Sustainable Development (environmental, population, economic, resources wars, ext.)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth_Yuthura, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Re the rationality of markets: maybe it's too soon to see how the evidence from behavioral economics in the short-term affects understanding of market rationality and efficiency in the long term.

    Re Walmart: No, there's a fair amount of evidence of illegal activities. It's simply difficult to enforce against them because, as in Canada and the meatpacking scandal, they're willing to close down entire stores or entire national sub-departments in order to maintain their perfect anti-union record.
  2. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I don't know if this has been over debated as it is, but I just want to make the case as to why a rift in social classes leads to instability within an economy.

    *****

    Obviously Henry Ford wasn't worth a fraction of what Bill Gates has become, but taking inflation into account; Ford's net worth by the time he died was about 166 billion of today's dollars.

    This may actually be considered a counter point, as there were multiple people who've become more powerful in the early 1900's than what Gates is today. However there was a time when the wealthiest 1% of people became far less powerful than they were in the 1900's. During the time of Ford, Morgan, and Rockefellar and the industrial revolution; the US had virtually no middle class. It was mostly the factory owners and the working class.

    Then there was a period of economic inequity between social classes, but the rift began to shrink when 1928 brought on the Great Depression. This event brought about what we know as the middle class. Although the US had gone into economic chaos, the results of the New Deal brought about greater economic stability after than before the depression. The middle class had begun a trend of growth which came about until the Reagan administration in the 1970's. Before this time, a larger proportion of the population earned about median income than it does today. After Reagan, the top 1% grew at roughly a rate of 229% whereas the bottom 50% grew at only 6%.

    This rate of growth takes taxes into account as well, which means that they're getting a disproportionately greater advantage than those who are in the lower 90% of the population. Just because the lower 90% does see an increase in income, that growth pales in comparison to the upper 10%. Those people who are already doing well are just allowed to do better. As the income ladder elongates, you are advancing at a progressively smaller rate than the ladder is growing.

    As KK had mentioned at one point, the cost of living is increasing because there are so many inefficiencies where taxes and income are being wasted. Even if there is still income mobility in the US, you would find you must work much harder to earn income from the bottom than it is when you're at the top. A rich guy who earns a million dollars a year doesn't have to concern himself so much with paying for housing, fuel, and food. A person living paycheck to paycheck never has the means to invest his money if he can't attain a surplus EVER. And interest makes that even more unlikely.

    http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/strat.html

    From the following source comes the Gilbert and Kahl model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class
    [image=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:personal_Household_Income_U.png]

    Notice how this does not conform to the bell-shaped curve? The most economically healthy kind of social class structure is where you get a greater proportion your work force which falls within the middle class income range. In this 2005 model, the middle class represented less than half of work force. Since 1970, the middle-class 'tier' had shrunk by about 5 percentage points. This may not seem like much, but it signifies the middle class can't be maintained. As incomes for the wealthy and demand in the unskilled service sector increases, it will distort the shape of the bell shape. The trend is that the US is moving towards a reverse-bell shape, where you will have an increasing rift between the social classes. You'll get more in the wealthiest classes, but substancially more of the population will earn below the median household income of $63,955 (2006)

    Source: http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/706/middle-class-poll

    http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/images/mc-net-worth.gif
    This graph is to show the net worth of the typical upper-level income earner is increasing faster than the middle class. And the lower class has been historically more stagnant.

    http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/images/mc-median-household-incom.gif
    This graph shows the median household income progressively increasing, despite periodic dep
  3. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    KK, we can't resolve what is essentially a philosophical debate via numbers and statistics. We can arguing about who is "rich" later, but we must first agree that a flat tax is not a fair tax, and that the rich, whoever they are, may be justifiably have their assets taxed upon their death or be taxed more in proportion than others. Neither of these two ideas have any figures or numbers of any meaning. The numbers only become important at deciding how they will be implimented. But as you go on wiping your tears of the injustice of it all with the Constitution, what math will dissuade you from your position?

