Book Review of 'The Population Fix' by Edward C. Hartman

By John Rohe
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 16, Number 4 (Summer 2006)
Issue theme: "Immigration and economics: an interview with Cornell University Labor Economist Vernon M. Briggs, Jr."

The Population Fix: Breaking America's Addiction to Population Growth

by Edward C. Hartman

Think Population Press, 2006

238 pages, $24.50.

Every generation of readers is benefitted with a lesson on population dynamics. Preferably, the lesson will be neatly packaged in plain English.

This book offers information on population dynamics in an engaging style. There are no intimidating charts, no convoluted equations, and no undefined terms. Just straight talk on how fertility and immigration multiplies the numbers. The author, Edward C. Hartman, also examines the underlying root causes of the ongoing population explosion in the United States.

If you have been following the literature on the population/immigration movement for many years, this book will offer a refreshing approach. The Population Fix might be just the right form of relief to send a friend or family member on the road to recovery.

The Population Fix introduces the reader to carrying capacity issues. It enables the reader to instinctively correlate highway gridlock, polluted waters, and urban sprawl with population pressures. The author maintains a keen gaze on the uninitiated in this work.

Hartman's leading qualification in writing this book is his immodest status as a grandfather in California. Twenty-eight years in the telecommunications industry and in the financial services business provide a world of experience from which to draw wisdom. Life has exposed Hartman to the symptoms of population growth. The book explains a coherent and accessible series of population concerns. They lead the reader to an unavoidable conclusion overpopulation threatens every facet of life on the planet.

In her Foreword, Diana Hull, president of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) asks "Do Americans have the rightâ€"and the responsibilityâ€"to determine America's ultimate population?" She enthusiastically recommends this book.

Hartman frames thought-provoking population-related questions. For example, will the next wave of illegal workers rush to fill the void left by yesterday's amnestied illegal workers? In 1913, each member of the House of Representatives spoke for 200,000 constituents. Today, each speaks for 690,000. Where will this end? Will the addition of more workers today save Social Security tomorrow? Or, will it only add the weight of more retirees later?

Hartman hopes to build an army of "populationists." As the protagonist in Hartman's work, the "populationist" impulsively correlates population pressures with overcrowded schools, highway bonds, environmental hazards, and urban sprawl. The "populationist" learns to identify population growth addicts, such as food processors, bankers, home builders, and cheap labor advocates. The book draws a direct parallel with "other addictions." This addiction includes a team of "enablers," such as Congress, the mortgage industry, sanctuary supporters, growth-oriented economists, the elites, and even certain environmental organizations like the Sierra Club.

Among the "victims" of population growth addicts, Hartman includes the motorists on congested highways, the employees competing for lower wages, energy users, home buyers, students, taxpayers, water users, and the wildlife lost to sprawl.

The book offers helpful information for the motivated to take action. Proposed letters to the editor and information on reaching Congress are offered in the Appendix.

In our enduring quest to determine an optimum national population, Edward C. Hartman sets forth a helpful frame of reference.

About the author

John F. Rohe is an attorney in Petoskey, Michigan, with a long-standing concern for the environment and is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.

Copyright 2007 The Social Contract Press, 445 E Mitchell Street, Petoskey, MI 49770; ISSN 1055-145X
(Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract)