Population growth, unemployment & welfare burden
Posted 17 October 2004 - 11:00 PM
Posted 17 October 2004 - 11:07 PM
ill look though
Posted 18 October 2004 - 12:34 AM
i cant give you internet references but i can give you my brain before econ exams along with a professor and a whole handful of textbooks
ill look though
Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:35 AM
Is your brother referring to the US or the world in general?
My brother calims that increased population causes increased unemployment and that big families place a big burden on welfare. Can anyone give me internet links that specifically refute these two claims?
While the world population is increasing, many industrialized countries have almost zero population growth and if they didn't accept loads of immigrants their economies would collapse immediately.
He also assumes big families are on welfare. He needs to prove that assumption. Big families mean big spending power and more family security, because you are raising a bunch of consumers and the next generation of workers.
The Population Dud
After years of "successful" population-control efforts, experts are realizing that their fears were groundless. And as fertility rates continue to drop, well below expected levels, new concerns are emerging.
By Austin Ruse
It dies a slow death; still it dies. At a recent UN meeting, the myth of over-population died just a little bit more. Officials at the UN Population Division officially announced that they were lowering their predictions of world population by as much as 1 billion people.
Only two years ago, the UN statisticians had thought that the world would reach a population of 9 to 10 billion people by the year 2050. Now they think it will reach only 8 to 9 billion. At that point, they contend, world population will begin to decline.
This is nothing short of a declaration that the population bomb went off, and hurt exactly nothing. What is more, there is at least some talk at the UN that this rapid reduction in human fertility may be a problem. REPLACEMENT LEVEL-- AND BEYOND
In early March Dr. Joseph Chamie, head of the UN Population Division, hosted another in a series of meetings with population experts to explore the question of national and global fertility reduction and subsequent demographic change-- in other words, the aims and results of population-control efforts. At the start of the meeting the Population Division showed its hand:
For decades, demographers have assumed that fertility rates in developing countries will eventually fall to replacement level--about 2 children per woman--and then stabilize at that level. However, over the past decade, more and more developing countries have joined the developed countries in seeing their fertility levels fall below this replacement fertility floor, challenging the assumption that there is some inherent magnet drawing populations to a replacement-level equilibrium.
This was rather startling news. Those who follow population trends already knew that rich countries had reached replacement levels of fertility, and had in fact fallen below the magic number of 2.1 children per woman. (This is the fertility number at which it is thought that countries reach a kind of population equilibrium; their total number neither grows nor shrinks.) Now it seemed the poor nations had begun to follow suit.
What the Population Division has discovered in only the past few years is that the fertility rates in those nations that fall in the "intermediate range" of fertility transition had fallen like a stone. "Intermediate range" countries, in the classification system of population experts, are those that maintain fertility rates between 5.0 and 2.1 children per woman. These include countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, and the Philippines. The Population Division report said these countries "have recorded striking reductions in fertility rates to levels below those needed to ensure population replacement." Since these are also among the most populous countries on earth, the fact that they will soon stop replacing themselves is very big news indeed. Because of this dramatic development, the Population Division says only a few countries--almost all of them in Africa--now remain above the replacement level. The Population Division is agnostic regarding the cause of the shift in fertility figures. The Division's report indicates that "there is little consensus regarding the specific conditions for fertility decline," but points out that there do exist certain "commonalities" among the countries that are experiencing declines in fertility. These commonalities include the socio-economic factors of "decline in mortality, female education and labor force participatio,n and family planning programs."
The report says there is no "single or even ‘most important’ factor in the explanation of fertility decline." Even so, radical feminists were quick to claim credit for the fertility decline, claiming in the New York Times that it was the spread of "reproductive health" around the world in the past few decades that brought us this "good news." At a UN meeting on April 1, the UN Population Fund also gave the credit to the spread of "reproductive health"--a phrase which is routinely used among UN officials to stand for access to legal abortion.
The litany or arguments against population growth is something we have come to know by rote. The world, we have been told, is awash in a contagion of people. At some point, we were warned, we would be swamped by rapidly growing populations, and run out of food, natural resources, and perhaps even comfortable places to stand. A poster that appeared on the walls of dormitory rooms at American colleges during the 1970s showed a world so full of people that some had to live on crowded beaches, and some were even pushed into the water. According to these dire predictions, widespread starvation and massive death rates were to characterize our future.
The more popular argument today is that out-of-control consumption patterns in rich countries is burning a hole in the ozone, and that the world will soon fry--but perhaps not before the sun’s rays melt the polar ice caps and swamp our luxury beach houses, not to mention all the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Not long ago, greenhouse gases were supposed to become trapped in the atmosphere and cause a global ice age.
Of course, neither global famine nor a new ice age has occurred. Moreover, natural resources are more plentiful and accessible now than ever before, and American farmers alone produce more than enough food to feed the entire world.
Even so, these scare tactics resulted in the implementation of multi-billion dollar programs to bring what many population planners saw as grossly excessive rates of fertility down to replacement levels, and thus eventually to zero and even negative population growth. Much thought has been devoted to the question of how we might actually reduce population, to reach what the theorists called the proper "carrying capacity" of the earth. Some said that the carrying capacity is as low as 2 billion people. Since that figure is well below the current level of world population (roughly 6 billion), one can only wonder what could be done with the "extra" 4 billion human beings.
It is a fact that the world's population has grown, and sometimes grown rapidly. Still, fertility rates began dropping long ago, in the 19th century. The rapid population growth of the 20th century occurred for reasons unrelated to fertility. Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt of Harvard University and the American Enterprise Institute famously said population growth accelerated, "not because we reproduced like bunnies but because we stopped dying like flies." Chamie agrees, saying that the enormous increase in human longevity is the greatest achievement of the 20th century. Still, old myths die hard. NOW, A DIFFERENT SORT OF CONCERN
But in recent years, new thinking on world population trends has added a curious new concern to the mix of alarmist predictions. Surprisingly enough, much of this new thinking has come from the UN, and specifically from Joseph Chamie's Population Division--the official statisticians for the UN in the field. (The Population Division is distinct from the UN Population Fund, which is engaged in practical activity to curb population, rather than theoretical study.)
This new development began in 1997, when Chamie hosted an expert group meeting that reported that many countries had done so "well" in meeting the fertility challenge that they were no longer replacing themselves, and had actually dropped below the magic number of 2.1 children per woman. What had happened, however, was that these countries--for the most part, relatively wealthy nations--did not stop at the magic number. They proceeded to go lower. Some countries went significantly lower. Italy dropped below 2 children per woman. So did Spain. So did others.
Population experts, and even some analysts in the popular press, now began talking about a whole new set of problems associated with this newly discovered development. They observed that if the natural demographic pyramid--in which a large group of young active workers support a smaller group of elderly people--became inverted, an economic catastrophe would surely ensue. Some economists today believe that Japan’s long-term economic recession is at least partially due to the fact that the Asian nation was the first to reach the point at which the number of citizens over the age of 65 exceeded the number under the age of 15: a clear case of an inverted pyramid.
The results of this demographic shift are likely to include extreme economic dislocations, inter-generational competition for shrinking social services, and severe difficulties in sustaining pension funds and health-care benefits. The president of the European Commission warned last year that by the year 2050, nearly one-third of European pension systems would collapse. In some countries, he said, population figures would actually begin in decline by that time; he suggested that the Italian population could drop by as much as 41 million. Joseph Chamie says that "future" is already here; the population implosion is occurring right now. He points out the Russian Federation lost 800,000 in population last year alone.
What should be done? After sounding this new alarm at the 1997 meeting, Chamie’s group held another expert group meeting two years ago that explored policy considerations for meeting the challenges created by this "graying" of various national populations.
It is generally understood that economies grow on the strength of young workers. Ireland is an economic miracle today partially because of a remarkably young work force: 50 percent of all Irish citizens are said to be under the age of 25, and a whopping 75 percent of Dubliners are below that age. In order to meet the challenge of rapidly aging workforces, some of Chamie’s experts said it might be necessary to encourage women to have more children. It was noted, however, that Sweden tried that policy some years ago, and while the effort was briefly successful in encouraging new pregnancies, the Swedish population soon fell back into an anti-natal trend.
One of the main proposals advanced at the Population Division meeting was that countries facing a decline in population could solve their problems by allowing increased immigration. But here too there were practical problems. One expert calculated that Japan, for instance, would have to bring in up to 800,000 workers a year in order to keep its economy going. Japan is one of the most insular societies on earth, and is highly unlikely to agree to such a massive influx of foreigners. Indeed, given the sharp social controversies engendered by current levels of immigration, it seems unrealistic to expect that massive immigration would be an appropriate solution. Chamie himself agrees that immigration is not the answer.
OLD THEORIES REBUTTED
The Population Division has advanced its thinking very far in this debate--far enough, in fact, so that it has challenged some of the basic premises of the population-control movement.
Last summer the Population Division released its "World Population Monitoring, 2001," which announced that many of the most dire predictions about the consequences of population growth have proven unfounded. Even if world population did reach the previous predicted level of 8.9 billion by 2050, the report said, the dire consequences that some analysts had predicted were not likely to occur.
