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GrumpyGOP
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There's not really that many places that are "inhospitable." A better word might be inefficient. We can live almost anywhere on the planet, but sometimes it's just not optimal given the amount of energy that has to be expended on climate control or importing water. Otherwise, transport costs are so low that proximity to things doesn't really matter.

And since we're looking at moving towards a trend of high-density urban supported by sparsely populated rural - and urbanization is the trend everywhere, not just highly developed countries - suitability for human habitation isn't that much of a concern. We can fit us all in not that much space. Raleigh is not a terribly crowded city. It has a population density of 2,834 people per square mile (plus or minus 200 people; I've seen estimates on either side). With a global population of 7.125 billion, that means we could all live at Raleigh density in about 2.5 million square miles. Which means we could fit in the continental US, with Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada to spare.

In some of the places that still have booming economies, the issue still isn't so much how hospitable the area is - it's just the local economies and governments can't do anything with them. Lagos seems frighteningly big, but actually it's about the same size as LA. The difference is that there's a lot more money in LA, and in spite of all their best efforts, the governments of California and the US are better than that of Nigeria.

I don't think a flat distribution of goods and food is desirable. I also don't think we need that to get people above a subsistence level. About 1 in 9 people "do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life" according to the World Food Program. Most of them don't need that much extra to put them into the health range. The number of people who require significant intervention - that is to say, are straight up starving in the sense that we think about it - is pretty low, and concentrated overwhelming in conflict zones rather than areas that are simply "overpopulated."

You point out that culture is often part of the problem and I agree. In different ways, extravagance and corruption are problems in virtually every one.

10/16/2016 1:46:04 PM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"
And while it wasn't a "melting pot" in the traditional sense early in -- that is, by having different groups all mixed close together -- on a national scale that's exactly what it was. That's why most of the different colonies were created to cater to different groups. Catholics went to Maryland, Puritans went to Massachusetts, Quakers went to Pennsylvania, etc. The "Anglo-Saxon" part is patently and demonstrably false, probably stemming from your poor understanding of what "Anglo-Saxon" actually means. There were large numbers of Scottish, Irish, Dutch, and German people in the country prior to independence. The country was not remotely homogeneous."


How is that not extremely homogeneous? All white Christians, all seeking religious freedom, all escaping shitty government. That isn't a melting pot, it is a very homogeneous culture of "fuck government, leave me alone to live my life" that used to be what America was about. It wasn't a welfare state, the people coming in wanted as little government as possible. The people here were brave enough to start a revolutionary war for independence. That is the main difference between immigrants now and then. Independents vs dependents.

Quote :
" You know, I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to this argument. So is the law. As I understand it, you don't get to become a citizen if you're a Nazi, Communist, or terrorist. Beyond that, I'm not sure what values tests we need to be administering."


The law doesn't matter if it's not enforced. My argument isn't just "don't be a member of ISIS" it is "be someone we need, not someone that needs us". We are 20 trillion in debt. Increasing the population only helps if the rich people make babies, the notion that we need to supplement our birth rate with a bunch of 3rd world peasants is asinine. If 2 homeless people fuck in a cardboard box and pump out a baby, that doesn't help our welfare state financially (though the democrats get another vote).

So my post that apparently triggered you so much to make this thread still stands.

10/16/2016 2:21:09 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"People are still starving and dying of malaria because we don't have the logistical capacity to keep that from happening."

Your miss-attributing blame here. They are not starving because we don't have the land/labor/technology to feed them. The starving people you are referring to invariably live in Africa, a continent with far more resources and arable farm land than North America. It is not for lack of farmland that Africans starve, it is for political reasons: the continent is wracked by decades of socialism and kleptocracy. If the Americas had suffered such a history, then we too would be wracked with poverty and unrest. Humanity has the technology and know-how for the African people to feed and clothe themselves. The continent contains more than enough water, land, and resources to bring all 1.27 billion up to at least European standards of living (remember, Africa is three times the size of Europe with only 20% more people).

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"There will always be conflicts driven by scarcity, it's inevitable. The really scary one is water, and I'm not sure how that one gets fixed."

