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Dick Smith on Population Growth in Australia

Dick Smith challenges ‘faith’ in benefits of population and economic growth.  Dick Smith has warned against unchecked population growth but says Australia’s politicians are not “game” enough to talk about the issue.

In an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday, the businessman said endless population and economic growth was like a “religious faith” for graduates of university degrees in economics and questioning whether these two things were beneficial for Australians was something of a taboo in public discussion.

Mr Smith singled out politicians, economists and journalists for restricting debate about the costs of “endless compound growth in population” and said a Senate inquiry might be needed to break open a conversation.

“It’s almost like a religious faith that growth, don’t even discuss it, it will just go on forever when it obviously can’t and I’m absolutely surprised at that,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said, left unchecked, Australia’s population would hit “80 to 100 million by the end of the century if we keep growing”.

He said that kind of perpetual growth would only serve wealthy Australians, while the majority of the population would suffer a decline in living conditions and be worse off.

“The cake is a certain size, mainly coming from our mineral reserves and our primary production from farming, and double the population, I believe everyone’s worth half as much,” he said.

The businessman said Australia needed a plan for sustainable population and economic growth, but gave few specifics of what that management should entail….’

Information about Population Growth, Immigration, International Education and Human Development

I respect Dick Smith for his efforts in supporting the Australian Sceptics, science and reason however I have questions for Dick Smith:

1.  Who informs him of the need to curtail ‘growth’ whether economic or population?

2.  What is Dick Smith’s expertise in this area?

3.  Why does his ‘thesis’ rely on subjective or value judgements, yet no empirical data showing causal links between population or immigration and the negative outcomes he cites?

4.  Why does he not give any context to ‘population’?  For example, international population and growth will peak at around 2050, while most of the growth in Australia’s population is from churnover of temporary residents.

5.  Does he think for example economic growth brought about in the health and aged care sector as Australia’s permanent population and especially baby boomers age, is negative, and what alternative would he propose?

World population growth trends chart shows slowing.

World Population Growth Trends

6.  How does he reach the hyperbolic claims that Australia will reach 80-100 million by end of the century?

7.  Australian governments not only pay attention to the anti immigration and sustainable population lobby, but have introduced visa and immigration restrictions, largely due to Dr. Bob Birrell.

8.  What are Dick Smith’s views on John Tanton’s The Social Contract Press that Birrell and Sustainable Population Australia’s SPA Mark O’Connor have contributed to and liased with over the years?

9.  While it is clear, on flimsy if any evidence at all, Dick Smith, Bob Birrell, SPA etc. are againts immigration etc., but what are they for, and how would they implement their vision for Australia?

For more information about population growth,international education, immigration and human development click through.

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