Saturday, January 25, 2014

Who Benefits?

Who benefits from denial of the scientific evidence of unsustainable population growth? 

I have been pondering this question for some time now. I am not sure I have an answer yet. Maybe I'm too far off to the one side, because when I think of this growth, all I can see are the problems created. So I think really really hard on this one, and try to see it from different angles, to step outside myself. I still am going to try to employ logic, sooo.... there's that. 

What benefits are there of a rising population? Let's ask Google, shall we? Because I'm stumped. Here are some of the things I found, good food for thought. Let's go over them. (Actually, thank you ask.com.)

Advantages of population growth are, growing population can generate economic growth as it causes more demand for products and also leads to an upsurge in human labor in a country. 

Yes, that is a popular one: economic growth. To me, this is a complete non-argument, as the demand for products is not a good thing. That is simply consuming resources for the sake of consuming resources. The only reason we would need an upsurge in human labor is because we have more humans than available work. Do we NEED 30 pairs of boots? Of course not. But there are women out there who have or want that many. Consumerism is not a logical reason for overtaxing the planet's resources. Next.

Many of the world's remarkable innovations over the past 300 years are attributable to population growth: More great minds lead to more innovations. Assembly-line manufacturing itself is an adaptation to an increasing population and the need for greater and faster output. More people around the world are living longer lives than even a century earlier thanks to modern medical achievements. And while agricultural resources are a very real concern as the world's population grows, the world's increase in population is responsible for a greater consciousness of the need for additional resources as well as the innovations to produce food at the pace of population growth.

Well that's going to take some untangling. "More great minds lead to more innovations." Um... that's... not exactly provable, is it? How can we know that? We have quantity, not quality. Who is to say we would not have had the same innovations from a smaller group? And the assembly-line argument is a circular one. We needed greater and faster output because there were more people. Chicken or the egg? Also, assembly-line manufacturing sharply decreased the number of workers needed, so more people had fewer jobs, thanks to there being more people who needed more. (You'll excuse me while I un-cramp my brain.) Yes, more people are living longer - yes that's part of the problem - but are they living quality lives for the longer time? There is still sickness, there are overflowing nursing homes, there are a lot of lonely older people out there. Again, the whole focus on there is quantity-not-quality. Again. And that last part, the one that really bakes my noodle, is that we wouldn't need to have "a greater conciousness of the need for additional resources" etc "to produce food at the pace of population growth" if the population was not GROWING as much. 

Ow. My brain. 

A growing population can generate economic growth. The birth of more people equates to a greater number of parents investing in their youth. Increased purchases in products such as food, clothing, education-related expenses, sporting goods and toys feed the economy. Parents with small children purchase larger homes with more bedrooms and bathrooms to make room for their children. The larger homes that parents with children purchase feed the construction and home improvement industries economically. Children then grow into adults who work for pay and spend it in the economy.


FALSE. I already hit this a little, but this one is really good. It's kind of so funny that I had to share. This is such a non-argument that I almost insult us all by giving it consideration. Parents with small children do NOT always buy larger homes. How many families with lots of kids live in or near poverty and have a few generations cramped in some tiny 1-bedroom apartment??? Or are homeless? My hometown has a glut of vacant large homes, because families are NOT living in them. Construction industry is not benefitting. Let's say it together: Economy is not a valid reason. Economy is a man-made construct. 

That's really all I can handle for now. This is going to have to be a few entries. I didn't even get into religion. That one could be good.  

2 comments:

  1. Awesome and well-stated arguments. Population growth = economic growth is not a valid equation. Perhaps something more along the lines of population growth + economic growth = depletion of finite resources would be more fitting. Also, it is not a given that because someone is born, they will contribute to the economy. It seems to me (despite not having researched it yet) that more and more people are disenchanted with the current state of affairs and are opting to go off-grid or, at the very least, be as self-sufficient as possible. They produce as much as they can themselves and, thus, do not significantly contribute to the economy, if at all.

    I can't wait to read future posts and arguments you deconstruct!

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    1. Thank you! Thanks for reading. I hope people get more self-sufficients. We have turned away too far from Nature.

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