Not scary at all. Worst case scenario we just close the loop (the output of our water treatment plants is often already cleaner than the water coming from the reservoir). And we already have irrigation systems which use 1/10th the water of our current systems. We use so many resources because we have them just lying around. If they're ever not just lying around, then when allowed to do so, Mankind will adjust to live without them.

As with all resource problems, the problem is people choosing to fight over them. The resource is merely an excuse for people to fight, not actually a cause. We don't need middle eastern oil. Most years we don't even burn any of it ourselves, our allies use it to avoid giving more money to Russia. But we've chosen to wage wars for it. Claiming we were forced to do so is a lie being told by politicians to escape blame.

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"Is it better to have 40 billion people each at a 1 or 5 billion people at an 8? I have a strong opinion that the latter is not only better but may actually be morally superior as well."

But those 40 billion will live as well as they choose to live. The Earth can feed 40 billion people. How they live is up to them. In 1941 there were fewer than 2.5 billion people on the planet, and tens of millions were dying every year in a global war. Today we have over 7 billion and our conflict deaths are measured in the tens of thousands. Assuming they both choose to be peaceful and live in harmony, the people on the planet with 40 billion will probably get fewer of their calories from meat and fewer of them will achieve their dream of owning their own ranch to raise horses. But more of them which dream of living in an exciting bustling city with weekly concerts and stage plays will be satisfied. As most humans spend much of their down-time consuming culture electronically, think the internet or television, the world with 40 billion will produce far more movies, TV-shows, and video games every year. It isn't clear to me that a planet with only 1 billion would even have an internet or video games.

The most important concept to grasp here is that of economies of scale. One person on a planet alone suffers and ultimately dies of starvation. A hundred people can manage a stone age existence. It isn't until you have many thousands of people before time is left over from gathering food to even begin thinking of inefficiently mining metals, since they have no mining equipment whatsoever. You need millions of people before it becomes worth the effort to invest in mass production of tools. As the population grows, the number of "industries" mankind can support grows. At 1 million, we mass produce plows, at 100 million we mass produce tractors, at 200 million we now mass produce and distribute artificial fertilizer. At 1 billion it now makes sense to launch satellites into orbit to monitor and predict weather patterns.

You could force a planet of only 10 million to launch weather tracking satellites, assuming you told them how, but the labor diverted from producing plows and farming would exceed the gain from understanding the weather. Even if you gave them the knowledge, they would be doing it without a working aluminum industry, electronics industry, chemical industry, etc., because at a low enough population, even if you gifted them all the knowledge they needed to build them, these industries just don't make sense to exist. Diverting their limited labor supply to building and manning these industries just makes them poorer.

That said, all of this ignores knowledge: with a hundred people on the planet, having a bunch of them standing around contemplating how the universe works is suicide. But in a world with billions of people, even more people dedicating themselves to technological advancement will benefit us far more than they cost us.

So, again, as I said above, more people will usually live better than fewer. Everything else depends on the people in question.

10/16/2016 4:26:26 PM

Kurtis636
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Yes, but constraints, primarily limited by technology and efficient methods make 40 billion people now an unmitigated disaster. Right now 8 billion is a problem for a number of reasons.

Yes, all things equal more humans equals more invention, more technology, more improvement. However, if you lack the technology to free people up from drudgery you just end up with lots and lots of miserable people and wasted human potential. What we have now is a perfect example. People here are living with so much abundance and freedom that we are wasteful and lazy, but there is opportunity. Many people in Africa, southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent are still living lives of drudgery and are not able to explore their potential. There have undoubtedly been hundreds of Einsteins and Von Neumanns who did not contribute to society the way they could have because they died as infants or toiled in a rice paddy all their lives.

Out goal should not be to grow the pop it should be to reach an optimal existence based on our level of technological and cultural development and then grow the pop as it is supportable without drudgery. We shouldn't be seeking out the earth's carrying capacity (which changes over time with technology) or shooting for the largest population we can achieve with people living like drones simply producing with no freedom to create, invent, etc

Again, I'm not sure what the optimal number of people would be, but at out present state its certainly not 40 billion, nor is it 100 million. It might be close to 10 or 15, but we need to make sure it isn't 10 billion at happiness level 9 and 5 billion at .01. There's some interesting philisophical discussion about this. I'm sure you're all probably familiar with the repugnant conclusion, if not I encourage you to look into it. Many have described it and argued it more eloquently than I have here.

