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Live Long… and the World Prospers

As a population grows more long-lived, its members become wealthier.

In spite of concerns expressed by various government representatives, human longevity goes hand in hand with increased wealth. There are many economic benefits to living longer in good health beyond the immediately obvious ones.

This has been demonstrated over and again during the past few centuries, as one after another, regions of the world have moved from poor to rich, and populations from shorter-lived to longer-lived.

This bears repeating, and frequently, as the very vocal Malthusian and environmentalist camps claim that exactly the opposite will happen in the future. The Malthusian vision is of poverty and collapse brought on by longevity. This is, of course, ridiculous and just as wrong now as it has been at any time since Malthus first put forward his ideas.

The world simply doesn’t work that way, as human ingenuity driven by the urge to profit continually produces new and greater resources in response to the need for them.

Nonetheless, with little regard for history, Malthusian adherents loudly oppose engineered human longevity – and their influence is grand and pervasive. When the average person on the street claims to be against longer lives and greater health, it is the hair-shirt Malthusian teachings of the environmentalist movement that inform that reaction: too many people, using too many resources, living too long, and not deserving any more of either.

Yet the world does not work that way. There is no such thing as overpopulation and no such thing as limits on resources. The arguments for more human death and suffering (and less striving for better medicine) are nothing less than evil. A banal and diffuse evil, with every person doing a little to build the monstrous whole, but still malign and terrible in its end result.

Every day the development of rejuvenation biotechnology is slowed will cost at least 100,000 lives, and another day of suffering for tens of millions of people.

Sadly, those who buy into Malthusian positions, and there are many, could very well inadvertently be committing suicide. We tend to get what we expect.

See: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jskinner/documents/MurphyTopelJPE.pdf

This post originally appeared here: http://www.maxlife.org/articles/2012/07/the-world-prospers.asp

 

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