- Politics and Social Issues
Is our world really overpopulated? What can be done to keep up with population's growth?
Is it time to mandate for control of birth?
Earth's population today reaches above 7 billion people. It did not pass 6 billion long time ago. By the time I was born, the population was a little above 4.5 billion, which means that, if population keeps growing at its rate, by the time I die (assuming I die at an age of 75 and not before- average death age for a man in the United States) the population of the world may increase to a range between 15 and 20 billion. That is a lot of people!
But as we know, the Earth is not growing- it is not becoming bigger. The United States will still measure between 2,000 miles (longest north-south length approximately) to 3,200 miles (longest east-west length approximately); and smaller countries will not get bigger. So space is decreasing. Yet, the problem of Earth is not really space, for now- China, only a little bit bigger that the U.S. has nearly 1.5 billion people and there is still a lot of space and areas that are not densely populated. Tokyo, Japan, which is smaller than Cyprus and maybe the same size as the island of Hawaii (Big Island) is jumping fast to 40 million. So there is a lot of space for more humans at this time. The problem is the distribution of resources.
You all know about the Occupy movement- the 99% of people (middle and low class) feeling that the maintain the wealthy 1%. Unfortunately, this 1% is the group that today, thanks to the lack of control of the economy, greed, arrogance, political influence and power, and other aspects, controls the distribution of resources around the world. These are the people who make the tough decisions when talking about business, the people who possess the financial power to buy and sell. This is not fair, of course, but it is the way it is. You know- life is not fair.
Of the 7 billion people, nearly 1 billion live in the misery-to-below misery conditions. Almost no money, no food, no resources- children die everyday starving in Africa, as well as other regions in the world. Not only in Africa but also in developed countries, people are becoming unemployed, they can't pay the bills, and some become homeless. The breach between the richest and the poorest is becoming wider, third-world conditions are increasing all over the planet, and yet, population keeps growing to worrisome rates.
It is evident that if the resources would be more controlled, yet cheaper and available for every single person in the world, if distributed the right way, then a growing population would not be actually an aspect to worry about today. The problem is that even though the government and laws are designed to control the people to avoid a state of chaos, this is not working at all since people are becoming smart enough to break laws and rules without being noticed. People tend to want more than they actually need and depending on the specific laws, this is not controlled in some countries. The United States is an example.
Americans- and people all over the world in general- embrace freedom. But the term freedom is being interpreted the wrong way: freedom is not to do anything you want, to the point of affecting others around you. Freedom means a level of security in which you can enjoy your life at your fullest and not affect others in the process of reaching that joy. I am going now to criticize what is wrong with the way the U.S. manages the economy, and this will also apply to all countries and societies that embrace full capitalism.
Today, in the U.S. (which is just beginning to recover, and not really fast- in some areas there is still a decline of the economy, which means more layoffs, more unemployment, and therefore less quality of life) there are some people who earn a ridiculous amount of money. Artists, sport talents, actors, winning millions and millions. Let's summarize the monthly average costs of life, which vary among states, but not too much:
Housing- $1,500 cities, $750 suburbs and rural areas depending on metro areas
Water- $25-$100 depending on the use of water, sewage, and metro area
Power- $50-$200 depending on use. Hawaii and Puerto Rico can account for much more, but not beyond $800 in average
Phone- With today's plans, a phone bill may keep under $100. So say you have also a home line phone, not more than $200.
Entertainment- This includes TV satellite/cable, movie services such as Netflix or Blockbuster Home, and similar. This does not usually go beyond $200.
Gasoline- It has certainly become a headache, but is still much cheaper than many other areas in the world. An economy car can lasts an entire month between $40 to $80 filled up.
Food- This depends on the number of people living in the house. Normally, it does not go beyond $1,000 monthly.
Internet- Normally $40
Cars and insurance- Depending on how many cars, but usually does not go beyond $2,000.
This is assuming a normal lifestyle- a family of four (or five), living in a moderate lifestyle. There are people who are not married so the costs are much less, and some who have a bigger family and may cost a little more. But if you make the sum, you can find you that no human being in the United States needs to make more than 1 million dollars yearly.
