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Author Topic: Population control  (Read 4118 times)

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Offline CmdrRenegadeTopic starter

Population control
« on: June 13, 2011, 06:14:21 PM »
In my topic about not/wanting kids, a debate sparked about population control.  I'm reposting below the last post below.

Quote from: Zakharra on Today at 05:14:35 PM
Wrong. There is no population exposion in the First World (aside from the US). It is dropping fast. It's only on the Third World and China and India that it's growing. If you want population controls, try and get them enacted in the nations that are actively growing. To try and force that on other First World nations would be very very hard.


I didn't say there was a population explosion.  There is none in the First World, except MAYBE in France about 3 years back, but they only reached 1.9 children per women if I remember right.  We agree on that.  What  I'm saying is that each successive generation is sticking around for a longer and longer amount of time and not economically contributing anymore.  When Social Security was introduced back in the 30s, the life expectancy of the average American adult was 57-64 years.  Retirement age was 64.  Social Security was not nearly as costly simply because many people would die before they could collect it and those few who beat the odds wouldn't be around for much longer.  They had lived hard lives that took their toll on their health.  They might have worked in a poisonous factory, smoke too much, drank too much, etc. before the dangers were understood and medicine could counter it.  All a person suffered from severe cancer, asbestos poisoning (which killed my grandfather in 1946), etc. could hope for was a relatively painless demise.  These treatments just didn't exist.  But now that we have it, they're getting the (very expensive treatment) through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. 

As for Third World country population explosions, those are simply to keep up with their appalling death rates.  As unhealthy as life in the 30s could be, it's still worse in these places.  Disease, malnutrition, warfare, famine, etc. are things they have to live with everyday.  Giving birth to 6-8 kids is the best/only way they have to insure that at least a 1 or 2 survive to adulthood. 

I highly suggest you read this.  Although the author writes from the perspective of warfare, it sheds a lot of light on why First World nations have so few children and Third World have so many. 

http://takimag.com/article/war_of_the_babies

Quote from: Oniya on Today at 05:50:14 PM
I think he's saying that in order for Social Security to be maintained with a growing elderly population, there would need to be a corresponding growth in the younger population that is paying into Social Security, not that such growth in the younger population is actually happening now.


You're on the right track, Oniya.  There would need to be that corresponding growth.  But what I'm also asking is "what about when the current crop of young people grow old and in turn have to be supported?" If we need say 90 million young people to support 30 million elderly until they pass, what will we do when we in turn need 270 million to support that 90 million who are now old and in need of care.  Where does it stop? All those expensive medical treatments and homecare over the course of 30 odd years after retirement is going to add up.  Every American is already paying around 9% of their paycheck to support every person who collects Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  We'd need those 270 million to keep it at relatively the same level.

I admit there's speculation there, but I hate to think of a situation where an adult has to choose between making a mortage payment on their house or paying for grandma's expensive chemotherapy, or even worse yet some very real Logan's Run/death panel type existence where people are just condemned to waste away because they're too expensive to keep alive for not enough return.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 06:52:19 PM by CmdrRenegade »

Offline Valencia

Re: Population control
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 06:32:21 PM »
I kinda feel that there should be a population cap. That a couple can produce two children, no more. I feel this way because there are so many children without parents to begin with, and that until we can solve the majority of the global crisis, (world hunger, health and so on) we should not be bringing more beings into it. There are so many who need help.

Crazy part is, that we can cure world hunger, and many of the other problems in this world with the technology we currently have, but there are those who don't want it implemented because it messes with their profits. We've got to change that first before we do anything else, I feel.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Population control
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 07:40:53 PM »
Quote from: Oniya on Today at 05:50:14 PM
I think he's saying that in order for Social Security to be maintained with a growing elderly population, there would need to be a corresponding growth in the younger population that is paying into Social Security, not that such growth in the younger population is actually happening now.


