Effects of overpopulation on society…
Now before getting into the topic of overpopulation, the issue of overpopulation is not concrete and solid and the belief of overpopulation is only conceived to be a real threat to some people and is dismissed by others as nothing more than fiction and that that the world can hold us for an infinite amount of time as long as we don’t pollute and keep the environment clean and healthy (1). If you do end up reading this comment whether you’re a believer in overpopulation or not. I’m eager to hear both sides of the story.
The theory of overpopulation is not a new phenomenon and is dated back to 1798 by an Anglican church minister by the name of Thomas Malthus who theorized that under perfect economic conditions, Humans can reproduce exponentially while their ability to increase agricultural output only increases linearly at best meaning that eventually if under right conditions our reproduction rate and population growth might eventually catch up and surpass what mother nature puts on our table to eat (1).
While there were many examples of leaders trying to influence the population in which they ruled over. One of the most famous examples of trying to control the population was Nazi Germany in World War 2 where the fascist dictator, Adolf Hitler tried to increase the Aryan german population over other minorities by giving german families incentives and cash for having a certain number of children (2,3), though this doesn’t relate to overpopulation itself it does show that manipulating your population and the people that live under you to your advantage is not a new idea. The first attempt at controlling overpopulation happened in China in 1979. The “one child per family policy” implemented by the Chinese government gave Chinese citizens perks and benefits for only having a child in their family and if there are 2 or more children in the family then the government will impose much higher taxes or may take away employment and other benefits. Babies who were not registered before their birth had to be terminated. In the 80s when the “one child per family policy” did not work they imposed other birth control programs and sterilization goals were set for families with two or more children. In 1983, 35% of all birth control methods included tubal ligation (sterilization for females), abortions, and vasectomies (sterilization for males) (4). These methods for birth control were unsuccessful as birth reports were falsified and were fraudulent and also due to the disapproval of the general public (4). Currently, the Chinese government is working with organizations that gather population totals and are setting up plans for birth control, but the population in China continues to still grow higher (4). India also followed the same path during the 60s when the government set up forced sterilization camps where 6-8 million people were sterilized but public uproar stopped these camps and forced sterilization tactics (5). Today, however, the government introduced a “two-child policy” where families are only allowed two children unless permitted by the government (6). The USA has yet to announce any plans other than raising awareness of overpopulation (6).
In my opinion, I’m not surprised that the USA though currently having a population of nearly 330 million people (7) are having a hard time implementing plans regarding controlling overpopulation. I think this is due to its government being more transparent to citizens whereas, in China and India, authorities did their best to hide all the cruelties that their birth control policy was inflicting on unfortunate citizens who had too many children. Also in America, it is highly likely that citizens will protest along every step of the way and provide resistance to the government which is why they are only starting to raise awareness and have no solid plans underway.