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The Malthusians Are Back.


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Home Forums General Forums Environmental Issues The Malthusians Are Back.

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 77 total)
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  • #3777333
    Mart
    BPL Member

    @1goodpacker

    Locale: Central Texas

    “There is little doubt in my mind that an equitable distribution of the fruits of modern production systems could lift everyone out of poverty,…”

    History teaches us that governmental “forced wealth distribution” never works. If it did, then poverty would be nonexistent in Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, and the USA. Equal, merit-based, opportunity and good individual decision making are the only proven ways to raise living standards.

    Sorry this post is off topic but I just couldn’t let the above quote go without comment.

    #3777339
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    yeah, but I liked

    “Unfortunately, those in the wealthier countries who point a finger at out of control population growth in poorer countries and those in poorer countries who point a finger at excessive consumption by wealthier countries cannot seem to see that both have a point and that the answer lies not in finger pointing but by joining forces to find a solution that requires changes on both sides.”

    #3777345
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    “History teaches us that governmental “forced wealth distribution” never works”

    I’m not sure at all that history teaches us such a thing; I disagree. I’d argue that creating public schooling has made a huge difference in wealth distribution in the U.S. as has the GI bill, both government orchestrated. Both moving money from those with more wealth to those with less. Very effective programs for creating opportunity and social mobility.

    Unfortunately in the last 30 years we’ve done our very best to redistribute the wealth back up to the top and now just seem to accept that poverty is normal and is the moral fault of those without. In fact today’s poverty is also structural – the Republican and Democrat presidents have worked hard to build into our tax structure exceptions and favors for corporations (which are now people) and the wealthy. There are so so so many structural advantages for the wealthy that do not exist for those with less wealth. It would be a long list. As a start, read the recent NYT article about banking and poor people. In many ways, for the very poor in the U.S. there is almost no way to get ahead.

    #3777348
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    exactly!

    we need somewhere between communism and unchecked capitalism

    #3777351
    Mart
    BPL Member

    @1goodpacker

    Locale: Central Texas

    AK, I will agree with you regarding the GI Bill.

    The government (in a rare demonstration of sanity) created a program that was NOT based on coercion (Like LBJ’s Great Society was). The GI-Bill presented veterans with opportunity. It rewarded good decision making. Recipients benefited by being better equipped to create wealth for their families. For the most part, it did not “rob Peter to pay Paul.”

    As a retired public educator (37 years) though, I’m not sure I can agree with you regarding government public education (a subject for a different rant).

    Jerry, I agree.

    But that process needs to be skewed much closer to Capitalism (and freedom). Innovation and technology will more than be able to offer solutions. They already have!

    TOTAL U. S. CARBON EMISSIONS 1990-2021

    Here’s the data.

    #3777359
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    The GI bill is taxpayer funded.

    #3777360
    Mart
    BPL Member

    @1goodpacker

    Locale: Central Texas

    “The GI bill is taxpayer funded.”

    Yes, I know, but that wasn’t my point. It presented opportunity. Participation was not mandated.

    #3777362
    Tom K
    BPL Member

    @tom-kirchneraol-com-2

    “History teaches us that governmental “forced wealth distribution” never works. If it did, then poverty would be nonexistent in Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, and the USA. Equal, merit-based, opportunity and good individual decision making are the only proven ways to raise living standards.”

    History is what led to this sorry mess that threatens global disruption and possibly the end of civilization as we know it.   What has been accepted wisdom and practice has clearly not lived up to the challenges we now face.  Clearly there is a compelling need to change how we go about providing for the needs of humanity.  I will be the first to admit the attractiveness of a merit based system, but given that merit is not equally distributed the question becomes how do we provide for those less generously endowed?  Or do we just leave them to rot by the side of the road?  A system based solely on merit, but lacking a moral system to guide it is not a sustainable model of governance, IMO.  That said, the comment you reference said nothing about forced distribution, but was made to encourage an earlier comment by OP about the need for a mass movement to achieve a more equitable distribution of economic wealth.  To me that would imply a large majority consensus on the need for it, if it were to succeed.

