Friday, December 5, 2008

Population Control

Dare I say it?

Inspiration for my blogs comes from perusing the news - both national and international. On the BBC this morning I read a fascinating article about population control. Secretly, I'm an advocate for this idea. There are 7 billion people, and counting, in the world. Over 80% of us Earth citizens live on less than $20 Belize dollars a day. 3 billion people live on less than $5 Belize dollars a day. To contrast, the average Belizean enjoys a GDP per capita of $43 Belize dollars a day.

With numbers like that, it would seem that we are living in a good country. Mind you, $43 isn't a lot of money, but no one in our beautiful Belize is dying of malnutrition. We all do the best we can.

Should this idea of culling , however, apply to Belize, with it's small population and low population density? We're not China. We don't have a billion people, and we don't need a one-child policy. If we ever want a good Social Security system or an Universal Health Care system, we need a strong young healthy working population who can fund them.

To be frank, the poor and uneducated produce more children than the rich and educated. And most of the time, they can't afford to take care of their children without help from the state. But from these poor masses, some of the greatest Belizeans have risen and have contributed significantly to our society. It is undeniable, however, by and large, these stars are a minority. Most often the circle of poverty continues throughout generations. It's hard for a good man {or woman} to get ahead.

What we should want, not only as Belizeans, but as a species, is to be able to live in a sustainable society. We should procreate to the sufficient number that we can take care of all our young. That we can take care of all our citizens. We've evolved as a species to the point where one's "rights" are more important than economic or environmental issues. {Quote me on that one}

When God said, "Go forth and multiply in number", he didn't give a cap. I, for one, wish that he did. The world can sustain 1.5 billion people without permanently diminishing all our other natural resources.

It's hard for me to express all the variables on this controversial subject in just one blog. I think we should create a national population cap, then after our sustainable population has been achieved, financial penalize those who have more than the prescribed number of children. It is desperate, I know. And I pray that as a species we will never have to come to the point where this is the only course of action for our continued survival, but we're rapidly approaching this point. As a small nation, we shouldn't have to control our actions because of the excesses of the rest of the world. But as a species, we can't afford NOT to think about the global ramifications of our actions.

Sometimes I think AIDS, all these wars, the stronger hurricanes and typhoons, tsnumanis and earthquakes are all the Earth's way of screaming ENOUGH! Already 256,000 children die PER DAY as a direct result of poverty. That's almost the population of Belize! Be concious.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Little India

As I sat in traffic on Albert St. yesterday I got to thinking that we are not that much different than our fellow commonwealth brethren, India.

India has a caste system. A system where the are those that have and those that have not. A system where there are the common folk and the untouchables. A system that does not encourage one class transitioning upwards into another and a system where the elite does whatever they please. YES, WE HAVE THIS.

India has prolific indentured servitude. A modern day slavery. YES, WE HAVE THIS....and not just in "indian" stores. Ever seen what one of the southern banana workers actually take home after being forced to shop at the company store?

India has trash that fills the streets in all but the most upscale areas. YES, WE HAVE THIS and I don't need to beat a dead horse about this.

India has slums. Some of the worst slums in the world. While not some of the worst, our London Bridge areas surely qualify. Add to that the putrid and unhealthy canals we throw everything into, and that snake into our lives,  then YES, WE HAVE SLUMS TOO.

India has an exploding population of young people. The vast majority being born into poverty. We only need look at our evening news with announcements of the latest gang banger killed and leaving 35 children to know that WE GOT THAT TOO.

India does have very modern telecommunications, some of the best in the region. WE GOT THAT and yes it is really the best in our region too, albeit at a horrible monopolistic price. The modern communications breeds resentment of our own country as we see the "utopias" abroad.

India has a brain drain of the smartest and the brightest heading to the USA is search of a better life. Come on, say it with me, YEP, WE GOT THAT TOO.

Being like India is not a good thing. Next thing you know we will be having terrorists with grenades. OH WAIT! WE HAVE THAT.

Maybe we should try to be more like ourselves and less like others.