certainly be taking the Eternal Dirt Nap, but humanity’s progeny will hopefully still be there, living a fulfilling, sustainable life.
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                            • Posted by $ blarman 4 days, 23 hours ago
                              Except that it won't be you who has to make the turn in your story. It won't even be your children or grandchildren. It's so far off in the distance that the relevancy quickly gets lost. And without relevancy or meaning, there will be no action.

                              That's the real problem: how do you motivate people about a hypothetical problem which doesn't apply to them or anyone they know? How do you ask someone to mortgage their present for the possibility that someone hundreds of years in the future (even assuming your timeline is accurate) will thank you - posthumously? Good luck...
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                              • Posted by 2 days, 17 hours ago
                                Oh, and in my case, my concerns, at least in part, led my wife and me to have only two children per the old (1970’s) Zero Population Growth (ZPG) movement of the time.
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                              • Posted by 2 days, 17 hours ago
                                I don’t think that having fewer children means that the individual is mortgaging his/her future, or anything else. A number of years ago Al Gore put out his “Inconvenient Truth” video and was going around the country saying that we had only 10 years to act to avoid inundation of the world’s coastal areas, due to “catastrophic man-made Global Warming”. So Rush Limbaugh (God bless him) put a countdown clock on his web site and it ran for ten years until it ran out. And guess what? Nothing he predicted came to pass.
                                Contrary to that, educating people about overpopulation can see the seeds of understanding and action. You do that by telling them the truth - and it is especially important to do so because the world’s population is increasing at an ever increasing rate due to people living longer because of better nutrition and advances in healthcare - ie, we have and are removing the natural forces that naturally control population.
                                I strongly recommend the “Gumball Video” at NumbersUSA.com, or you can find it on YouTube.
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                  • Posted by 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                    By the way I am neither socialist nor communist, but in fact I am a red blooded American conservative. The things that I’m talking about potentially happening at some point in the distant future, or perhaps not too distant future, will happen or can happen regardless of what sort of government is in place, including socialism, communism or democracy.
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                    • Posted by Bopalla 3 days, 15 hours ago
                      Reply to: https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
                      Ideology/size of government/extent of government intervention etc makes no difference?
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                      • Posted by 2 days, 14 hours ago
                        Not really. Government can continue sending food and medicine and other necessities people need. But in the face of that, human beings being what they are, they will only continue to multiply. If government steps in and says they can’t reproduce, now we’re talking a dictatorial government.
                        Today the world population adds about 84 million, births over deaths, each year. The world seems to be able to absorb this increase at the present for a time. But unless this number can be reduced, population will at some point increase exponentially, and natural limits will come into play. I believe it best to try to raise awareness and do something now while we can, rather than wait until a major portion of the human population is starving to death, even if that time is 200 years away.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                      You are alleging a "what-if" scenario to be a certainty. It is one possibility of many. And this line of reasoning isn't new - we've had people claiming a population crisis since the 60's when there were HALF as many people on the earth as there are today.

                      Here's a separate but critical question to answer: accepting the assertion from the Declaration of Independence that all men have the rights to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" (and I will add in the original right of Property), how does one square these rights with your concerns?
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                      • Posted by 1 week, 3 days ago
                        I apologize that it has taken this long to reply to your question.
                        After much research and thoughtful consideration, I must admit that I am unsure how to answer your question, or even if I can answer it. You may well ask why this would be the case. The answer, in both cases, is complicated. In other words, I will need to be long winded.
                        Population is a global issue. To address the ever expanding population would require a global solution. In the 70s there was a small activist group called Zero Population Growth, or ZPG for short, which tried to convince people to have only two children. This would cause an increase in population in the near term, but over time would stabilize population at something close to the population level at the time. Nice theory, but it didn’t take.
                        As pointed out elsewhere in this thread, Europeans have been reproducing at less than replacement levels for some time. US population would also be below replacement levels were it not for immigration, legal and otherwise.
                        In the rest of the world the population continues to grow at the rate of about 84 million people per year, births over deaths, and this is where the bulk of the problem lies. (see NumbersUSA.com, The Gumball Video on YouTube.)
                        Now before you go pulling out the “racist” card, or argue that this is something created to blame “people of color”, please know that it is nothing of the kind. These are facts and can be verified with a little research work.
                        So how does one implement something that impacts everyone on the planet?

                        Thomas Jefferson is quoted as having said:
                        “A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.”

