. March 29, 2006 SouthAmerica: Lou Dobbs the news anchor of âMoneylineâ on CNN â has been putting the spotlight on the problem of illegal immigration in the United States. I wrote the enclosed article in early 2000, and the article was the cover story on the âThe Brasiliansâ newspaper in April 2000. Later the article was also published on Brazzil Magazine. My article mention both legal and illegal immigration â and in the case of the Africans â forced immigration into the New World: including Brazil and the United States. Most people does not remember â but when Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to the illegal immigrants in 1986 â the politicians thought that they were giving amnesty for about 6 million people â but after the dust settled and these new immigrants brought their families to the US â the final count of that amnesty was over 10 million people. The debate of the immigration issue in general â including legal and illegal immigration - it is a very complex subject with many ramifications â but when we see the politicians talk about this subject on television they have a very simplistic way of thinking and trying to resolve that problem. ******** Brazzil Magazine â July 1, 2000 âOverpopulatedâ Brazil started the century with 17 million people and ended it with an estimated total population of 170 million people. When the population of a country grows ten fold during a period of 100 years, that country is asking for social trouble, as is happening in Brazil. Written by Ricardo C. Amaral On April 22, 1500 Brazil was discovered by a Portuguese explorer named Pedro Ãlvares Cabral, and Brazil became a colony of Portugal. "In other parts of the world colonies were used as trading posts to facilitate the commerce and trade of products between the mother country and that particular region. Since Brazil did not have products for trade with Europe, it was necessary to develop agricultural production for the benefit of European commerce. Brazil came into being as a producer of goods for international trade with the plantation system (fazenda) as the basis for its economy to produce sugar and other agricultural commodities for trade with Europe." To develop this agricultural system they started using slave labor; first they tried to use the slave labor of the native Brazilian Indians. This did not work well for the Portuguese. Later they started bringing black slaves from Africa with a somewhat better result. The Brazilian economy was built and developed using slave labor. Slavery was abolished in Brazil only in 1888. This is a period in Brazilian history that we should be ashamed of. That is, if we analyze it from a humanistic point of view. "Before the importation of African slaves, the main suppliers of Indian slaves were the Paulistasâthe people from the Captaincy of SÃ£o Paulo. The Paulistas were a new people; a mixture of Portuguese and Native Brazilian Indian. The Paulistas were a major force in the development of the bandeiras movement. This group of people called the bandeirantes were to be the chief pioneering element in Brazil. They did more than any other group to push the line of demarcation westward until Brazil included half of the South American Continent." 1 (In 1494 Portugal and Spain had agreed to a line of demarcation by the Treaty of Tordesillas.) Brazilian Population Growth The population in Brazil grew as follows: YEAR POPULATION 1500 - 0 1600 - 100,000 1700 - 300,000 1800 - 3,250,000 1900 - 17,000,000 2000 - 170,000,000 "Brazil started the century in 1900 with a total population of 17 million people. Brazil ended the century with an estimated total population of 170 million people. When the population of a country grows ten fold during a period of 100 years, that country is asking for social trouble, as is happening in Brazil. It does not matter which system a country has: capitalism, communism, or socialism; this magnitude of population growth is a prescription for disaster. "Today some people wonder why there is so much crime in Brazil and why its civil system is breaking down. People look for simplistic answers to the problems. They consider drugs, or something else, as the reason for the breakdown. However, the obvious reason (population explosion) is never understood as being the cause of the problems. "In the United States, Americans built an economic system in which the economy has to grow, grow and grow, and can't be allowed to stagnate. Growth, growth, and more growth is the mindset of Americans. The United States had only five million people around 1800, when its Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted and put into effect. The United States population had increased to 76 million people by 1900, but they had new lands, which they had bought or conquered since 1800. The United States could still afford to continue growing at that point in its history." Today there are many studies estimating the optimum population the United States can support based on its resources, wealth, location, environmental considerations and type of economic structure. "Among these studies is one by David and Marcia Pimentel, professors at Cornell University. They suggest the United States should aim at a population of less than 100 million people. University of Maryland professor Robert Costanza reaches a more pessimistic estimate of 85 million people." Based on the various studies it seems that up to 150 million people can be an acceptable limit of population for the United States. Above this number Americans are looking for trouble. The United States reached the 151 million people mark in 1950; by 1970 the US had increased its population to over 200 million people. The country again increased its population to an estimated 275 million people by the year 2000. Is it really surprising that the prison population started exploding in the United States since 1970, after the optimum population for this country of 150 million continued growing in numbers? With the accelerated advances in technology and automation that we have today in the United States, the optimum population for the United States probably should be reduced to an even lower amount of people. Maybe the country should not have a population larger than 120 million people. Most people don't understand and don't give much thought to the power of geometric progression (exponential growth) and its effect on population growth. For example, to show the power of exponential growth, in the 1980's more than 10 million legal and illegal immigrants arrived in the United States. This group of people will grow in numbers to approximately 25 million people by the year 2035. To give another example, the estimated 25 million total legal and illegal immigrants who came to the United States during the 20-year period from 1980 to 2000, will grow to approximately 60 million people by the year 2040. Government officials and the business community only think of their immediate needs of keeping labor costs down. They never think about the consequence of a growing population on future generations and its impact on the future of the country. Governments such as the United States and Brazil have learned nothing from the past. They brought slaves from Africa to accommodate their needs a long time ago, never giving much thought about the consequences of their actions on future generations. Today the United States is making the same mistake again regarding its immigration policies. The US is still letting one million people immigrate to the US per year, even though today the United States has a population of 275 million people; a number which is probably double the optimum population. The limit to population growth in Brazil If we do the same type of analysis for Brazil, we might come to a similar result. Brazil probably should not have a population larger than 80 to 100 million people as its limit. Today, Brazil might have twice the population that could be considered an optimum and desirable number of people for the country based on its natural resources, size, location, type of economy, etc. Population explosion is, in my opinion, the most important problem in Brazil. It is the cause of all other problems in Brazil today, including poverty and destitution for a large segment of the population, drugs, crime, corruption, etc. There are two policies, which the Brazilian government should adopt immediately to put Brazil on the right path for its future. First, the Brazilian government should put in place a policy to reduce its population from its current 170 million people to a target of 100 million people by a certain attainable date. Second, the Brazilian government should adopt the "Euro" as its new currency. The adoption of the "Euro" by Brazil would help the country to move economically into the 21st century. These would be the major two steps, which Brazil could take today which could have the most beneficial result for its future. These policies would have a positive impact not only socially but also economically. These policies would help update the Brazilian economy and move it in the right direction in the new millennium. **** Note: I received a lot of letters-to-the-editor and direct emails regarding this article when they were published by âThe Braziliansâ and later by âBrazzil Magazine.â A number of people agree with my article and they let me know, but a lot of people were angry regarding that subject for one reason or another. Let me clarify one thing that I wrote in the article. In 1500 it is estimated that there were about 5 million native Indians living in Brazil. Today, the best estimates are that we still have 250,000 native Indians living in Brazil. .