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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. 18, 2006 / 26 Tishrei, 5767

Let it grow

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As I write this, America's population reportedly has passed the 300 million mark. The most remarkable aspect of this landmark event is how unremarkable it really is.


"If I had my way, I would build a lethal chamber as big as the Crystal Palace, with a military band playing softly, and a Cinematograph working brightly, and then I'd go out in back streets and main streets and bring them all in, all the sick ... the maimed; I would lead them gently, and they would smile me a weary thanks ..."


That was D.H. Lawrence daydreaming about population control. He was hardly alone. During the so-called Progressive Era, "enlightened" social planners were convinced that overpopulation was the gravest problem facing Western society. That's why Lawrence gave "three cheers for the inventors of poison gas."


George Bernard Shaw, a thoroughgoing eugenicist, believed that the "the majority of men at present in Europe have no business to be alive." H.G. Wells smiled at the prospect that the "swarms of black and brown and dirty-white and yellow people" will "have to go." In America, Wells' onetime girlfriend, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, argued that birth control was essential to stem the rising tide of the unfit. Leading feminists, Progressive economists and legal theorists shared a similar vision. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who concluded in the case of Buck v. Bell that the state had the power to forcibly sterilize "defectives," believed that forced population control was at the very heart of Progressive reform.


The Holocaust diminished the popularity of eugenics, but the panic over overpopulation endured. Paul Ehrlich, author of the scaremongering "The Population Bomb," predicted in 1970 that between 1980 and 1989, roughly 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve or otherwise meet their doom in the "Great Die-Off." Inspired by such fears, Alan Guttmacher, the former president of Planned Parenthood, was a champion of coerced birth control — i.e. "compulsory sterilization and compulsory abortion" — throughout much of the world.


Today, overpopulation anxieties pale by comparison to years past. But simply because people aren't proposing mass murder and forced sterilizations — or predicting that twice the population of California will starve to death in a country where obesity dwarfs hunger as a health concern — hardly means current anxieties are reasonable.


These days, overpopulation is primarily a hang-up for environmentalists, though suburbanites and feminists occasionally whine about it, too. And an important part of the argument has changed. While before, Progressives were worried about the "muck" at the low end of the global population, they're now vexed by the fat cats at the top.


Americans consume more of the earth's resources, they complain, and produce piles more greenhouse gasses. At the environmentalist fringe, there's even a growing movement to convince eco-friendly Americans to voluntarily reduce or eliminate their own reproduction in order to ease the strain on Mother Nature. Since the political orientation of your parents is the single best determinant of your own politics, you can expect a lot fewer environmentalists in a couple decades if this idea catches on.


What unites today's worriers and those of yesteryear is their common allegiance to Malthusianism. The British economist Thomas Malthus argued that population will always outstrip available resources. And he was 100 percent wrong.


Because people are, in the words of Julian Simon, "the ultimate resource." Given the right policies, intellectual and economic productivity trumps biological reproductivity. "Between 1820 and 1992," Ronald Bailey writes in Earth Report 2000, "world population quintupled even as the world's economies grew 40-fold." Productivity matters more than other statistical measures because it demonstrates we're doing more with less. That's why, for example, starvation is a political disaster, not a natural one. There's literally too much food in the world. There's also plenty of land left. You could move the entire world population inside medium-sized homes and they'd all fit inside Texas, yielding a population density similar to that of Paris.


Today's Malthusians still look askance at economic productivity, believing that it's better to limit growth at a "sustainable" rate, which means consigning billions of poor people to lives that threaten the environment (poor people treat their environments like expendable resources rather than priceless luxuries) and, worse, threaten their own lives. It's more enlightened than dreaming of a giant gas chamber, to be sure. But that's got to be small solace for those trapped at the bottom.

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