You can't feed the world.

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by wesmorris, May 5, 2004.

  1. Roman Banned Banned

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    I stopped reading the posts less than halfway down because there were a lot of words, so maybe this has already been said.

    The truth is, there is enough food in the world to feed eveyone, there are enough resources to distribute food.

    There are only a few major problems in Africa that are causing so much strife and starvation:
    AIDS
    Droughts
    Wars
    Previous Colonial Rulers

    I shall go further in depth, if you care to read.

    Most of colonial Africa was ruled with an iron fist, only the British colonies had any experience with democratic governments, and they are doing the best (like Ghana). Corruption and nepotism are serious issues. African borders were also divided up by European powers, putting tribes and races who were traditional enemies in the same country.
    From these political issues rise wars.
    The wars affect nomadic people; they can no longer cross borders or return to traditional watering holes.
    Africa suffers from periodic droughts, and their mostly agrarian economy and livelihood are drastically affected.
    On top of that, wars in the region aggravate starvation further by pushing refugees into places that can not support that many people.
    In some places, AIDS is believed to affect as much as 30% oof the population. That means 30% of people are sick and disabled. They cannot work and also require care. The people who care for them also cannot work. A lack of workers results in a damaged economy results in poverty, starvation and war. Repeat.

    Many people seem to believe that the Africans do not take care of themselves and will stop working if we support them. If we do not offer support, how can they hope to stabilize their countries?
     
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  3. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    LOL. Tell me exactly who establishes a "should"?

    So in either case, shipping the stuff anywhere is pointless, as it does nothing but waste the shipping resources and in the thieve's case (which is likely corrupted officials of government x), increase their power.

    The problem is that you're pulling your numbers out of your ass and perhaps exposing that your claim "not brainwashed" is quite false. The research I did (took all of 5 minutes) showed that approximately 1/8 of the world is hungry, and I think around a third of them are literally starving. In case you're wondering
    Well jeez tiassa says "rich" is an artificial concept. Regardless, there are "rich" people in every country. Your claim is simply false. If you're talking about average income or "wealth", the US is what? Hmmm.. I think yeah, the US is 4th on the list of GDP per Capita. If you're weren't so goddamned brainwashed, perhaps you'd see that the point "Africa is the poorest continent ever" may have had more factual accuracy. FYI it looks like brazil would have fit in at around 38th on that list, with a GDP per capita of around 7400.

    Looks like you're wrong.

    Again, looks like you're wrong.

    Big deal indeed. Proof at least that your following statement is false.

    To correct you, remove the "no".

    I guess so, except maybe not like you thought.

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    Perhaps you should re-read your posts, love spirit. You're not paying attention.

    You asserted that if the US were blamed, then it wouldn't make sense if they weren't guilty. That is nonsense.

    What in the hell do slaves have to do with anything? There are plenty of slaves in Africa, under the servitude of other Africans, but I don't see how you get slavery from an illustration that your attempted logic was grossly flawed, more than one in the same post. You see, their time would be better spent at agriculture, or fleeing their country or toppling their government than working for little to no wage. Secondly they don't have to buy whatever it is that you think is being sold back to them at an inflated rate (which obviously, you have NO CLUE about, as you have no idea of the costs incurred by the company producing said goods). Again, they could buy something else or topple their government and get one that works. NO it isn't easy, but it's better than living in squalor and starvation.
     
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  5. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know. Maybe the IHA (International Health Association)...?

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    ... Doctors estabilish the "should"...

    Excuses for not shipping the stuff... Of course nothing of that happens. It's just silly to believe that thieves will still a bunch of food!

    Uhhh... the links is not working anymore...
    "The link you clicked on leads to a page that's not there anymore. "

    But anyways... it's common sense that only 1/3 of the world live in first world countries...

    Duh. Of course! But do you really take into account an extremely minimun percentage of the population?!?

    US citizens are the biggest consumers. The average income is not relevant, consumption per person is the relevant point.

    I'm not brainwashed by the media... you are.
    You say that Africa is not the poorest continent?

