Liberal environmentalists have long
stated that there are too many people living in America. In an article posted
at The Daily Signal, Dennis Prager shared statements from liberals about
the American population.
Back in 1973, John P. Holdren authored an
essay published by the California Institute of Technology’s Population Program.
At the time, Holdren, who has a doctorate in physics from Stanford, was a
professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He would later become
the director of former President Barack Obama’s White House Office of Science
and Technology Policy.
In his 1973 essay, Holdren argued that
America was already overpopulated.
“Is even the present U.S. population of
210 million too large?” Holdren asked rhetorically.
“I will argue here,” he said, “that 210
million now is too many and 280 million in 2040 is likely to be much too many;
that, accordingly, a continued decline in fertility to well below replacement
should be encouraged, with the aim of achieving ZPG (zero population growth)
before the year 2000 and a gradually declining population for some time
thereafter; and that redirecting economic growth and technological change not
stopping either is an essential concomitant to but not a substitute for these
Prager quoted Holdren as saying that
210 million people in America were too many. Holdren wanted zero population growth
(ZPG) by the year 2000. America did not meet his goal by 2000, but we did meet
it in 2021. According to Prager, the Census Bureau estimated that there were
331,501,080 people living in the United States as of July 1, 2020. One year
later, their estimate was 331, 893,745. “That was an increase of only 392,665 –
or 0.1% - “the lowest annual rate of population growth ‘since the nation’s
Prager put this information in
perspective by stating that “the 392,665 increase in the number of people
living in the United States between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021 was less than
half the 862,320 unborn babies the Guttmacher Institute stated in its own
latest estimate were aborted in 2017.”
Liberal environmentalists should be “happy”
because America has nearly reached their goal of zero population growth.
However, they are not happy yet. Holdren and others believe that “Resources and
energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries
to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.” Their statement
continued, “Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is
absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”
Prager quoted a Census Bureau
statement explaining that the population growth has been declining for years “because
of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while
mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population.” The
press release continued by explaining that the slower population growth between
July 2020 and July 2021 “can be attributed to decreased net international
migration, decreased fertility, and increased mortality due in part to the
COVID-19 pandemic.” In other words, fewer people immigrated, fewer babies were
born, and more old people died.
This explanation draws questions: How
did the “net international migration” decrease when more than one million
people came into our nation illegally from January to July 2021? If liberals
are so concerned about the population of the United States, why are they
inviting millions of people to come to our nation illegally? Prager asked an
important question about conditions in America:
Did the quality of life in America
generally decline between 1973 and 2021, while, according to Census Bureau
estimates, the population was rising by 56.6% from 211,908,788 to 331,893,745?
The median household income in 1973 was
$54,893 in constant 2020 dollars, according to the Bureau. By 2020, even as the
pandemic was raging, it had risen to $67,521, a 23% increase.
What if, in order to keep the population in
check, the Americans who invented COVID-19 vaccines had never been born?
Human beings are not a liability for this
planet that God gave us. They are the reason it exists. And when they are
allowed to live in freedom, they make life better, not worse, for the
generations that follow them.
Since God should be the ultimate
judge about all things, we should know what He has to say about America and the
life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness sought for by its Founders. First, we
should look to see what God says about life: “Thou shalt not kill” – meaning that
we should not commit murder (Exodus 20:13).
Next, what did God say about America?
There are multiple sources saying that America is a land that “is choice above
all other lands” (1 Nephi 13:30; 2 Nephi 1:5) or “is choice above all the lands
of the earth” (Ether 1:42) or “choice above all lands” (Ether 10:28) or “a
choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord” (Ether 13:2).
Last, what did God say about the
Constitution that guarantees “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as
outlined in the Declaration of Independence? This is what Jesus Christ told the
Prophet Joseph Smith about the Constitution.
77 According to the laws and constitution
of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be
maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and
78 That every man may act in doctrine
and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I
have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the
day of judgment.
79 Therefore, it is not right that any
man should be in bondage one to another.
80 And for this purpose have I
established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I
raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of
blood. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-80).
We have established that murder is
wrong; therefore, we know that abortion is not an acceptable way to control the
population. We know that America is founded on “choice” land and that the
Constitution was written by “wise men … raised up” by God for that purpose.
The bit of information still needed to understand
the population problem is found in Doctrine and Covenants 104:17: “For the
earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things,
and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.” This
scripture should reassure all people who are concerned about the earth’s
population exceeding its resources. The Lord has “prepared all things” needed
by mankind to succeed.
The problem is not limited resources. The
problem is selfishness and mankind’s unwillingness to share the abundance
provided by the earth with the poor and needy living among us. The Lord taught this
principle in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (see Luke 16:19-31). He
indicated that rich people who will not share their abundance with the poor
will suffer the pains of hell in the world to come. Elder D. Todd
Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints gave further counsel on this topic.
We control the disposition of our means
and resources, but we account to God for this stewardship over earthly things.
It is gratifying to witness your generosity as you contribute to fast offerings
and humanitarian projects. Over the years, the suffering of millions has been
alleviated, and countless others have been enabled to help themselves through
the generosity of the Saints. Nevertheless, as we pursue the cause of Zion,
each of us should prayerfully consider whether we are doing what we should and
all that we should in the Lord’s eyes with respect to the poor and the needy.
We might ask ourselves, living as many of
us do in societies that worship possessions and pleasures, whether we are remaining
aloof from covetousness and the lust to acquire more and more of this world’s
goods. Materialism is just one more manifestation of the idolatry and pride
that characterize Babylon. Perhaps we can learn to be content with what is sufficient
for our needs (“Come to Zion,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 39).
According to the Lord’s counsel,
given through His prophets, we have no need to worry about the population of
the United States. This means that we should not be killing our unborn babies
to control the population. It also means that America was established in a land
that is “choice above all other lands” with enough resources to care for all
Americans – rich and poor.
Since each of us can control only ourselves,
our only concern should be the condition of our individual hearts. Are we
sufficiently unselfish to give of our surplus to help the poor and needy around
us? We should not need government to take resources from the rich to distribute
to the poor. We can take this action by ourselves. If we genuinely care for the
poor and needy among us, we will share of our surplus voluntarily – as many people