Letter: Crowded world

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The Independent Online
Letter: Crowded world

Sir: Nicholas Schoon's article on population, "The world won't be overcrowded after all" (12 January) has an implied agenda that population growth is bad. Why?

Often those parts of the world with the highest population growth are sparsely populated compared with the UK. It is the rich in the West that consume 10-50 times the resources per capita of the poor in the South. If we believe there are not enough resources, we need to reduce our consumption and encourage an economic agenda not based on growth, before the developing world catches us up.

The real agenda for "population control" is that we have a surplus of people for our economic machine, and that the poor should be eliminated because it does not need them. What it is unacceptable to say about Jews and Gypsies, we can still promote for the poor.

The answer, if we want one, is economic. Increasing the standard of living reduces family size. Children of the poor are an extra pair of hands in the effort to survive and social security for old age. Education, literacy and family planning help, but as people become richer, children turn into an expensive liability.


Bradford, West Yorkshire