Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
Regular Contributors:  Herman Daly, Brian Czech, Brent Blackwelder, James Magnus-Johnston, and Eric Zencey. Guest authors by invitation.

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First Cut: No Five-Kid Presidents

By Brian Czech

(With apologies to the Octomom, who didn’t ask for this kind of attention.)

Brian CzechMention the Octomom, and the first thing that comes to mind is that ridiculous fecundity. If she tried running for President, she’d never make it to the first debate, because everyone would take the 14-kid factoid (yes, she had 6 before the 8) to indicate some type of extremist propensity. More astute analysts would also point out that, as an example for the nation, the Octomom would be a demographic disaster of unparalleled proportions.

Anybody for the second coming of Easter Island?

If everyone bred like the Octomom, the population would double every 11 years!* In less than 50 years, then, the population would be 16 times the current bloated level. And you think your ride to work is congested now? The only good thing about it—regarding congestion at least—is that the vast majority of those offspring wouldn’t be driving to work in the first place. In a country unable to provide full employment now, imagine it trying to provide twice as many jobs, not to mention 4 times as many, then 8 times, etc. And with no more water, soil, and frackable Dakotas than it already has!

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2

Five-kid presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

So much for Octomom. If she ever had any presidential timber, it was clearcut with the parturition of that last round of 8. For that matter, wasn’t the original 6 (by the age of 28) already a patently poor precedent for a presidential candidate? She still would have been leading the way for a doubling time of 14 years.*

The fact is, no matter what you think about limits to growth, a population growth rate way—way—over the replacement rate is as sustainable as a shrimp at the local Red Lobster. Who wants to vote for an example setter for shrimp-like sustainability?

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t vote for a candidate with any more than 3 kids, and 2 or 1 would be much better. By all accounts, the nation is not yet with me on that. But as a polity, where do we draw the line? Should we—or any country—have a president who is five-eighths of the way to Octo-fecundity?

Well, we have one candidate who has proven precisely that fecund. Shockingly enough, a couple of them are even more so.

Drumroll, please, amidst the falling presidential timber…

Name Kids Analysis
Rick Santorum 7 What the hell? “Champion Breeder for President!”
Jim Webb 6 You got your Octomoms and you got your Sextodads.
Donald Trump 5 Donald Trump, you’re… you know what!
Chris Christie 4 Too much congestion on those bridges already.
Martin O’Malley 4 One to each cardinal direction.
George Pataki 4 Does it really matter?
Marco Rubio 4 Doubling time, 22 years.
Lincoln Chafee 3 May Rhode Island not Easter Island become.
Ben Carson 3 Sing along, “And it’s once… twice… three times, irrelevant.”
Mike Huckabee 3 Presumably a relatively holy trinity.
Bobby Jindal 3 Politically correct enough, again!
Jeb Bush 3 They’re also running for president.
Rand Paul 3 Triple threat to the Federal Reserve!
Ted Cruz 2 One for machine guns and one for bacon.
Carly Fiorina 2 Executive competency.
John Kasich 2 Although one of them can’t recall who Kasich is.
Rick Perry 2 Although Perry can’t recall who one of them is.
Scott Walker 2 He lets them eat cake.
Hilary Clinton 1 Not for lack of effort on Bill’s part.
Bernie Sanders 1 Demographic socialism.
Lindsey Graham 0 Whatever.

 

So there you have it. Vote with your heart and your mind. And with demographic diligence.

 


Notes:

* The population dynamics practiced here are suitable for rough estimates. Doubling times were calculated using a Population Growth Rate Calculator with the reproductive history of the Octomom as summarized at Wikipedia. The primary variable not accounted for in these doubling time estimates is deaths. However, the USA is characterized by high survival rates and relatively long life spans (e.g., the Octomom is 40 years old and each of her children is alive).

 

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5 Responses to “First Cut: No Five-Kid Presidents”

  1. Aquifer says:

    Sorry, think this article in very poor taste …

    As one of 5 kids, i am very glad for my sibs …

    I understand the need for reduction in future population numbers – but making a choice of leaders based on how many kids they have now is over the top …

  2. Piney says:

    Thank you for having the courage to write this. I believe two is too many to bring into this overcrowded, resourced-depleted world. It merely sustains an unsustainable number.

    As “practicing” Catholics, my parents had seven children, all prior to the availability of the birth control pill. Their offspring, however, made up for this fecundity, giving them only 6 grandchildren total. I decided at an early age not to have any children. It was clear to me, coming of age in the 1970s, that the last thing the world needed was more people, so I vowed not to contribute to the problem.

  3. Leslie says:

    I agree! Good point, which no voter pays any attention to, but should. Too bad we can’t promote this as an issue that would be addressed by any of the candidates, even good ‘ol Bernie. Too hot to handle. It’s economic growth, growth, growth; it’s religious family values stuff, and who wants to talk about these who values their success in politics!!

  4. Brilliant. Hilarious.

    Small correction: the former governor of Florida’s actual name is John Ellis Bush. JEB is just an acronym.

    Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich have no kids and Cynthia McKinney has one son.

    Hillary and J.E.B. should run together, they were business partners in Iran-Contra. http://www.oilempire.us/hillary.html

    I’m not impressed with Senator Sanders, he’s certainly better than Hillary but he doesn’t mention the limits to growth on a finite planet. It’s moot, because he has not done evil deeds for the National Security State, the real prerequisite for the job.

    I’ll be voting None of the Above (again) next year, an honorable choice.

  5. Lou Nelms says:

    If the earth cannot support everyone having 8 kids then what is the problem with my having 8 kids?
    If Americans consume the lion’s share of earth’s resources, what is the problem?

    Few look to such questions for ethical and moral guidance — what would be the consequence of everyone practicing what I practice? Would the world be a richer or a poorer place? I mean, where would capitalism be without my taking with no conscience? Where would the economy be without my maker’s blind spots? Multiply and subdue for me. More god, more people.

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