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Zombie policy ideas: anti-immigration/zero population growth edition

Public Policy

Some bad public policy ideas have remarkable staying power, such as “tax cuts pay themselves” or “deficits don’t matter” or “end the Fed.” Then there are those you think are dead but turn out are only “mostly dead.” You can put “protectionism brings prosperity” in that category. Also, surprisingly, “a growing population is a bad thing.” I thought we pretty much abandoned that sort of “zero population growth” nonsense in the 1970s — along with “we are running out of natural sources” — although I knew it still had a pulse in some extreme environmentalist environs, such as Hollywood.

Storm clouds loom over an American flag in Convent, Louisiana, U.S., June 11, 2018. Picture taken June 11, 2018.

(I have written, by the way, about the work of demographer Sanjeev Sanyal whose calculations find the world’s overall fertility rate falling to the replacement rate in 2025, although global population will continue to expand thanks in part to rising longevity, for another few decades. Then comes the Big Shrink with world population peak around 2055 at 8.7 billion and will then decline to 8.0 billion by 2100.

But it turns out that anti-immigration sentiment is a sort of gateway drug or disease vector for new strains of ZPG thinking. In a recent a Washington Post op-ed, “Why do we need more people in this country, anyway?,” former Trump White House national security spokesperson and current “American Greatness” thinker Michael “The Flight 93 Election” Anton argues for ZPG, at least in the United States:

Does the United States — population 320 million and rising — need more people? If so, why? … We know how more immigration benefits big business and the Democratic Party. No one has yet convincingly explained how it benefits the American people as a whole. …Why do we need more people? For the extra traffic congestion? More crowded classrooms? Longer emergency room and Transportation Security Administration lines? Higher greenhouse-gas emissions?

Turns out some of the immigration restrictionists are really abolitionists, I guess. Of course, the US is not a particularly population dense nation. Immigration has many, many benefits, some of which I outline in my new The Week column. And as far as all those other “spaghetti on the wall” complaints: TSA lines, traffic congestion — those are really the result of certain policy choices, not the existence of teeming masses of human Americans I get that America’s nationalist populists have great nostalgia for the 1950s and 1960s American economy and cultural makeup. but do they also want to reduce the US population by 40% to where it was in 1965? Or maybe all of this is really a bit of political legerdemain meant to hide the fact that by seemingly calling for a ban on all immigration — Stay away all you foreign AI researchers and political refugees and striving future entrepreneurs! — for various and sundry reasons, unpleasant questions about cultural panic are avoided. I mean, TSA lines, really?


28 Comments on "Zombie policy ideas: anti-immigration/zero population growth edition"

  1. Bob on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 5:10 pm 

    I fail to see how more people on this planet helps anything. We have fished the oceans out, are killing all the animals, dumping thousands of tons of thousands of chemicals into the environment, killing more people with pain pills than we kill in auto wrecks and live in a world teetering on the edge of failure; wars are everywhere; so is corruption. I fail to see how more people make anything better. We are 90% overpopulated and Nature will make us pay (and is making us pay now).

  2. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 5:12 pm 

    A Minimum Temperature of 42.6 °C (108.7 °F) in Oman on June 26, 2018: a New World Record

    Come now my fellow Earthlings——

  3. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 5:16 pm 

    We are 90% overpopulated and Nature will make us pay (and is making us pay now).

    Actually our population has been 1-10 million over our 200,000 year life span (well, if the fossil from Morocco stands- 300,000).
    Of course we had intact ecosystems and massive food sources.
    Those are gone now.

  4. onlooker on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 5:26 pm 

    Okay children our lesson for today is:
    When it comes to human population , less is good more is bad

  5. Sissyfuss on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 5:46 pm 

    Environmental destruction is good for business as long as its consequences are kept hidden. That is getting more difficult and requires great skill in obfuscation. As an aside, do mass shootings qualify as population control? I see we had another mini culling in DC today. So relieved to know that it’s not guns that are the problem.

  6. LetTheHumanSpecieDieGrafully on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 7:45 pm 

    I had to look at the author picture. Typical beta cuck that has never worked with his hands or fix anything. Go work on your car for one day changing your transmission in your driveway and tell how much fun that was. Tell me also how much pain you are the next day because you worked in uncomfortable position for 8 straight hours.

    Life is only pleasant now because we have a lot of energy to remove physical and emotional pain that come with being alive. When the electricity goes away, we will go back to do everything by hands where your life is mainly made of pain.

    Why bring more human into this world only to see them suffering. Only selfish people have kids and enjoy watching them suffering.
    I am anti-natalist and I think it is time to let the human specie die and leave this earth to something else. My biggest achievement is to not had any kids. I will die a happy man knowing I did not contribute to this cycle of endless pain that is human life.