10/16/2016 5:41:28 PM

GrumpyGOP
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One just for the diarrhea cocktail that is a JCE2011 post:

Quote :
"How is that not extremely homogeneous? All white Christians, all seeking religious freedom, all escaping shitty government."


So now you've dropped the (indefensible) claim that America was built by Anglo-Saxons or protestants particularly, and are trying to paint a crowd of English, Scottish, Irish, German, Dutch, and French people of different religions as "homogeneous." For a person who I bet thinks English should be the national language, you sure are bad at it.

And never mind the fifth of the American population at independence that was black, including the slaves on whom much of the economy was predicated and the free men who died in the Boston Massacre and fought in the militias. They didn't come here seeking religious freedom, they came here because we would shoot them otherwise.

Never mind yet again the large numbers of people who came over here, not to escape anything, but because there was money to be made, or because they were escaping criminal prosecution, or because random chance deposited them here.

Quote :
"it is a very homogeneous culture of "fuck government, leave me alone to live my life" that used to be what America was about"


We obviously and self-evidently weren't homogeneous about anything related to our government, as evidenced by the fact that we had to try a couple on for size, did so, promptly had to crush a series of rebellions, and then dealt with the possibility of the whole thing collapsing for 80 years until finally we had a big Civil War. You might have read about it.

From the very beginning, even pro-independence Americans had conflicting and even polar opposite ideas on how to govern the thing.

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"It wasn't a welfare state"


No, it wasn't. "Welfare states" hadn't been invented yet. It also wasn't an "indoor plumbing state" at that point. Things changed.

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"The people here were brave enough to start a revolutionary war for independence."


Please. The British were brave enough to come over here and fight us in that war for a decade or so. Starting a war does not indicate bravery. We do not speak of the Germans being brave enough to invade Poland, or the Soviets having the cajones to take on Czechoslovakia.

Immigrants now are not some pack of cowards, either. Large numbers of them join our military in their pursuit of citizenship. Many of those who don't have to brave some serious threats just to get here. Your dumb ass just had to slide out of a vagina on the right side of the line. Congrats. We'll put you in for a medal.

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"The law doesn't matter if it's not enforced."


When have we not enforced those rules? Who is knowingly letting ISIS guys get a green card?

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" the notion that we need to supplement our birth rate with a bunch of 3rd world peasants is asinine"


I guess there's not even any point in bothering dissecting the horror that is the "3rd world peasants" line. Anyway, my point wasn't to say that we need to import people. I think banning people from coming in is idiotic, but I don't feel the need to actively court newcomers.

But your view of immigrants as a drain on the economy has been widely and repeatedly shown to be wrong, completely in error, by just about everybody who has studied it. Immigrants contribute money.

10/16/2016 7:12:13 PM

LoneSnark
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"Out goal should not be to grow the pop it should be to reach an optimal existence based on our level of technological and cultural development and then grow the pop as it is supportable without drudgery."

It is entirely possible for a population to find itself too large for its environment, but humans on Earth are no where near that condition. From the best understanding I have for our current level of technology, this "optimal existence" is not a fixed number, but an acceptable range, which is most likely something like "10 billion to 20 billion humans". Of course, given that statistics show that Earth's population is most likely to stabilize around 10 billion, any effort expended towards containing or somehow reducing population is at best wasted effort. At worst, could cause the very unrest and conflict which makes humans so unhappy and unproductive.

Such effort would be especially abhorrent, given what really improves the human condition, peace and free markets, are still not universal among the humans we have.

10/16/2016 7:24:44 PM

Dentaldamn
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It seems in JCE's world, christianity is one big happy family that has been the same for 2000 years. Also Europeans are one big homogenous group of people.