                        Likewise, if I may be so bold as to apply a similar thought to the item under discussion, it could be said that a well informed world population is the best way to make needed changes while safeguarding our rights and liberty. A balancing act to be sure. And what of those who disagree? After all, there are a myriad of people, myself included, who chafe at the top-down implementation of restrictions on personal liberty by those pushing Global Warming.

                        Jefferson had another thought regarding these:
                        “The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.”

                        And….

                        I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.

                        But let us not think that the third world is a place where population management could take no hold. Even the most uneducated, illiterate, subsistence fisherman has seen the population of his area increase, fish species being depleted or gone completely, and some of the effects of pollution, never mind Global Warming. This could be fertile ground to teach the idea of population control, it’s repercussions, and options. That, then, gets into the subject of what is this fisherman to do when he is too old to fish? Today he has a dozen sons who can collectively take care of Mom and Dad in their old age. Could they be cared for if they had only two children? Maybe. But this is where the government must step in and help. And that’s a whole other topic.

                        John Jay said in Federalist 2:
                        “Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers.”

                        And….

                        WHEN the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question, which, in its consequences, must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very serious, view of it, will be evident.

                        To address your question; the time of our Founding Fathers saw, perhaps, the greatest collection of intellect and ability in those same men, than has ever existed on our planet at any one time. And this collection is even more remarkable in that they were all focused on the same object, at the same time, and worked together to give us The Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and the other founding documents we have today. There were disagreements to be sure. But one only need read The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, the letters of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, to name but a few, to realize just how brilliant these men were.
                        That said, and to put that in context, those remarkable men were trying to solve the problem of how to govern after winning independence from England. That period was such that the entire North American continent west of the Appalachians available for national expansion (not withstanding native Americans). Thus I do not believe they focused on the concept so what to do if the earth begins to reach its limits. Yet I think that the quotes above may apply to our time. We will need governments world wide to take action based on a majority consensus of “The People”, and it then becomes our job to consider the facts soberly, and to then educate the people to the need for action. Such action may require some relinquishment of the people’s liberties, at least for a time as per John Jay above.
                        Now I must be off to split a few more hairs.
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                        • Posted by $ blarman 1 week, 2 days ago
                          Note: I appreciate thorough answers like this. I'm not afraid of a little reading and I think our society has grown too fond of emotional soundbites as substitutions for robust, intellectual debate. Thank you for taking the time and effort for a cogent presentation!

                          Regarding global population growth, I share your view that it isn't racist. It simply is. It is almost universally third-world nations who still retain a positive population growth rate. Some posit that this is a result in the choice between materialism and family and I'm inclined to agree.

                          "...a well informed world population is the best way to make needed changes while safeguarding our rights and liberty."

                          I whole-heartedly agree.

                          "This could be fertile ground to teach the idea of population control, it’s repercussions, and options."

                          The UN found quite the opposite. African nations overwhelmingly rejected pro-abortion laws and birth control lobbies - even when given out with no cost to that nation.

                          "But this is where the government must step in and help."

                          Here is where we diverge paths. Any time the government gets involved, its screws things up. There's no solution involving the government which lasts long-term. We need only look at the debacle of Social Security in the US to see what a disastrous policy this is. If you want to talk about retirement funds, privatization is the only workable option. But here's another question: who gets to retire in a third-world country? Answer: Nobody.

                          There has never been a government solution to society's ills whether those be poverty, crime, or anything else. Politicians use these crises to benefit their own political careers rather than look for real answers. The only solutions have come from changes in behavior of the people themselves.

                          What we need is to educate people on universal, moral principles. Until we do that, I don't think we'll need to worry about "overpopulation" because the world is going to collapse into war, poverty, and disaster. And if we had an educated and moral populace (see John Adams), you'd have a population willing and able to have these kinds of policy discussions.
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                          • Posted by Bopalla 3 days, 14 hours ago
                            Reply to: https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
                            "the world is going to collapse into war, poverty, and disaster" What if Atlas/the producers keeps it going?
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                            • Posted by 1 day, 18 hours ago
                              Any system, be a democratic, socialist, communist, totalitarian, dictatorial, or objectivist, can’t keep the system going - for a time. Ultimately, however, without control of population, the system will run into the limits set by God in nature as to the number that our system can support. This should be viewed as the number our system can support, as opposed to the theoretical number that the planet is able to support. While the planet may theoretically support untold millions and billions, the reality is that their supplies, food, water, resources, Must be developed, processed, and transported to where they are needed. This is a greater limitation Than theoretical models. Technology will help, but again only for a time.
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                          • Posted by 1 week, 1 day ago
                            Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy thoughtful discussion immensely.
                            While I’m not familiar with UN efforts at birth control in Africa, I’m going to guess that the refusals may have come from autocratic leaders. When in proper context, I think that fisherman might be a better audience if he can be shown why his fish are gone.
                            I don’t think we diverge that greatly. I agree that todays government involvement equals a mess. That’s because the politicians in todays governments have all manner of self-interests and hidden agendas. What we need is to elect people more in line with the citizen legislators as envisioned by the Founders. We need more people in office who serve first the needs of “The People”. And I agree with your moral populace of John Adams, and would add only Jefferson’s informed populace.
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                            • Posted by $ blarman 4 days, 23 hours ago
                              "While I’m not familiar with UN efforts at birth control in Africa, I’m going to guess that the refusals may have come from autocratic leaders."

