The Narrow-Mindedness of Zero-Sum Thinking

An excellent anti-Malthusian essay by Brendan O'Neill.  It is hard to do it justice with an excerpt:

What this potted history of population scaremongering ought to demonstrate is this: Malthusians are always wrong about everything.

The extent of their wrongness cannot be overstated. They have continually claimed that too many people will lead to increased hunger and destitution, yet the precise opposite has happened: world population has risen exponentially over the past 40 years and in the same period a great many people's living standards and life expectancies have improved enormously. Even in the Third World there has been improvement "“ not nearly enough, of course, but improvement nonetheless. The lesson of history seems to be that more and more people are a good thing; more and more minds to think and hands to create have made new cities, more resources, more things, and seem to have given rise to healthier and wealthier societies.

Yet despite this evidence, the population scaremongers always draw exactly the opposite conclusion. Never has there been a political movement that has got things so spectacularly wrong time and time again yet which keeps on rearing its ugly head and saying: "˜This time it's definitely going to happen! This time overpopulation is definitely going to cause social and political breakdown!'

There is a reason Malthusians are always wrong. It isn't because they're stupid"¦ well, it might be a little bit because they're stupid. But more fundamentally it is because, while they present their views as fact-based and scientific, in reality they are driven by a deeply held misanthropy that continually overlooks mankind's ability to overcome problems and create new worlds.

The language used to justify population scaremongering has changed dramatically over the centuries. In the time of Malthus in the eighteenth century the main concern was with the fecundity of poor people. In the early twentieth century there was a racial and eugenic streak to population-reduction arguments. Today they have adopted environmentalist language to justify their demands for population reduction.

The fact that the presentational arguments can change so fundamentally over time, while the core belief in "˜too many people' remains the same, really shows that this is a prejudicial outlook in search of a social or scientific justification; it is prejudice looking around for the latest trendy ideas to clothe itself in. And that is why the population scaremongers have been wrong over and over again: because behind the new language they adopt every few decades, they are really driven by narrow-mindedness, by disdain for mankind's breakthroughs, by wilful ignorance of humanity's ability to shape its surroundings and its future.

I have written about zero-sum thinking a lot, but here is one example.

  • me

    Sadly, the proof that X is always incorrect doesn't imply that (not X) is always correct. Temporal logic is a bitch. More people aren't always better. Really, it's the quality that matters, and that one's hard enough to quantify to defy useful theorems.

  • http://pojatitkee.blogspot.com Paavo Ojala

    Gregory Clark makes the case in farewell to alms, that Malthus was right, and all preindustrial states lived under malthusian trap. So that any decrease in mortality also decreased average income. So that in the fifteenth century europe average man better of than in 18th century europe, because the black death had done away with excess people.

    The amount of capital has grown faster than amount of population, so returns for additional human labour have been good. But this was not always the case and not everywhere.

    To quote mencius moldbug

    "Stated most boldly, the Dire Problem is that there is a line of productive competence beneath which a human being is a liability, not an asset, to the society including him. This calculation is made in terms of the marginal human - does California gain or lose by adding one person just like this person? For millions, the answer is surely the latter.

    Worse, with the steady advance of technology, this line rises. That is: the demand for low-skilled human labor shrinks. Abstract economics provides no guarantee whatsoever that the marginal able-bodied man with an IQ of 80 can feed himself by his own labors. If you doubt this line, simply lower it until you doubt it no more. At least logically, there is a biological continuum between humans and chimpanzees, and the latter are surely liabilities."

  • Gil

    Wow this means there's no problem with Social Security! Adventurous minds will come up will solutions to the problem. If you say otherwise then you're a steenking economic Malthusian who presume wealth can't be created buy swirled around.

  • Capt. Grandpa

    Sorry Gil, but I just don't see the analogy. Social Security is an specific, artificial, government-imposed, ponzi scheme designed to save certain individuals from themselves at the expense of everybody else's children.

    How does that relate to the general proposition that a mere increase in population does not mean disaster for mankind as a whole?

  • me

    I am guessing the Gil wanted to give a counterexample to 'more is always better' by stating that it's probably not going to fix SS.
    True; ironically, Health care is now even more threatening financially than social security, so we appear to be going in entirely the wrong direction. Then again, what's new?

  • Mark

    Eventually the doom sayers will be right, but I would guess we will experience problems over the millions of years rather then the 10's of years as the prognosticate.

    Yes eventually the earth will be consumed by the sun and that will end it all.

  • Gil

    How is increasing population not a Ponzi scheme? Most people who want more children are those who want the children to pay for their debts. Besides with modern technology there's no need for huge populations just as there's no need for huge muscles becaues machines to the heavy lifting. Wanting heaps of children to show off your manhood as another reason is primitive Third World gibberish.

  • David

    The industrial revolution, and in particular the green revolution have given us the ability to turn energy, mainly fossil fuels, into food. This has allowed a holiday from history, and also allowed our population carrying capacity to increase substantially. This will persist until politics or geology impose a limit on our ability to convert fuel calories into food calories.

  • Dr. T

    "Never has there been a political movement that has got things so spectacularly wrong time and time again yet which keeps on rearing its ugly head and saying..."

    ... that our skies will turn brown, our lakes and rivers will be covered with flamable scum, that we'll all get cancer, that our kids will be born with 12 fingers and a cyclopean eye...

    The environmentalists are almost as bad as the ZPGers for making incorrect claims year after year, decade after decade.

  • Dr. T

    Gil is a wonderful contributor: he knows little, draws absurd conclusions (including ones based on stereotypes), and tells others they are wrong without providing evidence.

    The problems with Social Security are not due to excess population (we've got lots of space and resources) or to lack of capital growth (even with the recession we are wealthier today than we were 10, 20, or 50 years ago). Social Security's future funding problems are due to decades of voter-placating politicians and greedy elders.

    Having children isn't a Ponzi scheme, because we do not collect money from our babies, and because the costs of raising children exceed what most parents receive after their children become adults. Most couples in developed countries who have many children do so because they love children or their religion loves children, not because they expect children to pay their debts. (Having lots of kids is likely to create debts!) In poor countries, people have many children because few children live to adulthood. Worldwide, few couples have lots of children just so the husband can show off his "manhood." This is the stereotyping I referred to.

  • DrTorch

    Nice post. Very Christian in its thought process. Chuck Colson has been arguing this for years as well.

    I think what you overlook is this: human ingenuity needs freedom. The Malthusiasts not only hold their prejudices...but they also want power. They want to control (and ultimately) oppress people. They do it with fear.

    But, if you give people their due freedom (and that can be a tricky word to define) people manage to solve their problems, and the fear-mongering is for not.

    Gen 1:28 is a pretty remarkable verse, all things considered.

  • Texas_Engineer

    It is always fun to poke fun at the Malthus idea and call people stupid when they worry about overpopulation, because so far everything is O.K.

    But to argue that letting the population grow forever is fine is just illogical. The problem with even 1% growth becomes horrendous in much less than a million years. To use a silly example in 500 years we would have close to a trillion people.

    The power of the Malthus idea is that eventually he will be right - no matter what names we call him.

    I am not losing sleep over overpopulation - because I am an old man. But in the fairly near future it will be finally recognized as THE problem. As David said above we have been given a holiday from history (and reality). But eventually history and reality will take us out to the woodshed and bet the crap out of us.

  • Link

    As families get wealthier, they have fewer children. It's happened all over Europe, and if you take out the recent immigrants true for the US. In optimistic but still achievable scenarios, it can all be managed without mass starvation nor the end of life as we know it. I've suspected that environementalists actually care more about over-population than about AGW, but can't say it out loud. If they're not careful, their plans to hamstring economic development will only backfire.

  • Ken

    From the linked article:

    "But more fundamentally it is because, while they present their views as fact-based and scientific, in reality they are driven by a deeply held misanthropy that continually overlooks mankind’s ability to overcome problems and create new worlds."

    Mr. O'Neill just described James Howard Kunstler down to the last gaiter button. To be fair, Kunstler actually does do his homework, but doesn't seem to believe that human ingenuity resides anywhere other than with his beloved New Urbanists.

    I started to read World Made By Hand, got about sixty pages in, realized I didn't give a damn about any of the characters and wasn't likely to change my mind, said to myself, "Starneville, Wisconsin," and took 'er back to the library.

  • Gil

    Thank you Texas Engineer! Then again many people in poor nations don't make babies for the fun of having more mouths to feed but more hands to do more work. After all, human babies are overrated in their cuteness - they have nothing on kittens, puppies and chicks.

