January 26, 2007

Negative Population Growth

I was down at the mailbox yesterday and saw an oversized envelope sitting on top of my neighbor's box. It was from "Negative Population Growth" in Alexandria, Virginia. I've heard a lot about population control, even zero population growth, but negative growth? Does this group advocate murder? This is the neighbor who shares a bedroom wall with my two year old... should I be worried? I got online to investigate. I quickly found their website and spent the next half hour laughing at their moxie.

The group claims that by emphasizing the two child limit and restricting immigration we can cut the U.S. population in half over the next two generations. I read through their entire proposal and will highlight some of their suggestions to accomplish this goal. As the sixth child in a family of eleven, I was highly amused:
  • First, they believe we should cut back by 80% on immigration to the United States. The problem lies, they claim, in the fact that once we let in a worker, we then let in his or her family and allow them to breed. To stop allowing citizenship based on marriage would lead to "ending all family reunification" and thus spawning in general.
  • Second, they propose "an end to citizenship by birth for 'anchor babies' born here to illegal and temporary visa aliens." Who cares that they were born in the U.S.? The Constitution be damned! Their parents' were filthy immigrants so why should we give them the time of day?
  • The group hopes for "endorsement of the two-child family by political leaders." Gone will be the days of the baby kissing politician. Twenty years from now you won't be able to catch a presidential candidate in the same room as a baby - such bad P.R.!
  • "Education of parents and children in the immediate and long-term benefits of smaller families." Okay - first of all, anyone crazy enough to have two babies is probably crazy enough to have four. Having kids never has and never will make sense. You can't logic with us breeders! Of course we know it would be more fun to go on cruises to Hawaii every year rather than cruise Walmart for diaper deals. Parenthood wacks your brain - education is futile.
  • Getting women back into the workforce and out of the breeding ground that is the home.
  • Universally available birth control and abortions.
  • "Advocacy of abstinence by government, social and religious groups, on practical and moral grounds as appropriate, to discourage teen pregnancies." Now there's a fresh idea - telling teens not to have sex. Why didn't we think of that before?
  • "The elimination of tax benefits for children beyond the second child." I hope they include in this proposal free therapy for the third child when he realizes his country hates him.
  • Lastly, "priority in public housing programs for families with fewer than three children." This one really doesn't make sense. You can find a cardboard box big enough for a small family but a box big enough to fit five people? Let's be practical here.

Their proposal references counties in the United States which have made payments to young girls who avoid pregnancy. They also reference methods tried in other countries, "such as higher user fees for access to maternity care for women with several children, or priority access to good schools for small families, or limiting welfare payments to large families." Each idea more stunning than the next! I have to conclude that this group was founded by a couple of sterile, bitter men who got stuck sitting next to my screaming baby on a cross-country flight.

Their webpage has a "Get Involved" section which I can only imagine details how to ridicule your friends with minivans, how to treat a date poorly so you'll never get married and propagate and tips on all the latest and greatest racial slurs. You can contribute to their campaign on many levels but the one they'd appreciate most is if you just stuck a gun to your head and pulled the trigger. Or if you're too chicken, simply visit their beautiful Alexandria, Virginia headquarters and they'll happily do it for you.

Don't wait - depopulate!


Azúcar said...

People like that are hilarious. HIGH-larious. The entire reason that our country has been so economically successful, why there is so much opportunity, why we have been able to provide social security and a semblance of a safety net, is that we have the birthrate and therefore workforce to make it happen.

It would be awful to be in a fugue like most European countries that are at nearly zero population growth (and negative in some populations.) The governments are facing a problem where the workers can't support the elderly, etc. The countries are BEGGING their citizens to reproduce to save the society: offering paid maternity leave to all mothers for years, free preschool, and a dozen other things that we don't even dream of having here.

Man, you touched such a nerve with me, it's going to take a second to recover...


Samantha said...

