Thursday, April 03, 2014

Population control?

Making Economic Sense by Murray Rothbard (Chapter 41 - Population "Control") excerpt:
In fact, population generally follows movement in standards of living; it doesn't cause them. Population rises when the demand for labor, and living standards rise, and vice versa. A rising population is generally a sign of, and goes along with, prosperity and economic development. Hong Kong, for example, has one of the densest populations in the world, and yet its standard of living is far higher than the rest of Asia, including, for example, the thinly populated Sinkiang province of China.

England, Holland, and Western Europe generally have a very dense population, and yet enjoy a high living standard. Africa, on the other hand, most people fail to realize, is very thinly populated. And no wonder, since its level of capital investment is so low it will not support the existence of many people. Critics point to Rwanda and Burundi as being densely populated, but the point is they are the exceptions in Africa. The city of Rome at the height of its empire, had a very large population; but during its collapse, its population greatly declined. The population decline was not a good thing for Rome. On the contrary, it was a sign of Rome's decay.

The world, even the Third World, does not suffer from too many people, or from excessive population growth. (Indeed, the rate of world population growth, although not yet its absolute numbers, is already declining.) The Third World suffers from a lack of economic development due to its lack of rights of private property, its government-imposed production controls, and its acceptance of government foreign aid that squeezes out private investment. The result is too little productive savings, investment, entrepreneurship, and market opportunity. What they desperately need is not more UN controls, whether of population or of anything else, but for international and domestic government to let them alone. Population will adjust on its own. But, of course, economic freedom is the one thing that neither the UN nor any other bureaucratic outfit will bring them.

Also important: The Population Control Holocaust

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