    Yuhhoooo!!! We are coming up baby!

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    I did learn that in social science...

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    It's common knowledge that 2/3 of the world live in 3rd world countries.

    I don't watch TV.

    I don't hate the US. I just pointing out the truth, that's all.

    When did I say that? I didn't say that.
     
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  7. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    People in China are enslaved by american companies that pay basically nothing for their hard work. They often get hurt and there's nothing to cover them. There's also child slavery. Nike is a prime example of American hypocrisy...

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    Ha! "Freedom"...

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    P-leeeeaaase, read Roman's post...

    Again, Nike is a prime example of the profit-at-any-cost behaviour of americans. The costs are extremely low compared to the prices. they extremely overprice their shoes. Also, they often want more shelf-space then others. It's all overpriced.

    I'm pretty sure US is quite glad of China's slave-labour... minimizing the costs only creates great revenue for your beloved country, of course at the cost of the slavery of the rest of the world...

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  8. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe in spanish you can speak well and are halfway bright. In English, you apparently have a hard time understanding what's been said. With that, I abandon efforts to communicate with you in this topic.
     
  9. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Did you read that site? Brasil is in 66th place....
    $2610... still, it is only that big because of the rich people. A few people earn like almost $10,000 per month while most of the population earn less then $500... :bugeye:
     
  10. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I speak Portuguese. Maybe you don't know that because inyour country they teach only about your country and ignore the rest of the world as "backward" people...

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    But anyways... everyone knows my English is actually quite above average compared to even some canadians. Still, who cares...?

    In Psychology, we call your defensive tactic "avoiding dissonant information", which is actually compared to "physical avoidance", to be more specific....

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    You are also using "rationalization" in order to give an excuse to go away. This falls into the category of "distorting critical information"...

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  11. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah. Dude, you can't read. Don't blame me.
     
  12. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    You are using "goading" as an attempt to continue a conversation that you are not actually participating in. Please, let it go.
     
  13. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you say I can't read?

    You don't know much about psychology, do you?

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  14. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Because it's obvious that you can't read well or you refuse to, or you're simply here to promote some political agenda. It's evidenced by the fact that you apparently don't understand your own points. You say shit like "2/3 of the world is starving". I prove you wrong, with evidence, and you pretend it is inconsequential, write it off as "common sense" (that you're right), fail to make any substantial point besides that you decree it "common sense" and then proceed to tell me I'm "avoiding you". The fact is that you have been demonstrated to be irrational and incorrect, and you can't admit it. Perhaps you should study up on your psychology textbooks to see what they have to say about people who behave that way.

    Here is that link again: http://www.bread.org/hungerbasics/index.html

    Further, since this has degraded into personal criticisms, I'd prefer to abandon the interaction but will not if you continue to goad me. In fact, my behavior will degrade in civility toward you from this point forward if you insist on your childish behavior. Perhaps this is your source of amusement. If so that's incredibly dishonest and disgusting. If not, then I encourage you to stop addressing me unless you have a rational point.

    As far as I can tell I understand minds better than anyone I know.
     
  15. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Apparently the oraganization is 30 years old, so they've had a lot of time to think about their agenda. Here's a smidge from that site's FAQ:

    "Hunger does not exist because the world does not produce enough food. We have the experience and the technology right now to end the problem. The challenge we face is not production of food and wealth, but more equitable distribution.

    It would take a modest effort to end hunger and malnutrition worldwide.
    Hunger is a political condition. And so the key to overcoming hunger is to change the politics of hunger."

    I highlighted the text I think they'd find impossible to really support. I refute them as follows:

    1) "Equitable distribution" is a farce, it's nonsense. There is no such thing. Everyone values things differently (yes even food) such "equitable" is relative. I don't think throwing money or food at the problem solves the problem. The problems are I think well described by Roman's post. It's much more than redistribution, it's nurturing an incredibly diverse, conflicted continent to economic viability. I don't think it's possible to "force it". It has to be nurtured and supported to the best of the ability of the rest of the world.

