Billionaires Plot Population Strategy Print
Columns
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 29 May 2009

A bevy of billionaires met in New York last week to discuss how they could more closely collaborate in their charitable giving. Calling themselves the “Good Club,” participants included some of the world’s richest guys – Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Warren Buffet, and George Soros. Oprah Winfrey was also there, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, no financial slouch himself.

Each billionaire was given fifteen minutes to present his pet project. Some pitched for reforming the supervision of overseas aid, others went for setting up rural schools, still others for water projects. But what they really wanted was an “umbrella project” upon which they could all agree. Rural schools and water projects didn’t cut it.

What they all agreed upon is that the world is dangerously overpopulated and that it’s up to them to stop it. In practical terms what these highest of high-flying billionaires believe is that there are too many poor people in the world, most especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, places where fertility rates have not bottomed out. Not yet anyway.

The first obvious question is this. Hasn’t this group gotten the word? Much of the world is in a demographic death spiral the likes of which we have never seen before. According to the United Nations, an organization that generally supports population control and its sister ideology “reproductive rights,” by 2025 every country in the world, except a tiny few in Africa, will fall below replacement fertility. The results are rapidly graying populations, intergenerational warfare over social spending, and slow socieatal death. A few years ago a group of experts met at the United Nations to discuss the question of how low fertility could go. Not one of them even hazarded a guess.

Trying to ward off what has come to be known as “demographic winter,” governments are already scrambling to get their fertility rates up. Scandinavian countries offer huge social services for the raising of children. France offers tax breaks for more children. A few years ago, then-Russian President Putin created a national stay-at-home-and-have-sex day because his country is losing a net 750,000 people per year. None of these measures is working very well.

News outlets have also reported that the purpose of the billionaires’ meeting was to strategize on how to “overcome political and religious obstacles to change.” Of course, this is aimed primarily at the Catholic Church.

The anti-Christianism of this group is well known. During a U.N. speech several years ago, at a global meeting of religious leaders, Ted Turner got a standing ovation when he mocked his childhood Christianity. The Rockefeller Foundation has funded the anti-Catholic organization Catholics for Choice. And George Soros funds left-wing Catholic groups that work to convince Catholics to oppose the Church on abortion.

Of course, none of this is new. The demographic mess we are in was created by just such collaboration among plutocrats. The modern population control movement began when David Rockefeller’s father visited the Far East in the 1950s, where he was shocked at the young and growing populations. John D. Rockefeller feared this cohort would become radicalized and eventually deprive the West of valuable natural resources. He came home and created the anti-natalist momentum that we are still experiencing now.

A haunting question is why the rich are so intent on limiting the birthrates of the poor. Of course, they tell everyone, including themselves, that it is better for the poor people. They couch it in purely altruistic terms. Having few children can only benefit these poor folks. The rich say, just look at our own empty quivers and see how happy we are. I am even sure they believe this.

But there is more at work here than rich folks simply fooling themselves. These are remarkably greedy and hubristic people. Sure this group gives away a lot of dough – $72 billion since 1996, according to The Times of London. But this is far from the widow’s mite. I would guess that none of them intend to give it all away. They want more and more, and bigger, and better.

These super-duper rich rich are also stuffed to the gills with hubris. How else to explain their belief that they can decide what the fertility rates of African families should be, or what the global population should be? At a conference in Long Beach, California, last February, Bill Gates said, “Official projections say the world’s population will peak at 9.3 billion, but with charitable initiatives, such as better reproductive healthcare, we think we can cap that at 8.5 billion.” Forbes ought to have a hubris list. Gates would top that one, too.

One very telling comment on all this self-styled philanthropy has been reported. Asked how the decisions were made at the billionaires’ meeting, one participant said, “nothing as crude as a vote” was taken. Yes, nothing so crude as a vote. And you can be darn sure this group will not bother to ask the poor of Africa either if they want the rich man’s population programs.

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washinton, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy.

(c) 2009 The Catholic Thing. All right reserved. For reprint rights write to: info at thecatholicthing dot org

The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

 

Other Articles By This Author