  • epobirs

    Paavo, that is just a variation on the broken windows fallacy. That is, the idea that a disaster or outright vandalism that destroyed a lot of windows in a city would result in a boost to the local economy by providing business to the repair people. Similarly, some idiots tried to tout post-Katrina New Orleans as a great boon to those in the construction industry. Some individuals may have benefited but the economy as a whole was damaged because there were far preferable things to be done with that money used to pay for all of that repair and remediation work.

    The massive die-off in the Black Plague may have freed up resources for the survivors but it also meant a vast number of people who had new ideas to bring to the world were dead. Thus the standard of living leaps that came with the Industrial Revolution and other outgrowths of science were delayed by many years. A world without a Black Plague may have seen all of the innovations we know today a century or more earlier.

    This is one of the reasons to get a handle on immigration. Being a peasant is not a growth industry and we needn't import more. We still use plenty of human labor in roles that aren't demanding of IQ but provide a far better standard of living than the wealthiest enjoyed a few centuries ago. As we require less and less stoop labor we will likely begin to also exercise more control of the trait we bestow on our children. Once this stops being a haphazard process it seems unlikely anyone is going to desire to produce a child capable solely of manual labor.

    It won't be pretty but it will hardly compare to the stack of losers biological history has produced over the eons.

  • Gil

    Not necessarily epobirs. If people immediately returned to their old lifestyles after a natural disaster then it would seem as if nothing had changed however the population post-plague saw the change towards freedom as people on the low end of the spectrum suddenly had a lot of bargaining power and forced science to innovate causing people to turn to machines to cover the shortfall kicking off the Industrial Revolution. Had the Black Plague never came or was significantly less severe as to not disrupt the social order then Western progress may never have happened as there would have plenty of people to keep wages low and have no one to have an incentive to look at labour-saving machinery.

  • Rob

    Current projections suggest global population will peak in this century--so you're wrong Texas Engineer. Overpopulation will not be the problem. As stated earlier in this thread as folks get wealthier the have fewer children. Look at two case studies: Iran and Mexico. Iran has a fertility rate (births/female) around 1.71--that's less than the US. Mexico is now at replacement fertility (2.1). Considering that just a couple of decades ago fertility rates in both of these countries were greater than 5 we can probably assume that other countries with high fertility rates will also drop once economic development reaches them--and these trends apply to Latin America and Muslim countries.

    How crazy is it that economic development--hated by enviros--is turning out to solve the population problem? Now the problem is not one of population size, but consumption per capita.

  • Gil

    No Rob, Malthus would be wrong if people could continue to grow their populations indefinitely and technology would always keep one step ahead of population. If anything anti-Malthusians are saying that high population spurs the required technological solution. Norman Borlaug would not have bothered if everyone kept the world population stable at 2 billion. The Third World would have merely adopted the agricultural techniques of the 1950's and everyone would have stopped innovating agriculture-wise.

    People preferring to keep the population relatively stable by having few babies is confirming Malthus.

  • jay

    Wealth is increased through productivity. And there is NO reason to assume productivity will stop.

    In a general sense (with lots of local highs and lows) your 40hr of weekly labor buys the combined 40hr of weekly labor of those supplying you. The way you increase wealth is to (as has happened many times over in the last century) increase productivity. It changes everything.

    This morning I discarded a sock because it had a hole. At one time, darning and repairing that garment would be justified, but now the time spent repairing is vastly more than the time spent earning enough to purchase replacements (even purchasing premium, non sweatshop made products). 200 years ago every thread in every garment was spun by hand, then woven by hand. A change of clothes was a serious investment.

    The same is vastly true of food, shelter, transportation, virtually every aspect of our lives.

  • epobirs

    Gil, you have a, shall we say, alternative view of reality. Reality itself, however, doesn't accept substitutes.

    The Industrial Revolution didn't happen because people were grumbling about the lack of kitchen appliances in their homes. Science is not a bargaining chip in labor negotiations. No land owner told the tenant farmers he'd get somebody to work on this electricity concept as soon as they went back to work. At the time of the Black Plague there were no professional scientists. Benjamin Franklin, who'd been able to retire relatively young thanks to his success in the printing business, was one of the first to take on that role without being a child of wealth with no responsibilities other than to his curiosity. As such, he had rather more of a work ethic and was highly productive. Franklin's legacy played a large role in creating appreciation for the value of enlisting those with the right intellectual gifts as full-time researchers, rather than requiring them to spend most of their time in a trade with a little free time for their intellectual hobby.

