Australian millionaire businessman Dick Smith, founder of Dick Smith's Electronics, has launched a campaign (link further down the page) against the common notion touted mostly by governments and big business that endless economic growth linked to population growth is the key to world peace, increased collective wealth, and equality. Instead, he claims that continued population growth (mainly through immigration) is the main cause of rising house prices, skyrocketing energy and other commodity costs, resource depletion, pollution, and suppressed wages.
It's an interesting and curious agenda he pushes since he himself, being a wealthy entrepreneur, is in a position to capitalise on the very things he speaks out against and in my eyes (at least) this gives him credibility. At the end of the day, Dick Smith isn't gaining anything (except for relevance, perhaps, and a better future for his grandkids in his opinion) by funding his movement and as far as I can tell he is impartial politically – which is important because I hate the way rich or famous people use their influence to publically pick political sides to back.
In a world where everyone seems to follow an ideology, I guess I'm allowed to call myself a "sustainabilitist" since I believe we should strive to become as sustainable as possible to maintain a reasonable lifestyle. I'm concerned one day we'll wake up and realise this lifestyle isn't possible anymore because we've run out of the things that make it happen. In a nutshell, that's what Dick Smith is saying.
Although Dick Smith is mainly talking to a domestic audience here in Oz, his report could be about most western countries that subscribe to increasing levels of immigration along with growing debt whilst experiencing ever declining living standards.
In a Grim Reaper style advertisement, Dick Smith conveys the message that endless economic growth is NOT the "solution" to all our problems but rather it's a cancerous tumour and if left unchecked will inevitably kill the host (meaning destroy humanity as we know it).
The message is simple, overpopulation is the number 1 cause of most problems facing the world and stabilising population growth is the key to a fairer society – hence the Fair Go slogan and domain used to market this campaign.
To most people, it would seem like Dick Smith is simply stating the obvious fact that too much of any living thing in too little space is not viable over the long-term, regardless, he has been met with strong criticism in the mainstream media (MSM) and completely shunned by the Australian Government and the Opposition Party. But why?
In my opinion, governments and big business are conflicted on the issue of population growth because a growing number of people is in their best interests. Conservative politicians and big business believe more people will create more wealth through economic growth via consumerism whilst leftist politicians including the MSM (which is mostly left-leaning anyway) think the same and also that more immigrants will generally increase their voter base. And, they're right…
More people does mean more consumption and more housing and therefore increased production…somewhat… Unfortunately, the main beneficiaries of this increase are the top 1% and the already wealthy. More people does mean an increased voter base for leftist political parties because they can play on the growing divide between rich and poor not only on economic grounds but via the easy pickings of social politics such as race and gender used as excuses for growing inequality whilst overlooking the real causes of the problem. It's all about money and power for the privileged few and control over the general population without them knowing.
Meanwhile, the average person on the street (which is becoming more crowded by the day) is feeling the squeeze and slowly slipping backwards as their standard of living and lifestyle get eroded away. Just like fish in an evaporating pool, competition rises as the space to swim, food to eat, and oxygen to breathe becomes less until eventually everyone is left flapping for their life in the mud except for the big fish all content and swimming freely in the open water. There's no doubt population growth is hurting low and middle-class citizens as they compete for jobs and space to live – there's also no doubt that the authorities (State/Local Governments) are overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the extra resources, infrastructure, and services needed to cope with such an influx of people.
Overcrowding doesn't make any sense unless you're growing baby vegetables or sprouts and even then they have to be harvested regularly otherwise they'll crowd each other out and die. We need to heed the signs of unsustainable population growth and understand that burdening future generations with the major problems of an overpopulated world is profoundly unfair and that's why I think Dick Smith's Fair Go campaign should not be dismissed as some wacky ideological quest not worthy of discussion.
To entice people to a country with the promise of a better life knowing that it's not sustainable is irresponsible. To water down the wealth of the indigenous population by making more people share a smaller slice from the same sized cake is criminal. The money spent on the expanding welfare bill and extra resources needed to cope with the burden of more people would be better used improving the situation of donor countries and failed states so people can build good livelihoods in their original homeland.
Let me be clear just in case someone reading this wants to deliberately take this article out of context. I'm not against immigration, I'm against over inflated immigration that grows the population unrealistically large to a point whereby it's no longer sustainable and lifestyle for most people including the immigrants is negatively affected. What we don't want is 1st and 2nd world countries descending into 3rd world hell holes because the capacity to help over the long-term will be diminished.
Real support on a global scale to stabilise problem areas is what's needed. Education to encourage people to improve their own nation, live within their means, and be responsible as to how many children they should have is critical to ensuring we don't become a human mouse plague doomed to overrun the Earth before mass extinction corrects the balance.
Yes, I can hear them say, but Mark, solving all these problems is more complicated than just curbing population growth and what I'd say to that is… Maybe not all problems facing humanity can be solved by aiming for a sustainable population but many big problems will be, therefore making the world a better place to live for everyone. A smaller world population would indeed make other big issues facing humanity easier to deal with – there's no doubt about it.
Is it too late to save the world from over population? Unfortunately, I do lament the lack of enthusiasm to tackle this issue or even discuss the matter, therefore, I strongly suggest if you are concerned to insulate yourself against world turmoil by becoming more self-sufficient and less reliant on others (particularly big business) for your life sustaining commodities. Simply growing some of your own food at home is a good place to start because once the human mouse plague begins you'll want to have the skills and reserves to survive it.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below.