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Friedman And Scruton: Critique Of Suggestions For The Future

1324 words - 6 pages

Many different groups have taken their stance on the future of America in terms of population and environment such as the Malthusians, the Neo-Malthusians, and those who believe in the Marxist demographic perspective. Malthusians seem to be the most pessimistic of all, suggesting that the population of America and food supply increase at different rates, and ultimately there will be an inadequate supply of goods to keep people alive, unless a check (sexual restraint) is used to reduce the forthcoming population. Neo-Malthusians propose the same underlying themes, but believe that birth control is an appropriate check to population growth. Marxians submit that through the course of history, each society has had its own law of population that determined the consequences of population growth. There are even those who are called boomsters or doomsters based on their perspective of the future of America, with boomsters saying that population growth stimulates economic development as well as the fact that we can grow food as we need it, while doomsters suggest that continued population growth will lead to certain economic and environmental collapse in a worldwide tragedy of the commons. Although Friedman (2009) and Scruton (2012) have differing opinions on the subject as well, with Friedman taking a more liberal stance, while Scruton is more conservative in his opinions, the two have examined the present state of America to issue propositions for the improvement of the prospective world that may be seen as beneficial or seemingly far-reaching.
Friedman (2009) suggests that America has lost its way and the world itself has begun to be hot, flat, and crowded. When speaking of the earth becoming hotter, Friedman (2009:68) states, “our planet is experiencing a warming trend – over and above natural and normal variations – that is almost certainly due to human activity associated with large-scale manufacturing.” When mentioning that the world is becoming more flat, it is not in the physical sense. Friedman (2009:66-67) suggests that through the use of the personal computer, the emergence of the internet, and the interoperability of software on those computers, the global economic playing field has been leveled to allow more people from many different areas to enter the middle class. In reference to crowding, the United Nations Population Division issued a report stating that “the world population will likely increase by 2.5 billion over the next 43 years, passing from the current 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050” (as cited in Friedman 2009:65).
Due to these increasing issues, Friedman (2009:63) proposes that there has been “a growing demand for even scarcer energy supplies and natural resources, a massive transfer of wealth to oil-rich countries and their petrodictators; disruptive climate change; energy poverty, which is sharply dividing the world into electricity haves and electricity have-nots; and rapidly accelerating biodiversity loss, as...

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