    Science came about because there were enough people in a functioning group to allow for the existence of a subgroup whose every waking moment wasn't devoted to mere survival. Of that subgroup was a yet smaller group with the intellectual capacity to have ideas that changed the world around them by innovation. This is why the early leaps forward came from rich societies like Greece rather the countless communities of the era where nobody was free from farm labor or support of it.

    You couldn't be more wrong about Norman Borlaug. At the time he started his work in Mexico, the world population was already well past 2 Billion, despite the many millions killed in the recent war. The proportion of starving people within the global population was far higher than today, despite the tripling in population. It was Borlaug in large part who made today's population possible. This came not just from better agricultural techniques but also from innovations starting in the 19th Century in what happened to agricultural products after harvesting. Functional markets, storage, and delivery systems are all vital factors in avoiding famine at the whims of nature. See the book Enough ( http://www.amazon.com/Enough-Worlds-Poorest-Starve-Plenty/dp/1586485113/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259000965&sr=1-1 ) to understand why bad climate is just the tip of the iceberg in Africa and why dysfunctional societies kill vastly more by starvation than poor yet functional regions.

    People weren't starving in the areas Borlaug improved because of population growth. Their numbers could be rigidly constrained and they'd still have been unable to consistently feed themselves and subject to devastating periodic famines. It is modern innovation that make our civilization robust and better able to handle disasters that would have been far more damaging in earlier eras.

  • epobirs

    Also, Gil,

    I don't think you appreciate how a catastrophic event like the Black Plague worked out for the structure of civilization. The places hardest hit were the urban areas with the densest population and most likelihood of propagating infection.

    Guess where those who developed new technology and other innovations were most likely to live?

    This sort of thing knocked back the rate of development for generations. There was never a lack of people to perform the stoop labor of 15th Century farming. It was the default condition of humanity of the day. Where the shortage existed in human capital was among those with both the educational opportunity and free time to pursue new ideas.

    Imagine a plague that killed only Electrical Engineers. A tiny dent in the population but a massive setback for improvements to our tech base and all the other fields that employ that tech for their own advancement. Then try to calculate how long it takes to recover.

  • OBloodyhell

    Considering the related idea of Idiocracy, I point y'all to Randall's excellent XKCD toon on the notion:

    http://www.xkcd.com/603/

  • OBloodyhell

    I don’t think you appreciate how a catastrophic event like the Black Plague worked out for the structure of civilization. The places hardest hit were the urban areas with the densest population and most likelihood of propagating infection.

    Guess where those who developed new technology and other innovations were most likely to live?

    This sort of thing knocked back the rate of development for generations. There was never a lack of people to perform the stoop labor of 15th Century farming. It was the default condition of humanity of the day. Where the shortage existed in human capital was among those with both the educational opportunity and free time to pursue new ideas.

    ...And it appears you greatly underestimate the longer-term boon that it also created.

    In actuality, a large part of the boon from it came from the kick it gave to the existing social structure, both indirectly, by indiscriminately removing deadwood people and institutions but also indirectly, by the boon of inheritance, as vast swathes of capital fell to those who previously had none due to the existing medieval social structure.

    It shook things up considerably, and was probably at least partly responsible for the Renaissance and all that followed a hundred years later.

    You also vastly overestimate the damage an EE plague would produce. Within a generation, the balance would be back to "normal" (probably much less, more like 10-15 years, but I'll be conservative). Humans produce the professions their mileau's social demands dictate. We don't tend to produce a lot of techs in the USA, we import them, while producing a lot of MBAs. Because our culture has more use for MBAs directly -- with them, we can hire the other professions.

    Go watch the 30yo Science and Technology series "Connections" (the first series, not #2 or 3) -- there's an ep which specifically (though lightly) goes over the affects on development that the Black Plague produced, and the ensuing blossoming of Europe in both the Arts and Sciences that followed. It was a horrific event, but there's little question it was a long-term benefit.

  • OBloodyhell

    Most people who want more children are those who want the children to pay for their debts.

    That's flat out stupid. Anyone not a total cretin knows that in modern, post-industrial society children are a liability, not a boon. It costs more to raise them than you're going to get back from them, unless you're a domineering SOB of a patriarch/matriarch or something, which, in the long-run is counterproductive, because that second gen will not emulate your behavior, and will have few children.

    THIS is one of the failures of Malthusianism -- it fails to grasp that humans are not animals, that we do limit, control, and redirect our behavior in ways which animals, lacking any sense of time-binding, are not capable of.