[Edited on October 16, 2016 at 7:43 PM. Reason : And apparently there were no colonies founded by Spain, France or the Netherlands???? Only anti government groups?]

10/16/2016 7:41:31 PM

LoneSnark
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Never saw the movie "Gangs of New York"

10/16/2016 7:43:10 PM

Dentaldamn
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IRISH NEED NOT APPLY!

10/16/2016 7:44:54 PM

Kurtis636
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^^^^I broadly agree with what you're saying. I think you're probably misunderstanding me when I say optimal existence. I'm talking more about the quality of life in terms of things like happiness and fulfillment rather than simply talking about numbers. I'm just saying that in my opinion it is preferable to get our current pop. to a more free, self actualized, happy existence than it is to focus on pop. growth, especially in a world which is still so divided into the haves and have nots, both economically and politically. I'd rather see western, secular values spread and culturally regressive values stamped out than see another billion people born into suffering.

There's really no question that western style free market capitalism and the globalization of world trade has done more to pull people out of poverty and increase the overall quality of life on this planet than any other system and remains the most viable tool for doing so.

I'm not advocating for limiting population via some enforced sterilzation or controls of some kind. As many have already pointed out, things like education (especially of women) and opportunity naturally decrease the birthrate.

It's a very interesting discussion to have, and honestly it's one that our politicians should be having. The current wave of populism and isolationism is, I think, a natural reaction to some of the failings of globalization 2.0 (1.0 being early colonialism).

I'm a little surprised Froshkiller hasn't shit all over everything in this thread yet.

[Edited on October 16, 2016 at 7:50 PM. Reason : more ^]

10/16/2016 7:49:48 PM

LoneSnark
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"I'm just saying that in my opinion it is preferable to get our current pop. to a more free, self actualized, happy existence than it is to focus on pop. growth"

And yet, here you are, focusing on population growth (in the sense that you're against it). I think we need more people than we have, but the number is insignificant compared to getting "our current pop. to a more free, self actualized, happy existence", full stop, which means whether it is growing or falling is irrelevant, we need to spread peace and capitalism...But I don't know any way to do that.

10/16/2016 8:01:41 PM

Kurtis636
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Nah, I'm neither for nor against it. I just don't support policies that encourage it any more than I do policies that discourage it. I think things like the child tax credit shouldn't exist. Governments shouldn't be doing population engineering through economic redistribution. I was simply addressing Grumpy's original point, which was that we need population growth. I'm not sure that we do. I'm agnostic on it, whereas he seems to see it as necessary.

I think between the two, if I had to pick I'd be for reduction or plateauing vs. growth. There are so many societal and cultural issues that need to be fixed that from a standpoint of utility I suspect it would be easier to fix them with a smaller pop than a larger one.

I think you can spread peace, capitalism, and secular western values via the expedient of global communication. Things like the internet profoundly change cultures. IMO there will be more revolutions coming in the next couple of decades. Things like the Arab Spring were only a start, sadly that one may end up being a net negative. Eventually information and knowledge will bring down the N. Korean state and will start to liberalize or in some cases re-liberalize repressive regimes like SA and Iran. We just can't force it on them because that often results in blowback or the rejection of western values. It has to organic. All we can do is foster environments that encourage the free exchange of goods and ideas.

[Edited on October 16, 2016 at 8:41 PM. Reason : sdfsdf]

10/16/2016 8:40:07 PM

GrumpyGOP
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LoneSnark, I'm curious about the basis of some of your premises. In particular the idea that 10-20 billion is an optimal or even livable range. I don't deny it out of hand, it's just not a claim I've heard before and I'm curious to know what it is based on.

I'll also point out that starving people do not "invariably" live in Africa. Right now Yemen is seeing an awful food crisis, and there's plenty of hungry people, in varying concentrations, all over the world.

Quote :
"any effort expended towards containing or somehow reducing population is at best wasted effort."


I agree with the sentiment as written, though for different reasons - I'm not convinced that we're as far from reaching the limits of our population as you seem to think we are. But trying to get people not to reproduce when they want to is usually morally wrong and doomed to failure anyway. I am, however, very much in favor of improving access to and knowledge of family planning options for families that want to use them.