One by one, Chamie’s report shot down the major claims of population-control advocates:
o Population controllers assert that the world will run out of food, and famine will result. Chamie’s report disagreed. "Over the period of 1961-1998, world per capita food available for direct human consumption increased by 24 percent, and there is enough being produced for everyone on the planet to be adequately nourished."
o Population controllers say rising populations causes poverty. Again the Population Division disagrees. "From 1900 to 2000, world population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion persons. However, while world population increased close to 4 times, world real gross domestic product increased 20 to 40 times, allowing the world to not only sustain a four-fold population increase but also to do so at vastly higher standards of living."
o Population controllers complain that natural resources will inevitably become depleted because of population growth. The Chamie report disagreed again. "During recent decades new reserves have been discovered, producing the seeming paradox that even though consumption of many minerals has risen, so has the estimated amounts of the resource as yet untapped."
o Finally, on the environment, the Chamie report concedes that population growth may be a contributing factor in the depletion of fisheries and contamination of water, but "in general, population growth appears to be much less important as a driving force of such problems than is economic growth and technology."
One of the dinosaurs of the population-control movement is the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). UNFPA is in charge of population-control programs for the UN (as opposed to population statistics) and has frequently been accused of complicity with the coercive programs in Peru and China--programs that have resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations. In its most recent report, State of the World Population, UNFPA claims that population growth has resulted in human misery and environmental ruin throughout the world. UNFPA maintains that population growth causes intractable poverty and that as a consequence many nations stand on the edge of massive famine. Of course these are the same old arguments that have been discredited by many experts, including now some within the UN itself.
In a surprising swipe at a colleague organization, Chamie observed to the Washington Times last summer that UNFPA "is a fund" and therefore has "an agenda." Indeed, UNFPA’s agenda involves not only the promotion of population control but also the spread of abortion. Frequently the UNFPA's concentration on that "reproductive health" agenda works to the detriment of the real issues facing the world’s poor. In its annual report a year ago, for instance, UNFPA mentioned "reproductive health" 186 times while mentioning malaria, clean water, and safe sanitation only once, as if these very real problems do not compare in importance with a woman’s right to abortion.
Even Chamie seems to have a mixed mind on the issue of "reproductive health"--or at least a mixed department. His own report spoke critically of the "stalled" decline in fertility rates in some countries like Bangaladesh and India, where fertility rates plummeted to 3.3 and then stayed there rather than dropping to the promised land of 2.0. And Chamie's fellow experts very clearly support continued fertility decline. More than one report spoke of the "risk of pregnancy;" it is telling the reports did not use another formulation, say, for instance, the "possibility of pregnancy." Population experts clearly still learn reflexively toward the belief that all pregnancy is a risk that threatens to slow the decline of overall fertility. But predictions about world fertility patterns always involve a guessing game in any case. Demographer Nicholas Eberstadt characterizes the entire effort to predict population levels as "science fiction." He argues that is nearly impossible to predict future behavior, especially in the area of fertility. [See sidebar.]
Even the reports delivered to the expert group meeting repeatedly used words and phrases that betray the fact that these experts do not really know what will happen. In his paper, for example, John Caldwell of the Australian National University said that a world population figure of "3 or 4 billion people may be critical" in the stability of ecosystems and food production. (emphasis added) Caldwell writes, "my guess" is that favoring small families may change in the future. He says the effect of low fertility on "the national economy is probably not as great as most of the debate has suggested." (emphasis added) Caldwell is certain, however, that fertility reduction must continue, and that it is a good thing. And he is fearful that the current talk of a population implosion may slow national and international commitments to fertility reduction and population control.
HOW LOW WILL IT GO?
The discussion of world population trends has occurred in the context of an aggressive--sometimes coercive--push for population control, led by the wealthy nations of the West. But much of the actual decline in fertility would have happened naturally, without any public advocacy. Nicholas Eberstadt contends that fertility reduction actually began in the 19th century, and came as a consequence of industrialization, education, and affluence. The general decline in fertility began well before the population-control programs that spread abortion, sterilization, and contraception around the world. One of the most crucial numbers that population experts cite is the date at which the "fertility transition" of a country official begins. This is the point at which a country’s "crude birth rate" falls to 30 live births per thousand. Argentina reached that point in 1930. For France, it was 1830.
Today, after several decades of population control advocacy, what has become of the promises on which these policies were based? Proponents of population control said that fertility reduction would result in economic prosperity--not just for families but for whole nations. The nations of Latin America were among the best pupils in the world for fertility reduction. Argentina dropped from 7 children per woman to 3 in the space of just 20 years, yet Argentina is experiencing a severe economic depression. In fact most of Latin America is suffering economically. Many countries, especially in Central America still rank among the poorest nations in the world.
And what of Africa? Certainly the African countries have lagged behind their Latin American brothers in fertility reduction, but still they have advanced well along the road toward what the population controllers call the "fertility transition." Yet almost all of Africa is an economic basket case. Where is the promised economic miracle?
One of the truly haunting questions that occupied the meeting of population experts at UN headquarters in New York was the question of how long, and how far, fertility rates will continue to fall. Many of the experts confessed that they do not know. One paper was entitled "On the Prospects of Endless Fertility Decline in South Asia." Another was "Kenya’s Fertility Transition: How Low Can it Go?" Both reports suggested that there is a point beyond which a society's fertility will not drop; but in both cases, the authors were uncertain.
Until literally a matter of weeks ago, the equilibrium fertility level was thought by experts to be 2.1 children per woman. The UN planners believed that nations would eventually reach this number, and then the fertility decline would stop. They have now lowered that projection to 1.85 children per woman. But the experts have no rationale for that prediction, nor any rationale for why the level will not drop even further. Could the fertility rate go down to 1.0, or to .75? Why could it not reach zero? One of the papers delivered at the New York meeting actually discussed the rising incidence of childlessness.
Some experts now believe that world population will peak in 30 years and then begin to decline. Joseph Chamie says the population implosion is upon us right now. The world has never faced a situation like this before. No one knows how far the fertility level will fall, or what will happen when we reach the bottom.
[AUTHOR ID] Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), follows the UN closely. He welcomes comments at email@example.com.
Glossary Terms: Indonesia
"No Scientific Basis…"
Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt is one of America's leading thinkers on demography, foreign aid, and poverty. He is a visiting fellow at the Harvard University Center for Population and Development, a consultant for the World Bank, and holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. Since the death of Julian Simon in February 1998, Eberstadt has become the foremost intellectual critic of the population-control movement.
Austin Ruse--who has covered the population debate at the United Nations--spoke with Eberstadt about the most recent developments in the field.
What was the significance of the March meeting of population experts at the United Nations?
Nicholas Eberstadt: The expert-group meeting revised the presumptions of standard demography.
The consequence of their new assumptions is that world population projections likely will likely be described as the peaking of world population at around 7.5 million around the year 2050, with more or less indefinite population declines for the world as a whole thereafter. This is all clearly very prospective, since there is no great scientific precision for long-range projections.
One of the things that kept coming up in a number of the papers was the uncertainty--the tacit admission that the experts have no idea what they are doing.
Eberstadt: The mathematical techniques are very elegant and very rigorous. The parameters that one establishes for these techniques is entirely loosey-goosey. One has an elegant computational system which is subject to the dangers of "garbage in, garbage out." The fact of the matter is that there is no scientific basis, no robust scientific basis for the long-term anticipations of future fertility levels in any given society, much less the world as a whole.
In any look toward 2050, you have the problem of trying to calculate how many babies those who are currently unborn are going to be having. You can't do that.
So what this expert-group meeting really did was to revise the gestalt, or revise the Rorschach test of what is considered respectable by people who are called demographic experts.
It seems that the UN Population Division is under a lot of political pressure not to let the predictions of fertility go too low.
Eberstadt: Well, there are other people who probably know much more about this than I do. It is surely the case that they have to be accountable to the many different members of the greater United Nations community.
I know that this office has to send their biennial revisions of proposed projections for countries to the member states. I am not sure whether the member states have to sign off or not.
A demographics expert has pointed out that in order to hit the new, lower prediction that is now being advanced for fertility levels, the Population Division is actually being forced to predict an increase in fertility in countries like the Czech Republic--from 1.2 to 1.9--and that this is highly unrealistic.
Eberstadt: Well there is, in all of the projections that have been done over the last decade, the presumption that the rich countries, the developed countries, are currently at an abnormally low level of fertility and that over time their fertility rates will increase back toward the replacement levels--or in some cases, above the replacement levels. . .
Is this based on any evidence?
Eberstadt: There is one bit that is based on. There is a "nerdy" but not unimportant difference in fertility rates, between what is called the period rate and the so-called cohort rate.
A period rate is like a snapshot. If you could see the US as one woman who went through ages 15 through 49 all in the course of this year, then you would have what we call the current annual fertility rate for the United States. But of course that’s make-believe. What people really do is they live real lives. They are born in year X and die in year Y, and have Z number of children.
