L7 Population

Tools For A New Political Economy

Encourage Adoption & Discourage Reproduction

If trends in developed and developing countries are any indication, it is likely that human population would eventually stabilize once sufficient levels of economic affluence and stability, education, healthcare and women’s rights are achieved. Whether this can or will happen in time to prevent exhaustion of the Earth’s resources, however, is a matter of increasing concern. Explosive population growth continues to have an enormous impact on demands for resources, environmental destruction and pollution, and perpetuation of poverty around the globe. So the question then becomes: can we do anything to slow this runaway train?

One idea that might help in the short run is to invert current forms of incentivization around having children. For example, instead of incentivizing reproduction through tax credits or benefits — while often at the same time limiting access to family planning and reproductive choice for women — we could reverse this position in Level 7. For example, reproductive health and planning could be an integral component of the universal
essential services backbone made available to all, and additional social credits could be made available for anyone who adopts any number of children, whereas the benefits (services, but without additional credits) would only be offered to the first two children a couple conceives themselves. It is clear that for any such proposals to gain traction in a meaningful way, the average moral altitude of the general population will need to advance beyond egoic and tribal orientations to an Earth-centric level of awareness or beyond.

Regardless, humans simply cannot keep reproducing at the same exponential rate, and especially while a hugely wasteful extractive economy charges full-steam ahead. At the current time, for example, the U.S.’s
5% of the global population consumes some 50% of the world’s resources. Clearly, this is not sustainable, and something has to give.





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