Yet, as I stated above, there is a group of people who earns this amount, which they actually don't need. There are people- like Bill and Melinda Gates- who put the extra money they have for good use. But as you know, there are others who, knowing they got a lot of money, begin to waste their lives miserably. Some even end dead. At any way, because of the tough economy, I believe the government should limit the amount of money a person can earn, and use any additional income to help improve the country for everybody. The U.S. does not fail in this aspect compared to other countries where money is clearly stolen and used for personal use, but if the economy is tough, then some changes should be done in favor of everybody. This approach, yes, is socialist in a manner of speaking, but we have to recognize that the type of capitalism we have here is not getting us anywhere. And of course this is not an idea to become something like Cuba or North Korea where governments abuse their people keeping the majority of the money for them and leaving the people to live miserably and in deplorable conditions and disguise this with the supposedly noble act of communism. We have to understand that none of these economic systems, as practiced today, work.
Some people in the United States and other countries associate socialism with dictatorship, communism, and tyranny. And they may have a point; there have been a lot of governments which "begin" with good intentions and end up being total disasters. For a Utopia to exist, a very important ingredient is needed- cultural and social respect, which, unfortunately, is not possible. So a system which believes in "everybody living equally" is not possible, and we have to be realistic that most people are not ready for a good socialist system, and will never be because human selfishness will always get on the way.
Now we have to see the extreme dangers of capitalism- the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. The U.S. system lets the people who are in economical advantage to somehow govern those who are in a lesser position. Most companies and corporations can fire people for, really, no reason. Let's get real here- racism and prejudice is pretty much alive and well today in this country. There are federal laws that apparently protect people from being treated badly by employers. But hey, employers already know all of this. If you are Black, or Hispanic, or Asian, and you know your employer is racist, he will use all ways that are legal to find a way to get rid of you, even if the true reason is because he is racist and does not like you for being Black, Hispanic or Asian. He knows he will get his "low back" sued if he fires you for being from a different race- so he will find other ways, such as sending others to keep an eye of you, making you feel monitored all the time in a very harassing manner; he will look for the slightest mistake and make it pretty big, and will possibly device a plan in which he will incriminate and accuse you of something you did not do, and will make his plan as "good" as possible so he can get rid of you, so there is no way you can argument racism as a reason to be fired. People who are in the highest spheres of society are not morons, they are pretty smart and may use their knowledge in an evil way, and because this is something that is too complex to manage, at this time there is no way the government can avoid this. The good thing is that fortunately, this is still not the norm in most of today's workplaces, even though there are a lot of employers who are indeed using their power to control people since being fired today can be pretty dangerous, and people can stay years in unemployment and their benefits are being cut and depleted fast.
A good government can still work better in the sense that they can control these employers from becoming abusive, but then people sees this as an infringement of freedom. There are some people who simply put, don't like being controlled from doing something bad to others for selfish reasons. We are a society that has become so "free" that we have not limiting evil from affecting people. Being free is good, but freedom is never good when you do something that harms others.
The question is, can the positive aspects of capitalism be combined with the positive aspects of socialism? It certainly can. Since nobody needs more than a million dollars per annum, the governments- all over the world- should limit earnings to that number, and even decrease it to lower amounts depending on the area- but never to the point in which a person feels he can't enjoy his life. For this to occur, each human has to know what what he/she wants, what is the limit of what he can have, and understand that because there are 7 billion people around and there that good that have to be shared in common, he should not expect to have more than he need. A good house, food, general goods and some luxuries does not require more than one million yearly. I can say that many jobs today have salaries that can be considered adequate, though some can clearly earn more- but some go beyond ridiculous. A basketball player earning 96 million for 5 years? Give me a break. A football player earning 40 million per annum? Please!
I know each person can have different needs. Let's say a sport player has a family who is living in extreme poverty and he earns 40 million. And let's say he wants to use that money to help them. In this case, the government should not limit that salary, since it is being used for good use. But the government (assuming it is not corrupt) can also get the additional 39 million and actually make sure the family of the sport player gets the money as needed.
Now you may read some of this and think- that's not possible, you have to be realistic. I understand because of human's tendency to selfishness and natural instinct of survival, none of this is possible. All governments in the world possess a degree of corruption, some being totally corrupt. Most socialist governments end up abusing the people, and capitalist governments will always give priority to the rich and wealthy regardless of the all the babble they say during political campaigns. I just wanted to summarize a good way of solving the problem, but now going into reality then it's wise for people to ask if there is really a future for new generations to come if the world continues in its course downhill. If you believe in hope, then what can you do, what can you teach your children? Aren't we adults sending a devastating message to children we so believe we love, by behaving the way we are today, embracing materialistic thoughts, financial power, abusive employment, corrupt governments, destructive marriages and so forth? Or are we in need to lower the rate of births to lengthen the time of a world that still works even though it is getting more complicated by the hour?