As their better-late-than-never industrialization has matured, the living standards in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere have increased, thereby also increasing their costs of production. Back at the developed countries, as their industries have sought less costly production abroad, living standards have begun to decline as industry has departed. The ‘dismal science’ of economics is doing its thing, equalizing the world market.
Unfortunately, some dead economists have interfered. Put more honestly, opportunistic politicians have drafted some dead economists to bolster their programs. One of those economists is Thomas Malthus. He gained considerable political influence as many will remember from school, pointing out that since humans reproduced exponentially while food production increased only arithmetically, continued population growth should be restricted to prevent starvation.
While the Malthusian math was impeccable, their science was unable to predict the enormous increases in food production resulting from industrialization and the ‘green revolution’ in biological sciences. Today, he looks pretty silly.
However, our current American and E.U. leaders appear to be his new disciples, somehow seeing raising up the poor countries as a zero-sum game that requires the decline of the rich, so they are (quietly, of course) imposing anti-energy and anti-productive regulations and laws upon the rich world so that the poor world may have more resources with which to improve their lot. This outlook is almost universal among the ‘new world order’ folk and that includes many of our top leaders. As there are more poor than rich, it is a productive public posture, so long as too many voters don’t think it through. Saving the planet provides excellent cover.
While this is the present gospel on the Left, it is as fallacious as it was when it was propounded by Malthusians. Their blindness to impending technology was no less than the present blindness of today’s leaders; assuming that necessary resources must limit growth because any wealth for the poor has to be wrested from the rich is as false now as it was in Malthus’ day.
Government is restricting energy and raising its price (the opposite of policy during the growth of America) so that others may have more of it as President Obama’s first Energy boss stated repeatedly. But science is constantly finding new sources of evr-cheaper energy; it seems obvious that continued progress will parallel the results of that ‘green revolution’ in food production. So instead of sneakily crippling ourselves, we should be pushing technology and development. With the products from those, America and Europe could maintain their leadership and wealth while the rest continued to develop, But our leaders, the new Malthusians blind to hat, are determined to impoverish us to balance out world economies and hopefully, prevent the destruction attendant upon massive migrations of poor people to rich places in search of decent living.
In short, we could export decent living while continuing to improve our own; there are only illusions, not physical laws, that say otherwise. But our leaders are captive as any Malthusian to those illusions and therefore, so are we.