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“Many people believe that our nation is already greatly overpopulated with regards to our limited natural resources and fragile environment. Do you agree that Congress should create a National Population Policy? If so, what would you recommend as its chief goals? If not, how do you propose we solve this problem?”

The United States is overpopulated.  A solution is needed.   However, a National Population Policy is not the way to do it.  Our bureaucracy is muddled already, we do not need yet another agency funded with tax dollars.  What is needed is a complete reconfiguration of several components in our government and education systems.  The things that need the most urgent attention are the twin travesties of immigration and abstinence-only education.  Abstinence-only education will be addressed first.

Abstinence-only education does not work.  Children are going to have sex, especially if they are told not to.  Health classes, instead of telling teens how to be safe while they are having intercourse, tell them that condoms fail at exorbitant rates (they do not) and that being abstinent is the morally correct thing to do.  Morality aside, abstinence-only education has been unable to curb the teen birth rate, and there has been an increase in the rate of STI’s in American teenagers, because they are having unprotected sex.  This cost the American taxpayers $176 million dollars in 2007.  The policy is failed, and it has to be re-worked.

What needs to be done is investment in comprehensive sex education.  Children need to be educated about proper contraceptive methods and the dangers involved in having sex without using them.  Contraceptives do not necessarily mean sex, and these programs should not be considered as promoting sexual relations.  Children are maturing much faster than previous generations, not physically but mentally, especially with the advent of the internet.  Authority figures should be telling them how to be safe, and treating them like rational people, which older children have the capability to be.  Trust us, and we will trust you.  I am still a teen.  I remember abstinence-only education, and I also remember mine and my peers’ reaction to it.  Trust me, it didn’t stop us from having sex. 

Immigration, both legal and illegal, is another large factor in the growing population of this nation.  Immigrants and their children are streaming in unchecked and uncounted.  Some are here temporarily, some settle in the heartland to become productive citizens, but they all use the resources and land of this country.  With the current system, immigrants evade patrols and hop fences, or pay smugglers to take them into our nation.  This is preferable to waiting years for legal access, especially for those who just want to work here and send their money back home.  These transient citizens use the same finite amount of resources as the rest of us.  They must be considered in any possible solution.

Immigration reform is needed.  The borders should be opened wide.  It is the tradition of this country, we are built on immigrants.  However, funds need to be invested so that we can keep a clear record of who is in our country, why and what for, and the duration of their stay if they do not desire to live here permanently.  This data is needed to adequately and accurately plan for the growth of our country, so that we do not become one large, sprawling suburb, belching greenhouse gases and baking the planet, with no food or water.  Immigrants should be welcomed, they can help this country repair its’ crumbling infrastructure, which is another factor that contributes to harming the environment; but they need to be welcomed carefully.  The only way to keep our country healthy is to figure out how many people are utilizing our resources, and to plan accordingly.  We cannot do that under the present conditions. 

These solutions need to be implemented quickly if they are to have any effect.  However, these are not the only concerns for overpopulation in reference to the environment and land use.  They are two factors in a very complicated equation, and it is unlikely that any one policy will be able to rectify it completely.  Immigration and abstinence-only education are the factors that need to be rectified first.    

 

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4 Comments

  1. Which facts would you suggest? I wrote this offhand for an essay contest, and obviously I didn’t win anything with it.

    Ah, now I see the link.

  2. This is a difficult one and I have to say that while I’m very much for liberty of all kinds, there is a part of me that sees mandatory (surgical?) contraception until the age of 22 as a realistic and not incredibly oppressive solution to not just the overpopulation problem, but for other societal issues as well. Mostly, to allow people to mature at least a little bit before completely affecting theirs and the child’s lives. It seems that so many people’s lives could be improved if they didn’t make those important mistakes. I realize that this solution is unrealistic and difficult to mandate, but it simply makes sense to me and I believe it would free people more than hinder them.

  3. I’m just an average Joe, but what do you think about this. For those who are having there second child, offer a permanent surgical operation at no cost. Or even offering an incentive. The benefit of the incentive, and I hope I’m not stereotyping, would most likely have more effect on the lower income families who in some cases depend on welfare and wic. My wife is a social worker and I can’t help but hearing about single parents and low income families having more and more children just to solely get more money from the government.


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