    The practical considerations of how only come after we have agreed on the theoretical considerations of why. And to find the why, we must look at the extreme situations to understand that neither is desireable, and that the demands of one right never supersede all others. Private property is not the end all be all, nor is equality. We must find a balance between the two, and that sometimes means trading one for the other.
  4. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Espy, this is a case where you are letting your heart run away from your head.

    The first step in problem solving is always to define the problem. In order to do that, you need to indicate a way to measure the problem, because otherwise you have no way to determine progress on that problem. You have to start with metrics, or else progress is impossible.

    All I have asked is that you define some sort of criteria forming a model for how you would know what is fair and what is not. That is the most basic question in problem solving.

    Consider Newton's law of Universal Gravitation: F = G*M*m/(R^2). Newton proposed that law as a model for how gravity's effects work in 1686. However, the gravitational constant (the "G" in that equation) was not calculated until 1873, using data from the Cavendish experiment performed in 1798. The model that Newton proposed determined the theory, and the specific numbers that make it all work out came later.

    All I am asking is that you describe a quantifiable model so we can all examine the theory and try to come to some sort of consensus. If you can't quantify it now in theory, then how do you think that you will be able to quantify it later in practice?

    Kimball Kinnison

    EDIT:
    Except you are still missing my point.

    How do you determine that "predetermined point"?

    How do you decide where to draw the line between the "rich" and the "middle class"? How do you determine if someone should be taxed 10% of their income, 20%, 50%, or 90%? What criteria are you using to decide that a 90% tax on income over (for example) $400k is fair, but 50% is fair for something just under that level?

    You need to give some form of metrics to define the problem, and then you need to outline your solution in terms of those metrics. Otherwise, all you are doing is picking arbitrary limits. If you are simply going to decide things in such an arbitrary manner, then your entire argument destroys any pretense at being based in any form of principles. It becomes merely whatever your decide it should be, and that is no standard to judge things by.
  5. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    The problem here is you don't even know the variables. (Not you specifically, everyone) The cost of living is different from place to place... one thing that constantly changes. The wealth of individuals... given as there are so many resources by which people can invest their money into. The market rates for a piece of land may not work if you're trying to calculate the value of land in Manhattan. The less liquid your assets, the harder it is to calculate your net wealth.

    If you had to sell an acre of land, how much could you get for it if you sold it? How long would you need to find a buyer at market rate? Are you desperate? Is the market value of the land outdated? Is there something built on the land/does it enhance property value?

    These are all questions and factors which changes the value of a non-liquid asset. There are so many factors that determine what something costs compared to what it's worth. If you're Bill Gates, you could potentially go bankrupt if all you have are non-liquid assets and no one would buy any of it.

    And there's the change which comes from one moment to the next. It depends on the state you live in. Which city you live in. What changes happen within the politics at the federal/local/state level. There are simply too many variables which aren't consistent from one time to the next, or from one place to the next. This makes it impossible for stats to be used to determine even approximately how much it costs to just get by.

    I think we already have.

    Fairness is a matter of perspective. Clearly what we would consider fair, you do not. What Bill Gates considers fair, we likely would not.

    We can't specify where to draw the line, but we can see that the rate of growth of income among the top 1% has exceeded that of the lower half of Americans many times over. The point at which we start doing progressive taxes is determined by the people... figuratively. If Bill Gates says he needs $40 billion to get by, he'll likely be the only one. If someone earning $25,000 a year is taking out loans to get by... clearly you can't expect him to have any taxable income. If the economy does well and the majority of Americans are earning $40,000 a year, then the poverty line/rates of progressive taxes will reflect it. It's not calculated, but selected. Recently, progressive taxes were favored for anyone earning over $250,000 a year... that was just favored by the majority of 'the people.' (or congress)
  6. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Social science doesn't always work in easily quantifiable equations. In science you can demonstrate gravity by dropping something. Principles of social justice aren't so easily proven.

    Let's put income inequality on a spectrum of 1 to 0. Perfect equality is a 1, perfect inequality is a zero.

    1 = no innovation, 0 = ?