Ok...maybe I'm an idiot, but I wasn't aware that overpopulation was even a problem in the States? Geez. And also maybe for some countries where overpopulation is a big issue, the two child limit is one of the only ways to fix it, maybe. But I HATE that idea.I hate the idea of a government being able to dictate my reproductive habits. And all that BS about limiting welfare to big families - sometimes I really can't believe there are people out there, actually existing, that believe in things like this.

Sarah said...

Great points. Have you guys heard about how Singapore approached their declining population problem? They started a whole campaign called "Romancing Singapore" that tried to inform people of why interpersonal relationships were worth it and why dating and having kids could be fun!

I'm surprised first of all that their initial campaign to depopulate worked and secondly that they thought that by holding a dating festival could remedy the problem.

Janell said...

Oh dear. Depopulation? What an extremist notion. Yes, the one child policy did quite a bit of good for China for those to whom it applied. Yes, we're one of the few countries with an increasing population, so what?

I'll have to remember to counter-propose an "80% immigration reduction" to those who wish to make illegal immigration legal. That should light some interesting debates. Lol.

Adam said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Therapy for third children to explain why their country hates them. That's rich. Sounds like Ender's Game.

Silly Marie said...

The "one child" policy in China really is horrible and I don't know how much it actually helped them. My translator there was telling us that many people will get pregnant, find out what sex the child is, and if it isn't a boy they abort the baby or kill it once they got to full term. Talk about inhumane...

The people who follow it are those with money in cities. You know, the people who could actually afford children. The people who live in poverty in the country, away from the watchful government eye, often have more than one child.

When I was teaching there, I knew a little girl at the school who was there under an alias because she had a brother at the same school. He was allowed to go home for visits and see his family (since he was the first born and accounted for by the government), but she wasn't because it was too risky. She was 5 years old.

These people advocating depopulation are also the same people advocating communism. I'd venture to say they are probably ignorant people who've never actually lived in a place that has seen the effects of that type of system.

The Wiz said...

Depopulation is so scary. These people are seriously loons. China has major problems from it, not the least of which is they have no girls for their men to marry, and their elderly are cared for by family, so one couple has to suuport 2 sets of grandparents.

Europe is having problems as well, and Japan is telling people to start reproducing more.

I just hope nobody takes these people seriously, that they've learned from the countries who had population issues.

I hope the abortion right advocates get upset about this as well. Reproductive rights are reproductive rights, right? Including the right to have children?

My MIL had 4 children, and lived in Boston when they were little, and Boston at that point was WAY into zero population. (it screwed up their schools big time later, btw) She was at the grocery store one day with all four of her kids (the youngest of which is my husband, so I am glad she had 4), and an overweight lady came up to her and started lecturing her on zero population. She was tired of the lectures, and got so fed up she just said "Lady, with the fat on you, you could feed my kids for a year." So there.

Foxy said...

Family size should be left to one's conscious and resources. China is in for quite a time when certain provinces will have a 30:1 ratio of men to women in a few years. But perhaps scarcity of women will raise their status and value there. I read a very funny comment made about a woman in New York on all of the adopted baby Chinese girls that reside there, so many that my friend's five year old daughter assumes all Chinese baby girls are adopted, even those of Chinese parents. "Doesn't anyone realize what that is going to do to the dating situation when these girls grow up?!"

I think what it comes down to is the bumper sticker I saw one time: "Don't breed 'em if you can't feed 'em."

Foxy said...

Whoopsie. That would be conscience, not conscious. Way too much caffeine this morning. I think you all have it right about that drug... It makes your brain jump around like a monkey on fire.

Kristine said...

The thing that scares me a little is that this arrived at your neighbor's home.

Have you received any threatening looks, or comments from him in regards to your obvious feelings about populating...(just another month or so, right??)

Heaven help me if I lived next to him.

We have to be grateful that we live in a free country, even if it means we are exposed to downright crazy ideas. Just don't elect one of the founders to be in public office, and we'll probably be ok.

JoeBlogs said...

In China they still have restrictions, so I guess we are lucky.

compulsive writer said...

