Thoughts on economics and liberty

Anti-population stance is mainly directed against the poor – whether in rich or poor nations

Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource 2 makes an interesting point.


World population policy. The first edition documented the tens of millions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars are being used to tell the governments and people of other countries that they ought to reduce their fertility. The long-time head of the Population Branch of the U.S. State Department Agency for International Development (AID) – for many years the single most important U.S. population official – publicly said that the U.S. should act to reduce fertility worldwide for the U.S.’s own economic self-interest. And a secret policy assessment [***to be footnoted here if Chaps 35 and 36 are deleted] by the National Security Council in 1974 – finally declassified in 1989, but with many pages still blacked out – specifies population-control activities for U.S. governmental agents to carry out in various countries, especially Africa; this includes twisting the arms of foreign governments in a variety of ways to ensure “cooperation”. But economic data and analyses do not justify this policy. Furthermore, might not such acts be an unwarranted (and resented) interference in the internal affairs of other countries?

Domestic population activities. Other millions of public dollars go to private organizations in the population lobby whose directors believe that, for environmental and related reasons, fewer Americans should be born. With these funds they propagandize the rest of us to believe – and act – in ways consistent with the views of such organizations as the Population Crisis Committee, the Population Reference Bureau, the Worldwatch Institute, and the Association for Voluntary Sterilization.

Still other tens of millions of U.S. tax dollars target the fertility of the poor in the U.S. The explicit justification for this policy (given by the head of Planned Parenthood’s Alan Guttmacher Institute) is that it will keep additional poor people off the welfare rolls. Even were this to be proven – which it has not been, so far as I know – is this policy in the spirit or tradition of America? Furthermore, there is statistical proof that the public birth-control clinics, which were first opened in large numbers in the poorer southern states, were positioned to reduce fertility among blacks.


Some of the above is also mentioned at p.542 (first para) of his hardcopy 1996 book.


Sanjeev Sabhlok

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