    There is no equation to tell us what zero equals in this situation, which is why I laid out a case study. It is only once we have decided that
    we do not want either a one or a zero we can decide at what decimal point we think creates the best result.

    I submit that 0 = a society where no real opportunity exists, and that in order to maintain stability and a fair chance of success for every child, not just those born into wealth, wealth redistribution becomes necessary to do so. In that situation, our duties to the next generation surpass the private property rights of the dead. If you don't accept that the Earth is round, what good will knowing the number of light years to the nearest star do you?

    We can debate if .2 equality or .8 equality is more desireable, but if you insist on policies that will eventually lead to 0 equality, then there isn't any quantifiable metric to be used, as you are off your rocker so to speak.
  7. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Hold on a moment.

    Once more, you are pulling a bait-and-switch here. We were discussing income, and now you are talking in terms of wealth. Will you please pick one or the other, and stop switching between them in the same discussion?

    If you are taxing income (i.e. have a progressive income tax structure like we were discussing), then whether I hold $5 in assets or $5 trillion is irrelevant. What matters there is my income. (I could hold $5 trillion and yet still have an income of $0 if I hoarded it all in a big money bin like Scrooge McDuck.) What I could get for an acre of land if I sold it has no bearing on my income taxes until I actually sell it.

    Not only that, but you are dodging the question here. Last I checked, federal income taxes didn't vary based on the cost of living in different parts of the country. Someone making $35k in the DC area (which is barely getting by for many people, because of the high cost of living) pays the same taxes as someone making $35k in rural Utah (where that can provide a fairly comfortable lifestyle according to my sister). Unless you are talking about varying federal taxes based on locality (which is a whole other can of worms), then most of your cited variables are irrelevant for the principles being discussed here.

  8. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    In my graduate work, we use some quantification but qualification is necessary as well. Example, we look at correlations between various elements of a school library media center--the number of hours open per week, the presence of a licensed media specialist, budget per student, fixed or flexible scheduling--and student achievement levels in that school. But we also look at qualitative measures, such as whether students enjoy going to the library or whether the students feel the library meets their needs. None of those are measurable. Additionally, no matter how much quantitative and qualitative data we have proving a correlation, there are inevitably school superintendents and politicians who think it is absolutely fine to run a school media center on a fixed and limited schedule with just an assistant or even a group of parent volunteers. Just reiterating the point about social sciences not being exact sciences.

    On the point about income: we could define "wealthy" as "X percentage above the poverty level," and that would probably be the easiest way to do it. However, as Yuthura pointed out, and as I have heard from many conservatives regarding Obama's standard of $250,000 a year as "wealthy," standard of living varies so much from one area to another in the US that when we pick one standard of "wealthy" for the entire country, it isn't going to be accurate for every area. Example, $250,000 is wealthy here in North Carolina, but in, say, San Francisco, it's middle class (and probably barely so, although I haven't lived there and couldn't say for sure).

    Maybe I've proved KK's point, but the main point I'm trying to make is that we could have a quantifiable standard, in fact we do with the $250,000, but somebody is going to complain about it.
  9. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    You're talking about an impossibly complex subject here. I couldn't get through macroeconomics when I got my business/economics minor. I learned why it wasn't demanded for the minor when I realized how elaborate the subject is compared to the fairly simple concepts found within microeconomics. If you're asking for us to go out and make a calculated estimation of which would challenge those with PHD's in the field... I would advise you ask that question elsewhere. You will not get one here.

    What were you asking exactly? 'How you determine that predetermined point?'

    You determine that point by evaluating the costs of living. If the costs for living make up 90% of a person's income, then you mustn't set tax rates above 10%, or the person can't make both the payments to get by and pay taxes. THAT'S why you calculate the costs of living.

    Your question cannot be answered in the manner you ask for it. You want a number? I can ask someone who specializes in macroeconomics and he'll say the same thing.

    It's not calculated. It's chosen. Calculations only influence what you choose.

    ~D_Y
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    From your answer, I'm guessing that you don't actually know what metrics are.