    It's one reason that population growth in every single one of the developed nations, once you exclude immigration and the children of 1st-gen immigrants, is well below replacement value. In some nations, such as Spain and Italy, it's so low that the governments have considered directly addressing it.

  • OBloodyhell

    Besides with modern technology there’s no need for huge populations just as there’s no need for huge muscles becaues machines to the heavy lifting.

    Demonstrating a vastly incompetent grasp of the driving forces behind economic growth in modern "postindustrial" nations -- for almost 40 years, now all new income has developed in the USA from developments in IP and Services.

    The more people you have able to provide both the services and/or the minds to develop new IP, the more such value you will produce. And that means all IQ levels -- you need custodians as much as you need artists and scientists.

    As long as the resource base is not shrinking -- and, so far in human history, it never really actually has (the proffered example above, of post-Black-Plague Europeans being better off than 18th century Europeans is far more tied to the temporary surplus caused by knocking off a wide swathe of people, than it is because of the resource base "shrinking" in any manner), a larger population means more minds to think of new ideas, and new ways of looking at things.

    Does this mean we should emphasize education more? Sure, because IP is better at wealth creation than services, which, sooner or later, should all be roboticized.

    But education's a socio-political problem more than anything else. We need to fool-kill all members of the NEA. :-P

    The politicos love a good, stupid base population -- it makes for more sheeple ready to bleat and low in unison when the politicos start caterwauling. THEY certainly aren't about to change the direction of the education base.

  • OBloodyhell

    After all, human babies are overrated in their cuteness – they have nothing on kittens, puppies and chicks.

    Spoken like a truly ignorant fool.

    Go say that to a mother or father about their newborn. I'd say come back to us and tell us the result, but your chances of survival are low. And those are the only people to whom the "cuteness" really, really matters.

  • palm beach sugar daddy ken doll

    am sitting on the sidelines watching the match, but just *gotta* comment on the recent commentary phrase, "(the black death) was a horrific event, but there's little question it was a long-term benefit".

    easy to say from a distance of 650 years and change. at the time, people thought - and with good reason - that the world was coming to an end. i believe it's a mistake to make light of devastating catastrophes, or worse, to wish for one. ("but only for those *other* people clogging up the planet and defacing sacred mother gaia. not **US**!! i didn't mean US!!!") God/the Gods/Fate/Karma have demonstrated repeatedly that hubris such as that is eventually punished.

    knew a lady once who'd suffered through *actual* catastrophe, not just maxed-out credit cards. she was from the eastern part of germany, her daddy died at stalingrad when she was 6, had to run like hell westbound to escape the russians, mama broke papa dead got no money, all that...i noticed she and people like her never *ever* spoke lightly of catastrophe. china, in the span of a mere 50 years, has gone from a poor and backwards country to the world's second-richest (i think) nation. impressive work, undoubtedly will be a long-term benefit to them. of course, to get there, they had to endure their psychotic sociopath dear leader killing 60,000,000 of them along the way. even if they had somehow known "our murders will somehow lead to our country becoming rich" while they were being starved/killed, i somehow doubt that would have been a comfort to them. same goes for the millions who died in agony of plague.

    oh yeah, and malthus was full of crap. he ginned up a scary scientific-sounding story to sell books and make a buck - no difference whatsoever from today's global-warming alarmists.

  • OBloodyhell

    Paavo, that is just a variation on the broken windows fallacy.

    epo, not at all -- the BP caused a massive shift in the capital base's ownership, and in many cases, concentrated a lot of it (one surviving family member might inherit the assets formerly belonging to a half-dozen family members). It also broke the existing rigid structures'(including the church's) control, allowing far more freedom of action for the individual than existed prior to that point. That time period before the BP is depicted as a time of anarchy, when what it was was a lot of localized, very rigid control and class systems -- The old manner of becoming a knight by defeating a knight and taking his equipment (far from an easy task) had been replaced by a hereditary system that left no room for mobility, and encouraged inbreeding in the upper class as well -- limiting the potential for good genes to express their ability as well as retaining and worsening bad ones.

    Your error lies in assuming that "human capital" is equivalent to physical capital. It's not, and has a lot of unique properties which differentiate it from physical capital. Yes, a lot of "human capital" was lost as a result of the BP, but since much of that was being pointlessly squandered by poorly constructed sociopolitical structures, it wasn't a bad thing, since it broke those structures permanently. World War I served a similar function, though it also led, unfortunately, to the destructive entity we call "postmodern liberalism", which has at its heart the goal of the destruction of the Greek legacy to the world.

