Discussion: Why Do We Need a “Growing” Population?

in The LIFESTYLE LOUNGE3 months ago

I came across an article earlier today which was talking about how the growth of the US population had slowed down, and the population growth between the 2010 and 2020 censuses was the lowest in many decades.


Subsequently, a number of commentators and pundits started going on at length about the evils of a shrinking population, and even going on about the problems with the growth of the population slowing down.

So I got to thinking... why is a slowdown in the growth rate a bad thing? Why are we so obsessed with always growing, growing, growing?


Furthermore, what would be so wrong with — for example — simply having a stable population, let's say +/- 1% a year?

No, I'm not part of Bill Gates' "conspiracy" to reduce the world population by 80%! I'm just saying, what is so wrong with not eternally growing?

On reflection, I can't help but think that our obsession with growth is a trained thing rather than a natural thing.

Let's take some of the most basic of examples. Let's say I need about 50 apples to eat this year. It's a pretty good bet that I'll eat about 50 apples next year too, and the year after and the year after. I'm not going to make it my"ambition" to eat 55 apples next year and 60 apples the year after and 65 the year after that, am I? Probably not.

Similarly, I drive A car, and I own A camera, and I have A cellphone, and use A shovel in my garden. I don't need more car next year.

I realize that's an oversimplification, but in the vast majority of functional cases our consumption and needs are actually more likely to be constant than to be increasing.

So that's where the whole idea sort of starts to fall apart for me.

In most cases — as far as I can tell — the obsession with growth has very little to do with something that's happening at the end user level, and a lot to do with what's happening in what you might call the “investor class” of society. In short, it's not the person actually eating the apples who's determining that we need more apples it's the person who invested their money in supporting an Apple farm who is determining that we need more apples... because they've bee trained to have an expectation that they are going to get ever more money from their investment.


I suppose we could argue that that's just how the economic machine works, but I'm still not buying it. It might be how "Supply-side Economics" works, but that's a theoretical model, not a slice of actual life.

Again, people argue that "growth is good," but WHY? If Random Corporation makes $50 million of profit a year making apple pies, why not just be content with "making $50 million of profit a year?

Still don't fully get it... it's one of those conundrums I've been puzzling for several decades.

Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!

How about YOU? Do you think a growing population is important? Is a stable population acceptable? Does the "growing profit" motive have much to do with how human beings operate, at "functional street level?" Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!


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Created at 20210427 22:35 PDT



Slow growth or minus growth in populations would be a bonus for the world, we are over populated.

Mindset over last two centuries with colonization, moving people to fill new world with their 'own' peoples, some had large families knowing many would perish. no longer the case. In many ways this way of thinking backfired in hurting original people on the lands.

After wars the regrowth was what countries promoted. But we need to take a step back in history. More knowledgeable today than it was a hundred years ago.

Mindset growth should be directed toward being the best you can be not having to procreate large families.

Yes we have come far, yet we go backward, no longer building to last, rather built die-by-date forcing new manufacture, never ending cycle of economics, that is on a track ruining much.

I don't necessarily think growth itself is a negative so much as the underlying reasons why growth is being promoted as something that stands separate from just an "organic" ebb and flow of populations.

My point being, that just because we might argue that the planet "can" support more people do to advances and technology, is that a valid reason for a greater population? My answer to that is a definitive no. And most the the growth I observe is profit based, rather than human-based.

Quality, over quantity, is a much better mindset.

Quality, over quantity, is a much better mindset.

Quality life is something to strive toward, medical, education, food, finance, all in all a well balanced life between man and nature.

Lower numbers would assist when looking at our education alone, schools are overloaded, children arrive hungry. Not much stimulation leads to an idle life repeating same cycle, hopefully technology will open doors to make for change.

Current technology movement leads to fewer being employed, greed with very few advancing, profiteering being the main goal not improvement overall.

While I reject the overpopulation assertion, I also reject the claim that population growth is always beneficial.

Fence sitting;

1.6 billion in 1900, to over 6 billion in 2000, expect 9.5 billion by 2050 socioeconomic problems follow.

Growth was beneficial when colonizing new world by British, Dutch, Spanish, French, all moved people in the belief of expansion.

