A plan to control population
by WAYNE H. DAVIS
Finally some important people are beginning to speak up about the serious population problem in the United States. Although Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon have all expressed alarm about world population, I know of no high public official who has brought it home to the American people, where the most urgent population crisis has developed.
Now two prominent members of the last Administration have taken public stands at home. Roman Catholic Robert S. McNamara, one of the most influential and respected men in the Kennedy and Johnson cabinets, was the first name on an advertisement in Time (Nov. 21 p. 11) saying, 'Whatever your cause, it's a lost cause unless we control population. "
Stewart Udall, from a family of six and father of six, has written in the Reader's Digest (Dec. I9b9) of concern about the overpopulation of our nation. If Bobby Kennedy were alive, perhaps he would write; or maybe he would father another child. If all his descendents are as productive as he, the 1 1th generation will produce exactly 100 billion people, 27 times the number on earth today.
We should revise all our laws which favor the production of children. The cost of child raising is now more of a burden on society than upon those who produce them. We should eliminate tax deductions for children; the federal government has no business subsidizing procreation. The cost of producing a third child should involve an annual excess child tax, in addition to the free market cost of a certificate. School taxes should be levied in such a way that those who produce children pay the major cost of educating them.
We should change our social attitudes toward the career girl, the bachelor and the childless couple, endeavoring to make such life patterns more attractive. We should stop persecuting the homosexuals. Perhaps an article in the January issue of Pageant is a harbinger of unintentional progress on this as well as the population front. Entitled, "Now! Pick the sex of your child, " it says you can pick with 75 to 90% assurance. Since most couples prefer boys, we can expect a drastic shift in the sex ratio. This will lead to a rise in homosexuality in the next generation and to falling birth rates,
Udall's article is sound except for one point. He clings to the outmoded notion that everyone should be allowed to produce an unlimited number of children. This concept must change. People are the most serious form of pollution the world has ever known; no one has the right to add another litter to the Earth today. We must establish a new basic freedom - freedom from those who are destroying the Earth and its ability to support life by excessive production of their own offspring.
I'd now like to release my program for population control. I introduce it as a starting point toward a rational approach to an extremely serious problem which is still being ignored by our political non-leaders. Suggestions and amendments are welcome. My program is not original; it has been put together from the literature.
It should be official policy that no one has the inherent right to produce more than two children and we should pay a bonus in the form of increased social security payments for those who produce less. We should have a marketable license for babies. Each girl, upon maturity would receive certificates allowing her to produce two children. She could have the children or sell her certificates to someone who wanted more than two. Not only would this control population but it would solve
the poverty problem as well. Excessive numbers of children now assure the perpetuation of the poverty cycle. With the certificates for the rich to buy, they would have more children and become poorer while the poor would have fewer and become rich.
because only females produce children.
We should phase out the Aid to Dependent Children program. With our new program anyone desiring to
have a child not only must present a certificate but must post bond for insurance to provide for the welfare of the child should tragedy befall the parents.
Now for the poor and the welfare people. Before starting on them, I want to clear the air of some misconceptions. When I speak on population problems there are always those present who expect me to be a cham -pion for those who want to kick the unwed mother with the large brood, or the prolific blacks, or both. I favor justice and equality of opportunity and will neither advocate nor support any program which would pick on certain groups or classes of people.
Although the poor and the black have larger families than the average American, cutting the birth rates among among these groups would not solve the population problem. By far the greatest portion of the population explosion in the United States is in the middle income group with their predominantly 3-5 child families.
That's you, Whitey, and don't forget it. If you plan a population program for the poor and the black without taking care of your own excess procreation at the same time, you are looking for trouble and you will find it.
Recent studies (e. g. , Science '65: 367, 1969) have shown that people desire the same number of children regardless of family income and that Negros want no more children per family than whites. Why, then, do
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