  7. Davy on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 7:51 pm 

    I have nothing against immigrants but that doesn’t mean I want them here. I am egalitarian and not racist. Those that are here I respect. Those who want to get in illegally I am against. US Carrying capacity is closer to 1900 population levels than 2018 levels if we were to have an existential shock. People are habituated to a normal which really is not normal in regards to our history. Sooner or later something bad is going to happen and then we will be wishing we had more wisdom concerning sustainability. There is no easy way to do this especially considering globalism which is orientated to free and open borders. The time for fairness is over at the public policy level. If you want to be fair in your own little way that is a different story. Help an immigrant that is here already but don’t make it so others can come. It is time for tough decisions that lead to messy outcomes. Those who say population is not a problem are fools. Those who say population growth will level off are deceiving themselves. It won’t level off quick enough. We need decades of death rates that resemble current net birth rates. Deaths over births has to be significant and sustained for the foreseeable future. This needs to start now and people need to be educated to what this means.

  8. Anonymouse1 on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 8:00 pm 

    “we are running out of natural sources”


  9. Makati1 on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 8:07 pm 

    That is called NIMBY, Davy. “Not In My Back Yard”. Hypocrite!

  10. MASTERMIND on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 8:33 pm 


    Immigration boosts a countries economy (GDP) substantially and creates jobs.
    Source: Wharton School of Business

    Almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by American immigrants or their children

    And 1/3 of all American Nobel Prize winners in Science from America were immigrants..

  11. GregT on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 8:45 pm 

    “I have nothing against immigrants but that doesn’t mean I want them here.”

    No doubt, the indigenous peoples of North America feel exactly the same way.

  12. GregT on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 9:06 pm 

    “And 1/3 of all American Nobel Prize winners in Science from America were immigrants..”

    Other than first nations peoples, and descendants of the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans, all Americans are immigrants.

  13. MASTERMIND on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 9:13 pm 


    Yes, but the nobel was started until the 20th century..The Nobel’s were a Russian family..And guess what business they were in? The oil business! Its all about that black crude!

  14. Cloggie on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 11:01 pm 

    “I have nothing against immigrants but that doesn’t mean I want them here.”

    In the current situation the most interesting aspect about a foreigner to the West is his departure date, unless of course you are a fan of civil war and genocide.

    “I am egalitarian and not racist. Those that are here I respect. Those who want to get in illegally I am against.”

    You’re a good lad Davy, virtue signaling and all. You can’t get enough of invaders, it is just that “carrying capacity thingy” that is bothering you, the fine green fella that you are, but otherwise you are the “humanity guy”, “celebrating diversity”.


    …remains loyal to the globalist, egalitarian 1968-rethoric he grew up with; besides he never heard anything else from the US media, he blindly follows, which saves him the troublesome effort of having to think for himself and reflect on recurring patters in human history.

    Recurring patters like racial/ethnic-religeous identities, that can be up to several thousands years if not tens of thousands of years old, that can’t be abolished over night, regardless of how hard you shout “racist”. And meathead loves shouting “racist” real heard, in the hope he gets an encouraging pat on the back from his environment, which makes him all warm and fuzzy inside.

    But if you look at real history, even very recent history, like in Rwanda, Palestine, USSR, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, you can only conclude that there is absolutely no reason to be enthusiastic about ethnic-religeous diversity and as soon as you remove an old dictatorship, ancient identities surface again, asserting themselves, violently.

    Can’t happen in the US, you say?

  15. Cloggie on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 11:21 pm 

    Merkel caved in. Trend breach: EU wants to completely seal off Meditarenean. Migrants will be send back immediately.

    So far it is just talk. African countries are unwilling to take back their citizens. It will probably take a few billions like in the case of Turkey. And they are still too “humanistic” to open fire, which would solve the problem immediately and end the reality of thousands drowning every year.

    Nevertheless, the result of the EU-summit is hugely significant: all now agree openly, including Merkel, that the current situation is untenable and that the influx needs to be radically stopped. The populists, lead by Italy and followed by Eastern Europe and Austria, have won. The chancellorship of Merkel and the EU has been saved, for the moment. Expect Italy to gain further momentum and achieve a breakthrough in the relations with Russia as well.

  16. MASTERMIND on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 11:31 pm 


    Davy is just ignorant..Do you know much inflation would be caused in the US economy without cheap illegal immigrant labor? If the farmers have to hire Americans to pick their crops they sure as hell won’t be paying min wage or less..And all that cost would be passed on to the customers..Along with your hotel rooms, landscaping services etc..People like Davy always need a boogy man..Someone to take their hate and anger at the system out on..