Now looking over the course of a real person’s lifetime, that‘s called the cohort rate. Now the basic difference between the period rate and the cohort rate appears under one particular set of conditions, which is when social mores are changing--for example, if all of a sudden women are deciding they are going to postpone childbearing.
This happened in the United States back in the 1970s, when the US period fertility rate dropped down to about 1.7. Now that "snapshot" rate is up to almost 2.1.
Only what has happened, over that time, is the cohort rate didn’t really drop. It just turned out that--really, truly--women were just postponing their childbearing, and they really didn’t decide they were going to have fewer children.
On the basis of this, that there are a lot of people in research organizations and national governments who are saying, "Well that’s really the same thing that’s happening in Russia today, and in Japan… The cohort rate will be higher; over time here will be an increase. It is just that with the transition from Communism, or with the social changes going on now, there is a temporary lull… The fertility rate will eventually rise to reflect that."
And you would call that sort of reasoning "science fiction?"
Eberstadt: I would say that is a possible theory: a possible theory, hardly an established fact.
There are many respectable demographers in Europe who are saying, "No, this is whistling past the graveyard." There are others who are saying that the rate will be coming up. Let's just wait and watch.
One of the interesting questions regarding fertility is "how low can it go?" We don’t know where the bottom is, do we?
Eberstadt: Of course we don’t, because we don’t know what the future is. The whole glory of this "expert meeting" is that it is expert opinion jogging and hustling, trying to catch up with established reality. And the same thing can be said about "how low can we go."
When the German fertility rate of the 1980s went down to 1.5, you say, "Well it went down to 1.5." And when the East German rate after Communism goes down to 0.7 (the period rate), you say, "Well it can go down to 0.7."
There was an article in Population & Development Review about two years ago by a person who describes herself as being a devotee of socio-biology who made the argument that while women may not want to have babies themselves, child-rearing is an innate human impulse, and so we feel quite confident that the majority of women over time will rear at least one child. Okay, so you say, "Stop for a moment, and listen to what you just said." If a majority of women--51 percent of women--raise at least one child, that means we are talking about a total fertility rate of 0.5.
It seems that the Population Division has been beating a different drum than the more ideological agencies like the UN Population Fund. They have been drawing attention to this demographic collapse at least since 1997.
Eberstadt: My impression is--and I say this with great affection--the UN Population Division group is a group of defiant nerds. They are statistical nerds who want to do their work as accurately as they can. They will be happy when their projections accord with subsequent events. And if they do not, they want to adjust them. But they are empirically driven, and want to get their numbers as good as they can get them.
That’s obviously not UNFPA’s concern, nor even their self-described task. UNFPA has gone from being a sort of a clearinghouse for information--a neutral clearinghouse for information about population questions--to a radicalized anti-natal activist group. It is not I who says that, it is they who say that. In their mission statement now, they say they are champions of what they describe as the universally accepted goal of world population stabilization-- which means the lowest population total in the quickest time.
Dr. Joseph Chamie, the head of the UN Population Division, seems to be debating the Population Fund. He issued a report last summer that rebuts almost all of UNFPA’s alarmist rhetoric about overpopulation causing starvation, disease, and environmental degradation. . . Eberstadt: They did put out that report on population development and the environment and I thought that was a pretty careful report. It had a lot of worrisome and potentially troubling commentary within it, but it was a of a different caliber and tenor than UNPFA reports.
One thing that I notice in a lot of Chamie’s work is that there does not seem to be unanimity of opinion within his own shop. For instance, in the current report that they gave the expert-group meeting in March, they spoke critically of certain nation countries that had stalled in the fertility decline. Bangladesh, for instance, had "stalled" at 3.3. Did you pick that up?
Eberstadt: Oh, sure. My guess is if you quizzed the UN Population Division on their preferences, you might find that their personal preferences or outlooks are close to those of the members of the Population Association of America.
That is just a surmise or a guess. But, the situation is that, whatever their personal preferences or beliefs or outlooks are, they do not impress those on the physical data by torturing the numbers.
Did the "population bomb" go off?
Eberstadt: Yes, the population bomb went off in the 20th century. We’ve got four times as many people now as we had in 1900. But it wasn’t exactly a population bomb. It was a health explosion. The reason we’ve got four times as many people now as we had a hundred years ago is because life spans are over twice as long as they were a hundred years ago.
If only the death rates had changed, there would be 10 billion people here on earth today. There are a little over 6 billion people. That’s because, not only did lifespans explode, but actually, fertility levels rather dramatically changed.
You make the point that if fertility levels began to decline in the 19th century. Therefore we did not need the population control regime promoted by the United Nations, the US, and the European Union.
Eberstadt: Clearly, population policy is not the ship for fertility decline. The beginning of secular fertility decline is identified in post-Napoleonic France, which was very poor, very rural, very illiterate, and also very Catholic. So all of the supposed modernization criteria that are supposed to expect for fertility change were not there at the start. It was a troubled theory from its very inception.
The experts say the beginning of the "fertility transition" is 30 live births per thousand. Why is that the case?
Eberstadt: It is just numbers. Thirty births per thousand is a very crude--wet your finger and put it in the wind!--sort of number. I guess they use thirty because there is a zero after the digit, but that would usually be a very high level of childbearing.
Birthrates per thousand are a little tricky because if you have a birthrate of thirty per thousand in a nursing home, that would be a rather different thing than thirty births per thousand in reference to a maternity ward. It depends on society, pay structure, and all that stuff. It is much more intuitively clear to say something like "four to five births per woman per lifetime."
France hit that magic number in 1830, and Argentina hit it in 1930., long before contraception and readily available abortion.
Eberstadt: Take a look at the historical record, or even the more recent record. I think they pointed this out in some of the discussions in the papers. Mexico and Brazil have followed just about the same fertility-decline trajectory in the post World War II era. Brazil has never had a national population policy. Mexico has a very muscular, vigorous one, well financed.
So what is the net contribution to social fertility change of a national population policy, if the program is voluntary? If it is involuntary, as in China, you can forcibly terrorize people to have fewer people than they would desire. But if it is a voluntary program, working on voluntary premises, it is not clear to me why it should have a revolutionary effect on overall childbearing rates.
At the Cairo Conference, UNFPA changed its stress from population control to reproductive rights. It seems that they saw what was coming. They saw these steep declines in fertility rates, and they wanted it to keep going further down, so they changed the debate to focus on reproductive rights. After all, who can be against rights?
Eberstadt: You may be right. My impression is that even after the Cairo Conference, the apocalyptic language the UNFPA officials used about continuous world population growth is really quite stark, like "looking over the edge of the cliff" .and all that stuff.
I would say that this was part of a strategy--an expanding coalition that UNFPA attempted to forge for themselves, making allies and supporters of feminist groups. Putting a little less emphasis on population targets, and a little more emphasis on human and reproductive health, was a way to forge this constituency.
So again, the population bomb went off. Did it do any damage?
Eberstadt: It is hard to say where the growth of population has done damage.
In general the health of the human population today is much better today than it was a hundred years ago. The levels of affluence are vastly higher than a hundred years ago. Education, literacy, and living standards are generally much better.
It is also true that there are a lager number of people living below a given poverty line today than there were a few decades ago, given the enormous growth in human population. Even though disproportionately more people are prosperous, in absolute terms there are probably more people living below a certain threshold of poverty. So it depends upon your viewpoint and your philosophy and your moral basis. If you say that having more human beings in poverty is unacceptable, then there should be no more human beings. If you say a greater proportion of humanity is living better, that is what has happened. You have to decide what is important to you.
Edited by cmotherofpirl, 18 October 2004 - 05:52 AM.
Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:41 AM
On May 11, 1998, The New Yorker featured a startling article by staff writer Philip Gourevitch entitled "The Genocide Fax" accusing high officials of the United Nations of knowing in advance of the planned systematic massacre of nearly one million minority Tutsi citizens—men, women and children—of Rwanda in 1994 and doing nothing at all about it. In fact, the UN, the Clinton White House and the U.S. State Department continued to conceal this genocide from the American people until it was exposed on January 26 by—of all sources—the very leftist-oriented Public Broadcast Service (PBS) television as "Triumph of Evil" in its Frontline documentary series.
It probably is not surprising that United Nations officialdom moved not at all to thwart the massacre of a million Rwandans— mostly hacked to death with hoes or machetes—since that poor African nation is among those countries counted as drastically "over-populated" by a coterie of politicians, pseudo-scientists, media propagandists and one-world planners who preach as undeniable a connection between birth rates and economic prosperity. Like their 1798 mentor, British clergyman Thomas Malthus, they continue to argue that as population increases, food and other necessities of life become more scarce and human catastrophe ensues—starvation, disease, homelessness and— ultimately—the end of civilization.
