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 Population - the ultimate resource
Population Growth? No Problem, Says Indian Think Tank
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Malaysia, Malaysia Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barun Mitra, The Director of Liberty Institute, stated in a discussion in Manila that India and Philippines will soon reap the demographic divident of having a younger population and China will end up having an aging population as of its one-child-policy. Population control distorts the gender ratio, results in gender violence and less innovation and care for older citizens. Free-market reforms and improvements to the educational system should be a precondition for this, reports The Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Malaysia.

“India and the Philippines reap benefits of the demographic dividend of having younger populations,” stated the Indian market-liberal Barun Mitra, Director of Liberty Institute in New Delhi, during a discussion in Manila on 27 January 2011. Having described how several countries, in particular China, had gone ”the way from choice to coercion” he argued that China will soon face the problems of having an aging population as a result of its one-child-policy.

Population control is often based on the argument that it is necessary for socio-economic development, and that parents are unable to rationally decide on their family size. The downside of enforced population targets however is that it not leads to an aging population but also to distortions in the gender ration because of a preference for sons, and to greater violence against women. “China is the first country in history to become old before becoming rich,” Barun Mitra stated. “A younger population is needed for a society to come up with new and innovative ideas, and also to able to care for older citizens. India and the Philippines will see this effect in the near future.” However, a pre-condition for this would be free-market reforms and improvements to the education system.

Barun Mitra spoke for a captive audience at the offices of the FNF Manila. The meeting was chaired by Nonoy Oplas of the Minimal Government Thinkers think tank, who also presented his new book “Health Choices and Responsibilities”.

FNF Country Director Jules Maaten welcomed Barun Mitra’s visit: “Population control is currently an emotive issue in the Philippines with the Reproductive Health Bill on the agenda. In this country we see that especially the poorest families are very, very large. Being able to exercise free choice is precisely the issue.”

Barun Mitra is a long-standing friend of the Foundation. He was also hosted by FNF and its former representative Siegfried Herzog (now based as FNF Regional Director in New Delhi) in 2006 where Barun Mitra spoke on free trade.

This article was published in the The Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Malaysia on Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Please read the original article here.
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