Chris Johnson's picture


  by  Chris Johnson

The Washington Post Editorial Board recently argued for greatly increasing immigration numbers (and births) to accelerate U.S. population growth after the U.S. grew by "only" 22.7 million over the last decade. The editors may or may not realize that they are peddling what demographer Joseph Chamie calls "Ponzi demography" - a scam that privatizes profits and socializes costs, readers took note.

The Washington Post comments section received over 1,500 responses that comprehensively disagree with the editorial board's overall conclusion.

Here is a sample of the most "liked" comments, in order:

NOOOOOO! NO. Stop looking at the planet through an economic lens. Already overburdened nature is unraveling. Has the The Washington Post Editorial Board even read your reporters' articles about climate change, biodiversity collapse, and the 6th Great Extinction event?" - Lily Wise

Whatever happened to the concept of "steady state"? Arrive at a manageable population level and maintain it..." - Inkenhelmer

...The seas have been denuded of fish, the biosystems are collapsing because of humans overrunning habitats. The pollution humans produce is wrecking the planet. ..." - Deirdia Oliver

The population of the US has almost tripled in my lifetime. How many times does the WP think that can continue to happen????" - DougInPa

A minority of popular comments expressed support for U.S. population growth as long as it only came from immigration:

If the US needs a bigger population, take immigrants! Plenty of countries have too many people for them to feed. Immigrants, i.e. the ancestors of most Americans, work hard, are grateful and often have better values about caring for one another than do the history-ignorant current inhabitants." - Deirdia Oliver

Yes to immigrants. No to more babies." - RA Phillips

But most readers pushed back:

...America does not need More People...we have added 50 million since 2000 even with low fertility rates due to immigration. We must end population growth by moderating (not ending) immigration." - There is no Planet B

It's a 1950s mentality the Editorial Board expects us to accept in the year 2022. So tired of living in the past." - Enjoy the Kitchen

Presently, the US still has a net gain of one person every 37 seconds, according to US Census & based on the number of births, deaths, and legal immigrants. At the same time, DHS has also released more than 800,000 illegal border crossers into the country since the change of administration in Jan 2021; more than a third are minors under 18. And tens of thousands more are processed & released every month under Title 8.

Economics or competition with China should not be the reason to keep growing the US population. Some states are experiencing both water and housing shortage. Let's focus on improving the quality of life for existing US residents rather than keep competing with the world's most populous nation." - Mavolx

Economic growth does not require population growth, that is a false requirement. Economic growth happens when businesses find new and better ways of doing things and providing better products to their customers. You are asking for more immigration, because that makes people feel like they are improving and growing, even when they are not." - ValleyBoy17

AT a time when our earth is screaming, it's about time we agreed on one basic fact - global overpopulation is one of the largest drivers of global warming/climate change. I am extremely saddened that the WAPO editorial board thinks America should add to that problem. It's grotesque." - Ridingnomore

Wow, sad to see the Editorial Board publish this viewpoint, with no consideration of the fact that human overpopulation has led to so many of the issues that we are currently facing today. Very disappointed." - Julie Esty

Population growth does not pay for itself, costing more and more dollars to fund schools, hospitals, highways/infrastructures, while encroaching on wildlife habitat and destroying our waterways and air...." - boulderbyrd

Yeah, Washington Post, let's run our country like a Ponzi scheme...until the planet collapses. Not a very original idea. Short term thinking betting long term environmental disaster for everyone, rich and poor alike..." - miwoksoldier

To read more comments, go to The Post's View here.

CHRIS JOHNSON is a content writer for the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

Updated: Fri, Jul 1st 2022 @ 9:31am EDT

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