It is a matter of general knowledge that the United Nations organization and its myriad of agencies with important sounding alphabetically-abbreviated titles—UNFPA, WHO, IFAF, INIFEM and such—is the international center and clearing house in a well-financed ruse to dictate how individual nations, industries, and citizens conduct their lives and businesses under the guise of helping stem a non-existent "population crisis." What few but a small circle of government officials know, however, is that the United States has secretly committed billions of taxpayers dollars to promoting population control globally as a "national security" strategy.
Declassified Confidential Documents
In a most astonishing but little-known journalistic scoop, the monthly Catholic World Report has discovered a group of key documents classified as "secret" up until about 1990 that offer supporting evidence on why and how billions of dollars are being spent to finance worldwide population control programs through the UN and elsewhere. Included are not only contraception, but also abortion and, sterilization.
The key document needed to understand U.S. policy toward world population during the past 20 years, Catholic World Report points out, was declassified in 1980 but not made publicly available until June 1990. Dated December 10, 1974, it is a study by the National Security Council (NSC) entitled "NSSM 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests." This document views population growth in less developed countries as not only a serious threat to strategic interests of the U.S. but as also the prime cause of political instability in Third World nations, threatening dangerous consequences for American overseas investments.
NSSM 200 is the first official document in which population control is considered a means to safeguard "national security," according to Catholic World Report, which continues: "A later document, 'National Security Decision Memorandum 314' shows that the proposals put forward in NSSN 200 became an integral part of United States foreign policy after November 1976. All the succeeding administrations made U.S. economic aid policies to foreign countries dependent on the acceptance of birth control programs. Even the three Republican terms of the 1980s headed by presidents who opposed abortion (Ronald Reagan and George Bush), continued to promote acceptance of birth control programs in the poor countries."
As to origins of this policy, Catholic World Report explains it was on Aug. 10, 1970 that President Richard Nixon gave the task of preparing a population policy report to the National Security Council. This document "National Decision Memorandum 76" was the first time an American president described the growth of population in the Third World as a possible threat to U.S. interests. It was prepared by a NSC committee under the supervision of Henry Kissinger, then Secretary of State and president of the NSC. A 198-page report, it was published on Dec. 10, 1974. On Oct. 16, 1975, Kissinger sent a confidential memo to then President Gerald Ford, asking for authorization to make NSSM 200 operative to all the functionaries of the U.S. government. President Ford approved Kissinger's request on Nov. 26, 1975.
NSSM 200 and NSDM 314, countersigned by Brent Scowcroft who had by then replaced Kissinger as National Security Advisor, were issued as "guidelines" of policies to be followed and sent to the Secretary of State; the Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services; Defense and Agriculture; the Commanders in Chief of the three armed forces; the director of the CIA; the President's Economic Council; the Environmental Council; and the head of the Agency for International Development (AID). Two years later, in May 1977, the NSC drafted its "First Annual Report on U.S. Population Policy" analyzing the progress being made on controlling and reducing population around the world.
Blueprint for Population Control
To those now familiar with the modus operandi of population-control strategy, NSSM 200 is a blueprint, outlining in detail how to proceed in achieving desired results. As Catholic World Report notes, it proposes to use persuasion rather than coercion, such as " family planning programs" introduced directly by local governments or—better yet—religious groups. Also, economic incentives for spreading the use of contraceptives and clinical assistance in cases of abortion and sterilization. (As a footnote, it should be pointed out that one poor, Third World country, Nepal, was so inundated with condoms that it cost the local government $50,000 to dispose of them.)
In 1978, U.S. Congress—which has its own Select House Committee on Population—passed at the request of the Agency for International Development (AID) a series of measures to grant special foreign aid to those countries setting up birth control programs awarding sums of money to families or individuals "accepting family planning measures" such as sterilizations or paid abortions. While U.S. federal laws actually prohibit giving funds to foreign countries to promote abortion, NSSM 200 hinted that in many countries government authorities will not interfere with such practices.
To finance population control throughout the world, the U.S. has depleted citizens' tax revenues by at least $4 billion—spent by AID alone—over the past two decades. In addition, huge sums for the same purpose have been donated by such private institutions as the Rockefeller Foundation (behind-the-scenes U.S. promoter of the RU-486 abortion pill), the Sierra Club, the Worldwatch Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Pathfinder Fund and others. One of those significant others is Ted Turner, founder of CNN television, vice-chairman of Time Warner Inc. publishing empire, and owner of both the Atlanta Braves baseball and Atlanta Hawks baseball teams.
Turner is known also, for often putting his large foot in his mouth—for example, calling Christianity "a religion of losers" and anti-abortionists " bozos," as well as people who abhor Communist China's one-child forced-abortion policy "dumb-dumbs." At a real estate development conference sponsored by a group of environmental agencies, he went so far as to express regret for fathering five children of his own. "I can't shoot them now that they are here," he quipped, perhaps alluding to his present wife Jane Fonda's movie, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?".
For all his crude outburst in public, however, Ted Turner remains a beloved media-darling. With much press fanfare, Turner's pledged $1 billion to the United Nations for population-control programs was a challenge to other big-money industrialists and internationalists to kick-in likewise. As NSSM 200 stresses, of all the intermediate—that is non governmental—organizations needed to carry out global population control policy, the most important is the United Nations, followed by International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) which plays a major role in organizing the various expensive UN. Population conferences held in world capitals such as Beijing, China, Cairo, Egypt and elsewhere.
Active in over 100 countries, IPPF finances such projects as village-to-village sterilization of poor women in exchange for food and other rewards. In one country, Peru, teams of Ministry of Health workers were given quotas in 1998 to round up Indian and women of mixed descent for "ligation festivals" (the term ligation meaning medically tying off a woman's reproduction organs) in a massive sterilization campaign ordered by President Alberto Fujimori. The health workers were warned they could lose their jobs for failing to meet quotas. Some Peruvian women even reported sterilizations without their consent, often during the course of other medical procedures—for example during Caesarean deliveries.
Another agency, the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFP) operates over 2,000 birth control programs throughout the world. In 1983 alone, according to its own records (the latest available) such programs cost $122.7 million—with a quarter of those funds directly from U.S. taxpayers. Since 1969, reports population-planning researcher Mercedes Arzu Wilson, the U.S. has spent more money on population control programs than its total worldwide health-related expenditures. In some years, spending on contraception "re-education" has been almost three times the expenditures on health assistance.
One member of the Honduran delegation to the UN's 1994 International Conference on Population and Development Conference held in Cairo hit the nail on the head on how the UN talks about helping the Third World become more prosperous through development but actually is more interested in reducing its population. As the Washington Times (Aug. 26, 1994) pointed out, delegate Leonardo Casco expressed dismay that, out of 89 pages within the 1994 UN document on population and development, "only six pages dealt with development."
Myth of Over-Population
Contrary to what "population crisis" spokesmen of the United Nations and other "experts" continue to blather—and the media willingly echoes—worldwide population is declining. One needs only turn to page 470 of the 1999 New York Times Almanac to confirm the figures. In 79 countries, today, birthrates are now below replacement levels. In such countries as Italy, Japan and even China, notes the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 10, 1999) their "societies are graying at an unprecedented rate [which] means a future where even fewer workers support increasing numbers of elderly."
Nonetheless, says the WSJ, "rather than looking to increase the freedom that would allow Third World peoples to provide for themselves and expand the world pie, what we have... is a concerted call for redoubling efforts to control population... that would keep those people in perpetual dependency (not to mention keeping UN functionaries employed). Indeed, even a cursory look at the Cairo and Hague (UN) documents makes clear that though the talk may be of empowering women and families, what they really empower are bureaucrats."
Few Americans know, in fact, that since 1974 the U.S. fertility rate has been well below the long-term zero growth level where each generation just reproduces itself. The U.S. is not experiencing a "population crisis". The population of the entire world, as amazing as it might seem, could fit into the state of Texas—with 1300 square feet of land allotted to each person. While the population density of this giant city would be about 21,000 people per square mile, somewhat more than San Francisco and less than the Bronx, the rest of the world would be completely empty, available for all of mankind's agricultural, manufacturing, educational and recreational activities.
(Note: For the mathematics on this, we are indebted to Dr. Frank Felice, biologist at the University of San Francisco "7,438,152,268,800 square feet in Texas divided by world population of 5,860,000,000 = 1269 square feet per person"; also to The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1993, [New York, Pharos Books], pg. 643; The 1994 World Population Data Sheet [Washington, D.C.: Population Reference Bureau] and Jacqueline Kasun who obtained the NSSM 200 document originally from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.)
Professor Kasun, as a matter of fact, is author of one of the most important books on the subject of population control, The War on Population: The Economics and Ideology of Population Control (Ignatius Press) which will be available in an updated new version later in 1999. It is a scholarly work that deserves a place on every library shelf as a prime reference source. As the Detroit News observes, Kasun "ably dissects the course and flawed reasoning" behind what is "probably the oddest exercise in official mental illness" of our time by "bonding zealotry to factual ignorance" in a battle against a non-existent "population crisis."
