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Will poverty ever be history?

#41 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-25, 21:25

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-21, 17:41, said:

In an article on global warming, British MP Matt Ridley pointed out that according to even RCP 8.5, an IPCC scenario that he describes as "very, very, implausible," by the end of this century "The per capita income of the average human being in 2100 is three times what it is now. Poverty would be history." Okay, so the average income is three times what it is now. Does that really mean poverty will be eliminated? Or is "poverty" a relative state that will always exist, being, basically, the bottom of the income ladder?


Yes, the answer is yes there is still poverty.

Basically however you wish to define poverty, however you wish to measure and compare poverty, even in a star trek universe there is poverty in 2100 or later.

Not a very interesting question but I bet you can redefine it and make it more interesting.

I liked Ken's approach as to 86 years ago and 86 years in the future.

Next question?
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#42 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 06:21

View Postbarmar, on 2014-June-25, 13:52, said:

I'm not very familiar with the technology, but my suspicion is that "printed food" won't be as good tasting as real food, at least not for a while. We're not really talking about Star Trek replicators, but something closer to nutrition pills. There's also test tube meat, where they use cloned cells to grow beef in the laboratory. In most of these cases, rich people probably aren't going to be interested, they'll pay a premium to get the real thing. But it will be a boon to poor people, because they'll be able to get nutritious food at prices they can afford. It will probably also be used heavily by fast food restaurants. I'm sure McDonalds is chomping at the bit to be able to grow hamburgers in factories instead of farms.

I am not convinced that producing food this way will be cheaper. Laboratories require expensive equipment and staff, and you still need raw materials in large quantity. But OK, maybe. The more difficult problem is getting the food to the poor people, as below:

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-25, 12:41, said:

If people worked together. They don't. The majority of people in third world countries who have any power at all are out only for themselves. On top of that, they're corrupt by our standards. So they see anything like an influx of food intended for the masses as wealth for themselves. That's not "working together", that's "working for me".

Exactly, third world dictators and warlords will block the flow of aid and claim it for their own profit. This is the problem that needs fixed.

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-25, 13:49, said:

We do have a responsibility to the planet and to future generations. This is not provable, and in fact we can refuse to accept it. but most of us would like to see things get better, not worse. We have children and grandchildren but even if we did not it seems like a natural desire. Not logically forced, but natural nonetheless. So we should support efforts to make things better. "Make things better" is tough but perhaps achievable. Eliminating poverty? I'll believe it when I see it. And I won't see it.

Neither will I.
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#43 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 06:54

When people say "there is enough food for everyone" do they mean there is enough food {produced} for everyone or that there is enough money in people's bank accounts to buy food for everyone at current market value? I suspect if Bill Gates sold all his shares at Microsoft and gave all that money, let's say, 10 billion dollars*, to a trustworthy leader in Africa, they still could not just buy 10 billion loaves of bread for 1 dollar each. I suspect the price of bread will hike quite a bit because we are physically incapable of producing 10 billion extra loaves of bread just like that.

*-The stock market might crash. I have no idea. Let's just say he has that amount of cash.

Note that I'm not saying that giving no foreign aid is the best option or that we should give up and I'm definitely not saying that the leaders (or even any leader) is trustworthy in Africa or anywhere.
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#44 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 07:53

Reduction of poverty, hunger, disease. here or elsewhere: Two views:

1. We should attempt to help by providing food, housing and medicine
2. We should attempt to help by providing education, training and opportunity.

Of course, at least in my view, there needs to be a mix. But it is still useful to clarify which is the dominant theme.

Any approach that heavily emphasizes the first view will not succeed for long. The needs are too vast, and the support won't be there. Maybe that reflects badly on our morality, maybe it doesn't, but I think that it is reality. Sure, some people really cannot take care of themselves and we, most of us, feel society has an obligation to step in with assistance. But the default assumption is that adults take care of themselves. If, either nationally or worldwide, we are going to sharply reduce poverty I think it will have to be through a long term plan that emphasizes view 2. If no such plan can be viable, then we are in deep stuff.
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#45 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 08:43

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-26, 07:53, said:

Reduction of poverty, hunger, disease. here or elsewhere: Two views:

1. We should attempt to help by providing food, housing and medicine
2. We should attempt to help by providing education, training and opportunity.
Eating
Of course, at least in my view, there needs to be a mix. But it is still useful to clarify which is the dominant theme.

Any approach that heavily emphasizes the first view will not succeed for long. The needs are too vast, and the support won't be there.


Not only that, but we have a biological imperative to breed until there is at least some hunger. Only #2 above lets us escape and set goals for the future.

The comment above about printing foi gras and caviar was really silly. What, as has been asked before, would the raw materials be? 3-D printing can change the shape of food, not the composition. It's like suggesting that hunger can be reduced by giving every poor person a bread machine.
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#46 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 10:14

Reality is silly, what can I say. You can synthesize amino acids. That means you can create proteins. That means you can manufacture whatever you want, or at least eventually will be able to.
A good link about the technology was provided before.
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#47 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 10:20

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-26, 10:14, said:

Reality is silly,


Try to accept it though; much healthier that way.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#48 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 13:56

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-25, 13:49, said:

But the quote perhaps was in a context where he had some further point to make?

He was talking about some IPCC scenarios in which global warming was found not to be as much of a problem as previously thought. He took it to an extreme that is probably wrong, so I discount his main point, but the comment in question jumped out at me.
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#49 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 14:12

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-26, 13:56, said:

He was talking about some IPCC scenarios in which global warming was found not to be as much of a problem as previously thought. He took it to an extreme that is probably wrong, so I discount his main point, but the comment in question jumped out at me.