    #3777364
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    humans are not very good at deciding who is merited

    it seems like we choose the most qualified person, but often it’s someone that looks like us or behaves in a way that we think is more productive but is actually not

    if you noticed you didn’t hire the same percentage of, for example, dark skinned people as the population in general, and chose some dark skinned people based on this, you’d end up with a more diverse work force.  They would have a diversity of experiences that would actually make your organization more effective.  Or women or green skinned people or…

    Since I brought up dark skinned people, the U.S. is not a racist country.  We can be proud of the progress we’ve made.  Let’s talk about that progress including how bad it specifically was in an age appropriate manner.  And sure, there’s work left to do, let’s talk about that.  We white skinned people are very fragile and if you even hint that we’re racist it turns us off and we won’t be able to hear anything else.

    #3777375
    Mart
    BPL Member

    @1goodpacker

    Locale: Central Texas

    “A system based solely on merit, but lacking a moral system to guide it is not a sustainable model of governance, IMO.”

    But our government lacks that moral system now. That’s the problem. More than just “lip service” needs to be paid to matters of patriotism and spirituality (again, a subject for a different rant). It starts with us, the people, electing quality individuals to serve (quality is not a function skin color).  And, true, merit is not equally distributed. It never has been and it never will be. People have free will. But that is no reason to remove merit from the equation, depending solely on diversity and inclusion. That’s  what got us VP Harris–someone even democrats don’t like. It’s like the old line from the comic strip “Pogo.” ” We have seen the enemy and he is us.”

    Jerry: Merit is the only thing that should be a consideration in hiring.

    Most of us on this thread agree that the problem is complicated. It is, indeed. But we have already made great progress. See the graph, above.

     

     

     

    #3777378
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Yes, “merit” assumes that everyone starts at the same place and rises and falls based solely on their own efforts. This isn’t true. Coming to school hungry and going home to poverty really does make a difference, as does a lot of other things.

    I heard someone on NPR suggest that just getting the top 1% of wealth holders to pay their intended shares in taxes, like the rest of us schmucks, would generate many billions of dollars each year. And what about Apple headquarters being base in Ireland strictly for tax purposes: a headquarters the seems to consist of and empty office. etc.

    some will call writing and enforcing equitable tax laws ‘socialism’.  Bull crappy. It’s simple fairness. Some of the rich may have to limp along with only five houses. They’ll survive.

     

    #3777379
    W I S N E R !
    Spectator

    @xnomanx

    Merit is the only thing that should be a consideration in hiring.

    Pretty darn convenient approach for a hegemony to take after the land is already owned, the fortunes have already been made, and the empires have already been established, in part, by systemically and intentionally denying “other” people their due merit. And we’re not talking ancient history here, but in our very lifetime. Let’s be honest, please.

    Well said in your last post Tom.

     

     

    #3777381
    Mart
    BPL Member

    @1goodpacker

    Locale: Central Texas

    Feeding children should be a parental obligation.

    You’re correct, the income tax system is a mess. The top 5% of taxpayers remit 62.7 % of all revenue collected by the IRS. The bottom 50% remit only 2.3% of all revenue. Seems to me that, in the interest of fairness we should LOWER taxes on the rich. And since we’re talking about the wealth, let’s stop  demonizing them. They are the ones creating jobs.

    While all of this is interesting, I think we’re getting a little too far off topic, here.

    #3777386
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    “The top 5% of taxpayers remit 62.7 % of all revenue collected by the IRS. The bottom 50% remit only 2.3% of all revenue. Seems to me that, in the interest of fairness we should LOWER taxes on the rich.”

    I didn’t see a smiley, so I apologize if you were making a joke. It’s hard to believe you were serious, but based on the rest of your post, you sound like you really believe this.

    This fact is clearly a consequence of the extreme disparities in income and the vanishing middle class, not because the income tax rate on poor people is too low. As you probably know, by historical standards, the current US tax system is extremely favorable for high income individuals, both in terms of the maximum marginal tax rates and capital gains rates.

    And @mart, your comments about the Vice President are deeply racist and offensive. By any measure, she is highly qualified. Maybe you are accustomed to living in an echo-chamber where comments like that are acceptable, but in my opinion they are extremely inappropriate.

