Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Population Growth Doesn't Affect the Quality of Life

The opinion-page article "Immigration Versus Our Grandchildren," May 31, illustrates the true weakness of the intellectual case against legal immigration. In his "the sky is falling" attitude about immigrants increasing US population growth, the author ignores a rather obvious fact: Since World War II, by all objective measures, Americans' quality of life has improved substantially at the same time our population has significantly increased.

The author's argument that our economy would improve with negative population growth is not supported by any facts or historical evidence.

During the House floor debate on immigration, Rep. Howard Berman (D) of California retorted, "I just want to remind everyone of the demographer Thomas Malthus, who looked at population projections ... and concluded there is no way in the world there would be enough food to feed people."

Mr. Malthus was wrong and so is the article.

Stuart Anderson

Washington

Visiting Policy Analyst

CATO Institute

Ethiopia's progress

On May 28, Ethiopia commemorated its fifth-year anniversary of the overthrow of a 17-year dictatorial government. As we celebrate this event, it is useful to reflect on the changes that Ethiopia has undertaken, the gains it has made, and the challenges that still face us.

Throughout the 1970s and '80s, Ethiopia was facing dismal conditions such as civil war, extreme poverty, famine, and inefficient allocation of resources and manpower under the military rule of the Derg regime. When the Derg was overthrown in May 1991, the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE) inherited a stagnant, impoverished country suffering from the inefficiency of being run by a state economy for 17 years.

The years of the Derg regime set Ethiopia's political and economic development back several decades. The Ethiopia that the TGE inherited in 1991 was fragile and desperate. A July 1991 national conference endorsed the TGE, a coalition of groups led by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Over the next four years, the TGE's Council of Representatives focused on rebuilding the country and establishing law and order in the wake of civil war. …

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