Plenty of People

Plenty of People

Plenty of People

Plenty of People

Excerpt

In the United States we have come to take for granted the "naturalness" of rapid population growth and we have also assumed that this rapid growth increased the general welfar. We have never had occasion to consider seriously the relation of numbers to food supply, nor have we needed to consider whether we were numerous enough to defend ourselves from our possible enemies. Moreover, we have never been made to feel inferior by seeing some of our neighbors overtake and pass us in numbers and industrial strength as has happened to several nations in Europe.

It is not surprising, therefore, that we have paid little attention to the problems of population either at home or abroad. Since we have not needed to concern ourselves with our own numbers and with their increase it is quite natural to assume that matters of population growth are equally unimportant in other lands and in the world at large. After all, it is difficult to visualize conditions greatly different from those with which we are familiar.

However, several situations have arisen in recent years which have given us occasion to wonder whether there may not be some relation between numbers and welfare other than that we have so casually assumed. We have had a great depression with millions of men out of work for years at a time; we have taken a census which for the first time showed that we were rapidly becoming a stationary people -- we had less than half the rate of increase 1930-40 that we had 1920-30. We have at the same time learned of population increases in Japan, the Soviet Union, India and elsewhere . . .

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