We all have written essays on” population bomb” in our school exams. Increasing population is a problem; the degree of severity of the problem may vary with situation. In 1947, Indian population was merely 36 crores(360 million). With medical advancements, booming biotechnology and serviceability, death rate decreased a lot, and hence the population increased abruptly. With new situations Individuals and families started learning that in order to have a better life, birth-control is necessary. Obviously with private TV channels, various news channels and newspapers and movies, such social-sex- education are spreadable quite efficiently, that is, family planning is working, yet the population increment rate is high.
Is population explosion a drastic problem with catastrophic consequences?
It is assumed that population has a constant tendency to outgrow food supply and production. The immediate consequence of Population is poverty. The socialist plan to save India from this problem until 1992 was, to strongly apply population control measures and redistributing the wealth and it failed.
The reason of failure was, by redistributing wealth, (coercively or voluntarily) we do not remove poverty, we remove the difference between the poor and the wealthy. Yet, the problem remains same, limited resources and increasing demand.
The only solution is to increase the productivity, innovation and improvement in technology, increasing the capacity of the poor to produce, thus creating jobs, works, and services, creating options of production.
Precisely what is Poverty?
Poverty is a subjective issue. If we compare with the top 10% earner of India, we all other 90% are poor. If we say, the poor are those who are not now maintaining a decent standard of living—those whose basic needs exceed their means to satisfy them, then each of us might have our own understanding of standards and our own personal needs, and needs have no limits, thus all are poor. To minimize this subjective illusion, we say Poverty is the inability to satisfy the “minimum” needs.
The term “minimum” is flexible. It includes food, clothing and shelter, and various other needs can be added subsequently, like education, health-care etc. Thus, poverty is subjective and we can never get an objective reasonable definition of poverty.
Can a welfare state like India fulfil the requirement of these “minimum” needs?
A welfare state works on redistribution of wealth via taxation and subsidies, reliefs, reservations and special helps etc. We have discussed “why a welfare state fails” here at this page objectively (please read).
Welfare states assume that some people are poor because some other are rich and by taking away the richness of rich via compulsory taxation, coercive confiscations, penalties and governmental loots, and distributing it in poor via subsidies, free distribution of food, education, shelter, cloths, water, health-care and other facilities. Thus, the difference will be reduced, equality will be achieved and then there will be no poor. For gaining equality, they tend to bring whole society at an assumed arbitrary economic line. This fails because some people are NOT poor because some other are Rich. Some people are poor because they are less productive. They are unable to produce or earn. So, to remove poverty, need is to make them able to produce more, to increase their productivity, to provide employment.
Government help increases Poverty
We all know that Government cannot provide employment entrepreneurs create jobs. The proof is the increased employment options in India right after 1992 when Indian socialist government decided to allow leniency and liberalization. Thus, government’s welfare programs always fail. The welfare programs always decreases productivity and as poverty is inversely proportional to productivity, poverty increases. By providing free subsidized food, water, education health care and other reliefs, government creates laziness, lethargy. Why should a person work if he is getting free food? Government induces a habit of begging, hence a prospective producer who might have produced his wealth for his own, turns out to be a parasite dependent. Moreover, by taxation and looting the rich, middle class, and poor too, government weakens the individual citizen’s ability to create jobs and employment and options for production of wealth. Why should one devote himself in making wealth when the government is ready to loot him? Also if a person have X amount which he want to invest in producing some employment and hence wealth, and government takes away Y amount from his capital, then X reduces to (X-Y), hence less is invested in creation of employment and production of wealth. Above all this, the government interference acts as a dissipation of potential to create wealth and employment. We all know how lethargic, unprofessional, unproductive government departments are, suffering from ills of corruption, malinvestment, and non-productive-activities and hence causing Inflation, which in turn further reduces chances of employment creation and wealth production.
Cure of Poverty
It is fashionable to say today that “society” must solve the problem of poverty. But basically each individual—or at least each family—must solve its own problem of poverty. Poverty is Not by fate, a rich by his own mistakes can loose all his property and be a poor, and a poor by his hard-work and self-reliance can become rich (again, richness and poverty are subjective terms).
As poverty can be reduced by means of Increasing Productivity, society and government, in place of looting the citizens under compulsory taxation and subsidies, should keep away from economic activities completely. Citizens in place of going for giving charity for beggars should help the genuine unemployed poor by creating options for employment. A genuine unemployed poor is one who is willing to work and hence produce his earning with self-esteem, yet is not able to get work. Before deciding to help someone, one must check if he deserves the help or not? Because by helping an Undeserving one, you abort the chances of help for the Deserving person. Free-market Capitalism is the only possible practical solution to reduce the extent of poverty because of two basic characters it has. Free market Capitalism provides a competitive market in all sectors of production creating an environment of innovation in technology to increase production. As production increases, poverty decreases.
Free market Capitalism removes the chances of wastage, corruption and non-productive-activities.
Population is a problem but not as severe as it is talked about. Population increments are slowing down with increasing awareness. Government’s welfare state programs can never reduce poverty; on the other hand, they reduce productivity, which increases further poverty. Indians must realize the importance of individual effort and support the efficient-productive system of Capitalism to reduce poverty and hence help whole society progress positively. We must realize that equality is not the aim; aim is reducing the poverty, increasing the producing capacity of every individual and hence providing him chance to make his own fortune. We must produce and support entrepreneurs, free-market capitalists.
“I see no harm in drawing the picture of a society in which each individual is supposed strictly to fulfill his duties The happiness of the whole is to be the result of the happiness of individuals, and to begin first with them. No co-operation is required. Every step tells. He who performs his duty faithfully will reap the full fruits of it, whatever be the number of others who fail. This duty is intelligible to the humblest capacity. It is
merely that he is not to bring beings into the world for whom he cannot find the means of support.”8
If each of us adhered to this principle, no overpopulation problem would exist. Thomas R. Malthus