Dependence and Population

My homeland, the USA, is dependent on foreign countries to finance its debt. The Philippines is dependent on remittances coming from other countries. How does this dependence affect population, poverty and pollution? Perhaps I can share some perspectives from an outsider on this. My missions here in the Philippines have kept me in close contact with rural families involved in small farming. I have lived on all of the larger islands of the Philippines, Luzon, Mindanao, Negros, Leyte, Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Masbate, Palawan, Mindoro and Bohol. Everywhere many families are dependent on a family member working in a foreign country. Having a large family is considered an asset for this reason. This is one reason that the Philippines has the fastest growing population in Asia. Aside from providing income for the country and family, this fast growing population has another, less desireable affect. It is called the law of supply and demand and is the reason that wages in the Philippines are so low that workers must go abroad to earn a good wage. If this sounds like a vicious cycle, indeed it is! With so many people seeking work, employers have little incentive to offer good wages. This drives more workers to seek employment abroad. That is the population affect of dependence on work in foreign countries and explains poverty as well.

Pollution as a function of population is fairly straightforward although the poor rural families I have lived among do not produce the same kinds of pollution as families in the USA, who have refrigerators, air conditioning and automobiles. Poor rural families produce pollution by cooking with wood or charcoal and burning refuse and farm waste. There is a large difference due to lifestyles.

Rowland Lane Anderson.

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