    #3777389
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Southern Indiana

    The lowest US earners pay nothing up to $12, 800 per year and then the tax rates are low up to about 28K. And people in that income group can get either Medicaid or Obamacare. The rich pay very little in taxes as well. It’s the true middle-income earners who get hit the hardest.

    Trying to turn reasonable calls for population control into a social justice issue is simply reaching for a political agenda. I can see where undeveloped countries would think Americans are hypocrites for preaching about global warming when the US is one of the most materialistic, consuming, polluting and wasteful nations on earth. The unchecked gluttony is downright sinful. But 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Just because America is obsessed with money and luxury doesn’t mean people in poor countries should multiply exponentially either.

    Actually liberals are far more favorable to birth control. Take JFK’s Appalachian campaign I mentioned earlier. And most conservatives are dead set against abortion at any time past conception but they are the first ones to complain if their tax money goes to support unwanted children.

    #3777390
    Tom K
    BPL Member

    @tom-kirchneraol-com-2

    “Feeding children should be a parental obligation.”

    Then it seems logical, at least to me, that paying working parents a wage that enables them to feed their children should be an employer obligation.

    #3777395
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    If you’ve never talked to anyone who’s had to rely on Medicaid, I encourage you to visit your local soup kitchen and have a conversation, one that involves a lot of listening. There are so many strings attached…having Medicaid does not mean you actually get needed health care. Walk a day in their shoes. Here, read this:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/21/linda-tirado-poverty-hand-to-mouth-extract

    #3777396
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    This is why I would suggest a mass movement centered around humanism, not the antihumanist philosophies of Malthus, et al.

    Citing “greenism” could be a bit of yanking society’s chain as every millennial I’ve talked too or read about in terms of not having kids cites [personal] economics as a main reason to stay childless.   No doubt there’s some who are serious into not having kids for environmental reasons, but my thoughts are more may use it as “rationalization”.  It may sound better at the coffeeshop vs “I ain’t got the money.”

    Kind of jives which the latest posts, and let’s be honest, raising kids nowadays is expensive enough regardless of the # of avocado toasts.  Of course everyone wants the best for children but that’ll usually be a wealthier neighborhood overall with high falutin’ tastes.  Even back in the ‘90s, I knew single mom’s (in grad school) whose kids were bullied for not wearing expensive enough brands.

    Anyways economics and architecture/engineering can be reduced to numbers which is a lot easier to deal with (give the politicians a $ amount).

    To where the rubber hits the road, we should be building to what generations are looking like now (a lot of older single people), and if it reverses, well then kids can have bunk beds hooked into the internet.  They can pretend they’re in the Navy!

    #3777397
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    What I hear from a lot of students (I work at a university, so I talk to a lot of students) is that they don’t plan to have children, because the world will be such a horrible place to be, especially once the U.S. has given up democracy altogether, and climate change makes many places unlivable. So maybe that will further tank the population. None of these population-reducing propositions is nice at all – plagues famines wars. Nowhere near as nice as just using birth control so that you can make  your own choice and wait until you’re ready. That used to be a thing. (Thanks Ronald Reagan, for stopping that in its tracks!)

    #3777402
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    What I hear from a lot of students (I work at a university, so I talk to a lot of students) is that they don’t plan to have children, because the world will be such a horrible place to be, especially once the U.S. has given up democracy altogether, and climate change makes many places unlivable.

    Well there’s probably a number of reasons going into “lifestyle”.  We’ve also had “lifestyle” creep in this country as evidenced by sq. footage of modern homes in the US and other developed countries not named Japan.

    So economics may not be part of being “ poor” either.  All the male engineers I graduated university with were adamant they weren’t having kids wanting to be engineers by day … but billiards sharks at night, rock stars at night, etc.. They got good paying jobs relative to the local economy but weren’t seriously considering kids.

    The US China, Russia, Japan having less children

     

    Also Mexico and other places have gone below replacement rate.  Even some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, though the continent as a whole is above replacement rate.  So I’ll say economics but also lifestyle considerations, though it could be “economic freedom” as well as ”economic deprivation”.

    #3777407
    Tom K
    BPL Member

    @tom-kirchneraol-com-2

    “Seems to me that, in the interest of fairness we should LOWER taxes on the rich.”