You're on the right track, Oniya.  There would need to be that corresponding growth.  But what I'm also asking is "what about when the current crop of young people grow old and in turn have to be supported?" If we need say 90 million young people to support 30 million elderly until they pass, what will we do when we in turn need 270 million to support that 90 million who are now old and in need of care.  Where does it stop? All those expensive medical treatments and homecare over the course of 30 odd years after retirement is going to add up.  Every American is already paying around 9% of their paycheck to support every person who collects Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  We'd need those 270 million to keep it at relatively the same level.

I admit there's speculation there, but I hate to think of a situation where an adult has to choose between making a mortage payment on their house or paying for grandma's expensive chemotherapy, or even worse yet some very real Logan's Run/death panel type existence where people are just condemned to waste away because they're too expensive to keep alive for not enough return.

Social Security and Medicare are both solvent programs and facts from institutions like the National GOP or the Heritage Foundation are only meant to scare people into dismantling the U.S. Social Welfare State because of ideology not because it makes economic sense. Thanks to the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (aka Health Care Reform), Medicare is solvent for the next 20 years. If the Bush tax cuts continue, they will be the equivalent of the Social Security shortfall.

It's about decisions we make as a nation, or rather, the few elected officials make.

Currently in my state we will face a substantial workforce shortage in the next decade because of the impending retirement of the baby boom generation. If we don't incentivize (I made up a word, I know) immigrants or give additional benefits to having children, we're going to be up the proverbial shit creek without a paddle.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/08/how-bush-tax-cuts-economy_n_873245.html?ref=fb&src=sp#s289294&title=Effect_On_Social

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Population control
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 08:55:14 PM »
I kinda feel that there should be a population cap. That a couple can produce two children, no more. I feel this way because there are so many children without parents to begin with, and that until we can solve the majority of the global crisis, (world hunger, health and so on) we should not be bringing more beings into it. There are so many who need help.

Crazy part is, that we can cure world hunger, and many of the other problems in this world with the technology we currently have, but there are those who don't want it implemented because it messes with their profits. We've got to change that first before we do anything else, I feel.

Statistically to keep a population steady the birth rate of a country that does not allow a lot of immigration, such as many countries in Europe, The birth rate per female has to be 2.1 children. The .1 accounts for the children that don't make it to child bearing years. If you go to 2 per couple then you will have a decline in the population such as Italy, and a few other first world nations that I can't think of. This puts a greater burden on social security.


Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 08:56:54 PM »
Me and my wife have pretty high IQs and we plan on having a large family. I see the point in population control but I would rather focus it towards people who obviously shouldn't reproduce.

Offline Valencia

Re: Population control
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 11:02:49 PM »
Me and my wife have pretty high IQs and we plan on having a large family. I see the point in population control but I would rather focus it towards people who obviously shouldn't reproduce.

Word.

And eff Social Security, it's another broken system that isn't really working anymore. Our infrastructure as an entire planet needs a serious overhaul. I'm really over nationalism.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 11:36:22 PM »
Natural selection will quickly over-rule all of these unnecessary people in the form of a pandemic or in the less likely scenarios a zombie apocalypse.

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Re: Population control
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 11:39:12 PM »
Not to be too morbid, but we're really overdue for a massive die off.  Technology can only do so much so fast.  Eventually there will be something that will really bring our numbers down.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 11:40:35 PM »
That's not morbid Ryven that's just you being rational. Anyone with a certain degree of intelligence knows that our way of life could easily be taken out by the flu. That's why they make it a big deal in the media. It's not just there to scare you into buying a shot.

Offline frogman

Re: Population control
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 11:56:24 PM »
Is population control eugenics on a mass-scale, or is it necessary to preserve a minimum quality of life?

On the one hand, and a few posters intimated such, the population control should be targeted against those "that shouldn't reproduce."  That sounds a bit like eugenics.  On the other hand, however, at what point does the population explosion become dangerous for everyone, thereby creating a need for action?  It's not an easy question, and I'm very glad I don't have to make the decision.