    A metric is, simply put, a standard used to assess performance. In the initial stage of determining metrics (which is what I'm trying to get you to do), you don't calculate anything. Metrics are as much concepts as they are figures and numbers.

    Let me give you an example. Let's say that you want to improve your health. It's easy to say that you want to do that, right? But how do you know if you are actually doing it? To answer that, you use metrics. You decide what factors are dominant in good health on a conceptual level (such as body weight, cholesterol, etc) and then you look at how you would actually measure those concepts (current weight, cholesterol level, etc). Once you do that, you take those measurements and determine what your target metrics would look like (i.e. ideal weight, etc). You also determine what your methods will be for achieving those targets and how you will measure your progress towards those goal (i.e. time exercising each day, calories eaten, etc). You can then measure your current status against your targets/goals and determine if you are making progress.

    In this example, I'm not asking you to give me what your current weight is. I'm asking you to conceptually identify that weight is one of the components that you need to measure. This isn't about the numbers, it's about the concepts that define the issue.

    However, the caveat is that when you pick those metrics, you need to be able to measure them, or else they are useless. You don't need to give specific numbers when defining the problem here, simply identify those concepts that can be measured and how you would measure them.

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Actually, having studied quality and process improvement, there are ways to measure those qualitative items. Those measurements are more subjective, but they still can at least be approximated. (For example, you can survey the students to see if they can rate how much they enjoy the media center, or how well it meets their needs). For a business, you can also look to other measures of customer satisfaction (such as the rate of repeat customers).

    The key is that when you are studying it, you need to avoid injecting the subjective measurements on your part. If you want to know how the students feel, then ask them to rate (quantify) it and approximate their feelings, and then you can deal with their responses quantitatively.

    For an example of this, consider when you go to the doctor with an injury. The amount of pain that a person experiences is almost completely subjective. A doctor can't accurately determine how much pain you are in, because he isn't experiencing that pain himself. However, they regularly do ask you to rate your own pain on a scale of 1-10. Using similar methods, you can at least approximate qualitative data using quantitative methods.

    Often, what a lot of people wind up complaining about isn't necessarily the quantifiable standard, but the method used to reach that standard. People tend to be more accepting of ideas that appear to have reasoning behind them, and more resistant to ideas that seem completely arbitrary. That is why being able to express (at least in general terms) a model to demonstrate the relationship between your criteria (metrics) and your results is so important.

    Kimball Kinnison
  12. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    You can't use quantitative metrics to measure things that don't have quantities. If this is the public policy that comes out of scientists, remind me never to vote for one.

    There is no study that can quantitatively study that can fully measure the value of a library. What are the goals of a library? It is more than teaching children to read or the pleasure they report in doing so. You can't fully quantify the broadening of horizons of children.

    The entire national economy is far too complex and changing a thing to set down some type of Newton's laws of fair taxation.
  13. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Thank-you. This is what I closer to what I meant to say.

    Edit
    You also should assess how much it costs to maintain something and whether or not you can improve upon it. Some libraries in California have been able to reduce their upkeep by using electricity to freeze water during off-peak hours. Then by using the ice to reduce the energy use during the day. This is something which drastically changed the cost of upkeep, yet you can't exactly account for innovation or breakdowns in systems, economic changes, consumer preferences, ext. It's constantly changing and not consistent enough to be measured.

    One aspect KK was emphasizing was reducing spending across the board. Rather than the American idea of making more at a cheaper rate, it's better to find methods to reduce the cost of upkeep by reducing the 'need' altogether. Believe me, if gas prices were historically higher, the US wouldn't have developed such a great 'need' for gasoline. Raising prices/taxes could promote people to spend their income better than they currently are.

    more editing

    I've been emphasizing ecological development depends on being economically and environmentally sustainable for both present and future demands. The way we did it in the past has been 'drill, baby, drill!,' outsourcing to lower the price of manufactured goods, and borrowing to pay for the lifestyle we've maintained over the last two decades. The only way we can hope to maintain our future demands is through reduction altogether. We can't possibly believe we can maintain our lifestyle as it is, so the only option that we can truly count on is to reduce our usage of everything whenever possible. If innovation shouldn't keep up with our increasing demands, then we must aim to reduce demand.

