Things Don't Always Work For The Worst

generic population census immigration up arrow chart dow CBS/AP

Weekly commentary by Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.


In 1968, the American population reached 200 million people. It climbed to at least 200 million and one the next year because that's when my first daughter was born.

I must have lost interest in the subject after that because I was stunned to learn that this week we will pass 300 million.

Somehow I had it in my mind that we were still a nation of around 200 million.

Maybe I was stuck on that figure because when we reached it, all kinds of experts had predicted the worst — that overpopulation would lead to food shortages, even riots in this country.

To the contrary, as John Tierney noted in Saturday's New York Times, our problem nearly 40 years later is not a shortage of food, but too much food which is making us all fat. I line up with Tierney on this one.

I was glad to hear it. Not the part about getting fat — we need to eat right to stay healthy. But the part about how things don't always work out for the worst, no matter what the experts say.

Like all those computers that were supposed to shut down at the beginning of the new millennium. They're still running as far as I know.

Sometimes we blunder along and things work out in ways we never expected.

I don't know exactly why, but somehow I find that reassuring


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By Bob Schieffer
  • Patrick Kiker

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