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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:52 PM

The More People, the More Resources Used.

That is beyond question. And, among those resources, oil and other fuels play a large role in global climate change.

In the USA, we reward families by providing tax deductions for every child born to those families. More people. More resources used. Perhaps we should begin to consider tax breaks for those who control the number of children they create, and even for those who make the decision not to have any children at all. If we capped tax deductions at two child dependents, with no additional deductions for additional dependents, and provided a childfree deduction to those who do not reproduce at all, we would encourage robust family planning, rather than rewarding robust reproduction.

I would not deny people the right to have as many offspring as they wish, as is done in China. I simply would not reward those who had more than two offspring with additional tax deductions.

Disclaimer: I am one who decided not to add any additional humans to the planet's population. I made that decision in the early 1960s, after reading about the dangers of overpopulation. It was a conscious decision, and it was one I was able to make.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply The More People, the More Resources Used. (Original post)
MineralMan Jan 2013 OP
Lasher Jan 2013 #1
MineralMan Jan 2013 #3
The2ndWheel Jan 2013 #5
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #9
The2ndWheel Jan 2013 #12
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #15
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #2
MineralMan Jan 2013 #4
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #6
MineralMan Jan 2013 #7
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #8
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #10
Spike89 Jan 2013 #11
MineralMan Jan 2013 #13
The2ndWheel Jan 2013 #16
MineralMan Jan 2013 #17
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #14
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #18

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:59 PM

1. I agree with you.

Many of our problems can be traced back to this root cause: Too many people.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:03 PM

3. Thanks. I think it is a workable solution.

The Duggars, for example, would be able to take deductions for their first two children. The rest would not reduce their taxes. That seems only fair to me. They would be legally allowed to have as many children as they wished, but we would not be responsible for reducing their taxes after two.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:11 PM

5. Not really a cause

More of a symptom. One that isn't going to be dealt with easily.

Plus every institution and organization we've built is sustained by adding more people over time.

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Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:27 PM

9. What about the planet, though?

What about those sorts of resources? We do have a finite space here.

Also, what is it a symptom of, in your opinion?

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:54 PM

12. The planet is, at best, 2nd on the list

The resource concentration process we call human civilization is #1, and then everything else comes after that, in whatever order.

What is too many people a symptom of? However many ways of trying to cure death that we've come up with over however many thousands of years.

And energy use. You can see what kind of problems we've caused using limited and expensive(although it might be cheap in dollars) sources of energy. Imagine however many billions of people, with unlimited wants and a hell of a lot of needs, with access to limitless energy, if such a thing exists. We'll call it green energy, because of course it would be green, humans defined it that way, so it must be the case.

Maybe it would actually be green energy, who's to say for sure. All I know is that we altered our environment at a pretty decent rate when we hunted with sharp sticks. A global human civilization with limitless energy. That's a pretty big stick.

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Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:02 PM

15. Oh, I see what you are saying now.

I can understand your opinion about the symptom/cause.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:03 PM

2. Let's agree on some order of magnitude issues.



Of course global population growth is a potential problem, but US tax policy isn't a contributing factor. The US is below replacement birthrate.

Were it not for immigration, the US population would be declining.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate#United_States

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:07 PM

4. Yes, I'm aware of those numbers.

Due to the easy availability of contraception that began in the early 1960s, women were able to control their birth rate. That is a good thing. And yes, the US has a lower fertility rate than many other parts of the world. However, due to immigration, our population continues to rise apace. I am interested both in stabilizing US population growth, and in providing a stimulus for other nations to do the same.

Added to that is the inordinate amount of resources used, per capita, by the population of the United States. That cannot be ignored.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:13 PM

6. Are you saying that our tax policy is what encourages immigration?

If we concede that birthrates among US citizens aren't the problem, then that is what we're left with.

Consumption in the US is largely due to our "standard of living". If you were to shut down the borders, it wouldn't change significantly absent some behavioral changes in this society.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:14 PM

7. No. I didn't even suggest that.

I can't imagine that anyone considers US taxes when coming here. They should, but they don't. Your question is moving away from my stated subject, so I'm not going to comment further on it.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:24 PM

8. If the us population would decline without immigration, and tax policy doesn't cause immigration...

... then tax policy isn't to blame for population growth.

I get that childless people don't like the idea of tax breaks for families for self-interested reasons, but there are good reasons for encouraging good education, nutrition and housing for the next generation of citizens.

Kids attendant tax breaks aren't meaningful encouragement to pop 'em out.

It reminds me of this viewpoint;

ďMy grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. Youíre facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that donít think too much further than that. And so what youíve got to do is youíve got to curtail that type of behavior. They donít know any better,Ē


http://chattahbox.com/us/2010/01/24/sc-lt-gov-poor-like-stray-animals-dont-feed-them-or-they-breed/

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:45 PM

10. Agreed.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:51 PM

11. Reward is the wrong word

I applaud the sentiment, but have a couple issues with the OP. As others have pointed out, the US birthrate is currently below replacement rate and falling--there is no population/baby boom in the US. Birthrates in the entire world are also falling--there may be too many of us, but whatever we're currently doing seems to be working to deal with that.

Aside from there being no baby boom to blunt, the idea that parents are being "rewarded" by tax breaks to have children is wrong. First, it should be obvious to anyone that the tax savings for a child do NOT exceed the costs of raising a child. The tax breaks are in place to help parents care for their children. Sure, the Duggers are easy to dismiss, but they are essentially the "cadillac-driving welfare Mom's" of this discussion. The reality is very few families in the US are having massive broods any more and virtually none of them are doing so to cash in on tax breaks.

Finally, you've got to be very careful when sifting through raw data, the bigger the data set, the easier it is to jump to conclusions that can be very misleading.

I know it isn't in the OP, but it does show down thread--the old "the US uses the most resources..." fact. It is actually true, but the US also exports the most. I will not claim that our lifestyle isn't wasteful, but it isn't as cut and dried as many on our side believe. Here's an example: The farmer down the road from me uses about 1/2 the irrigation water in this neighborhood, but he is only 1% of the neighborhood population.

The US is a net exporter of food, as well as a large number of manufactured items.

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Response to Spike89 (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:56 PM

13. The cap on child dependent deductions would

be a disincentive, however, to having large numbers of children. Of course the deduction does not cover all the costs of child-rearing. However, it covers some of those costs. As a disincentive, it would be a good one.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:32 PM

16. Why would people who have no children get a tax break?

If it's all about a disincentive for large numbers of children, just cap the break at two kids, and call it a day.

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Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:33 PM

17. Because they are actually reducing the population burden

on the planet. It all depends on what the goals are. My goal is population decrease through contraception.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:01 PM

14. Not JUST "the more people"

Americans for instance use a staggeringly disproportionate percentage of global resources even compared to people in other rich countries because of car-centred, inefficient planning and development (among other things); Canada and Australia are similar, but have about a fifth the population of the USA added together.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:41 PM

18. africa uses fewer resources than the US, despite having more people. so bull.

 

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