So meanwhile, continuing in the vein of short bits, consider this amazing bit of circular reasoning from Ronald Bailey of Reason magazine:
But what about the past? Haven't societies collapsed due to overpopulation? To the extent that it is true that some societies have suffered collapses, we now know that it was because they lacked the proper institutions for channeling individual striving into a process of economic growth which ultimately promotes the public interest. Very few earlier societies could be characterized as either economically free or respecting the rule of law.See, if you live somewhere where freedom promotes the public interest, then obviously the public interest will never get any damage from freedom, right? It all makes such perfect sense!
I am not sure whether or not the real mechanism of the demographic transition has anything to do with this sort of economics, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually put more oil in the ground or even (as a social organization conceivably could) keep more carbon out of the air. I will concede to Mr Bailey that a perfectly organized society is, by definition, organized perfectly. I'm just not all that convinced from this bluster that Bailey knows how to make one.
Update: Much to my surprise, Tokyo Tom, far less silly about the global commons than most libertarians, thinks Bailey's blurt is a positive contribution.