Monday, August 10, 2009

Busting a Myth

Perhaps it’s coincidence, but in the past week I’ve seen the same myth trumpeted no less than three times. Two web articles and a colleague announced that a major threat to the world is not the growing human population, but instead is a declining population such as we’re seeing in some European countries. “Why?” I asked. “Because we need young people to work, pay taxes and, thus, support the aging population,” they responded.

Let me put an end to this preposterous myth. In isolation this argument might make sense. Yes, there will be a need for extra tax funds for the pensions and increased medical care of the increasing numbers of seniors. But, this will be covered by the tax dollars saved by having less children and young people, who are very expensive. Government will spend less on child benefits, day cares, schools and universities. In addition, most crime occurs amongst young people so the costs of police, court systems—we all know the exorbitant fees that lawyers charge— and prisons will decrease. Ditto with car accidents, where savings will occur with insurance, hospitals and medical care. I could go on.

Funny, how these savings are never mentioned by the pro-lifers, neo-cons and all those who want the economy to continue ahead at full steam. Their arguments are simply a myth-stake.

1 comment: said...

We need so-called leaders to become actual leaders who are capable of making necessary changes and choosing a different path to the future. The distrust, dishonesty, duplicity, double-dealing, diablerie (Axis of Evil), and denial that marked the past 8 long dark years cannot continue.

All the talk about the need for baby steps, steppingstones are needed, a deal is too difficult to reach much less enforce; the chasm between the rich and poor is too wide; slow food is advised, no meat is recommended, eat less tuna; the time left before the Climate Change Conference is too brief, the meeting time of the UNFCCC is too short; because it's already too late, have the 'courage' to do nothing; accept incremental change even though such change amounts to using a water hose to put out a barn-burning fire: it is the best we can do. All of this is silly talk from woefully inadequate, emasculated leaders who are not providing necessary leadership. As we approach the great meetings in Denmark, what is happening so pitifully and timorously is both a shame and a sham, and does not have to be occurring as it is now. The distinctly human-driven global predicament looming before the human family can be approached differently and in better ways.

When the Masters of the Universe among us decided just last year to save the global financial system from collapse and rescue the real world economy from a death spiral into depression, no one took responsibility for anything that had occurred to produce that colossal economic mess and no one made wimpy, half-way proposals or suggested there was nothing that could be done. No way. There was work to be done and they did it.

The integrity of Earth's body and its environs is at stake now. A colossal ecological mess is already visible on the horizon and awaits the children if we choose now, yet again, not to act ably, responsibly, reasonably, sensibly and humanely.

The window of opportunity to save the planet, life as we know it, and a future for the children remains open. There is still a chance, a ray of hope. People have a choice between taking the "primrose path" to Hell or the less traveled path to Copenhagen.

We know which path the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe have chosen. Time is short but still available, perhaps for a while longer anyway, for human beings with feet of clay among us to speak out loudly and clearly in Copenhagen so that necessary changes occur to rescue the world we inhabit from relentless large-scale overproduction and reckless per-capita overconsumption activities of the Masters of the Universe who are ravaging the Earth and polluting its environs, even as they pretend to be its stewards.