Allan Carlson, president of the Howard Center adds: "She is at her best when exposing the anti-empirical nature of the 'overpopulation' idea; when factors such as political development and the degree of freedom are brought into the analysis, the concepts evaporate. She also shows the strong linkages between the desires to control populations and to control economies, explaining why families and individuals making free choices always produce better results than government planners."
As Professor Kasun and others—such as Michael Sanera and Jane Shaw in their book Facts Not Fear (Regnery)—point out, there are not too many people for earth to support. The scaremongers' argument about population growth causing starvation is proven nonsense, for just one example of misinformation. Food production has increased faster than world population and the trend is likely to continue. It is political strife and misguided government policies that are main factors leading to starvation. Communist governments in both the former U.S.S.R. and China have created famines to further their consolidation of power.
What You Can Do
Former director of the Population Office of USAID, Dr. Charles Ravenholt, has stated that "population control is needed to maintain normal operation of the United States commercial interests around the world." That outrageous claim shows the misguided assumption of the "population control" cabal. In 1986 Congress passed the Kemp-Kasten Amendment forbidding U.S. funds from going to countries engaged in abortion or sterilization as population control schemes. The Clinton administration, however, restored the funding to help pay for these practices in Communist China and elsewhere.
Write your Congressmen and urge that this funding with your tax dollars be halted now and forever. America should take no part in the United Nations effort to force other nations to adopt a contraceptive mentality under the false guise of U.S. national security.
©Mindszenty Report, the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, P.O. Box 11321, St. Louis, MO 63105, 314-727-6279.
This item 1024 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org
Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:42 AM
"Every man's death diminishes me." --John Donne, 1631
"Every babe's birth diminishes me." --Garrett Hardin, population control advocate, 1970 1
Since the 1960s, population alarmists have been shrilly predicting demographic disaster for the human race. The potted prophecies of population bomber Paul Ehrlich have been the most notorious. In 1972, he warned that 65 million Americans (!) would die of starvation by 1985. Hundreds of millions would perish elsewhere. Needless to say, this predicted decimation never happened.
Great advances in agriculture -- we have set new records for global grain production in 16 of the last 30 years -- have left us better off than ever before. Although an estimated 1,644 people still die from malnutrition each day, this is only about one-40th of the number of deaths from hunger claimed by the population fear-mongers. Moreover, those deaths that do occur are primarily a consequence of civil war. 2 Food is frequently used as a weapon. Opposing armies target the civilian populations of their enemies for extinction, destroying their crops and interdicting food convoys.
Still, the prophecies of Ehrlich and others have fueled massive programs, through the UN Population Fund and other agencies, to constrict human fertility, especially in the developing world. Why is the developed world so determined to reduce population growth in the developing world? One answer comes from Dr. Charles Ravenholt, former director of the Population Office of USAID: "Population control is needed to maintain the normal operation of United States' commercial interests around the world."3
This view is more than just Dr. Ravenholt's personal opinion, for it is enshrined in an official document of the U.S. government entitled Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests. Drafted by the National Security Council under the direction of Henry Kissinger, and secretly published as National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) on December 10, 1974, this document declares:
"The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less-developed countries. That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birthrates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States."
These recommendations were adopted and carried out. For the past quarter century, America and its allies have carried out a covert war on people in the developing world. In 1998 alone, the Clinton administration spent $385 million to promote abortion, perform sterilizations, and ship contraceptives to countries around the world. And still this is not enough for the Contraceptor-in-Chief: Clinton has vowed to increase population spending to a whopping $561 million in 2000.
To mask U.S. involvement and allay Third World suspicions, population control aid is funneled through the UNFPA and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). For the same reason, strenuous efforts were made to create the appearance of an international "consensus" on the need for population control at the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development and elsewhere. The "surplus population" of the Third World must not suspect that it is being deliberately "reduced."
Too Few Children
"One remarks nowadays over all Greece [there is] such a low birthrate and in a general manner such depopulation that the towns are deserted and the fields lying fallow, although this country has not been ravage[d] by war or epidemic. The cause of this harm is evident. By avarice or by cowardice, the people, if they marry, will not bring up the children that they ought to have. At most, they bring up one or two. It is in this manner that the scourge, before it is noticed, has rapidly developed. The remedy is in ourselves, we have but to change our morals"4 -- Plutarch, remarking on the decline of Greek civilization.
In part because of urbanization, modernization, and industrialization, in part because of America's effort to export a contraceptive mentality, global population growth is now slowing dramatically. Fertility rates country after country are falling below replacement. According to the latest UN Population Division (not to be confused with the UNFPA) figures, fully 71 countries representing almost half the world's population now have below replacement fertility rates. Those countries with still healthy fertility rates -- more than 2.2 children per woman -- grow fewer in number with each passing year.
Humanity's long-term problem will not be too many children, but too few children. The UNFPA, as well as population control programs in general, have outlived whatever usefulness they may once have possessed. Why should the United States spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to further reduce fertility in countries whose populations will all too soon be in decline?
In Europe's graying present we can see the world's future. This year, for the first time since the Black Death in the Middle Ages, Europe's population will decline. Population projections point to a demographic debacle of the first order in the decades to come. Worried governments from the Mediterranean to the Baltic have begun to encourage couples to bear children, and reward them for doing so. To date such programs have had little effect.
The picture for the world as a whole is little better. The current world TFR is at 2.48 children per woman, not far above replacement. Given still high infant mortality rates in many parts of the world, the replacement fertility rate is about 2.2 children per woman, a figure that will be reached by the year 2005. For all practical purposes, then, the world is currently at zero population growth. Should current trends continue, the TFR will fall to only one child per woman by the end of the next century. At this anemic rate, the world's population will be cut in half each generation.
Even in the developing world the population growth is slowing dramatically. The current population of the developing regions of the world is about 4.84 billion. It will peak at about 6.4 billion in the year 2040 and then begin a slow but accelerating decline to about 4.3 billion in the year 2100. The developing world is following in the developed world's demographic footsteps, with this disturbing difference: The developed world grew rich before it grew old. The developing world will grow old before it grows rich. Whether this will condemn them to perpetual poverty remains to be seen.
Given these sobering demographic realities, the UNFPA and all population control programs have clearly outlived whatever usefulness they may once have possessed. Such programs should be terminated before they do even more damage to humanity's future.
The U.S. Congress has begun to subject population control programs to more scrutiny in recent years. On March 23, 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution urging the UN to curb the Chinese-style abuses endemic to many population control programs. Earlier that same year, Congress zeroed out UNFPA's annual $25 million subsidy from the U.S. Treasury because of that agency's ill-considered decision to resume participating in China's infamous one-child-per-family policy. Although the funding was restored the following year, it put the population control lobbies on notice that their programs were no longer sacrosanct.
The previous October, Cong. Todd Tiahrt (R., Kans.) sponsored an amendment ensuring that the U.S. would no longer fund coercive international family planning efforts. The Population Research Institute had brought overwhelming evidence of forced sterilization and family planning in Peru -- done under the auspices of USAID -- to Congress' attention. Not only were medical staffers in poor regions given targets to meet, but they also were paid bonuses if they met them. USAID promised to correct the abuses.
On March 14, 2000, PRI presented new evidence from a recent fact-finding mission, undertaken in December 1999, of possible violations of the Tiahrt amendment. Our researchers detailed case after case of Peruvian women who had been intimidated into taking dangerous contraceptives or had been sterilized without their consent. Many women reported that they were told by their health care providers that they were "too stupid" to be given a choice about contraception or future fertility.
Responding to this new information, Cong. Tiahrt said, "We will not tolerate the use of American tax dollars to coerce women into family planning against their wishes. Clearly the spirit, if not the letter, of the amendment has been violated." The House Appropriations Committee refused President Clinton's request for a $169 million increase in population control funds.
Harming Or Helping Women?
Population control advocates claimed that cutting off $25 million in U.S. funding in 1999-2000 "has deprived 870,000 women in developing countries of modern contraception, leading to half a million unintended pregnancies, 200,000 abortions, and thousands of maternal and child deaths." 5
These numbers are grossly inflated and misleading. Even if they were correct, however, this would still be a wasteful and inefficient way to reduce maternal and infant mortality. If the entire $25 million were spent in Nigeria, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (there are 1,030 deaths per 100,000 live births), then the UNFPA would claim that 5,150 lives (5 x 1,030) would be saved. The cost per life saved would be $4,854.
Far more lives could be saved if this money were spent on other health care measures, such as maternal tetanus immunizations. An average expenditure of $126 on maternal tetanus immunizations will save the life of one baby. 6 For $25 million, the lives of 198,400 African babies could be saved -- nearly 40 times as many as the UNFPA claims to save by contracepting and sterilizing women.
If the $25 million were spent on breastfeeding promotion among AIDS-free mothers, the lives of more than 50,000 African infants would be saved, more than nine times as many as would be saved if the money were given to the UNFPA.
