Rapid Population Growth for U.S., Not for Us

Stanford

Part of Stanford University`s 12 square mile campus in the heart of Silicon Valley From my column in Taki`s Magazine:

With immigration policy back in the news, I’m reminded that when I was a lad 40 years ago, the cutting-edge wisdom was that rapid population growth was a major problem. … 

Sure, the doomsayers’ prophecies were overblown, but the notion that moderation in the size of the population has its advantages has hardly been debunked. Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom has simply flipped 180 degrees. That an increase in the quantity of residents isn’t an unalloyed good for Americans is now widely sneered at as some crackpot theory that only hippies on acid would countenance. Everybody knows that a bigger population is Good for the Economy. … 

And yet the experts enlightening us about the wonders of a bigger populace don’t seem to be in any hurry for their own communities and colleges to grow. From checking the statistics of elite institutions, you might almost get the impression that the “revealed preference” of people who are good at getting what they want is for very slow population growth.

Read the whole thing there.

My article surveys the rates of growth in the undergraduate student bodies of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and Stanford (with its 8,180 acre campus in the heart of Silicon Valley), as well as the population growth rates in Beverly Hills, Greenwich, Cambridge, Manhattan, Palm Beach, Evanston, Hyde Park, Portland, Buckhead, University Park, Scottsdale, and Provo.

This is another illustration of my long-running theme that the rich and powerful aren`t just hypocritical, they`re also pretty smart about their own self-interest, and the rest of us can learn larger lessons from how they treat themselves.