  • Gil

    Actually eporbis what I said was "if the world population was stabilised at 2 billion and food technology had increased so everyone was fed then Borlaug would have no incentive to do what he did".

    Yes, OBloodyhell, poor farming people want heaps of babies because they are potential assets whereas middle class people find babies are pretty much financial liabilities. Then again Libertarians would blame anti-child labour laws and compulsory schooling that prevent children from earning their keep.

    P.S. I love the "Seinfeld" gag where everyone but the parents is shocked by their ugly baby.

  • OBloodyhell

    easy to say from a distance of 650 years and change. at the time, people thought – and with good reason – that the world was coming to an end. i believe it’s a mistake to make light of devastating catastrophes, or worse, to wish for one.

    And what in the HELL led you to these inane responses?

    It's rather obvious its both "Easy to say from 650 years in retrospect" and that "people thought (rightly) the world was coming to an end"
    How does this -- citing short term issues, and pooh-poohing the ability to actually perceive it and the results of it from a distance in a cold, clinical manner -- affect, in any way, shape, or form, the analysis that there was a long-term benefit to it?

    As far as the ludicrous assertion that there is anyone hoping for a repeat, WTF is wrong with your mental faculties that you would make such a totally unwarranted extension of anything I said? I defy you to find a rational connection between your assertion and anything I stated.

    In the context of the times, it's bleeding obvious that you could not expect, much less feel assured of, any positive benefit to the BP.

    The only people in modern times who would cheer for a repeat/rhyme of such a catastrophe are extremist Greens, who, on multiple occasions, have expressed a desire for something to decimate the population -- in the reversed sense of killing 90% and leaving only 10%.

    BTW --
    > People weren’t starving in the areas Borlaug improved because of population growth. Their numbers could be rigidly constrained and they’d still have been unable to consistently feed themselves and subject to devastating periodic famines. It is modern innovation that make our civilization robust and better able to handle disasters that would have been far more damaging in earlier eras.

    The true fact is that there isn't a single region on earth the size of Mexico which does not produce enough food in 10 years time to feed its people for that 10 years. The main problems which cause food shortages and famines are more closely tied to geopolitical reasons than anything else -- stupid colonial-era national boundaries that separate peoples from food producing regions, failures to properly store and preserve grain across time, and various pestilence (rats, for example) which eat a major portion of what food does get stored. The tendency of local warlords to push people off farms and into cities, because it makes it easier to control them, and they can depend on food aid from the developed nations rather than arms to their victims, also exacerbates the problem.

    The problems are usually ones of too much government doing too many of the wrong things, not too little government. Then you have self-appointed, self-serving demagogues like that fat cow Vandana Shiva obstructing the use of miracle foods with the open support of Green morons who don't give a rat's ass about human suffering.

  • OBloodyhell

    > Then again Libertarians would blame anti-child labour laws and compulsory schooling that prevent children from earning their keep.

    In an industrial society, this might actually make sense -- in a post-industrial society, though, the opportunities for children to actually be highly productive citizens (for their own benefit, if done correctly) at little to no risk or danger to themselves, while gaining valuable life experiences is unfortunate -- consider the number of kids who are far more knowledgeable and understanding of computers than people 3 and 4 times their age. How many of them could do highly paid consulting work with proper adult supervision if the law allowed them to do so? How many could go to college knowing that it was all-expenses paid even without a scholarship because of money they socked away at 14, 15, 16 years of age, and came out of college with the experience of a 28 year old with five years employment under their belts?

    This, of course, requires that people make have the capacity to make their own choices about what is good for their children's future -- and we know we can't have anything like that.

    The real fact is that it should be easy to get an exemption to child labor laws as long as the work is of a non-menial, non-dangerous nature, and the child maintains their grades in school above a certain level. As far as the money goes, they already have functional laws preventing "financial abuse" in place for dealing with that kind of situation in Cali, with regards to the child actors in Hollywood. One need only look those over for any flaws and adopt some variant of them.

  • palm beach sugar daddy ken doll

    @ obloodyracket: "the real fact is"....that statement is a 100% accurate indicator of an egotist on par with the ant climbing the cow's leg and assuring her he will be gentle. (well, that and referring to other people - the faceless, gum-chewing masses - as "sheeple".) what other Great and pompous Truths do you and you alone have for us this fine day? what *does* God want of us, anyway? how *should* we live our lives in the proper manner?

    hope that wasn't too inane for you there, old sport.