Spending the funds on having trained medical personnel attend births would also save tens of thousands of lives, as UN statistics themselves show. In African countries where an average of only 15% of all births are attended, the maternal mortality ratio is a high 1,340 per 100,000 births. Where an average of 83% of all births are attended, the maternal mortality ratio is a much lower 320 per 100,000 births, a tremendous decrease. If the $25 million were spent on attending births, assuming a cost of $50.00 per attended birth, an additional 500,000 births could be attended. This would save the lives of 7,500 mothers and 42,500 infants, more than nine times as many as the UNFPA claims by distributing contraceptives.
In short, as many as 193,000 women and babies will die if the $25 million is restored to UNFPA instead of going toward primary health care programs. Think how much good we could do with the funds now poured into urging -- and even insisting -- that families not welcome children, were the funds used instead to provide basic health services and sanitation.
Contraceptive Dangers And Abortion Designs
Most so-called modern contraceptives are designed for use on healthy women of the developed world. Their indiscriminate use on women in the developing world who may be malnourished, anemic, or otherwise in poor health can lead to serious medical problems. With follow-up care nearly nonexistent, these problems go untreated. The UN Population Fund also claims that contraception is a panacea for abortion: "Where abortion is safe and widely available, and other reproductive health services are in place, rates of abortion tend to be low. The simple conclusion is: Better contraceptive services for all people will reduce abortion."7
But one only has to look at the relationship between contraception and abortion in the U.S. to unravel this specious argument. Fully 94.8% of sexually active women in America are now either sterile or use some form of contraception -- yet the abortion rate has not changed significantly since 1975. 8 Contraceptive use in developing countries has increased from about 8% of all couples in 1960 to about 60% of all couples in 1998. Yet the number of legal and illegal abortions worldwide continues to increase, reaching an estimated 55 million per year by the early 1990s according to the statistics provided by the International Planned Parenthood Federation. 9 If contraceptives were truly the answer to reducing "unwanted pregnancies," we should have seen a drop or a leveling out in the number of abortions worldwide. Instead, the numbers continue to rise.
The final reason that population control programs should be ended -- yesterday -- is straightforward: We as a people simply have no business telling families in the Third World how many children they should or should not have.
(Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute, based in Front Royal, VA., and is the author of Hegemon: China's Plan to Dominate Asia and the World [Encounter Books, forthcoming]. PRI can be contacted at P.O. Box 1559, Front Royal, VA 22630; at www.pop.org; or at 540-622-5240.)
1. Garrett Hardin, "Everybody's Guilty: The Ecological Dilemma," California Medicine, November 1970, p. 42.
2. World Bank, Development Report 1993, "Investing in Health," 224-225.
3. Dr. Charles Ravenholt, director, Population Office, quoted in "Population Control of the Third World Planned: Sterilization Storm in U.S.," Dublin, Ireland, Evening Press, May 12, 1979, p. 9.
4. Plutarch, "Remarking on the Decline of Greek Civilization," Pulibus, vol. 37, p. 221.
5. Eric Onstad, "West Misses Cash Target to Curb Population Growth," Reuters, February 12, 1999.
6. Malcolm Potts and Julia Walsh, "Making Cairo Work," The Lancet, January 23, 1999, 315-318.
7. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The State of the World Population 1997: The Right to Choose: Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health.
8. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States 1997 (117th edition), Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1997. Table 110, "Contraceptive Use by Women, 15 to 44 Years Old: 1995," and Table 114, "Abortions: Number, Rate, and Ratio, by Race: 1975 to 1992."
9. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Meeting Challenges: Promoting Choices: A Report on the 40th Anniversary, IPPF Family Planning Congress, New Delhi, India, New York: Parthenon Publishing Group, 1993, 6, 23.
© The Wanderer, 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, MN 55107, 612-224-5733.
This item 3123 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org
Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:46 AM
Front Royal, Virginia, Apr. 09 (LifesiteNews.com/CWN) - Even though the rate of world population growth is in rapid decline and mortality rates throughout the developing world are at an all-time high, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is still advocating more family planning, according to the Population Research institute.
A new report by the US Census Bureau states, "The slowdown in the growth of the world's population can be traced primarily to declines in fertility." Alarmingly, says PRI, the bureau predicts that the level of fertility for the world as a whole will drop below replacement level by 2050.
Part of the reason for the decline in population growth is that 20 million people have died of AIDS and, "barring some major breakthrough," the forty million people worldwide who are now living with HIV are expected to die within the next 10 years.
The Census Bureau report claims that over 100 million women in the world today have an "unmet need" for contraception. How can the U.S. Census Bureau make this claim, exclaims PRI, given the greater unmet need for HIV/AIDS prevention and basic life-saving aid? The answer, they claim, is that the Bureau for Global Health of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed largely to this report.
The pro-life population research organization emphasizes that many developed countries in the world today are already facing severe economic and societal challenges because of under-population. And many developing nations will likely never develop before absolute population decline strikes hard, due to pressures to increase contraceptive use and to lower fertility in the face of record-high mortality rates. By 2050, the Census Bureau predicts, the global fertility rate will be below replacement.
When this happens, says PRI, population collapse is imminent. Social and economic collapse will follow.
The group calls on the US government to stop spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year on programs designed to lower the number of babies born even further. The US government must abandon its thirty-year effort to contracept and sterilize the world, they added, and USAID's Office of Population must be shut down, with all population monies shifted to pro-natal programs. Otherwise the looming threat of global depopulation will become a devastating reality, they said.
PRI concludes, that it's time for the population control movement to call off the dogs. The population explosion it predicted "never happened."
Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:48 AM
By skillfully expanding their network of affiliates, and using the threat of an impending environmental disaster, population-control advocates have tightened their grip on the international political scene.
by Jacqueline R. Kasun
An American traveling in India discovers that all of the women in the village she is visiting are sterilized. An employee of Bangladesh Airlines learns that he is ineligible for a foreign assignment because he has more than two children. A Haitian woman learns that her "family planning" clinic will not remove her experimental Norplant implant, even though she has bled heavily for months. A baby girl lies dying of neglect in a Chinese orphanage.
What do these scenarios have in common? They are all ramifications of the population-control movement, which had dominated relations between the industrialized world and the less-developed nations for the past three decades.
The population-control campaign began as a movement that preoccupied wealthy cranks early in this century, but its dark side emerged in Hitler’s Germany, where it so horrified the civilized world that two decades passed before it could again mix in polite company. A barrage of propaganda about the "population explosion" restored the movement’s appeal, and by 1966 the results were influencing official US policy. In that year President Lyndon Johnson required the government of India to establish a massive program of population control before he would release the grain shipments to relieve that country’s famine.
From that time forward, we have witnessed an international slide into laws and more laws, programs and more programs, in a campaign aimed to finance and promote increasing interference in the reproductive lives of men and women throughout the world. The priorities of the population-control movement have now captured center stage in the world of international politics, dominating the recent United Nations conferences in Cairo, Copenhagen, Beijing, Istanbul, and Rome.
Through adroit maneuvering and money management, a relatively small group of population-control enthusiasts were able to diffuse their influence through a host of international agencies.
During the 1960s, leaders of the movement in the United States--such as Hugh Moore, General William Draper, John D. Rockefeller, and Philander exploited their acquaintance with prominent citizens and high-level politicians to popularize the alleged need for world population control. President Johnson and the US Congress responded by giving money to a host of private agencies to provide birth-control services both at home and abroad. Population-control zealots took important posts in the administration of US foreign aid, and at international agencies such as the World Bank.
Thus the influence of the movement became pervasive. Such groups as Planned Parenthood, the Population Reference Bureau, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the Pathfinder Fund, and the Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception now tapped into the US Treasury--and yet, being "private" organizations, remained largely outside the control of elected officials. They could and did use some of their government funds to lobby for still more funding, and with the help of lavish spending they were able to find--and fund--organizations which would support for their activities in foreign countries. Thus was born the NGO--the "non-government organization"--a category of groups which increasingly dominates the activities of the United Nations.
In 1968 the World Bank committed itself to the cause of population control, and under the leadership of directors Robert S. McNamara, A. W. Clausen, and Barber Conable, the Bank placed heavy pressure on countries receiving its aid to implement population control.
According to a 1974 US State Department document, NSSM 200, the US Agency for International Development (AID) in 1967 "played an important role in establishing the United Nations Fund for Population Activities...to spearhead a multilateral effort in population as a complement to the bilateral actions of AID and other donor countries."
In 1974 that State Department document, NSSM 200, spelled out the US plan to bring about "a two-child family on the average" throughout the world by the year 2000. The document, which was not made available to the public, named the countries where efforts should be concentrated: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, and Colombia. It warned that "mandatory control measures" might be necessary, and called for the announcement "after suitable preparation" of a goal of "near stability" for the population of the US itself.
Since 1978 US law has required countries receiving American aid to control their population growth. The AID initiated Section 104(d) f the International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1978, which provides that "All activities proposed for financing.... shall be designed to build motivation for smaller families... in programs, such as education, nutrition, disease control, maternal and child health services, improvements in the status and employment of women, agricultural production, rural development, and assistance to the urban poor." In Section 102 the Act directs that US aid should be "concentrated" in countries that demonstrate their "commitment" by their "control of population growth." This means, of course, that the entire foreign aid program of the United States is in effect a method of promoting population control.
