Malth. Mad

Malthusian Madness:

Is there something in the water that is making all these people long for Chinese-style authoritarianism? First it was Mr. Thomas Freidman of the New York Times, and now this piece from the Financial Post.

China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.
First of all, those claims about the living conditions in China are absolute nonsense. Its middle class grows, yes -- on the east coast, while the vast majority of China is one of the poorest countries on earth. "All its citizens" certainly do not have housing: I saw people living in utter rubble. "All its citizens" certainly do not get health care in any fashion we in the West would recognize as such. Food and education are available (today! Remember the Great Leap Forward and the Hundred Flowers Period, respectively), but education is strictly rationed by an examination system or connection to powerful families.

Furthermore, it's not really proper to describe Chinese nationals as "citizens." They are subjects, with very limited freedom of movement even within China, and the requirement to petition their government for lawful changes of address, let alone to visit other nations.

But at least the lady is open to a rational debate on her proposal.
For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.
Right, well, I suppose we should just hop on the first plane to Tyranny, then. In case, you know, some of those things might otherwise happen. Obviously there's nothing else we might be able to do to increase our ability to feed populations.

By the way, do you know what will be happening to China's "growing middle class" once the current generation begins to need to retire, and the far-smaller "one child" generation has to take over the shop while caring for their aging parents and grandparents? And here I thought the Green movement was supposed to be about "sustainability."

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