Offline Malefique

Re: Population control
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 04:35:17 AM »
Regarding the numbers required to support each generation, in my own home country thousands of jobs have been made obsolete by technological advances and lifestyle changes.  This process can be seen going on from generation to generation for quite some time - in fact, since before the industrial revolution.  I think we can assume it will continue.  Which means that with each generation fewer people will be needed in work to maintain society and the economy.  So the idea that we need one new person to replace one old one retiring doesn't hold water.  As for finding carers for those people, in the First world many older people remain active and independent for much longer.   The assumption that they will all require a large degree of physical care is false.  To be honest  these scare stories about how we will have a huge burden of elderly people to support at x date in the future, an inverted pyramid with a handful of youngsters struggling to carry a mountain of helpless old folks, have been popping up for centuries.  Check out Adam Malthus, for one.  To date this situation has failed to materialise.  And there is no real evidence that it will.  For one thing, in epidemics it is usually the very old who die off quickest (along with the newborn, admittedly); likewise in wars, famines and other catastrophes.    But if people really are that worried, then they should lobby first of all for universal population control -  one child per adult.  (Perhaps there would be a bit less eagerness to go to war in some parts of the world if they had a limited number of replacements for the cannon fodder).  And second, for voluntary euthanasia to be universally lawful.  Obviously controls would be needed to ensure no-one was pressured or duped into it, and that people did not take it for foolish or frivolous reasons, but a lot of people who find their lives burdensome for medical reasons are forced to carry on living and requiring support from others because the law will not allow them the humane option extended to animals.  Or we could just start making Soylent Green...

Offline Valencia

Re: Population control
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 08:15:32 AM »
Indeed Malefique!

Technology is fantastic because it does release the human mind from the drudgery of tedious work. Could you imagine how fast we would progress as a species if more minds were free to think over things like quantum physics, improving electronic efficiency, or heck, cold-water fusion? I don't think there are people who shouldn't reproduce per se, because usually you're referring to stupid people when you mention that. (I agree with maybe disallowing people to breed who have hardcore genetic defects, just for quality of life reasons) I don't feel that there are stupid people. There are those that are ill-educated, indoctrinated, and misdirected. People can't focus on understanding themselves because our current systems keep them so heavily distracted.

Also, our planet can sustain our population, if we use technology to assist that. There's no need to suck out resources from our planet like this. There's plenty of green energy sources that could get even better if there were people working and thinking on them. And believe it or not, we can cure world hunger there is no reason that we can't. Ending hemp prohibition would also work greatly towards saving our trees, because the paper you can make of it. Let's not forget it's also a fiber source for clothes and rope, and it's also a food. And it grows ANYWHERE. There are very few climates that it does not grow.

Until then, does anyone feel good about bringing children into the world right now?

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 09:24:27 AM »
Until then, does anyone feel good about bringing children into the world right now?
I do, I know me and my wife are going to teach our kids real skills like how to garden. My wife loves gardening, she really has a green thumb and with the coming apocalypse it'll be really helpful to have. Other than that we're going to be like the stereotypical tiger mom type parents and force down math and music. Also we plan on teaching our kids the languages that we've learned so that if America were to fall we could move somewhere else and be just fine.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Population control
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 12:09:19 PM »
Me and my wife have pretty high IQs and we plan on having a large family. I see the point in population control but I would rather focus it towards people who obviously shouldn't reproduce.

Presumptuous much?

You talk like having a professor assign you a number actually means something.  IQ only measures a very specific splinter of your intellect; specifically, how well you take tests, even more specifically, how well you take IQ tests.  Even within academics, IQ falls flat on its face.  I know; I was given an IQ in the mid-130s when I was 12, and I've always been in the lower half of my class grades wise.

Then there's the "obviously shouldn't reproduce."  I don't mean this as an insult, but that phrase just makes me think of a white couple driving a sports car through city slums, taunting the lower class with fistfuls of cash.

Whether or not you and your wife are well-off, no matter how smart you two are, I seriously doubt you can judge yourselves as being more viable for reproduction than other chunks of the world's population.  EVERYONE would think they're more viable for reproduction.  Who's to be the judge of who can have large families and who can't?

