From: Population Research Institute [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 7:48 AM
To: Population Research Institute
Subject: PRI Weekly Briefing: Proposal to Warren Buffett
This past Saturday I met Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway, and the
worlds second richest man, and delivered the following resolution to him and 10,000
PRI Weekly Briefing, 6 May 2002, Vol. 4/ No. 10
Chairman Buffett, Shareholders of
My name is Steven Mosher, and I am the President of Population Research Institute, a
nonprofit organization dedicated to making the case for people as the ultimate
resourcethe one resource that we as investors cannot do withoutand debunking
the hype about overpopulation, what the New York Times has called, and I quote, one of the
"myths of the twentieth century."
I have written about the coming depopulationthats right, I said the coming
de-populationin the Wall Street Journal and other publications. I say this to
explain why Gloria Patrick, a Berkshire-Hathaway shareholder, has asked me to present for
action at this meeting the following proposal.
I will present the proposal and then, with the Chairmans indulgence, spend a couple
of minutes explaining why it is necessary:
Here is the resolution:
Whereas, charitable contributions should serve to enhance shareholder
Whereas, the company has given money to groups involved in controversial
activities like abortion and population control;
Whereas, our company is dependent on people to buy the products and
services of the various companies we own;
Whereas, our company is being boycotted by Life Decisions International
and investment-related groups like Pro-Vita Advisors because of our contributions;
Resolved: The shareholders request the company to refrain from making
To take these point by point:
Shareholder money is entrusted to the Board of Directors to be invested in a prudent
manner for the shareholders.
I think you all will agree, as the resolution states, that charitable contributions should
serve to enhance shareholder value. Indeed this is already Berkshire-Hathaways
policy with regard to its operating subsidiaries. As Chairman Buffet explained in his
Chairmans letter of 2001, "We trust our managers to make gifts in a manner that
delivers commensurate tangible or intangible benefits to the operations they manage."
We did not invest money in this company so it could be given to someone elses
You will all likewise agree that activities like population control and abortion are
controversial. In fact, some of the charitable money has been given to Planned Parenthood,
a group that is responsible for almost two hundred thousand abortions a year in the United
States alone, and in countless more through its population control programs worldwide. We
believe that abortion is the taking of a human life. Even if you disagree on this
fundamental point, however, you must concur that these ongoing boycotts of
Berkshire-Hathaway company products are not a good thing.
It should be self-evident that Berkshire-Hathaway, like the economy as a whole, is
dependent upon people. It is people who produce the products and services of the various
companies we own, and it is people who buy them. Now you may think that there is a
superabundance of people, and that we will never run short, but this is not true. Half the
countries of the worldincluding countries in Latin America, Africa, and
Asiahave birthrates below replacement. Europe and Japan are literally dying, filling
more coffins than cradles each year.
Dying populations may shrink the economic pie. We already see this happening in Japan and
some European countries: How much of Japans continuing economic malaise can be
directly traced to a lack of young people to power the economy? They may also make
economic development nearly impossible: Russia is having trouble finding its feet
economically in part because of its demographic collapse.(1) These
problems will spread to many more countries in the near future.
Charitable contributions to simple-minded population control programs, in which
governments impose restrictions on childbearing, are not in Berkshire-Hathaways
interest. Such programs are not "investing in humanitys future," they are
compromising humanitys future, and putting a roadblock in the way of future economic
growth. There is no "global share buyback" in store for those who fund
population control programs, because such programs will rob the world of future consumers
and producers and threaten to shrink the economic pie.
Let me give you a concrete example of what I mean. Berkshire-Hathaway owns Dairy Queen,
and there are 103 Dairy Queens in Thailand.(2) But Thailand, due to a
massive sterilization and contraception campaign supported by Planned Parenthood and other
population control groups, now has a birthrate that is below replacementand falling.
This means that its cohorts of children are shrinking, that there will be fewer and fewer
young families in the years to come, and that its population will eventually fall.(3) Now you may think that Thailand has too many children. But is it
possible for there to be too many children for Dairy Queen? According to Dairy Queen,
"The Dairy Queen concept especially appeals to
young families," but there
will be fewer young families in Thailands, and Dairy Queens future, because of
So I urge you to vote yes on this resolution. Let it be resolved that this company refrain
from making charitable contributions.
Should you, on the other hand, vote to continue the current practice of making charitable
contributions based on shareholder designations, I would urge you all to designate
501(c)3s, like the Population Research Institute, which are attempting to help the poor
become the agents of their own development, and not simply try to reduce their number
through population control.
See: "Overpopulation Turns Out to Be Overhyped,"
Ben Wattenburg, The Wall Street Journal, 4 March 2002; or "Too Many People? Not by a
Long Shot," Steven W. Mosher, The Wall Street Journal, 10 February 1997.
Queen: International Locations,
World Population Prospects, The 2000 Revision, Thailand, p. 433.
Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization
dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.
© 2002 Population Research Institute. Permission to reprint granted.
Redistribute widely. Credit requested.
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The Population Research Institute is committed to ending human rights abuses committed in
the name of "family planning," and to ending counter-productive social and
economic paradigms premised on the myth of "overpopulation."
Population Research Institute
1190 Progress Drive, Suite 2D
P.O. Box 1559
Front Royal, VA 22630
Media Contact: Scott Weinberg
540-622-5240, ext. 209
Control U.S. Strategy and UN Policy Program
An overview compiled from various sources, based on various opinions
relating to the consequences of the U.S.-promoted culture of death resulting from National
Security Study Memorandum 200, by Henry A. Kissinger, National Security Council,
Washington, D.C. 20506, April
rights a demographic issue, by COLIN P.A. JONES, Special to The Japan
Times, Tuesday, July 18, 2006
* Is the world overpopulated?
If all of the world's people were located in the Province of Alberta (just a
touch smaller in area than the State of Texas) and each were to have an equal
share of all of the land in Alberta, then each of the world's people would have
98.6m2 of land to live on.
Assuming that the average household consists of three people, a family of three
would have enough space (3,184 ft2) for a moderately-sized house and
a garden large enough to grow some of the food consumed by the family.
- Alberta land area: 661,565 km2, 255,541 miles2
- World population: 6,706,993,152 (Source:
CIA World Factbook, July 2008 est.)