    Using less fuel, paying less in upkeep, and being economic in the global markets depend on us choosing to live in smaller cities... reducing our use of the automobile (fewer miles instead of more efficient cars=better practices) If the price of gasoline should remain fairly stable, then that doesn't mean we made a bad choice... just more money to spend elsewhere. Shorter supply lines/local self-sustainability is the best way to reduce all demands we have for resources and reduce costs of living. That's a sustainable practice.
  14. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Often, what a lot of people wind up complaining about isn't necessarily the quantifiable standard, but the method used to reach that standard. People tend to be more accepting of ideas that appear to have reasoning behind them, and more resistant to ideas that seem completely arbitrary. That is why being able to express (at least in general terms) a model to demonstrate the relationship between your criteria (metrics) and your results is so important.

    Human beings and our society is not some series of bits and atoms that act in ways where you can easily model behaviors according to theories provable via the scientific method.

    Your points raise interesting questions if we were trying to determine who we should classify as rich and poor. But as you continue to argue that there should be no distiction be made, it isn't enough for you simply to say that as we aren't putting forth what criteria we should use to determine who is rich or poor and then claim that because we don't have a clear and fair dividing line that any distiction is then arbitrary and therefore there is no cause to made distictions between rich and poor. We can argue about where the line is later, after you admit what we would do if the world was made up only of one rich man and a world full of poor people. We can all agree that a world where everyone was exactly equal would eventually become a world where everyone was poor, and besides is impossible to create.

    I happen to like my spectrum of 1 to 0. You have yet to disprove that you do not want zero. It is only by ruling out the extremism that we can narrow our differences. As the equation to arrive at the correct answer is too complex for any man or machine to know, we can only approximate a general consensus. And if all are involved in deciding the thing, then the people won't be resistant.

    We have an innate sense of fairness, and so do some apes. Behavior science researchers are only just beginning to understand the way this works, and if the majority consider it fair, it is.
  15. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Surely a world where everyone is poor is no longer poor, since being poor is only in comparison to those who have more wealth then you have. If everyone had equal amounts then no-one would be richer or poorer then anyone else.
    And then no-one would have issue about taxing since everyone could be taxed the same amount.
  16. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    You aren't thinking 4th dimensionally. They would be poor compared to previous richer generations.
  17. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    How?
    If you have a small number of people controlling a vast sum of wealth, then having their lavish resources evenly distributed across the nation would raise the level of wealth for the vast majority of people. Some will have less than before, but the greater majority would be further ahead than they were before. Unless you have a perfect middle class system, where everything is pretty balanced, this will always work favorably to the greatest number of people.
  18. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Well what I was talking about would be a system where perfect equality was enforced. What I mean by perfect equality is that everyone gets exactly the same as everyone else. The worker gets as much as the one who doesn't work, ect. That is a system with no incentives, just as a perfectly inequal system has the potential to severly limit incentives. If there is no incentive to work, then most people won't work, or won't bother working hard, and everyone on a whole will be more poor than they were prior to that. Of course if nobody has anything, then poor being a relative term does tend to loose its meaning, but that's just too much semantics.
  19. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    *sarcastically* Whatever could you be talking about? Who would do such a thing?

    *seriously* Many people have assumed that because communism didn't work, that it must mean capitalism is everlasting. In reality, there is no such thing as a perfect form of government, economy, or ideology. Because humans are irrational and selfish, they'll always put their interests ahead of the community.

    The problem I have with people following what's best for the individual is that it's a dividing force. What's best for the self is to be part of a strong nation/state/community, yet Americans absolutely refuse to consider taking measures to fix the problem. They don't because they can expect that irrational, selfish behavior to compromise everything.

