Texting, Darwin Awards and Overpopulation…

Cycling into the Big Smoke, down a student-heavy road. Inevitably almost kill some muppet who is… texting while crossing a busy road.

“You’re not even looking. You’ll get yourself killed,” I shout helpfully.

Would it be such a loss? Should people be executed for such stupidity? No, Amnesty International are probably right about the whole “state-sanctioned killing is bad” thing.

But would mandatory sterilisation hurt? (Answer, no, not if done under local anaesthetic).

I mean, we need to Do Something about Overpopulation, and I’d advocate starting with the major-league carbon spewers….

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Below the surface...
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2 Responses to Texting, Darwin Awards and Overpopulation…

  1. Pete Murphy says:

    The reason nothing is done about overpopulation is that, following the black eye given the field of economics by the other sciences when Malthus’ theory about food shortages didn’t play out (or, at least, it hasn’t yet), economists have steadfastly insisted that man is ingenius enough to overcome any obstacles to further growth. Worse yet, they rely upon population growth to stoke macroeconomic growth.

    Things might be different if economists pulled their heads from the sand and looked beyond the potential for stress on resources and strain on the environment. Then they might discover the inverse relationship between population density and per capita consumption and realize that there are consequences to population growth that man is powerless to mitigate.

    My remedy for overpopulation? Economic incentives for people to choose fewer children. Minor changes to the tax code are all that’s necessary. Instead of providing large deductions for each child, we could lower the base tax rates and apply small tax penalties for each child, or each child beyond a certain number (two?). Most people already choose to limit their family sizes for economic reasons. All they need is a little more incentive to make that decision a little sooner.

    Pete Murphy
    Author, “Five Short Blasts”

    • dwighttowers says:

      Hey Pete,
      thanks for stopping by, and I shall go and look at your site when I can!

      It would be lovely if the economists would get their heads out of… the sand. Not holding my breath.

      On economic incentives and numbers of children, I suspect you have a good part of the answer. Australia does the OPPOSITE, btw – government subsidies etc, to “populate or perish”.

      There’s a book by the late Marvin Harris, called America Now that has a chapter or two on the economic reasons for the end of the post-War baby boom in the United States, based on women’s paid work outside the home hitting a tipping point. You may find it of interest…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Harris

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