I answered your question; I said I don't know what the solution is. A perfectly valid answer. Actually I don't know if the problem is "over-population" or simply the distribution of population. Frankly it's not an issue that concerns me that much. And asking you to answer your own question is not "a rhetorical device perfected as long ago as the Attic Greeks". It's an attempt to have an exchange! Rather than play the Socratic interlocutor, offer your solutions as well as questions. You're right that the overly generous social welfare provided by the nations of Europe and evermore so in America allow individuals to no longer rely on children for support in their elder years and will continue to do so... until it all comes crashing down around us! Just who do you propose pay for these benefits when the retired outnumber the working? It becomes a giant pyramid scheme as we are finding out with Social Security. Social Security was devised in a time when we were experiencing large birth rates and much shorter life expectancies. When first passed, SS had something like 300 workers paying for the SS benefits of one retired person. It is now something like 35 to 1 and is anticipated to become 3 workers for every retiree within 50 years. You will no longer be supporting your parents, just some strangers parents. Why should first world nations feel guilty about consuming the majority of the world's raw resources; they also PRODUCE the vast majority of the worlds goods and advanced services! Including the goods such as food, medicine, transportation and advanced services like education that third world nations depend on. The exchange isn't always equitable, but the days of imperialistic nations stripping the natural resources of third world nations in exchange for trinkets and baubles is long over. In case no one has noticed, the oil producing nations are wealthy beyond all imigination of their forebearers. The fact that some of those nations fail to distribute this wealth fairly is beyond our reach. It's not so much that we CAN'T afford our own labor rates but that we haven't HAD to due to lax immigration policies and enforcement! Labor is a commodity just like any other; when the supply is greater than the demand, it is cheap. We are quickly reaching the point where our supply is less than demand. For native born Americans, we have surpassed that point! It's not like we have millions of people walking the streets looking for work, our current unemployment rate is at the level considered "full employment" (less than 5%). Illegal (and new legal) immigrants are no longer restricted to menial tasks but are becoming large forces in our construction trades. Go to any large housing subdivision under construction and you will notice that in some cases more than half of the workers are immigrants. These immigrants are making $15/hour and upward, hardly sub-standard wages! I know of union companies that have laborer jobs starting at $18/hour, with benefits, that can't find legal citizens to fill the jobs; and the ONLY qualifications are the ability to pass a drug test, show up at 7:00AM and be in decent physical condition, they'll teach you the rest. The people just aren't available. Many entering the labor force seem to think that they should start out at $25/hour, not start until 9:00AM and never have to get their hands dirty. The people willing to do so are forced to hide in the shadows.