10/16/2016 8:53:55 PM

Kurtis636
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I can't answer for him, but I will say that things like estimated carrying capacity, the constant evolution of farming techniques, and things like smart land use and urban planning probably have a lot to do with it. For example, much of the talk now is about how many people can actually be omnivores, will we all have to become vegetarian or close to it, etc. That problem will likely be solved by lab or vat grown meat, which is already happening and has seen the cost/gram drop dramatically in just the last few years.

Estimates of carrying capacity range from 2 billion to 40 billion depending on the lifestyle estimates. Basically, every person who has ever claimed that overpopulation is an existential problem has ended up being wrong and the tipping point they've indicated has been passed without any additional suffering added to human happiness.

10/16/2016 9:06:43 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Oh, I know all about the many failures of population alarmists. I believe the moment I fell in love with my lady friend was the moment, on our second date, when she brought up Paul Ehrlich and then called him an asshole.

Nonetheless, I allow that there has to be some sort of upper limit, and there are quite a lot of us, so at least talking about the issue seems like a good idea. And like I said when I brought up this topic, there are ramifications for our governments and economies as they exist now, rather than as LoneSnark would like them to exist, stemming from population stagnation.

10/16/2016 9:16:29 PM

Kurtis636
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^Haha. Your lady sounds awesome. I don't know that I'd call him an asshole, his medical research and contributions to immunology sort of balance out the bullshit that was The Population Bomb.

I don't know man, I think it might be beneficial for some of our growth fueled economic and political systems to break down. From a corporate standpoint the "if you aren't growing you're dying" philosophy has directly contributed to short term thinking and showing a top or bottom line increase above anything else and have resulted in a dearth long term thinking and creativity. Politically it's propped up pyramid schemes and social programs that have long since outgrown their ability to be self supporting. You mentioned things like SS before, and that's a perfect example of a system that needs to be, at a minimum, seriously reevaluated or better yet scrapped.

10/16/2016 9:38:44 PM

The E Man
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Kurtis and Loneshark haven't mistatem any of the concepts, but simply have left out consideration for climate change, which pretty much nullifies most of the things they are saying. There is a complete disregard for long-term effects. Sure, we have 7 billion people on the planet now, can support them, and support more, but at what cost?

By supporting 7 billion people the way we are now, we are making it more difficult to support the 10 billion people at 2100. The entire process is accelerating in two directions. The notion that things will "work themselves out" or that some magic technology will make resources unlimited is quite absurd. The technology we are missing is sustainability and that doesn't involve a growing population along with simultaneously growing consumption rates. We aren't going to be harvesting asteroids anytime soon either.

1. the longer we support 7 billion people with current methods, the fewer people we will be able to support in the future
2. the more people we have on the planet, the faster step 1 will happen.

10/17/2016 1:45:48 AM

Doss2k
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I saw some video a while back that basically talked about this. It talked about how western civilization has reached the point where they are not reproducing enough to replace themselves. Basically as a society becomes wealthy people want to enjoy their wealth more rather than have kids who basically reduce wealth and suck up all your time.

The argument was that the population will continue to increase but white society is just going to be replaced over time. North America will be taken over by Hispanics and african americans over time and Europe will be taken over by Africans and Middle Easterners. It talked about how America and Europe will both continue to let migrants and refugees in and so they don't even have to start a war to take over they will simply win by out breeding us. This video was made in like the early 2000s and so far it hasn't looked that far off actually.

Either way the big problem going forward is going to simply be the amount of land required to support our growing population for growing food and the scarcity of clean water to drink. Everyone thinks the war over oil is coming eventually but in reality there will eventually be major wars involving access to clean water.

10/17/2016 8:34:41 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"LoneSnark, I'm curious about the basis of some of your premises. In particular the idea that 10-20 billion is an optimal or even livable range. I don't deny it out of hand, it's just not a claim I've heard before and I'm curious to know what it is based on."

