Thank you for the winter issue of The Social Contract. I read with interest the numerous articles by representatives from many countries concerning the issue of immigration as a cause of burdensome overpopulation in the developed countries. Implicit in the article by Roy Beck, regarding U.S. population growth, is the concept that quality of life is significantly influenced by the fertility rate among Americans.
As our socio-economic state of affairs continues to change, so too, does the family size. For those entering the U.S. from underdeveloped, poverty-stricken, third world countries where over-population is a way of life, the concept of limited population growth carries no significant meaning. Hence, Bouvier's insightful study, which revealed that the majority of the U.S.'s population growth is a result of the reproductive rate of immigrants and their descendants is not particularly surprising.
I am pleased that there is such a well-organized group of socially conscious and academically proficient individuals working to heighten awareness of this sensitive moral issue.
In contradistinction to Garrett Hardin's thesis that there is no technical solution to the problem, I feel that the immigration issue eventually can be dealt with in a morally correct and technically efficient fashion. In this era of political correctness, our government has obviously been listless in dealing with this problem. Nevertheless, the existence of illegal aliens in the United States must not be considered a fait accompli; we must not, in Hardin's words, increase our herd without limit in a world that is limited.
Kenneth B. Gum, M.D.
Traverse City, Michigan