Life … It’s all about numbers

By November 17, 2011

Richard Esposito

According to the United Nations, the human population exceeded 7 billion this month. Not surprising news given today’s advances in medical research and technology. Despite the recent downward trend in birthrates people are living longer — much longer.

This year’s census data reflects the United States contributed 300 million of the 7 billion people inhabiting Earth.

Three hundred million is a big number. And when that number represents the total number of people currently living in the United States then we’re talking about one crowded country. But don’t despair; we still rank third behind India and China.

The United States has always represented hope and opportunity around the world. Since the establishment of Jamestown in 1607 immigrants flocked here seeking refuge, religious freedom and a better way of life.

It took 308 years for this country to reach a population of 100 million people. We accomplished this in 1915.

The population doubled to 200 million just 52 years later in 1967. My parents contributed three toward that milestone.

Now a mere 39 years later the population has risen to 300 million people. The Esposito contribution towards the newest record is two — one daughter born in 1988, another in 1991.

According to expert’s crunching numbers somewhere in a dark room in Washington, D.C., our population will grow to 400 million in the year 2040. That’s just 29 years from now!

Twenty nine years just didn’t seem accurate to me given the trend thus far. So I broke out my trusty calculator and did the math. When I included the number of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border with the number of Hollywood celebrity adoptions I predict this country will exceed 400 million people within 10 years — not 29.

The multiplying factor in all this depends on the bobble heads in Hollywood of course. If they reconsider where they currently do their baby shopping (I mean adopting) then we might see our overall population grow much slower.

The odds of this happening are slim. The media attention they would garner from adopting an American born baby would pale in comparison to what their human purchases in more exotic far-away lands attracts. It’s such a shame with so many children waiting for adoption here in our own country.

Numbers also play an intricate part in determining the value of life. In Israel, for example, the exchange of Jewish Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners raised many eyebrows from both Jews and Palestinians. On the surface it appears Israel placed a very high value on one of their countrymen. However, on the other side of the political fence, Palestinians may believe exchanging one Jew for a thousand Palestinians puts a greater value on Palestinian life. It’s a whacky world out there.

Correction … it’s a whacky world right here.

How many of you cringed when Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. Octomom, added eight more mouths to feed to the six she already had at home. Her quest for fame and fortune fell short when media attention fizzled. Apparently TV networks don’t believe she has the right look for prime time television. Even celebrity wannabe Kate Gosselin fell from grace. Her “Jon and Kate and their media-crazed eight” reality show was canceled not long after her divorce from Jon was announced.

California population numbers may experience a slight bump now that the six-year moratorium on the state’s death penalty seems destined to linger on. The 700-plus inmates sitting on death row can breathe easy knowing their comfortable lifestyle is secure.

Life is good for inmates but not so good for the unemployed leaving the state in droves and seeking employment opportunities elsewhere. California might not play as big a role in our country reaching the next plateau of 400 million people. But for those of us opting to stay here that may work to our advantage. As the rest of the country fights for living space we’ll have plenty to enjoy for ourselves.

Life … it’s all about numbers.

Richard Esposito is publisher of Village Life. Contact him at [email protected].

Richard Esposito


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