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Do you believe that the U.S. should be concerned about overpopulation and that...

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gdawg21 | Student, College Freshman | Honors

Posted August 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM via web

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Do you believe that the U.S. should be concerned about overpopulation and that immediate action is warranted?

Do you believe that the U.S. should be concerned about overpopulation and that immediate action is warranted?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM (Answer #2)

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I do not think that overpopulation is a serious issue for the United States.  I do not think there is reason to be concerned about it.

The birth rate in the United States is right about at the replacement level right now.  This means that the US population is not being increased at a particularly high rate.  The US is also well capable of supporting the population even as it increases.  There is nothing remotely resembling a food shortage in the US.  There are, of course, issues with the amount of resources that the US consumes, but these are addressable through conservation and technological improvements.

I do not think the US needs to be concerned with overpopulation because the population is not growing that fast, because we have plenty of food, and because any issues with other resources can be addressed.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 18, 2011 at 12:09 AM (Answer #3)

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My main concern is what you mean by "immediate action."  If by "immediate action," you mean mandatory abortion for any children in a family over one or two, ... then that kind of action is never going to fly in our country where we have the freedom to decide exactly how many children we are allowed to have and many people who would lovingly adopt "extra" children.  In my opinion, the United States should begin to stress the wonderful virtue of self-control as a way to combat this "problem."   Further, there are places in this world where overpopulation is a problem, but not here.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 18, 2011 at 6:31 AM (Answer #4)

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Any limits on population would by a contrast to America's tradition of individual rights. Thre are some people who don't want children taught about birth control and want abortion to be illegal. There are also plenty of Americans that pay thousands in in vitro costs to try to have a child.
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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:02 AM (Answer #5)

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I think we should make careful family planning a part of our education and public awareness systems.  While having large families is both a religious and cultural custom in the US, research suggests that those with more education and higher incomes tend to have smaller families.  Increasing access and education about contraception seems a common sense approach to me, rather than trying to deal with population controls after we have reached a crisis stage like India or China.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM (Answer #6)

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All nations, including the United States, have the obligation to reduce their non-sustainable withdrawal of Earth's ecological capital. Part of this obligation is acted out in responsibly limiting population. The United States lags far behind other developed Western nations in fulfilling this responsibility that is part of its obligation.

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted August 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM (Answer #7)

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Although "immediate action" sounds harsh, I do believe the US should be doing something about population. We are a world leader, and we should be setting an example. It's not right that we get to pass judgement on the population problems of countries like India when the "octomom" can get her own television show in the US.

I believe the US should stop encouraging and rewarding families and individuals who are contributing to population increase. For instance, there could be a declining scale or an outright cap on income tax deductions for children, and the same could be applied to public aid programs like welfare. Instead of getting more money for having more children, the amount could decline for each successive child. There is nothing punitive about this, it's simply a disincentive.

Our politicians also need to stop meddling with access to family planning options, a right that was tried and decided upon a generation ago, and get to work trying to make our country a better place for the children that are already here to grow up in and eventually inherit.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:54 PM (Answer #8)

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I too am confused about what you mean by "immediate action." It sounds rather drastic to me. I don't think overpopulation is a concern within the US. As other editors have pointed out, population growth has actually plateaued, and therefore the US is in no risk of becoming another China. Even if it was, it would be very difficult to see what "immediate action" could be taken, as the US is a country with a long history of respecting individual rights, so the one child policy that was used so successfully in China would not be able to be used in this situation.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 20, 2011 at 3:01 AM (Answer #9)

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The phrase "immediate action in regards to overpopulation" frightens me. Historically, many countries have murdered children to prevent overpopulation. The thought of this happening in the US is too beastly to think about. What I think should be looked at instead, given I do not believe we a nationally overpopulated on a whole, is more education on birth control, taking care of our planet so it can HELP to sustain itself, and reducing our global footprint.

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megan-bright | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM (Answer #10)

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Overpopulation is certainly not a concern for the US, and no action should be taken. In general, from my limited Geography studies, there really are enough natural resources for all human beings. The problem is that countries misuse, abuse, and exploit the resources. Also, there is the issue of the extremely wealthy having a vast amount while others live in poverty. Overpopulation should not be a concern for any country if that country's leaders maintained proper, ethical, and sensible methods when distributing and allocating the resources.

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boblawrence | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:12 AM (Answer #11)

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For the country as a whole, I do not believe that overpopulation is a problem.

For certain groups or individuals, however, there may be a value in curbing reproductive activity.  I am talking about persons unable financially or mentally to raise children.  In cases such as these, education is the solution.

For the country as a whole, there is a benefit of a reasonable rate of population growth.  A predictable growth rate is helpful in distributing resources and creating and maintaining infrastructure.  It is important for the economy.

Fortunately, we in the U.S. are not, in my opinion, in the circumstance of needing to curb population growth.  In the U.S. there is no need for population control measures that might be appropriate in African countries with unstable governments or on-going famine.

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