AN EMPIRE BUILT ON LEVERAGE
How the movement does its work is well illustrated in the case of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), which is the world’s largest, richest, most powerful, and best connected non-government advocate of world population control. Created in 1952 and headquartered in London, the IPPF has an annual income of more than $100 million, three-quarters of which comes from governments, with the United Kingdom as the largest donor. The United Nations and private foundations--the Rockefeller, Ford, Hewlett, and MacArthur foundations prominent among them--provide the remainder of the group’s income. The public and private supporters of the IPPF are so generous that, within two years of the 1986 decision by the Reagan Administration to cut off funding for IPPF because of the group’s support for abortion, the organization had drawn expanded support from other sources, and it total income was larger than ever. And with the advent of the Clinton Administration, IPPF also regained the support of the US government, which now amounts to $7 million each year.
The IPPF dispenses its funds to affiliated "family planning associations" in 140 countries, specializing in population-control work at the local level. These groups employ local citizens as recruiters, promoters, and distributors, encouraging a wide variety of incentive schemes. In less developed countries, some incentives are offered to groups, rewarding or punishing entire villages according to whether or not the individuals in that village comply with the birth-control targets. These "group incentives" have proved be particularly effective.
Effective as they are, however, these local activities are not the main way in which the IPPF wields its influence. The group’s trump cards are networking and exercising political leverage. The Federation carefully exploits its connections among wealthy donors, international agencies, and other population-control organizations. It issues flattering invitations for underemployed UN bureaucrats, socialites, celebrities, and aristocrats to serve as "volunteers" and spokesmen. It places its officers and supporters in prominent positions with international organizations. Its president, Dr. Fred Sai, served as senior population adviser at the World Bank during the 1980s and as chairman of the UN conference on population in Cairo in 1994. Dr. Halfdan Mahler, the present secretary-general of IPPF, was formerly director-general of the World Health Organization.
Large numbers of IPPF officials have attended recent UN conferences as delegates of their respective governments, with all of the attendant privileges. IPPF officials cycle from job to job in the high echelons of international officialdom--now at the United Nations, now at the World Bank, next at the Rockefeller Foundation or one of its fiefdoms. In short, the IPPF has demonstrated its mastery of empire building.
If IPPF is the world’s largest non-government advocate of population control, the US Agency for International Development (AID)--is the movement’s largest government sponsor. AID has reported frankly about the anger and resistance which foreign peoples have shown toward government birth-control campaigns. Since that anger is often directed at the United States, who could deflect it better than a local, private, voluntary family-planning association--an affiliate of IPPF? The Federation thus performs an invaluable service for both the donors and the recipients of foreign aid, relieving them both of tasks which might otherwise entail high political risks. No wonder that governments have been so generous to IPPF!
A SINGLE CAUSE, A SINGLE CURE
And how does IPPF use its power? The answers can be found in the group’s published statements, as well as in its works. The IPPF has repeatedly expressed its dedication to the cause of world population control, and the alleged attendant need for change in popular and official views on sexual behavior and public morality. Indeed, much of the language which appears in documents promulgated by the United Nations after recent world summits echoes verbiage that originally appeared in IPPF publications. Key phrases such as "reproductive health," "sexual health," and "safe motherhood" were featured in IPPF products before they were discussed and endorsed at the UN conferences in Cairo, Beijing, and Rome. The IPPF also takes credit for popularizing the notion of "sustainable development," and obtaining funds from the UN to publicize that concept.
The message appearing over and over in the numerous publications of the IPPF is that any attack on poverty must address "the links between development, shrinking world resources, and population." In a word, poverty is said to have a single cause--population--and thus a single cure: the reduction of fertility, by voluntary means if possible, but by other means if necessary.
From the IPPF perspective, then, if a woman sits begging by the side of the road in Lagos, she demonstrates the need for broader availability of contraceptives. The organization acknowledges that there may be a "lack of acceptance" of pills and IUD’s among the people it targets for its charitable work; a disappointing number of beggar women do not perceive that connection, and fail to recognize an IUD as a solution to their problems. Some intractable people prefer bread to stones. But IPPF has an explanation for that disappointment: "religious groups" are responsible for this obstinacy.
Though it has no expert credentials, IPPF is not humble about its ability to achieve a comprehensive solution to an age-old problem. And illustrating the extent to which it will go to reduce fertility, IPPF in 1984 announced that "action outside the law, and even violation of it, is part of the process of stimulating change." Nevertheless the organization prefers to act within the law. So IPPF and its affiliates make great efforts to bring the laws of each nation, and the policies of the international community, into conformity with its vision.
IPPF has consistently supported and financed what it calls "the right of access to abortion," including abortion in late pregnancy. It maintains that it has a duty to "exert pressure on governments" to guarantee this right. Thus in Northern Ireland, for example, the Federation pursues its goal of full and free access to abortion under the guise of "clarifying" the existing laws which restrict abortion, and fighting to eliminate "unsafe" abortions. The Federation also insists that the "full range" of "fertility regulation services" should be provided to young people from the age of 10, with or without their parents’ consent.
INCENTIVES AND COERCION: THE CASE OF CHINA
IPPF acknowledges that "incentives"--such a paying people to have themselves sterilized--can be questioned on moral grounds, but will not back off such policies, explaining, "Incentives and disincentives which create community support for desired reproductive behavior should be considered." In other words, one effective way to discourage a woman from delivering a baby is by threatening to cancel bonus payments to every one on her co-workers--thus ensuring that she will feel plenty of pressure on the job from her fellow employees. IPPF also suggests that incentive payments be given to family-planning workers, since the payoffs encourage those workers to go after their prey with extra zeal.
IPPF began to give money to the People’s Republic of China in 1980--shortly after that country introduced its "one-child" policy. In 1983, as the government policy became increasingly coercive, the China Family Planning Association became a full-fledged affiliate of IPPF; in its magazine People, the parent body asked whether the Chinese program might become a "Third World Model." The Beijing government in turn expressed profound gratitude to IPPF for its help.
Despite the abundant evidence of gross human-rights abuses associated with the "one-child" program, IPPF has continued to shower praise on China. In fact the group took much of the credit for China’s "success," pointing to the role played by the China Family Planning Association, an IPPF affiliate.
Although People in 1989 reported that the Chinese group "believes in education, rather than incentives," the magazine did admit that "volunteers sometimes collect the occasional fine when a couple breaks the birthplan rules." And in a 1994 release distributed to delegates at the Cairo conference, the China Family Planning Association itself proudly reported that its local activists "monitored the formation and implementation of local population projects, participated and supervised so that the awarding and punishing policies relating to family planning were properly executed." [emphasis added] The Beijing government acknowledged the cooperation of the China Family Planning Association, People observed, by donating office space to the group, and paying salaries to the "volunteers," while IPPF furnished $1.3 million annually to underwrite the project.
Throughout the years of the "one-child" campaign, with all its horrors, the Chinese government and the China Family Planning Association have enjoyed cordial relations with the major nations of the world and the most prestigious international organizations. Commended for its population efforts by the World Bank, the Better World Society, and the United Nations itself, Beijing was chosen as the site of the UN conference on women in 1995. Over the years China has received more than $22 billion in loans from the World Bank, as well as millions of dollars in annual subsidies from the UN Population Fund as well as IPPF--all at the expense of taxpayers in industrialized nations.
To justify its programs, IPPF publishes torrents of materials on the alleged dangers of overpopulation, and the resulting poverty and ecological calamities that face China. But China has only one-fourth as many people per square mile as Taiwan, and as of 1993 (before the advent of some free-market reforms on the mainland) Taiwan’s per-capita production was five times greater. Life expectancy at birth in Taiwan in 1995 was at least five years greater than in China. Nor does Taiwan share China’s reputation for air and water pollution. The economic problems that afflict the mainland are the result not of overpopulation but of a half-century of economic mismanagement by Communist rulers.
After so many years of languishing under central economic planning, China’s economy has now finally begun to grow in the warmth of limited free-market reforms; its great unexplored resources are now attracting heavy investment from abroad. Still, there is no signs of slackening in the drive for population control. The constant allusions to "overpopulation" have provided a handy excuse for the ruling clique to explain the misery of the people; they have also been a means of expanding the power of IPPF. Now the population-control behemoth has no desire to relinquish its power. China may be a model of what lies in store for any nation which allows IPPF to have its way.
The most fashionable argument for world population growth today is the environment. On the first Earth Day in 1970, industrialist Hugh Moore distributed 300,000 flyers blaming the "population bomb" for the environmental problems which the demonstrators had assembled to protest. Environmental problems do exist. But "overpopulation" is not the cause; once again, the cause is bad behavior: mistaken government policies, industrial production without regard to the consequences, and unthinking individual behavior.