    Perhaps this is nature talking. It's not like Africa doesn't have the resources to support itself (sans the AIDS epidemic, in which they desperately need help). They just don't know how to use them.

    2) Obviously a modest effort has already been put forth and the problem has not ended.
     
  16. Roman Banned Banned

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    Wes, I agree with the "lack of wanting to help people mentality," but why couldn't helping people be made economically profitable?

    "Africa" cannot support itself, obviously. Africa is many, many countries. It's not like they're all best friends. Most of Africa lacks infrastructure and oppurtunity.

    How is AIDS much different than starvation? Solving the starvation issue would be cheaper than AIDS, and probably be more economically beneficial to everyone.

    But in light of what you said earlier about feeding eveyone being ecologically sustainable, there is somewhat of a paradox. You'd think that for keeping the population low, one would just keep everyone hungry and dying. Unfortunately, malnutrition leads to numeous childhood deaths, which means that families need to have more kids to survive to a reproductive age (think salmon). Also, children are a form of insurance in countries without social welfare. They'll take care of you in your old age.

    It's found that education is the greatest control of population. The most educated nations have the slowest birthrates. Germany has a negative birth rate, as well as the upper echelon of literate nations.

    So why not educate Africa? Well, it's hard to teach people anything when they are all starving and killing eachother or dying of AIDS.

    There is also an intermediary step when a country becomes "educated," (industrialized would be a better term). Cultural habits, ie, numerous offspring, aren't immediately curbed, yet medicine and care exists to keep the kids alive. Take for example 19th century Britain, or 20th century India. There are huge population explosions, who end up working 18 hours in factories rather than farms. Then, after time, a middle class arises, and all is socially harmonious.

    Here in lies the paradox. Ought the Western world help out African countries (rich countries can afford what we sell) but cause dramatic population growth, or let them starve and kill each other? Either way, it's pretty damning.

    Truthseeker: I think Wes is saying "yeah, it's a shame all those people have to starve," but he is also cynical in his beliefs that that they will be fed. In a very wordy, economical-jargon way he is saying basically "who really is going to feed them? everyone's a greedy whore."

    Also, your comment about China having slaves for US corporations, isn't really true. They're actually communist dogs over there, are not abel to unionize, and China purposefully devalued its currency to attract US businesses. China is keeping the poor, pobre, not the US of A (so much).
     
  17. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    It's more that I don't know how to clearly differentiate between the man who would starve and the man who would risk starvation such that the other man doesn't starve. I don't judge either. One can be viewed as more noble, but I'm not going to be the man to tell you I'm taking your food from your kid so that some other person's kid can eat. Well that, and I think that in this type of analysis I don't think that differentiating between the two is at all fair. Their luck has put them where they are, it's up to them to find their way out. If we are decent by my standards, then we will help each other out in the way I consider "helping out". Please note however, that standards of "decency", while imperative, are wholly relative. By that I mean just because I believe in my morals doesn't mean you don't believe in yours just as much as I do my own - so we're inherently at least minimally conflcting in value, and as such competition is unavoidable from a forced control perspective. If you could finesse the system such that each member adheres to your value system, then you're onto something. You might say that if you look around you right now, that's exactly what's happening eh? Cultures vying for control of essential values? (perhaps in the same way an animal seeks to survive, the aggregae interaction of a bunch of abstract animals is that the very abstracts they create somehow manage to tend to survive, in that the value systems that a culture promotes, seemingly serve to strengthen the cuture) I think that same ordeal has a multitude of layers that follow all the way from a culture down the the scale of the individual.

    When I'm responsible for ME, I may make the altruistic decision, but when I'm responsible for a family, or a town, or a state, or a country... I am bound to make the choice that ensures that my people eat before yours.

    You might say it sucks that this is the "cold reality" of life, but in fact it's also quite beatiful, because it what I've just described is the flip side of a beautiful symbiotic thing. You scratch my back, I scratch yours and we both win.

    Another point is that given the unpredictability of value in either party in any transaction, one cannot insist that one is inherently more or less "valid" than the other, since force is the ultimate value assertion and will ultimately resolve disputes that must be resolved. That is the natural order of things. Values compete. Each carrier of value competes to assert or indulge their own value.

