Over population is good for India and Indian society-III

Coming to final part of this series on overpopulation, let us look back at what we have covered so far. In part 1, we addressed myths of India already having an overall high population number, and high population density, which can be found here. In part 2 we addressed myths of India not having enough land and water to support a large population, which can be found here. Now we must move on to what is perhaps, one of the most contentious issue, i.e. high population causes unemployment.

Myth 5: Over Population causes unemployment

This is a very pernicious lie, perpetuated by even the supposedly RW economists. Over population has not caused unemployment per se, nor will it do so, without mismanagement of the economy by the government. For example, the unemployment rate in India was far higher in the 1980s, during era of Indira’s license raj than today. This is when there are more educated youth today, than it was then and with much higher population today compared to 80’s. Even when the pool of people available in labor market has increased, the unemployment rate has actually come down because the available employment opportunities have skyrocketed with the economic liberalization of 1990s. You can even notice the same trend in popular media, reflecting this ground reality. During the 1950s-90s, even early 2000’s many films of the Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood addressed the subject of unemployment of the educated youth. However, you will be hard pressed to find a similar genre of films today. Such genre simply won’t connect with the people and it’s because most of the educated youth in India are able to get some worthwhile job, if only they were willing to search them.

This becomes very plain to see, especially when one looks at this problem using a very basic (“mathematical model as an” shouldn’t use this though) example. Do note that these are only assumptions in order to understand the phenomenon of unemployment better. Let us assume there is a self-sustained village of 1000 people, it’s running at near full efficiency of income/ economy, and that they have all their needs met for the most part. That is, the village will have enough doctors, engineers, public servants, police officers, lawyers, judges, traders, business owners, farmers, bankers, laborers, etc to run the village efficiently. Further assume that the number of professionals needed, for any given profession,  is only 10 for a village of 1000. That is 10 lawyers, 10 judges, 10 farmers, 10 traders and so on and so forth, for the successful and efficient running of the economy. After fulfilling all the required professionals for the functioning of the village, there might be few people who are not employed and let us assume that the number is 50 or 5% of the population of 1000.

Let us for sake of the argument, assume that the population in the same village has grown 10 fold. Now for the village to function efficiently, it will need about similar percentage of professionals performing a certain function. So you would need about 100 doctors, 100 judges, 100 lawyers, 100 farmers, 100 laborers, 100 teachers etc. Let us also assume that there’s unemployment for 500 people, since in the above model we assumed 50 people will be out of work per 1000 people village functioning at full efficiency. This is the key point to note, that even though overall number of people being unemployed in a given population is higher, the unemployment rate will still remain at pretty much what we previously had. So what next if population of the village grows to be 100 fold than at the beginning? For the village to function properly, it will now need 1000 laborers, 1000 doctors, 1000 teachers etc and will still have a unemployment rate of about 5% or 5000 people. The same model can be used to extrapolate for a population of 100000, 100000, or 1 billion as in case of India. One could thereby infer that efficient functioning of an economy is independent of population numbers on a basic level and it all boils down to efficiency/ productivity of each individual in any given population. To put it simply, this is the reason why when comparing two countries or populations, per capita statistics like doctors per capita, police per capita etc. are used, instead of looking at raw numbers directly.

So why is this example relevant to India and the question of over-population?

Like most arguments about overpopulation of India, the overpopulation argument being responsible for India’s backwardness is also based on raw numbers. Consider a known fact that India has lower number of doctors per capita, than developed nations like USA or UK. That said, it is not because of India’s overpopulation. It is because of India hasn’t invested in certain key areas like the western countries, in this particular example health care, and is thus unable to produce enough doctors per capita. Now, critics pushing existing narrative of ills of over population, they will claim that India’s need for higher doctors per capita is unmet precisely because of overpopulation. That by simply providing for a reduction in population, we effectively can actually have more doctors per capita. However, when one reduces population to the point where the critics are OK with it, we are also reducing the income generated from the population proportionately. Hence, the investment that could be made into producing doctors will also see a decline, such that we would again have the same per capita numbers. This example is valid for other professions which are also needed in India as well, for example per capita police personnel. So it is a safe bet that the way to increase the living standards of the Indian citizens, is by increasing the productivity of the citizens and unleashing their potential.

Over population is actually more efficient for some sectors of Economy:

The argument that efficient functioning of the economy, it will require certain percentage of professionals working for the economy will hold true for most sectors of the economy.  On the other hand, there are sectors where the larger population will actually make the population wealthier with the same efficiency, one such is the defense sector. For a village of 1000 population, fielding an armed forces of 10 people armed well will be dedicating 1 % of the population (and hence its economic activity or GDP) for defense. However, for a population of 10,000 people, even an army of 50 people will be just 0.5% of the population (and hence the economic activity or GDP). Do note that the defense expenditures of the nation do not add economic value, like the way doctors, lawyers, police officers do, but it is a net economic investment for the protection of the very foundation of the society (although defense employs large number of people and can also contribute positively to some extent, but it will have to be paid from pocket of government, since there are no final consumers). This is why most people consider increased spending on defense as bad for the economy, while simultaneously claiming that increased spending of the society on healthcare or education is a good thing. There can be no better example for this phenomenon than a comparison between India and Pakistan. Per capita income level of India is only 20% higher than that of Pakistan but since India is 8 times as populous, and hence overall economically bigger, it can manage to spend 7 times more on defense than Pakistan, by merely spending just 2.5% of the GDP on defense. Pakistan on the other hand, spends about 5% of its GDP on defense and it is still unable to match India militarily.

This is also the reason USA, is presently the sole superpower of the world. Many nations like Switzerland, UK, France, Germany, match USA in terms of per capita statistics on income and wealth. However, none have the same military might of USA, and it’s because of the USA’s population, which is fair few times higher than most European countries.  It’s also the reason Japan could never have taken over as the prime super power of the world, like it was feared in 1980s. Japan only had about half the population of USA, and a number that was already in decline. With population of Japan being half of USA, the only way it could match USA was by having double the per capita income/ productivity of the USA. This is why, it is considered inevitable that China, and eventually India, will start to out-produce the west, to become the most dominant force on the planet. Obviously this is assuming that the left leaning Communists and others, and those on the right (RSS/ BJP) don’t screw up the economy, like they did with demonetization. Population is one of the reasons, why Islam is considered one of the only credible threats to Western world order. All in all, population can said to be a positive force for the Indian society, and not a negative one. So if Hindus have more kids, it is beneficial for Hindus, the society and the country. It is about time that Hindus get out of this paranoia against population, which was created by the incompetent socialist idiots and their governments, just like they got out of the socialist kool-aid on culture and economics. Only then will the future belong to Hindus, like it did for millennia before Abrahamic invasions.

  • Lord Magnificent

    Excellent piece by YP. The last line of your article is very poignant. What goes through your mind when you type this words YP