Many of the claims regarding environmental calamity have proved to be false or disputable. The hysterical forecasts of impending famine have proved inaccurate. The earth has not run out of cooper or zinc or oil, as predicted by Paul Ehrlich and the Club of Rome. Scientists (such as geophysicist S. Fred Singer of the University of Virginia) have offered strong evidence that the so-called hole in the atmosphere’s ozone layer actually reflects nothing more than a hole in the reasoning processes of those who have seen a disaster developing there. Atmospheric scientists (such as Hugh Ellsaesser of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) say that the specter of global warming has little substance; the 1995 Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change, signed by 79 world-renowned scientists, agrees.
There is no evidence to support the claims of massive extinction of species; even University of Chicago paleontologist David Jablonski, who believes that massive extinction will occur, nevertheless admits, "We have no idea how many species are out there and how many are dying." The spotted owl, on whose behalf which the timber industry in the western United States has been devastated, is now believed to be more numerous than previously reported. The world population of blue whales, also once believed to be threatened with extinction, is now similarly recognized as larger than the doomsayers had realized. The black-footed ferret, which has twice been declared extinct, each time has been found thriving in another locale.
"Deforestation" reflects the simple fact that trees are being cut in some places, while they grow in others. Throughout the United States vast forests cover a third of all available land. Trees are growing faster than they are being cut, according to the US Forest Service--on the Pacific Coast, 14 percent faster. Some environmentalists have raised the horrified alarm that a tropical forest area twice the size of Belgium is now being logged worldwide each year. But an area 500 times the size of Belgium could fit neatly into the world’s tropical forests, and meanwhile the other 99.8 percent of the world’s forests continue to grow. The annual forest estimates put out by the Food and Agricultural Organization show that the world’s forested area now amounts to 4 billion hectares, covering 30 percent of the land surface on earth. These figures were the same in the 1950s. Yes, people are cutting down trees in some places--with increasing difficulty, in view of environmental restrictions. Elsewhere, trees continue to grow.
Human beings have always lived in crowded conditions, simply because we need to be near each other in order to exchange services. But outside our crowded settlements there are vast uninhabited lands. All of the world’s people could theoretically be settled into the state of Texas, with each individual assigned an area the size of the typical American home.
Although the world’s population is still growing, it is doing so at a diminishing rate because of rapidly declining fertility in both the developed and undeveloped worlds. (The average woman in Spain today now has 1.4 children; in Italy, 1.3. Even in the developing world that figure is less than 4.) If present trends continue, the world population will stabilize well before the end of the 21st century. By that time the European nations will have several million fewer people than they do today.
THE THREAT: CENTRAL PLANNING
In the Western world, we have begun to address the very real problems of air and water pollution, by requiring polluters to clean up or pay up. But the problems of pollution have been--and still are--most serious not in the heavily populated regions of the industrial West, but in the government-dominated economies of the old Soviet Union and its satellites, which have comparatively low population densities, and comparatively low fertility. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank reported in 1990 that pollution in the Soviet Union was between 10 and 100 times as severe as in the West. The evident is clear: government planning cannot deliver either a decent standard of living or a healthy clean environment. Nevertheless, it is precisely government planning--or, to be more exact, super-government planning--which UN agencies and their NGO supporters have been promoting at recent international conferences.
At the Cairo conference in 1994, the Sierra Club--a leading American environmental group--announced its support for population control, and announced its plans to survey different areas around the world in an effort to determine whether the population was "sustainable." The group did not explain what it proposed to do in places where the population was higher than its "sustainable" norm. But Herman Daly, economist from the World Bank, proved more forthcoming.
Daly has long argued that governments should issue "birth licenses" to restrict parents to the number of children deemed acceptable by government planners. He claims that his system would be fair because, although the total number of licenses would be fixed by the government, people could buy and sell them in accordance with their individual desires. Daly also argues for the resettlement of large numbers of people, in order to convert large tracts of land to unsettled wilderness inhabited only by wild animals. He would abolish private land ownership, as well as direct election of most public officials; he proposes heavy new taxes to reduce industrial output in order to relieve the alleged pressures on the environment.
Although recent UN conferences have not gone quite as far as Daly might like--in large part because of the political resistance set up by pro-life activists--there have been uncomfortable intimations of his vision in some of the conference documents. All of the recent conferences have proposed measures to restrict population growth, including easy legal access to abortion. The Habitat II conference gave new prominence and powers to NGOs, vouchsafing them a role which rivals the authority of democratically elected representatives of the sovereign people. The Commission on Global Governance proposed that the UN be given the power to impose its own direct taxes on persons throughout the world, without reference to their national governments.
Under the UN’s global Biosphere Reserve Program, 324 Biosphere Reserves have been established in 83 countries--47 of them in the United States, including more than 43 million acres, or more than the acreage of the entire New England region. They are part of an international network of such reserves, managed by government officials in accordance with UN land-use guidelines on "biodiversity, climate change, desertification, forest management, and sustainable development"--all of which, of course, require population control in the eyes of the international supervisors.
In a statement on "Ecosystem Protection" published in 1993, the US Environmental Protection Agency said that the US government should "develop human population policies that are consistent with sustainable economies and ecosystems," and called for coordinating government actions at all levels--local, state, federal, and international--toward that goal.
President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development has officially called for "stabilization of the US population" as well as "stabilizing global population," moves which it says are "critical if we hope to have the resources needed to ensure a high quality of life for future generations."
THE THREAT TO HUMAN DIGNITY
If you are a lover of nature--as I am--I do not ask you to give up your concern for the environment. But I do hope you will be aware of the hidden agenda of the world environmental movement. It is a campaign for population control. It is lurking there, not often expressed, behind the professed concern for trees and birds and the other wonders of nature. It is characteristic of this mind-set to see human beings merely as users and abusers of nature and natural resources, without recognizing that humans also create resources--we plant trees, we build fish hatcheries, we invent cleaner sources of power.
The organized environmental movement regards human life as a biological species which has multiplied and grown far beyond its proper bounds, and must now be brought under control. Its leaders do not shrink from the god-like responsibility of deciding the proper bounds of what the UN Environment Program, in a 1995 draft on "Global Biodiversity," called "the human ecological niche."
This arrogance alone should give us pause. Yet some of the mainline churches in the United States have become involved in eccentric forms of the environmentalist movement. In its most extreme form, environmentalism worships nature as the goddess Gaia, while speaking of human beings as if they were a kind of pestilence.
There is not an enormous array of UN agencies and related affiliates claiming an official interest in the reproductive decisions of the world’s families. These include not only the UN Population Fund, but also the UN Environment Program, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the World wide Fund for Nature, and the World Resources Institute. The list also includes the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the Global Environment Facility, the UN Children’s Fund, the Commission for Global Governance, the UN Development Fund for Women, and many others.
The UN Environment Program publishes Our Planet, which it calls "a magazine for sustainable development." A recent issue contained a blunt statement that "if men will breed like rabbits they must be allowed to die like rabbits." The article continued by calling for "equilibrium between resources and population and the environment" and a "relatively steady-state economy." That last phrase is the name given by Herman Daly to his design for heaven on earth.
The real cause of poverty and pollution throughout the world is not overpopulation but government mismanagement of economic life;; heavy taxes, corruption, restrictions on trade and productive effort, and misuse of resources. If governments will perform their legitimate functions honestly, protecting the persons and property of their citizens, then the people can be trusted to manage their own affairs, both productive and reproductive. There is no need for the overweening meddling of an overpaid international bureaucracy. It is time to make a stand for human dignity.
[AUTHOR ID] Jacqueline R. Kasun is professor of economics emeritus at Humboldt State Universy in California, and the author of The War Against Population (Ignatius, 1988).
Posted 18 October 2004 - 02:37 PM
Posted 18 October 2004 - 02:49 PM
--Catholic Culture: 25 Articles on Population Growth and Control
--Catholic Educator's Resource: 29 Articles on Population Control
--Catholic Pages: 10 Articles on Overpopulation
--also, go here and use "population" as your keyword, and when you hit "search" 43 articles will be provided.
that should be more than enough
Posted 19 October 2004 - 09:05 AM
Thanks, Phat. I've printed out the article entitled "Population And the Wealth of Nations". I'll give it to him and just say "Just have a read of this". I'm going to try and download the Catholic Answers show as well. A lot of amesome info in what you and cmom have given me.
here are some more articles:
--Catholic Culture: 25 Articles on Population Growth and Control
--Catholic Educator's Resource: 29 Articles on Population Control
--Catholic Pages: 10 Articles on Overpopulation
--also, go here and use "population" as your keyword, and when you hit "search" 43 articles will be provided.
that should be more than enough
And for anyone else who is interested the the page from Human Life International is Economic Development And Population Growth
Posted 19 October 2004 - 12:01 PM
Yea, the lady that put it together put an unbelievable amount of work into it. Excellent resources. Hope you enjoy.
amesome website! thanks bro
Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:35 AM
I can't, I saved them from Catholic Culture site.
cmom, please provide links when you post an article. thanks
Edited by cmotherofpirl, 20 October 2004 - 07:36 AM.
Posted 23 October 2004 - 10:39 PM
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