    Roman, I think you have touched on the core principle of directed economic improvement (drastically paraphrasing): "progress is where the profit lies, so value must be influenced as heavily as possible to progress in the direction that is desired" (that is of course for instance if you desire to end hunger, which by pure numbers is probably a very bad idea) - if you follow.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2004
  18. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    My teachers in Brasil taught me that. My teachers in Canada alo taught me that. So everyone is wrong and you are right?

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    And what I'm saying is not o much for 2/3 of the world is starving, but that about 1/3 of the world can be considered rich or average, while the remaining 2/3 is poor. Take China for example. How much of it population is poor? Everyone knows its a big part of the population. And they have at least 1 billion people there. India is the same thing. And Africa. And I may be downplaying the numbers. So now we already have 3 billion poor people. With most of the rest of Asia, Mexico and South America, we have around 6 billion people. More then enough for 1/3. So we take the "rich" out of the picture...

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    ... and voila, we have around 5 billion poor people.

    Oh yeah, absolutely. The textbook covers all kinds of interperonal relationships...

    Did I started or you? Well, anyways. I don't care. I don't want to talk either if you have a childish behaviour....
     
  19. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    That's not what I heard, but anyways....

    Yes, I know that. But the US loves it anyways, eh? Also, it's well known that like in the case of Nike, the US corporations pay them even less. What they pay them is barely enough to feed the chinese people. Also, there is some child slave labour. the US is just taking advantage of that. Doing that, just help the communists to stay in power.

    Yes, "so much"...

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  20. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

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    It's not an accident that the U.S. has the level of wealth and prosperity that it enjoys relative to the rest of the world. The deck was not stacked in favor of the U.S. by some omniscient overlord. Like every other country in the world, the U.S. has its good and bad points, and has suffered its highs and lows. We bust our collective asses every day at work to get where we are, excepting the union broke-dicks. That's why we are successful.

    For example, my grandmother grew up in a time when supper consisted of salt pork and turnips almost every night. Big fucking deal? She doesn't carry that banner around. Her mother died at 9 years old and she became the domestic caretaker of the household for her father and her two older sisters. Big fucking deal? That's what tough people do. They adapt. Where would she be if she had decided at 9 years old to cry in her milk about the tough break she got dealt at an early age?

    If someone told you the world was a fair place, they lied to you.

    The U.S. has an abundance of certain resources. So does Saudi Arabia. I don't see anybody imploring Saudi Arabia to cough up the cash and resources to solve the worlds problems to the same degree that I see the "have-nots" of the world crying about the U.S. not letting the whole friggin world suckle at the teat.

    People from all over the world visit the U.S. and come away stunned by the level of non-compulsory assistance provided by regular citizens to help those less fortunate. What does that tell you about the nature of things?

    If you don't like the fact that many of the people of the world go to bed hungry every night, then look at the internal reasons before you go hunting for a scapegoat outside of the context. Otherwise, you just look like a generic envious shitcock, and green is a great color for dollars and trees, but not so much for people.
     
  21. Roman Banned Banned

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    American's inherited wealth and prosperity. America had the luxury of an empty continent, to grow from sea to shining sea. Saudi Arabia has some resources. California ranks 5th in GDP of the entire world. That's some damn luck.

    So your grandmother went through toughtimes. Have you? Have I, has truthseeker or wesmorris? No, not like your grandmother.

    America has NO reason not to help people, except its own seflishness and greed. Where's Soviet Russia, where's Hitler? Where is any superpower capable of threatening the US? There isn't one. America spends more money on War than China, Iraq, Iran and North Korea Combined. America spends almost half the worlds money on "defense."

    How fucking noble.

    We used to "bust our collective asses." Now we don't. Americans don't work for cheap, because they're lazy. Ever hear of outsourcing? Why did Japan get an upper hand in the automobile market? Why are American textiles located in Indonesa, Malaysia, and Mexico? Why are manufacturing jobs lost to overseas markets? Because they are willing to work more, for less.

