Population Control Myths Explode In The Face Of Reality

For decades, the left-wing propaganda machine that disguises itself as “science” has been lecturing the world about the dangers of overpopulation. Anyone watching the math already had reason to be skeptical, as Western Europe dealt with population shortages. Now, according to the numbers from the Center For Disease Control & Prevention, the United States, it turns out, has the reverse problem—apparently the people of this country aren’t having enough children.

The “replacement rate” for a society is about 2.1—if the average family has that many kids, the nation will replenish itself. The United States hasn’t been above that rate since the 1970s, and is currently on 1.93. It isn’t as bad as the situation in Western Europe, and the immigrants from the south have at least delayed the day of reckoning for the U.S., but this is also a problem not going away anytime soon.

Jonathan Last, writing in The Wall Street Journal, correctly notes that every problem Washington currently debates—from the budget, to tax policy—is essentially irrelevant in the face of a societal decline like this. The gradual disappearance of the population was going to roll on regardless of who won the election and regardless of who controls Congress.

As it turns out, contrary to population control ideology, there aren't enough new children born in America today.

Mr. Last goes on to identify several causes and solutions, not all of which I agree with. Liberal feminists will likely get angry at the suggestion that women going to college and being in the workforce is a key cause of the problem, and this would be a place where I can’t say I’d blame them for being ticked off. I’m going to guess most of us can think offhand and identify working women in families with a number of kids above the replenishment rate. From a policy standpoint, it’s not that Mr. Last’s ideas aren’t good—I’m all for continually altering the tax code to favor larger families—but those who believe in limited government should also understand the limits of government.

There are two key points in the article where Last hits it on the head. When it comes to the cause of the problem, I think most readers here at Catholic Vote probably already quickly indentified the big one, and it’s the fact that the links between sex, marriage and childbearing has been broken. And when it comes to solution, Last acknowledges that no one should be forced to have children they don’t want, but we can start encouraging people to go ahead and have the kids they do want.

I’m inclined to return to a point I alluded to at the top and it’s to re-examine why exactly why we listen to the advice of those who pass themselves off as “science” today.  They delivered a firm analysis that our population was going to explode, and the exact opposite has happened.  True science is based on examination of fact, rather than surrender to ideology. And an examination of science’s track record that’s done…well, scientifically…tells us they’ve been way off the mark. To continue to listen to them would be akin to a sports fan listening to me tell them who’s going to win the Super Bowl today after my repeated errors along the way.

I don’t have kids myself, so I’m certainly not going to be the one to tell other people they have to have more to save civilization. Nor should anyone else. I won’t be the one to sit in judgment of those who, in the past, may have broken the sex/birth control/childbearing triangle. This isn’t about deciding who is perfect and who isn’t. We’re all broken to some degree, and society is an amalgamation of our collective brokenness.

What I am saying is that the Catholic Church and its definition of morality and its approach to science have been proven correct, and that of the left-wing  “science” industry has been proven wrong. No one who wants to follow the Church today and have a large family should have guilt shoved down their throat, and they deserve societal support.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com



  • abadilla

    A few days ago I told Marvin Derks about this scientific fact, “Now, according to the numbers from the Center For Disease Control & Prevention, the United States, it turns out, has the reverse problem—apparently the people of this country aren’t having enough children.”
    True, I did not give him the “source” for my information yet I have known this information for years! The population of Europe has also grown old and is not replenishing itself. It is the Muslim population that doesn’t contracept and is not open to the crime of abortion that is maintaining Europe from a total collapse due to not having young people replacing the old folks like me. The same is happening in these United States with the Hispanic population, also adverse to contraceptives and aborting their children.
    Paul VI was indeed prophetic when in Humanae Vitae he warned us that contraception would lead to evils not then understood. Many Catholics and non-Catholics flatly rejected his warnings and here we are, more than 40 years since the issuing of that encyclical, and what he said is fulfilling itself right before our own eyes.
    A friend of mine was complaining the other day that Catholic schools are closing because we don’t have enough Catholic children like we had in the 60s. Gee, I wonder why!

    • Msgr. Charles M. Mangan

      J.M.J. Thank you, Abadilla. No authentic Catholic renaissance will ever occur until our Catholic clergy and laity reject contraception, which still remains the linchpin to all our troubles from the 1960s forward.

      • abadilla

        And yet Monsignor, rare is the clergyman who speaks on this issue, either because they don’t believe it themselves, or because they don’t want to confront angry Catholics who still support a contraceptive mentality.

        • Msgr. Charles M. Mangan

          J.M.J. Yes, Abadilla. As the late Fr. Paul Marx, O.S.B.–“the Apostle of Life”–quipped, both the medical profession and the clergy let us down. Regarding the clergy, we are consoled by the young priests and seminarians among us who will confront the matter of contraception. May their voices come soon, though Our Lady.

          • abadilla

            Monsignor, I met Fr. Marx many years ago in northern California at a pro-life Conference and he was very inspirational. I also bought his books.
            Can you imagine if all the clergy were like him and from the pulpit thunder against the evils of contraception and abortion?
            Yes, I do hope the new generations of priests, particularly the JP II priests wil be able to re-evangelize our Church.
            I do admire Venerable Paul VI for his writing on Humanae Vitae and his Populorum Progressio which was also a hit in Catholic circles.

  • Msgr. Charles M. Mangan

    J.M.J. In times past, population growth was seen as a positive because of the notion that we wished to share with future generations what we possess. Today, increased population is seen as a drag on what we have unless these persons can assist us with what are considered menial tasks. Seemingly, we will share with only those persons we decide have a right to exist, only if they can fulfill a task that will help us. I may smile at the Asian or African American or Hispanic who is serving my meal at McDonald’s because he or she serves a purpose. But will I smile at the same person who is sleeping in my driveway in the morning because he or she has no place to rest? I shouldn’t just tolerate increased population because I need those folks. I should embrace them because I want their participation in the human community. May God forgive my selfishness.

  • Marvin Derks

    Interesting points. However, I question whether we need positive population growth at the present time. Technology has advanced us to a point where less people are needed for functions that used to take many more people to accomplish. Additionally, people are living longer and accomplishing more because of that. If a point came where we did indeed need more population growth, I’m confident that we would find a way to accomplish that as a society.

    • NormChouinard

      This video was played at the Bishops Synod last October in Rome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU
      It seems to be appropriate here as well. I am praying for some responsible analysis of its contents.

    • FranklinWasRight

      My husband is an engineer, we don’t have enough machinists or electrical engineers who can build the “technology” you are speaking of. The massive paper machine project he is working on is very far behind because of a lack of “manpower.”

    • maku shuruu

      If anybody can do this, it’ll be the Japanese. If they can’t, then the risk to rely on this strategy is too high, and the chances of success are too remote. They are technologically very advanced, and they will be leading indicator of this phenomenon; their population began to shrink in the first quarter of 2005.



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