  17. MASTERMIND on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 11:37 pm 


    Govt economic advisor warns British defence planners that growth is ending

    “Whereas for the global GDP per capita, the point at which growth disappeares is more than 60 years into the future, for GDP per capita in the OECD nations, the point is brought forwards dramatically. In less than a decade, on current trends, there would be no growth at all in GDP per capita across the OECD nations.”

    End of growth in Europe by 2028..and if the oil starts to run out even sooner..I tried to warn you about this..I had the chart of GDP per capita on my manifesto..see chart five.

    Once the growth ends that is the ball game..rapid collapse into atomic dust..

  18. GregT on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 1:27 am 

    “Once the growth ends that is the ball game..rapid collapse into atomic dust..”

    Atomic dust.


  19. Makati1 on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 2:22 am 

    Growth already stopped in the OECD countries years ago. Take away the real inflation and all of the OECD would be showing contraction. The published OECD numbers now are just lies.

    Growth will continue in the rest of the world, where the resources still remain, for a long time to come, but at lower levels. Asia is still on the plus (GDP) side. Africa is also picking up. South America is hanging in there, barely.

  20. DerHundistLos on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 3:28 am 

    “The Nobel’s were a Russian family..And guess what business they were in? The oil business! Its all about that black crude!”

    What? Alfred Nobel was born in Sweden and is descended from an established Swedish family. Nobel funded the Nobel Prize due to his invention of dynamite.

  21. shoal on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 5:25 am 

    “Military Seizes Control Of Water Supplies As Venezuelan Infrastructure Collapses”

    “Venezuela’s military has come to oversee the desperate and lucrative water trade as reservoirs empty, broken pipes flood neighborhoods and overwhelmed personnel walk out. Seven major access points in the capital of 5.5 million people are now run by soldiers or police, who also took total control of all public and private water trucks. Unofficially, soldiers direct where drivers deliver — and make them give away the goods at favored addresses.”

    “President Nicolas Maduro last month appointed Evelyn Vasquez, a Hidrocapital official, as the head of a new water ministry. But Norberto Bausson, who ran the utility back in the 1990s, said that “institutional incompetence” is risking a “disaster” should Venezuela have a exceptionally dry year. Already, the utility sometimes cuts service int he capital for as long as two days at a stretch.”

    “People in Caracas, who on average only have access to water for 30 minutes every morning and night, frequently rush home from work and social gatherings to shower or collect water, racing against the clock before supplies are once again shut off. And while the situation in Caracas is dire, circumstances are even worse for poor Venezuelans living in the more remote provinces. To wit, a report from charity Caritas recently revealed that only 27% of poor Venezuelans have continuous access to safe drinking water. 65% have access for three days a week or less, while in the state of Miranda, not a single poor family has access for more than three days a week.”

  22. shoal on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 6:52 am 

    “European Yield Curve Collapses On Report ECB Considering “Operation Twist”

    “Back in April, BofA analyst Barnaby Martin suggested that in order to mitigate the potential fallout from the end of the ECB’s QE, the European Central Bank could engage in an “Operation Twist” to flatten the curve and keep term premiums low, or in other words, to avoid chaos for the European bond market.”

    “Overnight, and a little over two months later, Reuters reported that the ECB is indeed considering buying more long-dated bonds from next year as part of its bond reinvestment strategy to keep euro zone borrowing costs in check, effectively copycatting what the Fed did with its own Operation Twist first in 1961 and then again 2011, where the central bank replaced short-dated paper with longer-term debt to lower market interest rates and boost an ailing economy (which begs the question: is the European economy that ailing that the ECB is scrambling to come up with QE extensions even at a time when the Eurozone is supposedly recovering).”

    “Why Twist and not shift to other securities? Because this option was reportedly seen as a more palatable option than increasing purchases of corporate debt, which have attracted criticism for being too risky after one of the companies the ECB had invested in found itself embroiled in an accounting scandal.”

    “And while Twist would certainly keep long-rates low indefinitely, and certainly for the duration of the ECB’s reinvestments, the problem is that such a move would further cripple European banks who are struggling to make profits at a time when NIRP and QE have collapsed Europe’s yield curve, and led to the unprecedented outcome of Deutsche Bank’s US operations failing the Fed’s stress test.”

  23. MASTERMIND on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 7:22 am 


    Keep dreaming that growth will continue in Asia..they are the worlds largest oil importer and will be hammered the hardest when the shortage comes..And your dreams will go up into smoke..You feeble minded old man..

  24. JuanP on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 7:26 am 

    Shoal=Davy=MM=Hello=Who knows?

  25. Cloggie on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 8:28 am 

    Probably Davy.

  26. GregT on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 10:05 am 

    Whoever this invididual really is, he displays all of the textbook indications of psychopathy. Bad news just waiting for a place to happen.

  27. GregT on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 10:20 am 


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