According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people living in the United States of America today is around 317.3 million. That is up 0.7%, or 2.2 million, in the year.
When the U.S. had genocided the natives and filled up the continent, in 1870, the population was 38 million. Today California alone has 38 million residents.
On a dollar basis the U.S. no longer produces enough food to feed its own population. This is a major historical change. For centuries we were one of the breadbaskets of the world. While we still export large quantities of grain, we import more than enough food to make us a net importer. There are many reasons for that, but the main reason is population growth.
America could be more self-sufficient in food production. We could forbid raising corn for ethanol production, but that would mean we would have to cut back on driving or import more oil from abroad. We could import water from Canada and grow food in the western deserts, but pumping water also takes energy and the cost of the infrastructure would probably dwarf the cost of conquering Canada.
Americans have never experienced a nationwide famine. During the Great Depression many went hungry because they could not afford food, so farmers had to cut back on production, but it was not a famine. During World War II there was rationing so we could feed the British, but again that was nothing like a famine.
In many ways American food production now more resembles a factory than a field. The bulk of crops are on constant intensive care. Water is sucked from where ever it can be found. Fertilizer is manufactured and applied by the trainload. Enough pesticides are pumped in to exterminate every bug that lived in this world in 1900: but 2014 bugs (insects, fungus, weeds, even rodents) have evolved to meet the challenge. Just trucking the food to market requires enough petroleum to suck oil fields dry. Even "organic" food requires fracked oil to get it to market.
Take away any aspect of this intensive care, and we will have food shortages, perhaps famine. Or we can do what the Brits did in World War II: confiscate (or buy) food in less economically fortunate nations (See Bengal Starvation).
At the same time the native flora and fauna of North America are largely in danger, with extinction a likelihood for many species. Farms, cities, and suburbs have crowded out wildlife.
Wouldn't it be easier to just stop breeding so much? [I'll leave the issue of immigration, both legal and illegal, to another day.]
We don't need authoritarian methods like forced sterilization or hard limits on the number of children a woman can birth. We need to take away incentives to have children; we need to reward those who have 2 or less children.
In addition to providing free birth control and abortions, we need to stop subsidizing families with children. First, take away the tax benefits of having children. Take away the welfare benefits too. These changes should be done in a reasonable way, not ex post facto. Eliminate the standard deductions for children after the first child. Starting with children born a year after the law is passed.
To get the human population in the U.S. and on earth back to a sustainable level culture can be more important than government. It is important for people to understand, from various sources that they can trust, that for the sake of themselves, their child, and the world:
One And Done
is the new social standard. And None And Done people should get a bonus, like a special tax deduction for women while they are in the fertile age category, and extra Social Security for childless men and women upon retirement.