When speaking about the increasingly dire conditions of American society, the first thing that anyone will likely bring up is the economy. More often than not, politics follow in a summary fashion. For a great deal of people, religion is never far behind. As this last topic is intertwined with morality, and therefore translates into political and economic matters, it is frequently regarded as the crux of any given social concern. This is one way of looking at things, to be sure, but does it allow for a snapshot encompassing the social landscape’s entirety?
I would say not. What does, then?
The study of sociology has always been of immense interest and importance to me. It can provide for the opportunity to view a nation, culture, or common group from a balanced and rational perspective. Through the sociological lens, I enjoy examining the various aspects of any given country. Whether these be financial, militaristic, ethnic, or historical in nature, a great deal can be learned from them. This is why it is surprising that one glaring recurrence regarding human development is largely overlooked or denied outright by many in contemporary America. It is the simple fact that nations with larger populations tend to be more impoverished, with negatively correlating rates of healthcare access and educational opportunities.
Unfortunately, despite being a solidly first world superpower, the United States is no exception to this rule. It stands the third most populous country on Earth, coming in only behind China and India. During the twentieth century, it did not double, or even triple, but quadrupled in size. Should this trend continue over the course of the twenty-first century, America will be home to more than one billion people by its end, though one should note that the rate of growth has declined to its lowest in a century.
Even so, the U.S. has one of the highest growth rates in the developed world.
The results of this demographic explosion are readily apparent: low wages and high underemployment rates (in some communities, rampant unemployment persists), public school systems with almost comic student to teacher ratios, and government assistance programs so heavily utilized that severe cuts are often needed to sustain them.
Considering all three of these points is essential should the damage waged by overpopulation be fully considered. First, high population tallies and sub-par salaries are intrinsically linked. This is evidenced by low income countries being home to the highest birthrates, despite economic prospects in said areas being next to nil. Needless to say, such a harsh reality gives way to soaring unemployment statistics. These standards apply to the United States without pause; in its poorer regions, conditions that might be described as “third world” can be found all too easily.
Specifically on the American front, overpopulation has resulted in there being a crucial job deficit and applicant surplus. In the past, this has mainly impacted blue collar workers, though the offshoring of tech employment has brought traditionally secure white collar individuals into the fray.
Joseph Ford Cotto, 1st Baron Cotto, GCCCR is the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Review of Books. In the past, he covered current events and style for The Washington Times's Communities section, where he interviewed personalities ranging from Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton to Dionne Warwick. Cotto was also a writer for Blogcritics Magazine and Yahoo's contributor network, among other publications. In 2014, H.M. King Kigeli V of Rwanda bestowed a hereditary knighthood upon him, which was followed by a barony the next year.