We’ve been looking at energy and resources, now it’s time to look at the ultimate resource
In Defense of People: Julian Simon, “The Ultimate Resource Is Mankind” – When I began to work on population studies, I aimed to help the world contain its “exploding” population, which I believed to be one of the two main threats to humankind (war being the other)….
One spring day about 1969 I visited the U.S. AID office on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., to discuss a project intended to lower fertility in less-developed countries. I arrived early for my appointment, so I strolled outside in the warm sunshine. Below the building’s plaza I noticed a road sign that said “Iwo Jima Memorial.” There came to me the memory of reading a eulogy delivered by a Jewish chaplain over the dead on the battlefield at Iwo Jima, saying something like, “How many who would have been a Mozart or a Michelangelo or an Einstein have we buried here?”
And then I thought, Have I gone crazy? What business do I have trying to help arrange it that fewer human beings will be born, each one of whom might be a Mozart or a Michelangelo or an Einstein – or simply a joy to his or her family and community, and a person who will enjoy life?
I still believe that helping people fulfill their desires for the number of children they want is a wonderful human service. But to persuade them or coerce them to have fewer children than they would like to have—that is something entirely different…. (Cooler Heads)