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Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory



A Book Review

By Frosty Wooldridge


Once you place your hands on this book, you cannot drop it on the table!   A former Naval officer, author Peter Murphy, in his blazing new work, FIVE SHORT BLASTS, asks the question, "If the economy's doing so great, then why doesn't it feel that way to you?" 


Five short blasts on a ship’s horn warns of grave situations facing that vessel.  For anyone riding as a passenger on The United States of America, simple observation shows our nation in deep water and in deep trouble.  Whether we sail into a whirlwind of choppy waters via environment, war, immigration, political turmoil, national debt and growing uneasiness about our sovereignty—this book addresses the long range economic consequences if we continue our present course. 


Murphy explains that, while macroeconomic numbers like Gross Domestic Product paint a picture of a growing, healthy economy--individual Americans and households aren't faring so well. The astonishing fact that 28 million Americans live on food stamps illustrates our growing dilemma.  Incomes and net worth decline while debt soars to record levels.  While the overall economy may appear to be doing well, the financial health of Americans sinks several fathoms into deeper water.


“Per capita consumption will begin to decline,” Murphy said. “But, at the same time, productivity will always continue to rise. The inescapable result of falling per capita consumption colliding with rising productivity is growing unemployment and poverty.  And, as we've seen throughout history across the planet, poverty is the biggest contributor to a high death rate.  Could this prove to be the ultimate limiting factor for the population of man?”


Murphy said, “Overall, the world is a very crowded place, but that there is also a wide range of population densities from continent to continent and from country to country.  Even the United States, though it appears at first glance to have a reasonably low population density, is quite crowded in many places.  But the U.S. population pales in comparison to many other nations, especially those of Asia.”


Murphy’s theory in a nutshell:


1. As human population grows, it reaches an optimal level where per capita consumption, unencumbered by space limitations, is in balance with productive capacity.

2. As the population continues growing beyond this optimum level, it is forced to conserve space and crowd together, and people begin to consume less on a per capita basis, due simply to a lack of space.

3. At the same time that per capital consumption is driven down by crowding, the productive capacity of workers will continue to rise with improvements in technology and work processes.

4. This collision between falling per capita consumption and rising productivity will inevitably yield ever-greater unemployment.

5. Rising unemployment will foster a rise in poverty, the largest factor contributing to high death rates in the undeveloped world.  Ultimately, a poverty-driven death rate will slow and then stop population growth, perhaps triggering a decline.


Through an in-depth analysis of U.S. trade data, Murphy exposes proof of this effect.  Eighteen of our top twenty per capita trade deficits in manufactured goods connect with nations much more densely populated than the U.S. 


“Even more revealing, we find that when the nations of the world are divided equally around the median population density, the U.S. has a $17 billion trade surplus with the half of nations below the median population density,” Murphy said. “With the half above the median we have a $480 billion deficit.  While free trade in natural resources and free trade between nations comparable in population density is beneficial, free trade in manufactured goods with overpopulated nations is a sure-fire loser.  We need a tariff structure on manufactured goods that is indexed to population density.”


Murphy considers implications for domestic population management policies, beginning with immigration.  “Not only is the need to halt illegal immigration more clear than ever,” he said, “but readers must understand that even legal immigration must be dramatically reduced if we are to have any hope at all of stabilizing our population and preventing the slow economic decline that accompanies a population density that has risen beyond its optimum level.”


FIVE SHORT BLASTS closes by offering the reader a vision of two futures - a choice between a world staggering under the weight of overpopulation, or an uncrowded planet of abundant of resources where all of mankind can enjoy a high quality of life.  In the epilogue, the Murphy puts aside his economic arguments for reining in our population, tells a touching story and gives free rein to his fears for the future from an environmental and spiritual perspective.  I found his writing and his new theory clear, concise and profound! 


Murphy in, FIVE SHORT BLASTS, brings new perspective - an economic argument - to the debate about overpopulation.  He invites U.S. citizens to demand their captain change course toward a brighter future for the United States of America. 



FIVE SHORT BLASTS  by Peter Murphy

Open Window Publishing www.openwindowpublishingco.com

Price: $16.95

ISBN: 978-0-9798505-0-9

www.borders.com ; www.amazon.com ; www.barnesandnoble.com