Some Obvious Observations About Population Growth


Sadly, the modern age sometimes requires us to restate blindingly obvious things, as Glenn Stanton does for The Federalist:

It’s a terribly stubborn demographic truism: Somewhere close to 100 percent of babies never born will never become customers of your business. This is true of the more than 55 million American babies who never made it past the womb since abortion was legalized in 1973. It’s true of the untold millions who were never conceived because a potential mom and dad thought they had better things to do.

Of course, there is an inestimable, inherent worth and dignity to every human life, but we cannot ignore the social significance at play here as well. These invaluable lives-never-realized are a whole lot of missing customers. Not good for business. Not good. Nor will they be paying into social security or pensions to provide your part when that time comes either. …

Many countries have been noting this with tremendous concern for more than a decade. Rather than the apocalyptic “population bomb” which was supposed to wipe out countries and lead to the starvation of millions, the exact opposite has happened. Governments across the world are working hard, and often with desperate creativity, to boost the number of new home-grown citizens in their nations.

Understanding the economic value of people, a society shouldn’t do things like make the public bill for raising children so high the public turns away from it, or use the law to deny unique status to the types of relationships that create children, or perpetuate public policy that drives productive people away.

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Unfortunately — in part, but not only, because of that old “population bomb” rhetoric — a strain of belief runs through our civilization that there are simply too many people already.  That belief implicitly relates to a great many of the issues that vex our public dialogue.  People are bad and racist, so we need to impose restrictions on their free association and speech.  People are a blight on the planet, so they’re causing catastrophic climate change.  People are selfish and ignorant, so we require central planning to take decisions out of their hands.

With such beliefs, the obvious thing probably seems to not have children.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Jeez-O-Pete, Justin … are you WRONG about this one

    In 1998 the US population was 276 million. Today twenty years later it is 327 million… a growth rate of nearly 20%. At this rate our population will top 400 million in less than 25 yrs

    In just the US there is a baby born every 8 seconds; a death every 11 seconds; and a net inward migration every 28 seconds for a net gain of one person every 14 seconds. And the World population clock is spinning so fast you can barely make out the single-digit column

    And you say we need MORE people ??

    Journalists always cite Japan as the nation with the biggest coming demographic collapse but trvst me — nobody who’s ever been to Tokyo looks around and says “You know what the problem here is ?? Not enough people !!”

    • Christopher C. Reed

      How long before Tokyo becomes a ghost town, like those ersatz cities in China?

      • ShannonEntropy

        There are literally hundreds of millions Chinese, Korean and other Asians who would happily move to Japan to support their society & economy — if Japan would only let them

        Maybe it’s time for Japan to take another look at its draconian non-immigration policy

        Just look here — the white population is prolly going to be gone in 50 or 60 years but the population just keeps growing thanks to immigration and the fecundity of immigrant women