Dreams, fantasies and mythologies by
Julian L. Simon, was a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and distinguished senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He died February 8, 1998 at the age of 65. He is well known for his roll as an iconoclast, a person of boundless optimism for the human species. He adamantly opposed the environmentalists who claimed that the human species was heading for an ecological disaster and was thus called the "Doomslayer" supposedly capsizing the prevailing Malthusian orthodoxy during the 1980's. According to his former research assistant Stephen Moore, "He routed nearly every prominent environmental scaremonger of our time: from the Club of Rome, to Paul Ehrlich, to Lester Brown, to Al Gore."
Julian Simon expressed the beliefs and desires of virtually all economists who believed that humans "are not just more mouths to feed, but are productive and inventive minds that help find creative solutions to man’s problems, thus leaving us better off over the long run." Among the many prominent converts to the Julian Simon world view on population and environmental issues were President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. Despite howls of protest from the international population control lobby, in 1984 the Reagan administration adopted Simon’s position—that the world is not overpopulated and that people are resource creators, not resource destroyers—at the United Nations Population Conference in Mexico City. The Reaganites called it "supply-side demographics." Meanwhile, in the late 1980s, Simon traveled by invitation to the Vatican to explain his theories on population growth. A year later Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter urged nations to treat their people "as productive assets."
What will be attempted here is to expose Professor Simon as an arrogant pathological optimist that fed the greedy business community with ideas they so desparately wanted to hear. These ideas gave them just the excuse they needed to relentlessly abuse the environment for quick profits without regard for future generations.
There are many aspects that need consideration in such a complex topic as economics and a successful society. However, there are two major issues that need to be first, that are of the utmost importance:
"The real issue is not whether one cares about nature, but whether one cares about people."
Julian L. Simon,1996
The Ultimate Resource 2
"The most important and striking change is in mortality: throughout history, death rates nearly equaled birth rates, with just enough positive margin for slow population growth over the centuries. Now, most of humanity enjoys not only good health, but a life expectancy far higher than that of even the wealthiest people in the richest countries earlier this century."
Julian L. Simon, 1998