Washington Examiner 
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
President Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, took a controversial and amoral approach to the science of population by recommending mass compulsory sterilization and even forced abortion (and/or forced marriages) under certain circumstances. His 1977 tome, Ecoscience, which he co-authored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich, also displays a revealing disregard for the institution of the traditional human family.
Holdren and the Ehrlichs write:
Radical changes in family structure and relationships are inevitable, whether population control is instituted or not. Inaction, attended by a steady deterioration in living conditions for the poor majority, will bring changes everywhere that no one could consider beneficial. Thus, it is beside the point to object to population-control measures simply on the grounds that they might change the social structure or family relationships.
Holdren, with a blithe “of course,” encourages government to wage an effective war on the family in America. It begins with the abolition of “pronatalist” policies and continues with their complete reversal:
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As United States taxpayers know, income tax laws have long implicitly encouraged marriage and childbearing…Such a pronatalist bias of course is no longer appropriate. In countries that are affluent enough for the majority of citizens to pay taxes, tax laws could be adjusted to favor (instead of penalize) single people, working wives, and small families. Other tax measures might also include high marriage fees, taxes on luxury baby goods and toys, and removal of family allowances where they exist. Other possibilities include the limitation of maternal or educational benefits to two children per family.
Holdren notes that some of these proposals “have the potential disadvantage of heavily penalizing children (and in the long run society as well).” This is not a disqualifier, though, as long as the proposals are “carefully adjusted to avoid denying at least minimum care for poor families, regardless of the number of children they may have.” Even here, the objection is practical, not ethical. It’s fine to level stiff penalties against those who choose families and children, but not to the point that this policy exacerbates the original problem (unwanted children, living in squalor) that population control purports to combat.
Some Americans might cite the Founding Fathers and argue that a government whose policy is to make war on the family in the name of science has clearly overstepped its mandate. That was not the opinion expressed by John Holdren, the man President Obama has put in charge in the nation’s science policy.