I want to know who the heck's employement taxes they think will to pay for their social security, medicare/medicaid, etc. Who will wipe their whiney butts when they are senile in a retirement home?

Somebody's kid!

People are stupid.

(Yeah. Struck a nerve with me too. I'll laugh later. But sometimes illogical and ignorant people annoy the heck out of me.)

Amy said...

People who think the US is too crowded haven't been to Montana. Or west Texas.

Anderson said...

I don't agree that this group was hatched up by bitter old men. This has feminazi written all over it. The old men like babies, and they like their retirement. The feminazis who are too (insert unkind adjectives here) to be likely to breed are the ones who want to prevent others from doing so.

But the rest of the post was right on!

Sarah said...

Has there ever been a better word hatched up than "feminazi?" I think not. Anderson, I agree that woman's worst enemy is often her own sex. Regardless of who thought it up, it's a small comfort to me to know that we'll out-propagate them in oblivion.

Azúcar said...

Silly Marie, it's funny you should mention communism and population growth. It's actually opposite from what you'd think (other than China, which is it's own issue.) The declining population growths in countries, like the Soviet Union under communism, were HUGE issues for the government. The government was BEGGING women to have kids--offering all kinds of financial and parity incentives. Even today, many post-communist countries have declining populations that are threatening the survival of the population.
What it comes down to is that if women don't feel that having another child is in that child's interest, if they can't feed the children they already have, if they feel pessimistic about their futures, women will find ways not to have children. There is no government policy, no matter how sweet the pot, that will encourage women to have children.

I like that someone brought up Japan. I read this really interesting article on women choosing not to have as many kids in Japan simply because they already shoulder too much of the work burden.

Also, I really dislike the term feminazi; it has always smacked of misogynistic overtones. I remember the dittoheads of the 90s repeating the feminazi 'creed' and blaming all of societies ills squarely at this externally devised grouping. It's never quite sat square with me.

Anyway, lots to think about.

Silly Marie said...

If you're referring to my comment "These people advocating depopulation are also the same people advocating communism", I was talking about Americans who hate/protest our government and advocate communism in its place. I would imagine that they would also advocate depopulation.

Rachelle Black said...

Wow, I don't know what's scarier, knowing there is a group of individuals in our country who actually have gotten together and are promoting this way of thinking in an organized fashion, or that they are living next door to you.... hmmm.

And, I actually fit into their nasty little plan with my only two children family. Of course, I wanted more, just couldn't have them.
Time to go hug a paca....

Lisa M. said...

*Rolling eyes*

chronicler said...

heh. I don't think we need a whole organization to handle this issue. If you read between the lines at their place, what they are really against is immigration from Mexico. Some organizations will fill you with rhetoric about all types of issues, while the one program they're after is simple and hateful.

I don't understand the need for these types of groups at all. We do not have a population problem in fact in 2005 more people died than were born here in the good old US of A!

Oh and the 6th of 11 statement explains a lot! ;-)

sue-donym said...

I guess God didn't know what the earth would be like today when he said "Multiply and replenish the earth". (I say facetiously)

A Payne said...

I went to Singapore on a second honeymoon with my Secret Agent Man. I can tell you, from experience, it is a very romantic place.

Th. said...


I read one of their posters in a classroom where I was subbing and was startled not by the concept (which isn't rare) or their reasons (which are feasible but silly) but their willingness to travel so far left that they end up on the far right.

I found that to be a beautiful beautiful thing.

Shiloah Baker said...

Ok, you are just going to "love" me for this one! But, I'm going to share an irreverent article that would be SURE to get that Negative Population Growth Group hot under the collar!
It's called, "Grocery Getter or Sex Machine" all about the mini-van and we women who drive them! ha!

Shiloah Baker said...

Azúcar is right...when we lived in Germany they had what is called "Kindergeld" They paid women to have children- like 300 Euros a month per kid! I would LOVE that! They are having problems now with more old people than young people. Issues, people, issues...