The United States is tremendously rich in resources and short on history. Because parts of it were sparsely populated when the first Europeans arrived and because the indigenous population was susceptible to diseases like smallpox, it was relatively easy to conquer.
Of course, claiming and conquering North America required a great many people, and from the beginning, its population has grown steadily, both by immigration and by maintaining a high birth rate. Currently, however, the population of this country is not growing, which is a good thing for the world, but not such a great thing for the corporate empire that prefers endless economic growth.
One of the ways economies grow is by increasing population. More people need more goods, meaning more money for the sellers of those goods. This is hardly a sound (as in sustainable) form of growth, but corporations do not think. It is of no concern to AIG or General Motors that the population of the world as a whole threatens human survival on this planet. More Americans will bring more profit at the end of the fiscal year, provided congress keeps bailing them out. As for the fact that in 50 years, the earth may have exceeded its carrying capacity, they consider it a problem for the people living then.
Business corporations are not concerned with human values, only profit. As a result, a year’s supply of birth control drugs can cost as much as an abortion. When poor women find themselves pregnant because their low-cost methods of birth control, like abstinence and condoms fail, they find out in the harshest possible way what it means to be penny wise and pound foolish. Not only do they have to weather the stress of an unplanned pregnancy, those who choose abortion must also deal with societal disapproval and the risks of complication that accompany any invasive medical procedure.
The fact that the majority of teenage mothers in the United States are from minority and poor backgrounds ought to be a red flag. These young women are given the abstinence-only information the Christian Right has forced school boards to adopt, and then left to their own devices when they do not abide by Christian sexual mores. Their children have children for parents, a recipe for poverty, misery and ignorance. This is a high price for the children to pay, not to mention the taxpayers who must support and educate them. The system creates a class of people for whom a job at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart is a best-case scenario.
The corporate world sits back and watches the pro-life and pro-choice factions clash endlessly, while profiting from both sides. Unfortunately, Americans are the big losers in the game, because while they debate, the corporations debase the environment, using up resources and land, which future generations will need, for profit now.
Confronted with a complaint like this, corporate apologists explain that advances in technology and agriculture will compensate, which is true, unless, of course, they don’t. Corporations will use up whatever they can get now, and let future people worry about the future.
Americans need to protect the environment, instead of banking on advances that do not and may never exist. Scientists are not hopeful about those advances the corporate sector expects. They seem to think that the Petri dish of earth is about to be full. Every sensible person knows that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
The people who deplore abortion so much could be out helping poor women get access to birth control, so it would be unnecessary to use abortion as emergency birth control. First, however, they would need to see who was pulling the strings, and that we all want the same things: prosperity, peace and a good quality of life, not just profits.