I am thinking I might need a guide to this whole thread, maybe starting with his quote, as to what is serious and what isn't. I was thinking thjat maybe Vamp's post about breeding was a sarcastic comment, taking my post to its own logical conclusion. And then there is the stuff about printing food. Cherdano has already pointed out that I need a keeper, or at least an adviser, to keep me in touch.

I think of eliminating poverty as something like bringing peace to the Mideast. Could happen, sure, it could. Be sure to give me a call when it does happen.

All of which doesn't mean that we cannot make things worse if we try. And often we seem to try.
Ken
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#50 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 14:18

View Postgwnn, on 2014-June-26, 06:54, said:

When people say "there is enough food for everyone" do they mean there is enough food {produced} for everyone or that there is enough money in people's bank accounts to buy food for everyone at current market value?


Enough food produced.

Quote

Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. For the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That's enough to feed 10 billion people, the population peak we expect by 2050. But the people making less than $2 a day -- most of whom are resource-poor farmers cultivating unviably small plots of land -- can't afford to buy this food.


from here. Other similar supporting evidence here(at least 2,720 kCal per person per day produced already).
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#51 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 20:18

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-26, 14:12, said:

I was thinking thjat maybe Vamp's post about breeding was a sarcastic comment, taking my post to its own logical conclusion.


No, all species will breed until they have maxed out their resources.

Quote


And then there is the stuff about printing food.


Yeah, if food is ever going to be synthesised on a large scale, the printers would not be relevant; the huge vats In which to create the nutrient-rich whatever would be the useful technology; however, B-) bringing the raw materials and the energy required to create artificial food cannot, in any way that I can see, ever be cheaper or easier than bringing actual food.

There is already a way to transport food in its lightest and smallest form. Powdered eggs, raisins and other dried fruits, meat jerky etc. You can take out the water, but what remains is a foodstuff that cannot be made any denser or lighter and still retain its value in nutrients, fiber etc. So to create, for example, an egg-like substance, the raw materials would have to be at least as heavy and fill at least as much volume as a powdered egg, and making the latter would require a lot less energy than forming the components from other chemicals.
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#52 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 21:43

View PostVampyr, on 2014-June-26, 10:20, said:

Try to accept it though; much healthier that way.

You don't seem to get it. This isn't a snark contest. It doesn't matter how much wit you use to coat ignorance, you still end up being wrong.
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#53 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 22:19

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-26, 21:43, said:

You don't seem to get it. This isn't a snark contest. It doesn't matter how much wit you use to coat ignorance, you still end up being wrong.


LOL I am "ignorant" and "wrong" because I think that your predictions for the future are fanciful and impractical?

Speaking of predictions of the future, where are my jetboots? My hovercar? I was supposed to have them long before 2014, and I want them NOW!
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#54 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 22:35

No, because you insist on generic sniping instead of replying to the heart of the matter. You can do it for every issue, it's borderline trolling.
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#55 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 22:40

Right. Now I get to find out how the "ignore" function works.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#56 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-June-26, 22:58

Please be civil. We've already had one person complain about a personal attack against him in this thread, I don't want any more.

#57 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-27, 07:17

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-26, 14:12, said:

I am thinking I might need a guide to this whole thread, maybe starting with his quote, as to what is serious and what isn't. I was thinking thjat maybe Vamp's post about breeding was a sarcastic comment, taking my post to its own logical conclusion.




View PostVampyr, on 2014-June-26, 20:18, said:

No, all species will breed until they have maxed out their resources.


Thanks for clarifying. I generally hold my tongue on the subject of having children. Obviously it is a very personal choice. Also obviously, what is a personal choice for individuals has, in the large, consequences for society. It's tricky. Better, more secure, living conditions often lead to smaller family sizes though.

Anyway, I will stick with what I think is the less controversial claim that society simply will not support a program that envisions long term support for a great many people without some plan as to how to get the supported ones to eventually (perhaps somewhat long term but intended to be finite) need less support. At least in the cultural environment that I inhabit, adults are expected to largely take care of themselves, and if they cannot do so then they are expected to see how, somehow in the future, they can come to do so. Exceptions are made for those in exceptional circumstances. I don't expect to see this attitude change anytime soon. But for 2100, I make no serious claim for predictive abilities.

A note about tone: I think these highly speculative questions are the ones most apt top lead to difficulties. No one knows what the world will be like in 2100.
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#58 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-June-27, 10:43

To a life-long businessman like me, one of the most infuriating arguments of all is that raising the US minimum raise will damage the economy. Nick Hanauer has an article in politico that is right on the mark: The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

Quote

The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression—so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks—that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer.

The model for us rich guys here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited; they were consumers, too. Ford figured that if he raised their wages, to a then-exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be able to afford his Model Ts.

What a great idea. My suggestion to you is: Let’s do it all over again. We’ve got to try something. These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too.

If the minimum wage goes up for everyone, no business can gain a competitive edge by abusing its employees with starvation wages. I'd like to see a national minimum wage even higher than $15 an hour.
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#59 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2014-June-27, 11:52

View PostMbodell, on 2014-June-26, 14:18, said:

Enough food produced.



from here. Other similar supporting evidence here(at least 2,720 kCal per person per day produced already).

Interesting, thanks!
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#60 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-27, 13:45

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-June-27, 10:43, said:

To a life-long businessman like me, one of the most infuriating arguments of all is that raising the US minimum raise will damage the economy. Nick Hanauer has an article in politico that is right on the mark: The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats


If the minimum wage goes up for everyone, no business can gain a competitive edge by abusing its employees with starvation wages. I'd like to see a national minimum wage even higher than $15 an hour.


It is so refreshing to me to see a conservative state views that are based on reason rather than magical beliefs. Upvoted.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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