This is what caught my attention browsing this thread.  When we start talking selective population controls, we start infringing on people's natural rights.  You know, all humans are created equal and all that?  There's a reason why eugenics was ignored.

Natural selection will quickly over-rule all of these unnecessary people in the form of a pandemic or in the less likely scenarios a zombie apocalypse.

"All those unnecessary people."

Hey, I'm not that book smart.  I sure as hell don't have a green thumb, and I can't learn foreign languages for shit.  I'm not good with money, and I'm a terrible driver.  I'm starting to realize that I kinda suck at living.  Does that make me one of those unnecessary people?  What about the father who's not smart enough to graduate college, not lucky enough for his wife to survive that mugging, and now has to work 2 and a half full time jobs to keep food on the table for his three kids, all the while hoping they'll turn out luckier than he was?  Is he unnecessary too?

Really, I'd say he's more deserving of life than you, me, or any of us who have free time to post on a website.


I once saw some statistics compiled by the UN, and it basically went like this: if you have a roof over your heads, food in the fridge, and clothes to change into, you are richer than 75% of the world.  If you have money in your wallet, the bank, or even a cup of spare change you're saving for a rainy day, you are among the top 8% wealthiest people on the planet.  Just keep that in mind.



Is population control eugenics on a mass-scale, or is it necessary to preserve a minimum quality of life?

On the one hand, and a few posters intimated such, the population control should be targeted against those "that shouldn't reproduce."  That sounds a bit like eugenics.  On the other hand, however, at what point does the population explosion become dangerous for everyone, thereby creating a need for action?  It's not an easy question, and I'm very glad I don't have to make the decision.

It is eugenics.  The moment you start selectively breeding people like farm animals, it's eugenics.

IMHO, China's on the right path.  Institute a country-wide, no exceptions limit on children, while focusing parts of your budget on accommodating a large population - cheaper houses, agriculture and energy research, creating jobs, etc.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 12:39:19 PM »
You talk like having a professor assign you a number actually means something.

I said IQ once and I get a lecture on how it means nothing. Okay, sorry I was rambling on about how important IQ is...oh wait I wasn't.

Who's to be the judge of who can have large families and who can't?

Everyone judges everyone else. Anyone who says they are totally non-judgmental of anyone is a liar, plain and simple.

Does that make me one of those unnecessary people?

No, anyone who does nothing to provide for a better society or future for our children I would consider a waste of a human.

What about the father who's not smart enough to graduate college, not lucky enough for his wife to survive that mugging, and now has to work 2 and a half full time jobs to keep food on the table for his three kids, all the while hoping they'll turn out luckier than he was?  Is he unnecessary too?

No, once again you're taking my words to an extreme that you're assuming I'm thinking or saying.

Really, I'd say he's more deserving of life than you, me, or any of us who have free time to post on a website.

Similar to what you said, who are you to judge?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Population control
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2011, 12:59:53 PM »
Well, in all honesty Magnus the statements you put forth did come across with a certain tone of arrogance to them.  This leaves the reader to derive attitude and meaning, especially when a large number of your posts are simple statements.  By making such short blurbs, you are forcing someone to respond based on their own interpretation of your meaning since there is little explanation offered.  Of course there is the possibility that you do not desire a response, but then why enter this area of Elliquiy?

For instance the statement regarding the IQ level of yourself and your wife can be interpreted easily to mean that those without high IQ scores are not suitable to reproduce.  Now, you may also be making an attempt to debunk the myth that intelligent people do not want large families.  Lack of explanation does make the choice hard to determine.

The statement about “unnecessary people” does not help the case much either.  Referring to another person in a blanket statement of being unnecessary is rather arrogant.  That you make the statement that natural selection will remove the unnecessary people is also a poor.  Natural selection does not rely on our opinion of societal contribution, but genetic makeup.  Someone with immunity to a particular disease or environmental condition will survive where others do not.  Natural selection does not care if that person is a doctor, scientist, farmer, rapist, serial killer or tyrant dictator. 