  • Gil

    Well OBloodyhell what if someone said "people should have a baby-making deficit such that the death rate way exceeds the birthrate to the point that are only 650 million people in the whole world"? Supposedly people did actually do this in the future and preferred to have few children such that population falls is this 'ideological genocide'? If Baby Boomers failed to make babies in the 60s because they heeded doomsayers who predicted famines in the 80s and are seething they missed out on their prime child-bearing years for a disaster that never came then are the doomsayers no more than baby-killers? It has been claimed the Europe has 2 million fewer babies than what it takes to merely maintain their existing population is this no different from Europeans killing 2 million babies if they had been born?

  • Elliot

    I thought the discussion had drifted from the original article, but this comment is increasingly valid. It is not mere stupudity that the Malthusians have been enjoying/exploiting, but Bone Crushing stupidity. A turn of phrase I enjoyed hearing recently.

    I dare say the ant has the cow just where he wants her, the poor dear.

    E

  • OBloodyhell

    > @ obloodyracket: “the real fact is”….that statement is a 100% accurate indicator

    a) did I make fun of your name, assclown stupid sex toy real doll? Or did I, apparently mistakenly, treat your comments as those of a vaguely rational individual who actually sought to contribute anything useful to a discussion?

    My mistake, I shan't bother to assume so in the future... So, until you decide you want to be polite and demonstrate it repeatedly, don't expect anything of the sort from me.

    b) did you have any actual facts to dispute anything I said with, or did you just figure attacking the messenger by name calling and brainless handwaving was sufficient? If that's what passes for discussion about issues around here, that's a shame. I didn't know I was visiting a training ground for Firedoglake, HuffPo, and Daily Kos commenters (there's too few occurrences of the 'F' word for it to be proper training for DU).

    In summary, "you're a pompous, brain-dead jackass with vastly overrated delusions of intellect" and "it's clear that you're a cretinous moron studying hard to qualify for idiocy, and failing... *badly*".

    That working more for you on your highest level of discourse?

    Let me know if you want me to taunt you a second time, n'kay...?

    > “people should have a baby-making deficit such that the death rate way exceeds the birthrate to the point that are only 650 million people in the whole world”? Supposedly people did actually do this in the future and preferred to have few children such that population falls is this ‘ideological genocide’?

    Gil, if people actually choose to do this, that's fine. It's foolish in the extreme, but that's still a matter of free choice. I will happily have as many children as I can afford, as will every other sensible person, so that the gene pool doesn't wind up absent some smart genes.

    However, I don't see how you've applied any aspect of your comment to actually bear on the issues at hand, which is the foolishness of the entire Malthusian argument. Did you have a point to make in there somewhere? Was there some weird reasoning by which you tried to connect not having children with killing children who've already been born and Malthusianism?

    There are numerous instances of Greens claiming the world should have billions fewer people in it, and making it clear, in no uncertain terms, that they aren't speaking about a gradual reduction. Or claiming that we should be living --NOW -- under conditions more like those of the 1600s, and that what would necessarily happen to the population if such were "suddenly" made so doesn't matter to them at all. These people demonstrate how little they care about human beings over and over. Their underlying misanthropy could not be more visible if it were formed into a halo around them as they sat in a dark room.

  • palm beach sugar daddy ken doll

    oh, dear, i fear i have offended. heavens, i DO so try not to cause offense. OTOH, the guy who was offended is just a droning, hypocrite tosser who, when offended, accuses his nemesis of calling him names - when i merely eviscerated you with a pleasant barnyard analogy - and responds with oddly shrill namecalling of his own. your malignant narcissism (DAMN these ignorant, insolent sheeple who are always in front of you in line and won't follow your instructions!!) seems to be tinged with a tablespoon of 'unbalanced', there, obloodyhypersensitive. one gets an impression of barney fife grimly, furiously typing away while sherriff taylor is out of the office, if you know what i mean. rather not so good, old sport. you might wanna get that seen to.

    i think i'll ignore you now, so - although i'm sure you'll need to (nay, MUST) have the last word (or in your case, long long paragraphs), we're done. fell free to tell yourself you've won.

  • http://www.pickmbtshoes.com bushworlda

    Do Mbt shoes uk really work ? go and try Mbt Lami or Mbt m walk.