There’s a fine line between crazy, stupid and evil. Michael E. Arth, who ran for Governor of Florida in 2010 on a platform of biking around the state and whose career makes Bloomberg seem like a libertarian does a nice dance over that line.
At Vice, which is more than just a place that reports on whom John McAfee killed this week, Arth lets out some of his great ideas to play. Arth starts out by predicting that we’ll all be immortal shortly as “within the next several decades we’ll figure out how to solve the related problems of ageing and dying.”
And since we’re all about to become immortal, it’s time to start doing away with all those useless babies.
“That’s why we have to get started now. Waiting just compounds the problem. World population increases by 220,000 every day, after accounting for the 155,000 who die. It’s truly a hydra-headed problem, because for every person that is cut down by death, more than two are born.”
If only someone would give Arth some nuclear missiles and an underground lair, he could really help tackle this problem.
The market would determine the price of a birth credit. In all cases, the cost of the birth credit would be a tiny fraction of the real cost of raising a child. The birth credits would work very well because it’s a very small price to pay for solving the problem, and it leaves choice firmly in place. Each person would be issued half of a birth credit, which he or she can combine with a partner to have one child, or a person can sell his or her (half) credit at the going market rate. Each additional child costs one more credit. Noncompliance would bring a fine greater than the cost of the credit, and there would be sanctions for non-compliant countries (such as migration restrictions).
So that’s a one child plan. At least for the poor. Arth is advocating that having children should be restricted to people who can pay for it.
The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common. One aspect of the tragedy of the commons is the belief that people should be able to breed without any regard for others.
If we define having children as infringing on the rights of others, then nearly every conceivable behavior also infringes on the rights of others.
The solution to immigration pressure isn’t securing the borders, it’s addressing overpopulation in developing countries where economic and environmental problems are causing people to migrate. Low-consuming people who move to rich countries not only begin consuming at a much higher rate, they also tend to bring their high birth-rate patterns with them.
The issue can’t be addressed. Not short of some kind of invasion. It’s about culture and economics. You aren’t going to fix those things by trying to impose a birth quota that only Western liberals would follow.
If we had addressed these issues in 1985, two billion people in the world now living on less than two dollars a day would never have been born.
Would those people rather be dead than living on two dollar a day? Is it really a mercy to wipe out people to fight poverty? Does caring for the poor mean wanting to wipe them out?