Thursday, November 11, 2010

Over population = Poverty ....NOT!

An article by Ernesto R. Gonzales, Ph.D. of the Social Researcher Institute, University of Santo Tomas and Concurrently Chair, Economics, National Research Council of the Philippines.

This article appeared in the Pro-Life Philippines website.


The belief that population growth is the primary reason for poverty is a great fallacy. In fact, it has long been proven to be fallacious.

This belief was first espoused by Prof. Robert Malthus (University of Cambridge, 1785) but was proven false by Prof. Simon Kuznets one hundred seventy three years later. For disproving the fallacy, Kuznets was awarded the Noble Prize in Economics, in 1971.

This Principle of Malthus, that population grows geometrically while production grows arithmetically, became the basic assumptions in his Theory on the Iron Law of Wages which he posited was the primary reason behind poverty in Europe at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

However, Simon Kuznets was able to validate scientifically that Malthus was all wrong because economic growth is fastest during the time that the population growth was highest. This was validated in Europe during the 100 years industrialization of the European continent. Prof. Yamamoto of Japan, held the same conviction also, based on his observation that the economic growth in Japan was the highest during the 1970’s. He was referring to the dramatic economic takeover of Japan in the World Market for cars and electronic products during the last three decades of the 20th Century. The main reason for this correlation between population growth and economic growth is simple – there was an increase in the demand pool in the population that grew. There were more buyers for products made, so naturally production grew and employment grew, and poverty was eradicated.

The natural and expected result in the equation however did not happen in the Philippines, because purchasing power was removed from the population that grew. People could not buy because they had no money; and they had no money because they had no jobs or income earnings. [Because of corruption!] The earnings that could easily have gone on to the people through industry were siphoned off by payments to a ballooning international and domestic debt, by tremendous tax cuts and tax holidays being given to foreign investments prejudicial to the internal economic growth of the country and most of all by the shameful and rampant corruption in the government. Instead of the people earning, it is the government official and a select few who were making all the money[Isn't too obvious?  Ask Lagman if he'll cut his pork barrel.]

Against this perspective, we therefore present our inevitable conviction that the proposed measure to limit family size to only 2 children is a useless exercise in demagoguery and an admission of failure. [This was written during that debate of 2 child policy.] It is convenient for politicians to attack population when they are out of remedies for the country’s extreme poverty due to their unabated graft and corruption and because they are not willing to plug the leakage of income to only a select few. [If you are incompetent, blame others.  Blame the Church.  Way to go!] Poverty is the result of the connivance between government and the oligarchy to keep the ordinary Filipino out of the growth and expansion of the Philippine economy. [I can see a few faces and names in my mind.  But I know there are a lot.] Consider that there is no clear and sincere economic policy formulated in this country to lighten the load of ordinary Filipinos. Today, the national economy of this sovereign country is no longer ours anymore. We have already lost our middle income group. People are poor because our leaders prefer them to be ignorant and poor; because as ignorant and poor, they can easily be manipulated to vote for those corrupt politicians whose main ambition is solely to enrich themselves at the expense of the people[Has anyone noticed who got elected in the last national elections?  Has anyone noticed how our president ran his election?]

Sad facts to ponder are that today, almost half of the population are entrapped in poverty that is not of their own making and are experiencing literal hunger and deprivation of human rights. [And these agents of death are fighting for the right to information and access to abortifacients!]

While we agree that prudence must be employed to determine the right size of the family for everyone, we are grievously concerned that some of our lawmakers are dangerously treading on moral grounds which are no longer the safe purview of economics. Life is never an area that can be manipulated by people, let alone politicians. This is not their turf. Let the one who creates life determine how it should be dispensed. [Life is none of our business!  Just like in the liturgy.  It's outside our turf!]





Give up your pork barrel.


1 comment:

  1. As a scientist, I am very concerned that Malthusian theory is paraded as GOSPEL TRUTH! Science tells us that this theory has not been validated in all its predictions especially if dealing with human societies. Malthusian theory holds well for bacteria on petri dishes but not for human societies.

    It is immoral for anyone to misrepresent the findings of Scientific theory as a cure all for society's ills. The poverty problem in the Philippines is a result of inequity that is endemic to Philippine society and corruption is the most obvious fruit of that.

    Artificial contraception is a short term solution that breeds more problems (note countries at the brink of demographic failure). What we need is a policy that will keep children in school and make them finish school. Education has been proven as the best way to guarantee decline in fertility, it empowers women, makes lives meaningful, elevates human dignity and allows people to consider the size of their family. Keeping Kids in school is one "artificial contraceptive" that should be acceptable to the Catholic Church