300 Million and Counting

Any day now, the U. S. population will cross the 300 million mark. There are two ways to look at this news. You could say:

  1. This is good. Or:
  2. This is bad.

Georgie Anne Geyer, in her recent column, “A World of Hurt Will Follow Population Explosion”, goes with #2, and therefore gets it wrong. Father Tom Euteneuer, in his recent column, “Baby Three Hundred Million”, goes with #1, and therefore gets it right. Some highlights from Euteneuer’s article:

First, why is it that “growth” is only a problem when it concerns humans? When a new calf is born to a farmer he knows he’s a richer man; but when a new baby is born to him we call him irresponsible.


Second, there is a deep-seated hypocrisy in the attitudes of westerners toward world population growth: that is, we only become alarmed at the growth of the populations of poor people, not rich ones. Ask the average American what areas of the world are overpopulated and she will inevitably tell you Africa and Asia. She may add Latin America due to the number of people who are undoubtedly so populous that they have to sneak across our borders to feed themselves. She will be wrong on all counts but facts are not relevant to overpopulation propaganda. Ask her what country has the third largest population in the world and she will likely not know that it is her own. We’ve been programmed to intuitively connect population growth with people of color and then to think that the best way to eliminate their poverty is to eliminate them.


Third, there is a profound ignorance about the nature of modern population growth. Since the end of the Second World War the world’s population more than doubled, sending shock waves of panic throughout the well-developed countries blaming the growth exclusively on the number of babies that all those poor people were having. The over-population histrionics ignored the reality that advances in health care and modern technology have contributed the lion’s share of that growth by simply keeping people alive longer and providing them with a better standard of living.

The Mark of Gideon, 1/17/69 Read the whole thing. Looking back on laughable examples of pop culture birth control propaganda from the late Sixties, it’s astonishing to think that the overpopulation hoax still refuses to go away.

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