While I understand the nature of text format has built in ambiguity, do keep in mind that better explanation can remove some of that problem.  If you feel that your point is being muddled by another then take the time to explain your position further.  Other readers will recognize your effort to make clear your point of view.  Resorting to snippet sarcasm and further one line statements is unnecessary in this instant.

Offline Question Mark

Re: Population control
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2011, 01:17:39 PM »
We could go back and forth nitpicking details Magnus, but I think Seeds already made a good point.  I'll just say that your comment on IQ wasn't a rant, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a significant comment.  You were using IQ as a reason to have a large family, implying that those without high IQs shouldn't have a large family.

Anyway, my personal opinion on population control is that we really don't have much to worry about now... assuming governments and corporations start making good on their promises to end world hunger.  Because it can be done, it'll just cost some couple hundred billion dollars.

Also, Valencia made a good point.  Our world CAN sustain these numbers.  It's our corporate-political mindsets - the one that cares about the bottom line above all else - that's damning so many people to starvation and poverty.  Eventually, greed or no, the technology will be cheap enough to satisfy even the Western World's bottom line, and then the world's population will become a much smaller problem.

However, once we start pushing into the dozens of billions, then we might have to worry that we won't have the renewable resources or even the space to accommodate so many people.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2011, 01:20:26 PM »
Well, in all honesty Magnus the statements you put forth did come across with a certain tone of arrogance to them.  This leaves the reader to derive attitude and meaning, especially when a large number of your posts are simple statements.  By making such short blurbs, you are forcing someone to respond based on their own interpretation of your meaning since there is little explanation offered.  Of course there is the possibility that you do not desire a response, but then why enter this area of Elliquiy?

I understand that I do come off as arrogant, partially because it is true. I am not forcing anyone to make assumptions about me personally. I just felt that the post was a bit harsh and made me out to be the bad guy who believes poor people should be killed. I don't even know where that came from to be honest.

For instance the statement regarding the IQ level of yourself and your wife can be interpreted easily to mean that those without high IQ scores are not suitable to reproduce.  Now, you may also be making an attempt to debunk the myth that intelligent people do not want large families.  Lack of explanation does make the choice hard to determine.

I am a firm believer that people with higher intelligence both in genetics and in study have a better chance to send on those genes to their offspring. I'm not saying that people with low IQ scores shouldn't reproduce I'm just saying that we're not the stereotypical big family that most people would think towards. Most people I would believe think of a smart family as having few kids I was just verifying that we plan on having a big family.

Natural selection does not care if that person is a doctor, scientist, farmer, rapist, serial killer or tyrant dictator. 

No but people who are doctors and scientists and even farmers can be those smart enough to survive and adapt to those situations. When it comes down to surviving the ones who were smarter and able to adapt, survived. In the wild you don't see nature catering towards idiocy.

While I understand the nature of text format has built in ambiguity, do keep in mind that better explanation can remove some of that problem.  If you feel that your point is being muddled by another then take the time to explain your position further.

I'm not upset, if that is what you are getting at. I rather enjoy the debate regardless of the tension level. I don't see ambiguity as a problem. Sorry if it seems that I do.

You were using IQ as a reason to have a large family, implying that those without high IQs shouldn't have a large family.

I actually was not. I was saying that I'm different than the norm and stereotype of smart parents. I never said people without high IQs shouldn't have a big family and I never implied it.

Offline Valencia

Re: Population control
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2011, 06:34:55 PM »
I concur with the concept that IQ isn't really an accurate way to measure intelligence, but I'm not implying that anyone who uses said system to be inadequate in anyway. I don't think that if we had population control that it should be based off of factors such as intelligence. (See my previous statement about how there are no stupid people) I feel that until we can solve the problems we are facing as a species, planetwide, that these things should be limited. Granted, we have the technology to fix these problems...right now. No bullshit. There's just alot of hurdles and headbutting with government/corporations in order to get there.

