Book 1: Touch Down.
Cmdr. Gulliver returns to earth in 2025 after circling the solar system seeking homes for the world's excess population. He found none. He therefore plans to do what he can to get people to voluntarily reduce population. The world's excess population is directly responsible for climate change, food and water scarcities, and for much of the poverty and illegal immigration that the world now experiences.
“It’s not just a question of reducing population, but of eliminating misery and increasing the ‘the good life.’ Some people ask why some should be so poor while others are so rich. Did you know that the thousand richest people have more money than the two and a half million poorest people? Some ask for a more equitable distribution of the wealth—as Karl Marx suggested. The problem is that there isn’t as much money in the world as it appears. When I left, the world’s population of 6 billion had a world gross product of 21 trillion dollars annually. If all of the wealth produced in a year were distributed equally it would have left about $3500 for every person. That would be about the same as the average income in Poland or Venezuela but would have been considerably less than the poorest American state, Mississippi, with an average per capita income of $18,000 or rich Connecticut with an average income of $36,000. Of course countries such as Mozambique with its $94 per year income or India with $400 would have been much better off. But then by halfway through my trip the Indian economic miracle had increased by tenfold the Indian per capita income.
“Still there are more than a billion people living on less than $300 per year. With over a billion people being chronically malnourished or dying from starvation, we have a long way to go to increase the standard of living for most of our human brothers and sisters. Then there are the problems of food costs that are emptying the rice bowls of the impoverished.
“There are a couple of problems however. In a democratic world would the people of Connecticut vote for reducing their incomes by 90%. Another factor is that if the money were taken out of the hands of the governments and industries there would be no money for development, unless the recipients of the $3,500 either decided to give some money to the government for development or decided to invest in the stock market. And how many stock brokers will have the train fare to make their daily commute from Connecticut to New York while earning only $3,500 a year?
“If our life values were in our heads and our hearts rather than in our wallets perhaps we wouldn’t mind sharing everything. But having the rich nations adopt the collective generosity of the Salvation Army, Mother Theresa, Albert Schweitzer—or even Robin Hood—is a bit too much to expect when the media tell us that more is better, and keeping is better than giving.
“When I left for outer space many of the ‘haves’ lived in apparent luxury, while the “have-nots” lived hungry, in filth and squalor. Today, to my amazement, some of the former prosperous nations are poorer while some of the former third world nations have gained great economic advantages. The keys to both paths have been the approaches each country has taken to control or foster their national birth rates. The most startling and yet enlightening changes have occurred through various methods of decreasing populations. Especially for those countries that are now licensing parenting.
“And what about health care. Socialized medicine sounded like a good idea. The British National Health Service has over a million people waiting for hospital admission. While its stated objective is to have no one waiting more than 6 months for an operation nor more than 3 months for an outpatient surgery appointment, those dreams become more remote as the population increases—and ages. Even in rich Norway, a country with no national debt and a huge oil income, the main hospital of its capital city finds people bedded in the halls, set off from the passers-by by screens. And with the exception of the newer additions, few rooms have televisions to help patients while away the painful hours. Operations, if not emergencies, are often scheduled rather far in the future, but if the Norwegian surgeons don’t get around to you, you will probably be sent to another country for the surgery.