                              I would encourage you to do your own research. It was the people themselves - not the leaders - who rejected the UN. May have had something to do with the horrendous civil rights violations committed by UN "peacekeepers" ...

                              "What we need is to elect people more in line with the citizen legislators as envisioned by the Founders."

                              If you can find them, I'll vote for them. The problem is that - like George Washington and Ronald Reagan - very few honorable people go into politics willingly.

                              Is this the Thomas Jefferson quote you were referencing?
                              “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.” I agree.
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                              • Posted by 2 days, 17 hours ago
                                Yes, an I believe I quoted Jefferson thus, elsewhere in this thread.
                                We can get to “citizen legislators” by instituting Term Limits for both Representatives and Senators. One six-year term for Senators, (repeal the 17th Amendment and return selection of Senators to the legislatures of the several states.) and three terms for Representatives.
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                  • Posted by 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                    Au contrare, mon amis!
                    The theory being tested is NOT whether socialism would cause them to “propagate”, i.e. grow their populations more than they otherwise would. This theory is not being tested per se, The hypothesis being discussed is that with finite world resources, the ever-increasing demands for them cannot by definition continue to increase forever. Increasing food supplies can increase populations for a time, but not forever, because food supplies need water to grow, and there are limitations on water as well. The Florida v Georgia suit over the Chatahoochee water went on for ten years until the Supreme Court ruled for Florida. Point being that as populations grow, and demands increase, we will see more disputes over water.
                    While the US agriculture situation is currently as you describe today, the fact is that to maintain this situation requires fertilization and refertilization, which requires more and more of the limited resources that are used to produce the fertilizer. This also produces an increase in population, which demands more farming, which demands more water and fertilizer, which demands more resources, which produces more population increases, which….see where I’m going?
                    The truth grain in my hypothesis is that the easiest way to avoid this cycle - and this is only one such cycle to deal with - is to maintain or reduce today’s population and reduce the ever-increasing demands on food, water, and resources.
                    I should note that as I write this, there are developers in my city and county buying up productive surrounding farmland at $100,000 or more per acre to build housing developments. This is due to population increase in our area.
                    Finally, I was told many years ago by Dr. Karl Raitz, professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky, that a population - any population; mice, men, aardvarks - will increase its numbers until it outruns its food supply, at which time the population will crash, and mass starvation will follow.
                    If we are as smart as we think we are, we will find ways to controlling our population without striping everyone’s rights and freedom, so as to avoid the devastating end result of ignoring this problem and our planet’s limitations.
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                    • Posted by Bopalla 3 days, 14 hours ago
                      Reply to: https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
                      We, do we live in a collective?

                      Western countries are limiting their populations.
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 2 days, 23 hours ago
                        "Western countries are limiting their populations."

                        It's a far more complex issue than strict government coercion. On the one end you have China with its direct and explicit policies enforcing population control - and destroying their future in the process. On the other end you have the socialist tax policies which make it economically prohibitive to have a large family due to the high cost of living. That's certainly what has happened in the EU which has to supplement its populace with immigrants just to keep it stable. To a lesser degree the United States is starting to fall into the same malaise as in the past few years our birth rate has fallen below replacement.

                        The thing that makes me shake my head is that all of the redistribution schemes fail when population drops like that because the country inevitably ends up with more takers than producers. And its so transparently obvious that is what is going to happen. The obliviousness of progressives/socialists makes me cringe.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                      In the thread, that was the question proposed by Bopalla. You interjected and so took on the role of defending that particular assertion. If that was not what you had in mind, please respond elsewhere to maintain conformity.
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