Social Problems

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Thu Oct 25 00:19:38 MDT 2007

Elite Costs
By Dr. Walter E. Williams

         It's amazing how we listen to people who've been dead wrong 
time after time. In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page 
ads warning, "The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the 
year 2000 . . . . World food production cannot keep pace with the 
galloping population.  Family Planning cannot and will not, in the 
foreseeable future, check this runaway growth."

          Paul Erlich, author of the "Population Bomb" in 1968, 
predicted by 1999 the U.S. population would fall to 22.6 million. 
According to Erlich, during the 1980's 65 million Americans would 
perish from starvation. In light of these gross errors, doomsayers 
haven't changed their story. In January 1994, Lester Brown, of the 
Worldwatch Institute said, "Seldom has the world faced an unfolding 
emergency whose dimensions are as clear as the growing imbalance 
between food and people." Even the United Nations joined the chorus 
with their 1975 prediction there would be "500 million starvation 
deaths in Asia between 1980 and 2025."  Asia, as it turns out, is 
experiencing unprecedented economic growth.

         These grossly erroneous predictions can't simply be chalked 
up to ignorance. As Dr. Thomas Sowell points out, in his new book, 
"The Vision of the Anointed", statists deliberately invent crises as 
a means to gain more control over our lives. In the early 60s, 
Planned Parenthood and other groups convinced the nation there was a 
"crisis" in teen pregnancy and venereal disease. They got Congress to 
give them our money to sponsor sex education (read: indoctrination) 
classes, often showing films to junior high school students depicting 
hetero- homosexual couples engaged in sex; teenage birth control 
clinics were set up and condom distribution programs started.

         Was there a crisis in the first place? Since 1950, teenage 
fertility rates had been declining as were venereal disease rates. By 
1960 syphilis and gonorrhea infections were less than half of what 
they were in 1950. We all know the story after "sex education." Teen 
pregnancy rose from 68 per thousand in 1970 to 96 per thousand by 
1980. Venereal disease rate skyrocketed 350 percent between 1965 and 1978.

         It's the same story with poverty and dependency. When the 
"war on poverty" began in 1965, the number of people living in 
poverty had been rapidly declining since World War II. Sowell reports 
"[t]he proportion of people whose earnings put them below the poverty 
level, without counting government benefits, declined by about 
one-third from 1950 to 1965."  In other words, dependency was 
declining when the "war on poverty" began. Today, what the Bureau of 
Census defines as poverty is higher than in 1965 and there's much 
more dependency.

         It's the same story with crime. The absolute number of 
murders committed in the U.S. in 1960 was less than in 1930, 1940 or 
1950, even though the population was larger. After 1960, the courts 
succumbed to idiotic liberal ideology. Judge Brazelon opined the 
problem wasn't with "the so-called criminal population" but with 
society whose "need to punish" was a "primitive urge" that was 
"highly irrational." U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas 
said, "Rehabilitation of criminals has seldom been attempted. Killing 
them or locking them up is the-tried-and-true ancient method. Why not 
turn our faces toward rehabilitation?" Court contempt for law-abiding 
citizens produced today's crime rampage.

         The elite who've created or magnified our social problems 
see themselves as nobler and wiser than the ordinary person. They 
also see themselves as having been ordained to forcibly impose that 
"wisdom" on the "ignorant" masses. In the process, they've engineered 
one disaster after another. I want to know how long we, the benighted 
people, are going to sit on our butts and take it?

Dr. Walter E. Williams
January 22, 1996
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