    So by the same logic, you should assume people in positions of power will put their interests ahead of others... don't support them. Don't vote for anyone in Congress again! They've got the means to deceive you into thinking your vote counts, so if everyone would just not support a corrupt leader; it would make a lot more sense to remain silent than choose someone you don't want leading you. Odds were that people voted for John Kerry just because they hated Bush... they didn't really like either candidate.

    Rather than have a two-party voting system for every kind of debate, why not have a negative voting system. That way if you intensely dislike something about a person in power, you can vote against a particular candidate. Instead of one or the other, you could then tell democrats or republicans that you won't vote for them unless they're worthwhile to be president. Parties SHOULD draw on success, but instead are just playing of the other's failures. That leads to nowhere.
  20. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I've always been of the impression that if you refuse to vote at all then you have no right to complain about the government in power since you made no effort to prevent them being elected by voting for someone else.

    I do agree that many protest vote for someone else based on the fact they hate the current person in power instead of assessing who stands for what and who is best.

    London Mayor Boris "the buffoon" Johnson was really only voted in due to his frequent appearences on TV entertainment programs and his comic bumbling personality, plus the fact that many people were fed up with then Mayor Ken Livingston. He wasn't elected because he was better or in actual fact really any good at the job.

    It'll be the same in the general election, The Conservatives will be voted for by many simply because they don't like Labour or Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

    As for forms of government, I think it depends on what works for different nations. Just because we don't agree with Communism doesn't make it bad, it does work for some countries and it's principle of equality is a good idea. There are problems with the system, but there are problems with Capitalism.
  21. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I did make efforts to friends NOT to vote for George W. Bush in the 2004 election. I didn't vote, myself, because I had other obligations that day and stood in line for an hour before realizing I had no chance of making the appointment and standing in line for another 30 minutes to and hour and the driving time. If they weren't willing to go to the effort to allow people to vote, then that shows how much they care.

    The second time around, my favorite candidate dropped out before the election. When I was confronted with the lesser of two evils, I would have gone with Obama, had my vote really mattered. Given as my state was not a battleground one, it really wouldn't have mattered one way or another. I did help to inform people I knew of how they should vote by telling them of the issues that have to be addressed and how neither candidate (and few within the third parties) really brought up serious solutions I would support.

    The whole point of multiple candidates is for you to select the one you favor most. If you don't favor any, then you should not vote for any. If I could have given a blank voting card and have it register as such, I would do that.
  22. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I want KK or some other free marketer to argue that the US government shouldn't be sending aid to Haiti because that isn't the role of government and it is impinging on their rights and liberties.
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    If ever a nation was cursed by God (I'd argue no), then Haiti is it. They make their neighbor to the east look like a 1st world paradise. Haiti would be an incredible example of a place where the population has shot so far past sustainability that an earthquake coming along and killing thousands of people, thus inviting the prospect of real foreign aid to temporarily alleviate the ongoing and chronic starvation and hopelessness, seems like a blessing in very poor disguise.
  24. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    People have a right to life and to food & water, if their own government struggles to assist them with that why can't others help out?

    I'm in favour of natural selection but we are moral beings and many of use want to help others. I'm sure were anyone here in their position you would want aid regardless of where it came from?
  25. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Yes they have shot past being able to sustain themselves on subsistence argicultural practices, but they live on an island that would easily support their population were it properly managed. They wouldn't even need massive agro-industrialization to do it, but something resembling a functioning political system and getting people to stop taking down whatever trees or other natural resources they can for energy would go a long way. But then they'd have to have jobs, which are impossible to create with no infrastructure and stable government.

    Also, Haiti is example no 1. why it is a BS argument to say Mexicans and other Latin Americans deserve to stay here or come here for humanitarian purposes. Less than 10% of the population is even close to the living standards of a rural Mexican peasant.

    I've said this before, but even after I had lived in the Dominican Republic for more than a year in some of the poorest slums in the country, walking into the Haitian bateys or worker camps did in fact make the Dominican slums seem close to the 1st world.

    Considering the scale of the damage, even the vast amounts of foreign aid now going to flow in, it won't be anywhere near enough to make up for the damage.
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