Large families should be discouraged for America's future, experts say

The impact of overpopulation is taking a serious toll on American life. Photo: Associated Press

OCALA, Fla., December 11, 2013 — America moves at an increasingly fast pace.  

Certain activities can enamor us so that we forget life goes on around us. Call this phenomenon “failing to see the forest through the trees.” The question is this: Do we ever stop to take stock of Mother Nature?

While for some the answer is “yes”, in our hyper-consumerist throwaway society, it is far more likely to be “no.” If most people don’t carefully consider the facts of twenty-first century America, then how can its problems ever be solved?

Talk about paradoxes.

Looking past every one of today’s hot-button political topics, we should see that all rest on the following factor: Population. The current population of our country drives pop culture politics to be what they are.

The 1950 federal census recorded 131,669,275 people living in America. Fast forward sixty years, and the most recent census states that 308,745,538 persons live here.

Since 1950, has the average citizen’s quality of life increased or decreased? 

The very concept of overpopulation is so controversial that some deny its existence. These people run our society’s socioeconomic gamut, from poor immigrants to public intellectuals to high-profile politicians. Their overarching claim is that as populations grow, human innovation will increase, thus creating a higher standard of living.

Today’s young adults enjoy less economic opportunities than their parents did. A Bachelor’s degree is now required to make the same money that high school graduates earned not long ago — and even then there are no guarantees.

Cities have been overcrowded and those fleeing them often contribute to suburban sprawl. How many McMansions have been built on once-pristine farmland; land which can never again be used for the production of food?

None of this comes close to addressing the pollution associated with surging populations, or the psychological stress of being crowded day in, day out.

All of the above, and much more, has led some to consider the idea of an American population policy. This would not be a China-style boondoggle, but an elective one-child program.

Earlier this year, urban designer and public policy analyst Michael E. Arth told The Washington Times Communities that “(t)he U.S. population grew by 22.5% from 1990-2010. That is the highest growth rate in the industrialized world. By comparison, Mexico’s population grew by 32% while Japan only grew by 4.7% during the same period.  

“I have proposed that all countries adopt a self-funding, choice-based, marketable birth license plan called ‘birth credits.’ Each couple could have one child for free, additional births would cost one credit each. In low-birth countries, like all of Europe, these credits would be free. In high-birth countries, the cost of the credit would still be only a tiny fraction of the actual cost of raising a child, so birth credits would function as a wake-up call to future costs. 

“The wealthy would not buy up birth credits because birth rates correlate inversely to net worth through intelligent choices. Instead of socializing the costs of bad family planning, like we do now by encouraging the worst parents to have the most children, we should put a greater burden on individuals to make socially responsible decisions.”

Craig Lewis is the executive director of Negative Population Growth, one of our nation’s foremost pro-population stabilization groups. He has a bit to say about one-child policy concept.

“NPG does not promote a ‘one-child policy,’ as found in China,” Lewis explains to TWTC. “We believe that the U.S. government should educate citizens regarding population growth and how family size contributes to this problem, as well as allow easy access to family planning resources and contraception – for each family to make its own decision. 

“NPG also advocates eliminating tax benefits for larger families, and the addition of non-coercive incentives (such as tax credits) for families with no more than two (2) children.”

Lewis also states that “(t)he enactment of a national population policy – which must include reasonable, responsible immigration policies.  To NPG, this means:  strict enforcement of existing immigration laws to reduce or eliminate illegal immigration, and lowering legal immigration to more traditional levels (no more than 200,000 per year).  

“Upon adoption of these policies, and the enactment of tax incentives for smaller families, we will be able to preserve the American Dream for generations to come.”

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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