As far as natural selection goes, one's ability to adapt to the surroundings of a situation is what ensures it's survival. Saying that it's one quality or another is moot. It's a combination of things. For example, you're walking down a road and let's say, for the sake of argument, you come upon a wall. You have to get around this wall to keep going. Is there one solution to this problem? No. Can you employ one or many skills to solve it? Yes. You can use your strength to climb the wall. You could simply try to outsmart the wall and simply find where it ends. You could take the time to create a battering ram so you could crash it down. There are a multitude of ways, and it still leads to the same end. That is the beauty of being human; our mental diversity.

Is it possible that there could be a catastrophe that could cause a massive die-off? It is a potentiality. No amount of knowledge or skill will ensure your survival if you are in the wrong place, and the wrong time. Those decisions are between you and your Higher Self, or whatever diety you choose to worship, or not worship. Whatever takes the cake for you.

Quote
However, once we start pushing into the dozens of billions, then we might have to worry that we won't have the renewable resources or even the space to accommodate so many people.

Let's hope by then that we've either a. Cracked open our Stargates or b. Have mastered space travel and start exploring the stars! :P

Offline Shjade

Re: Population control
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2011, 08:04:48 PM »
Because I'm the kind of smartass who likes to point these things out when the context amuses me...
Me and my wife have pretty high IQs
I think you mean "My wife and I."

=D

Offline Question Mark

Re: Population control
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2011, 09:26:02 PM »
Because I'm the kind of smartass who likes to point these things out when the context amuses me...I think you mean "My wife and I."

=D

I lold

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Population control
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2011, 11:31:47 PM »
Because I'm the kind of smartass who likes to point these things out when the context amuses me...I think you mean "My wife and I."

=D

Heh, ^^ I noticed that too, maybe I should change that. I never was good at English, I'm more of a Math and Science kinda guy. Plus that's how I speak, I would never say "My wife and I" doesn't sound right.

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Population control
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 06:12:31 AM »
I think we are over looking the economics of the problem here. My generation the average number of children in a family was 5 in the United States. Today the average number of children is around 2.5. If you think people were concerned about the population problem in the 60's you are right, however, the reason for the smaller family sizes today is mostly economics. After WW2 and Korea a family could support 5 children today the average family can not. One of biggest population control in developed countries is economics. Before then when the United States was an agrarian society you had a lot of children to create a work force in the household. Knowing that some, on in certain parts of the world, many of the children would not live to adult hood you may even find larger numbers for the average family size.

As far as what this world can comfortably support, assuming you can get the resources to the people that are in need. Again in the 60's and 70's the number was 6 billion. Today it is 12 Billion. Our technology and the advancement of not dieing in ones own filth, air pollution, water pollution etc has accomplished that.

Please remember that every solution to a problem brings up different problems. Before the automobile there was a concern that if you have more people on the planet and they all had horses that the filth from that would kill off the population. The industrial era stopped that with the car. We will find the solutions because we think and adapt.

Offline BCdan

Re: Population control
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2011, 12:02:57 AM »
I think that this is the best summary of population 'control'.

Hans Rosling on global population growth

Some key points to take away:

  • The best way to slow population growth to sustainable levels is by growing the economy.  Better economy = better technology = higher child survival rate = better family planning.
  • The idea that poor people have to die in droves to keep populations from growing too fast is not only ethically wrong, but factually wrong.
  • The worlds population is likely to stop growing at 9 billion.

Personally, I think the idea of giving someone 'control' over population growth is a bad idea.  That kind of power would be abused or misused, even if the intentions are good.  Looking at what Hans Rosling said, China's 'one child' policy might have had the opposite intended effect.  Families with lots of children were penalized severely, which led to worse economic conditions for those families.  As there is a trend between a strong economy and lower population growth, you actually want those families to be as financially successful as possible so they have access to better economic conditions. 

Thats my 2 cents.

Offline Yjama

Re: Population control
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2011, 05:58:44 AM »
Very interesting video there; like you say, it sums up the problem with overpopulation very neatly. I'll have to look up more lectures by that man.