    And they live on rice and water, not fancy turnips and salt pork.
     
  22. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah right.... do you work from 6:00am till 10:00pm? We do, and most of our money goes to taxes...

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    That is till common in Brasil...

    Yes, indeed.

    Maybe it is because of all that the US stole from other countries?

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    *cough* Not what I heard on the news.... and definetely not what I heard from people that have been thre. And yes, I have been there. It is true that there are some nice people there. But the ratio...

    Internal resons such as having to pay debts that are not payed by the rich...?
    It is always like thet. Even the rich in Brasil don't pay taxes and the poor pay huge amounts of taxes. the governments are so biased...

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  23. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    I find blanket ideas like "selfishness and greed" to be the result of idealism or ignorance. I am completely selfish, but my values are such that if I can help you out, I probably will because it makes me feel good to do so. I'm greedy in the same fashion. Further, there is a huge difference between being protective of what you have and greed. Consider my last post to you in put in the context of greed. I think true greed is somewhat rare. Most of what people label greed is simply people acting out their perspectives as they must. The term greed is an easy way to villify percieved value that you don't understand or can't relate to. Consider that how you value something is in part a reflection of your percieved responsibility.

    That is obviously an exaggeration. Oh, I think I see what you meant to say. You mean: "of the world's defense spending, the US comprises half"? Yeah I think I heard that recently. Perhaps given its station as the world's economic hub, that makes sense.

    *sigh*

    Do you think it's possible that you don't clearly understand the issues that face the people who set the policies that result in a large military budget? Have you looked at military spending as a percentage of GDP?

    How do you reach that conclusion? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just wondering what makes you say that.

    Ah, americans are lazy eh. That's an easy, cheap shot. Can you support it or are you just slinging mud? I'm sick to fucking death of anti-american shit. Certainly SOME americans are lazy, but I've met lazy people in every country I've been in. I don't think "lazy" is driven by what country you're in. There is probably a culture that fosters a "work ethic" but people who work hard, work hard, no matter what country they live in. Funny thing is that generally the most successful people in the US are usually those who are willing to work the hardest. So if everyone weren't "lazy" by your standards, everyone in the US would be even MORE wealthy and truthseeker would be even MORE pissed off about it.

    Americans DO work for cheap as compared to other americans. If you want to compare GDPs or whatever, that's another issue. Did you know that there is a minimum wage law in the US? Most of the people at my plant work for around that wage. By US standards, that is goddamned cheap.

    LOL. Japan got the upper hand because they embraced statistical process control and TQM, which was developed in the US but we were to stuck in the mud to change. The japanese, given the ramp-up and improvement of infrastructure from "occupied japan" used the opportunity to embrace these new manufacturing strategies and kick our asses. So to make a long story short, Japan got an upper hand because the US gave it to them.

    Because of cheap general labor. That doesn't mean americans are lazy. I bet people in the US would work for less that minimum wage, but then I'd guess the anti-american bandwagon would talk about how brutal we are for not even making sure we pay our people enough to live.

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    Some for the same reason as above. Note however, that some of them are coming back, because it turns out that mexicans can't maintain the quality levels that americans can (this happened in my direct sphere of knowledge for sure, and I've heard stories about how outsourced IT jobs in India are starting to be reeled in due to language barriers, poor work ethics or disclipline or poor quality). Manufacturing jobs are lost due to globalization. It makes sense that companies seek the most bang for their buck and if that means that it's in malaysia, so be it. Companies generally strive to increase their efficiency. If it turns out that something can be done better somewhere else and the costs justify any expenses, it will be so. The deal is that generally different markets offer different skillsets or market advantage. Saying that one is "better" than the other or calling one "lazy" is simply and excuse to vent an apparent grudge or distaste.

    Look, I'm not trying to be all "pro US" or "anti-US". I think it's wise to seek "pro-sense" or "pro-reason". The bitch about that is that given our completely different experiences, what makes sense to any of us is likely to be completely different than the other's. What a mess.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2004

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