Concerning the Economics of Population

We often hear the horrifying stories of a dying world from gloomy and miserable people-haters, those who claim that the world’s resources will soon run out and that the solution is “population control”. Hitler tried “population control” with war, concentration camps, baby farms, and mass executions. But the doom-day heralds have taken “population control” one step further; kill people before they are born. I contend that we have progressed as far as we have socially, technologically, medically, in knowledge, in understanding, and as the human race because of our great and increasingly greater numbers. There is strength in numbers. There is strength in unity. Our numbers, our population is one of our greatest assets. We could not have made it this far without, in a large part, our ever growing population. Allow me to illustrate.

Let us assume there was a time when the world was devoid of man. Weeds grew abundantly, for there was no one to cultivate the earth. Disease and plagues ran rampant, for there was no one knowledgeable in medicine to hold it back. Then one man entered the earth. We will call him Adam. Adam had many needs. He needed clothes to keep him warm in the winter and shielded in the summer. He needed shelter to protect him from the elements. And he constantly needed to eat. He foraged for a time but found it difficult because he needed to keep moving to find more food. This meant that his home needed to be small and portable, which meant that his belongings were few. Having few belongings meant he didn’t have many changes of clothes, and he began to stink. So he stopped at a river where he washed his clothes and himself. As he was doing so, he saw that the land was good, and the river was refreshing. He thought he would like to stay there. He set up his tent and began foraging for as much food as he could, not traveling any more than a day’s walk from where he set his tent. He realized it took a long time to gather food, and even longer for the food to grow back. He wondered if there was a way to gather more food without traveling further or waiting longer. He looked at the seeds he had spat out from the apples, watermelons, peaches, and pears he had eaten. These were his favorite because they were sweet. He saw that the seeds were in a neat pile on the floor, easy to gather together. Then a revolutionary idea came to him; he would plant the food where he wanted it to grow. And so he farmed the land… with his bare hands… because that was all he needed. And so, Adam farmed the land from sunup to sundown. And this life was good, but it could be better. For life to improve, Adam needed to progress. To progress, he needed a reason.

Enter Eve. Eve was a woman. Eve was also needy, in some ways more so than Adam was. She didn’t eat as much, which was fine by Adam, but she did often complain about the temperature. She required many more clothes and demanded to live in something more than a tent. Adam didn’t have much time for this because he spent the whole day farming with his bare hands. He liked the feeling of the cool earth between his fingers. The woman’s demands were incessant, and so Adam was obliged to grant her wishes. But he needed some way to do the same amount of farming in less time so that he could complete the woman’s list. Adam could have sent the woman away, but she was pretty to look at and, though he would never admit it, he liked to listen to her talk, even when it was about the silliest things. He was very fond of her. So he thought of a way to improve his farming. He realized that much of his time was spent getting down on his knees and back up again as he cultivated his crops with his bare hands. So he made a set of gardening tools that let him do all his work while standing. This saved a lot of time, and he used the saved time to build a log cabin with a walk-in closet for Eve’s many clothes. And the woman saw that it was good, but it could be better.

Enter Cain and Abel. Eventually, Adam and Eve had two kids… I mean children, because humans give birth to baby humans, who are called “children”, and goats give birth to baby goats… which are called “kids”. So Cain and Abel grew up eating apples, watermelons, peaches, and pears, because these were Adam’s favorites. Since Adam’s gardening tools were very successful, he could provide for his entire family and still have time to build a master bedroom and a porch swing. And the woman saw that these were good, but it could be better. Eve thought that there should be more variety on the table. She wanted something green, other than the watermelon rinds. But she was the only woman there and the men did not agree. Abel wanted meat, and Cain wanted pancakes, which require wheat. And since Adam could now easily provide the basic needs for the entire family, his children were able to pursue their dreams. Cain grew many different kinds of grain, and he used the same tool designs of his father, which allowed him to have spare time to experiment with different grains. Not only did he bring pancakes to the table but also cornbread. But Abel was pioneering a new food source and he could not use the same techniques as his father and brother. But since his father and brother were producing much, much more food than what the family needed, thanks to the tools Adam invented, Abel had plenty of time to develop animal farming. He experimented with different kinds of feed (provided by the surplus of food produced by Adam and Cain) and tested how well each animal tasted. And so, Abel brought beef to the table. And the woman saw that it was good, but it could be better. And it could have been better, except Cain had a bad idea.

Enter “population control”. Cain was worried there may not be enough food if Abel kept feeding it all to his animals. However, Cain’s worry was in vain, for there was plenty, even more than all the humans could eat. But Cain was foolish and spent many sleepless nights worrying that Abel’s animals would eat all of his grain and then there wouldn’t be any more of his favorite foods. So Cain became disgruntled and miserable, despite the multiplicity of pancakes that garnished the table, and he thought that if Abel were gone, then the animals would leave and there would be lots of grain… even though there was already lots of grain, even a lot going to waste and being thrown away. Then Cain, frenzied by his unjustified worries, did the unthinkable. He murdered Abel. Adam found out and exiled Cain, for he saw that Cain was dangerously beyond reason. This hurt Adam and Eve, because they loved their children very much, regardless of what they brought to the table.

Enter “depression”. The loss of their children greatly depressed Adam and Eve, and their production diminished in their depressed state. At this sober moment, I must also point out that they lost their production of grains and meat in this tragedy, but that is beside the point.

The point I would like to make, if you haven’t figured it out already, is that “population control” is stupid. I would venture to say we would have a cure for cancer by now, but the scientist who would have discovered it was murdered before she was born because someone was worried about fuel shortages. I would dare say world-hunger would have been solved by now, but the man responsible for solving world-hunger was killed in the womb before he could reveal his revolutionary logistics techniques. I would be so bold as to suppose a mother’s broken heart could have been healed by a small hand, but the mother thought she would be better off without her daughter, and she had her daughter destroyed before her daughter’s precious, little fingers had fully developed. I boldly proclaim we would all be a lot better off if we could stop killing each other. There is no place for “population control” among the sane.