Last month, The Wall Street Journal published a review of Larissa MacFarquhar’s book “Strangers Drowning,” which consists of profiles of extreme “do-gooders,” such as the woman who was morally torn over the idea of having a child. The author writes that in this woman’s view, a child of her own would be an enormous line item on her “moral spreadsheet,” and “the most expensive nonessential thing she could possibly possess.”
By diverting some of the world’s preciouslimited resources to her own baby, the woman believed that “she would be in effect killing other people’s children.”
That book was just published, but sadly, the idea of a child or children being “immoral” is nothing new. U.S. academic Paul Ehrlich, author of 1968’s “The Population Bomb” is still around, living off the Earth’s limited resources and flying around the world giving lectures about the end of the world.
The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephenswritesthis week about the“embarrassed eulogies being written for Chinas one-child policy, which Beijing finally eased last week after a 35-year experiment in social folly and human cruelty.” He notes that Ehrlich, now in his 80s, has held strong to his anti-child views.
It’s a bit unfair to imply that Ehrlich isn’t thinking of the children who have already been born. He has all sorts of ideas in that big brain.