    There is an old Russian proverb that originated in response to this kind of logic:  “The shortage will be divided among the peasants”.

    Nothing new under the sun, I guess.  ;0)

    #3777411
    Atif Khan
    BPL Member

    @atifethica-institute-2

    Some game theory and behavioral economics:

    We are faced with something called “tragedy of the commons”: with an open and limited resource (e.g. the environment), parties will still act out of self-interest to the detriment of all.

    Care to give up your iPhone? Those minerals deforest after all.

    In a BATNA situation, what is everyone’s “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement”—namely, when parties cannot arrive at an agreement, what is their best alternative?

    As far as anyone can tell, China, the United States, India, Russia, and Japan (the five biggest polluters, in order) have not, and are unlikely to, agree on anything to permanently reverse climate change.

    Since there is no negotiated agreement what is everyone’s best alternative?

    Grow. Continue to maximize production (ie. cars, construction, compounding interest) and consumption (ie. energy, factory meat, stuff).

    So what to do? Know that humans are incredibly resilient, and so is Mother Earth. And brace for the transition (hikers will likely fare well).

    #3777444
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    As far as anyone can tell, China, the United States, India, Russia, and Japan (the five biggest polluters, in order) have not, and are unlikely to, agree on anything to permanently reverse climate change.

    Since there is no negotiated agreement what is everyone’s best alternative?

    In each country there are corporate interests and the game of politics, payoffs. and tradeoffs.  That’s the big one. *Can skip to my summary at the end if wanting to avoid the next essay.   Phoenix AZ is putting in its second light rail and other US cities are expanding theirs (Houston TX and I read maybe Atlanta, GA?). On the other side, many public transit options are increasingly less appealing despite some promotion (Los Angeles and even the Dallas TX area) due to lack of enforcement. The second biggest US city, Los Angeles, has ever more drivers than mass transit takers since before COVID.  Why?  Actually neighborhoods adapted.  Many find it quicker to just drive to, say, a grocery store.  So think the focus as some “clean up” starts will be poorer workers and tourist safety for the Olympics (of course when Rams games are on, the trains are packed with fans and their rapidly emptying beverage coolers .. hey, gotta roll with the flow).

    However now the next best is the 15-minute city, town, and /or neighborhood.  Based more on Paris than Los Angeles, the idea is residents have everything needed during the week within a 15 minute walk/bike ride.  May be easier said than done on existing infrastructure but who knows .. especially as big boxes close down leaving a hole in communities (note: communities were warned).  It makes sense and consumers still have the option to drive.  They can just drive less if they want to.

    Of course the same pro-pollution/pro-sprawl interests are fighting this, .. but it’s fairly easy to implement with a relaxation of local zoning laws.

    Still with more concentration, that leaves more geographic area available for wildlife, ecosystem services (like wetlands and forests that can absorb flooding waters), and of course recreation – though honestly think much will go to mountain biking and other more “urbany” outdoor activities.  Like the new mountain bike routes NW of Portland OR (membership required as it’s on timber company land and they don’t want lawsuits).

    Summary: think building vertically for a number of reasons for most folk, especially singles, will be the best we can do.

     

    #3777467
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California
    #3777497
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    .. the Answer to
    Everything

    Whoops.  Been reading a lot of geography and urban planning myself

    In terms of the OP, when it comes to having more children that’s a complicated question likely dealing with economics, other behavioral science, and lifestyle than anything.

    So let’s take another stab as lifestyle impingement seems to be an issue.  Why not go back to mandating 3 hrs of homework every weeknight, .. except for approved school activities (like the arts or sports .. w/some limits)?   This gets the kids off the parents radar as Jr(s) enjoy arithmatic, algebra, grammar, and required reading (like “mandatory fun” in the corporate and government employment worlds, so they are getting a taste of real life).  Let AI grade it via scanner to let the little urchins get a taste of the brave new world they’ll inherit. The parents are then free to do whatever they want,  including have more kids.

    Not everyone is suited for this, so think there’s off-ramps for trade schools, business jobs for credit, and, for the truly adventurous, there’s always joining the French Foreign Legion.

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 77 total)
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