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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 19, 2006 / 27 Tishrei 5767

Ignore the downsiders — population growth is necessary and good

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It doesn't matter what the story concerns — there'll always be a quote from someone at the Downsider Institute.


For the Downsiders, nothing is cause for celebration, particularly celebrations — they generate waste paper, encourage consumption, promote unhealthy eating, etc. Had the Downsiders been around on V-J day, they'd have seen the famous photo of the sailor smootching the swooning nurse and reacted with a campaign to raise awareness about oral herpes.


The Downsiders are particularly alarmed by the birth of the 300 millionth American, and I suspect they'd be pleased if the li'l nipper was smothered with a pillow. (Providing the cloth came from an organic cotton farm.)


Some might find the 300 million mark a sign of American dynamism and success, but it's Growth, and Growth is bad. As a Reuters story put it:


"The 300 million mark has prompted alarm from some environmentalists, who question whether the country's natural resources can support additional population."


Of course it prompted alarm. The only way you can prevent alarm is to hold your breath until you die, and even then you get dinged for exhaling too much CO2 at the end.


Can we fit more people in this jam-packed cramhole? Sure. Granted, things are cozy on the coasts, but the Downsiders must believe the Midwest is one giant smoking tire fire incapable of supporting life.


North Dakota alone has almost 2 trillion square feet. It has nine people per square mile. France has 270 per square mile, and you don't see them clawing over each other to get their next meal.


Then again, France isn't adding to its population at the same pace as the United States. Most of Western Europe is shrinking. Blame sclerotic socialism; blame the sense of cultural self-confidence that died at Verdun; blame the "Zero Population Growth" nonsense that condemned the productive societies to willful self-extinction.


European culture is libertine but infertile; the culture of Muslim immigrants is puritanical but fecund. The former will eventually adapt to the wishes of the latter — and that's a downside the proponents of the European model didn't see coming.


Perhaps they were too busy anticipating the day America collapses from the sheer weight of humanity.


The Washington Post's article on the 300 millionth Yank quoted Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning. He sang the Downsider creed in fine voice: "When we hit 200 million, we were solidifying our position. But at 300 million, we are beginning to be crushed under the weight of our own quality-of-life degradation."


Who can argue? No one; our degraded life here in the Boomtown Gulag crunches the very air from your lungs. As Time magazine described this heckhole: "Pollution disintegrates nylon stockings in Chicago and Los Angeles. Rapidly industrializing Denver, which for many years boasted of its crystalline air, is now often smogbound."


Granted, Time said that in 1967, the year the population hit 200 million, and Los Angeles is cleaner now. Nylons no longer melt off women's legs and puddle in their shoes. For this we can thank environmentalists, who nagged us until we cleaned up, and scientific progress, which devised new ways to cut down on our nest-fouling.


But please, don't count on the latter to make life easier for the next 100 million. The Post also quoted William Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer:


"I think that it's much easier to project ahead the population of the United States and get scared about it than it is to project ahead what kinds of scientific and technological innovations will allow us to support that population growth."


Scared. Ah, the manly men of the good ship Downsider! Newborn ahoy, men — turn sail!


Of course there are downsides to increased population. There's a downside to everything, except being a Downsider; there will always be a market in telling people things are going poorly.


But we need people. At the risk of sounding unfashionable, people are good. A nation cannot shrink and lead. If the Downsiders would like to forbid immigration, copy China's one-child policy and triple the number of abortions, they should make the case. Although those solutions have their own downsides.


Uh oh. Do I owe someone a membership fee now?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006, James Lileks

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