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Population & Prosperity

“If unprecedented population growth continues, future generations of children will not have adequate food, housing, medical care, education, earth resources and employment opportunities,” quotes S.L. Richman the 1985 statement on population stabilisation, signed by more than 40 world leaders.

Other authors of similar doom, who have been advocating “massive social change,” including coercive population control measures, appear more aggressive. Their suggestion to reverse “the mad spasm of consumption and thoughtless waste in the 20th century” has crossed the reasonable limits of pessimism. They insist that “the great-grandchildren of today’s young people would have to share the planet with only a ragged cohort of adaptable species dominated by rats, cockroaches, weeds, microbes. The world in which they survived would consist largely of deserts, eroded mountains, dead coral reefs and barren oceans, all buffeted by extremes of weather.”


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The present-day dialogue of scarcity of resources seems to take much food from the popular book, Limits to Growth, which is based on the “axiom” of zero-technological growth. The 1974 World Population Conference (Bucharest) which, Paul Gallaghe suggests, was the golem of that “most widely promoted frauds in history,” the 1971 Limits to Growth, had no answer to Heig Zepp (now wife of the US statesman and economists Lyndon Ia Rouche), when she explained, as a crucial example, that “fusion energy breakthroughs could completely redefine all economic resources by providing inexhaustible nuclear electrical energy. Overlooking all sound reasoning, the anti-population “experts” came for yet another showdown at the World Population Conference at Cairo (September 1994), whose objective was nothing less than “forced population reduction goals as a condition for aid and loans to all nations.” The mindless recipient nations are, on their part, pleased to go for “condoms” and other such instruments of “cannibalism”, for which ample “aid” is readily available.

Let us, for the moment, put aside the political and moral aspects of the issue and try to study the demographic problem from pure socioeconomic perspective.

The intention here is not to provide empirical evidence how a certain degree of economic uplift helps retard population growth. We would rather survey a few selected indicators, in broader global perspective, to prove that economic and social well-being and national prosperity never occur in a situation of stagnated and retarding population growths.

Stumbling across a newspaper article, people might become dimly aware of a few developments, but they generally tend not to notice and duly appreciate many more things in their “nose-to-grindstone existence.” While they gaze at the steady increase in population, they “overlook the invention of mundane new manufacturing techniques, that nevertheless attract capital, provide jobs, create wealth, and improving the infrastructure and the quality of human life.”

The so-called “pollyannaish” optimists deserve to be listened to, when put forward sound arguments to prove that a growing population is “actually having a positive effect on the quality of human life in the decades and centuries ahead.” In their view, “every new person who appears on earth not only drains his or her share of the planet’s resources but brings muscle and mind as well to bear to invent new technology, to increase food produced in general, to solve problems that afflict humanity.” The few arguments that follow would prove how in the grand universal scheme, the Divine Providence manifests itself and that it is no mere “dangerous supposition [which] ventures into the murky ground of self-delusion,” as some liberals apprehend.

Mohibul Haq Sahibzada

 

Source: Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Present Scenario and Future Strategy, Mohibul Haq Sahibzada. Republished with permission.