Counterpoints: Malthusian predictions have consistently been wrong, technological progress is nothing short of miraculous, the best way to promote sustainability is through improved prosperity in a free market, and prosperous societies tend to slow their population growth, so we don't need to add new policies and plans.

Malthus lived (1766 – 1834) was around when the world hit 1 billion in 1804. Bit outdated since he would never have witnessed technology like we have.

Concur... technology has moved forward in many fields! Did not stop wars, water shortages, droughts, perhaps in time!

Balance needs to be found with nature, what is the tipping point?

I use to think the census was a good source to depend on, then I worked as a census taker and no longer believe that to be true. Like take for instance they think the count for college kids was under but if you ask me it was over. That's because the data turned in had to be data from who lived somewhere on April first. When covid broke college kids went home. So when you went to these houses later in the years most had new students in them, they have no idea who was living there on April one so you have to find the landlord or rental agency. Then you ask the kids currently living there if they did their census and most replied they were back home and their parents put them on theirs. That holds true for the vast majority of the college kids, and we have a lot of them. If you ask me many were double counted because you were forced to go to the landlord or rental agency and most won't give you personal info but will tell you how many were living there on April first. You are told to process them as person one, person two, person three and so forth. So if their parents put them on their census and the landlord or rental agency would only give you non personal info then in actuality they got counted twice. Same with the Hispanic count, there are claims they were undercounted, but in one large apartment complex where a lot of Hispanics live who refused to do the census you then go to the rental office and they are suppose to give you the info, if they refuse then it's like with the college kids, they give you a number of how many people were there on April first and you input them as person one, person two, etc., you have no other information to input. People don't cooperate with the census a lot of times, when it gets down to the end you are pretty much sent out to those who have repeatedly given other census workers a hard time. Lot of Hispanics, anti government and just people who plain think it's no one's business who is living there. Then they want you to go ask neighbors, depending upon the area a lot of neighbors don't want to be seen talking, you could spend hours trying to find someone willing to talk...it usually ends up the person who refused gives you the info because the neighbors get upset with them because census workers keep repeatedly keep being sent back.

Appreciate the inside insight into the workings of the census... I often wondered how they could expect to come up with accurate numbers.

For example, our 33-year old son still lives "here," based on his diver's license and voter registration... because his car (older) doesn't have to pass emissions testing in this county. But he actually lives in Seattle, but hsi address doesn't actually exist because his "landlord" runs an only pseudo-legal "boarding house," meaning it's a house that's divided into apartments, but because of the cost toget it zoned "multi-family" it's still listed as a house... except it has multiple permanent paying guests.

So if a census taker came to son's front door (he has his own) he's be counted as a person living there, again.

Meanwhile, I replied to the 2020 Census by taking an online questionnaire.

There's also the people who get marked to dangerous to approach, the couple of months of doing the census I probably saw about fifty outlined in red on my list, that makes the listing stand out so you don't go there. I ended up having three encounters that got marked in red myself, various reasons people get hostile toward you and I don't intimidate easily so if I was calling my supervisor it was because I could see this individual being dangerous to more naïve younger girls doing the census. The warning signs are all there and they may not pick up on them quick enough, nor should they be put in hostile situations like that. We weren't allowed to carry anything to defend ourselves either, not even mace or pepper spray, we couldn't even have it in our car. There are probably thousands of people like that all across the country who don't get counted, if they tell you to get off their property the most you can do is report they claimed it's their property, mark them as a person one, that I know at least he/she lives there, give race but unknow ethnicity.

Thank you for the interesting article about population growth. I have included your post in the "I Am Engaged Challenge" Be watching for it later today @slackerman

Thanks for the comment and mention @slackerman, appreciate you stopping by, and your engagement efforts. We definitely need more of that on Hive!

Agenda 2030 is planning to reverse this!

And we will enjoy dying out for the greater good...

Funny you should mention that; somehow I ended up with Agenda 2030 as part of a piece I was working on about the way trust in government and corruption differs around the world, and how that colours people's perceptions of what they see as *"real."

Any post that talks about corruption needs to discuss agenda 2030, the root of all evil really!

Well maybe not the root, but it's favourite plan