In my various travels it is rather clear to me that much of the planet, namely Africa, South America, and North America, are very under-populated compared to the other regions (Asia, Central America, and Europe). At the same time, it seems to my inspection that there are still significant economies of scale available for mankind to utilize. Therefore, I drew my rough guess for the range where I did. It may be higher, it may be lower, but whatever it is, it isn't lower than the 7 billion we have, as E Man seems to want to believe.

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" I think things like the child tax credit shouldn't exist. "

Could not agree more. Subsidies through the tax code are universally bad.

Quote :
"But trying to get people not to reproduce when they want to is usually morally wrong and doomed to failure anyway."

I do not agree with this statement. I can imagine a world where having a child imposed significant externalities upon the rest of society, and therefore it seems reasonable for society to have the right to regulate that activity in such a circumstance.

That said, children don't actually have to be causing externalities for E Man to proclaim the sky is falling and attempt to impose conflict and regulation where none are warranted. Such is the nature of Government.

Quote :
"By supporting 7 billion people the way we are now, we are making it more difficult to support the 10 billion people at 2100."

I know of no mechanism for this to be true. It is entirely plausible that if we had fewer people, those people would be doing far more damage to the planet than we are. Again, poorer people tend to care about the environment less. But more importantly, the damage we're causing is not measurably damaging productive capacity. Crop yields continue to rise worldwide (outside of political conflicts). It is reasonable to believe global warming will have significant downsides. But with time, mankind will adjust to the warmer wetter world as the northern latitudes are opened up to farming year round and middle latitudes switch to hotter wetter crop varieties (sugar cane is the most efficient crop we have, and eventually it'll grow in Georgia). I do not mean to imply global warming will increase the optimal population zone. These and the other benefits will probably be completely offset by various downsides, so I suspect it will probably be a wash for mankind.

10/17/2016 8:36:20 AM

The E Man
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Quote :
"but whatever it is, it isn't lower than the 7 billion we have, as E Man seems to want to believe"

Thats not what I said. Based on current American consumption, its much lower than 7 billion, but based on fully utilising the most sustainable practices available it is obviously much higher than 7 billion.
Quote :
"Again, poorer people tend to care about the environment less."

The US is a huge outlier here. I know what you meant to say...it is hard for people to worry about the environment when they are struggling to survive but using the word "care" might not be the best choice. Its more about having the means to protect the environment.

Quote :
"but more importantly, the damage we're causing is not measurably damaging productive capacity. Crop yields continue to rise worldwide (outside of political conflicts)"

its problematic to view things this way. we are damaging future productivity so of course its not measurable in present day.

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"mankind will adjust "

this is a deadly argument that is repeated far too often. ignore the problem because you think we will just magically figure out how to deal with it at a later time is so naive.
Quote :
"These and the other benefits will probably be completely offset by various downsides, so I suspect it will probably be a wash for mankind."

No. What you are doing is a sophisticated version of climate change denial. You aren't considering the effects of eutrophication from increased use of fertilisers, dead zones from ocean acidification, the loss of pollinators, loss of glacial-fed rivers, deforestation, ecosystem collapse, the effects of overfishing and all of the cost of artificially providing ecological services that will be disrupted.

10/17/2016 6:47:52 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"North America will be taken over by Hispanics and african americans over time and Europe will be taken over by Africans and Middle Easterners."


It won't be anything near that extreme, but yeah, there will be a significant demographic shift before all the birth rates start to equalize. I do wonder if developed countries won't eventually see a small swing in the opposite direction. Like I said earlier, over the very long term some population is going to have to swing back towards higher birth rates, or else we'll not-fuck ourselves into extinction. The curious thing is to how that might play out in certain populations without taking on a racist bent.

Quote :
"In my various travels it is rather clear to me that much of the planet, namely Africa, South America, and North America, are very under-populated compared to the other regions (Asia, Central America, and Europe)."


So first of all, it's based on "nothing." Secondly, the issue obviously isn't physical space - of which there is plenty in many regions - it's resources. Most notably, food. Africa is not covered in arable land, which you implied in an earlier post. The Sarah is spreading at a good clip, and the soil in much of the rest of the continent is garbage. South America has some, but rainforest soil is notoriously poor for agriculture and the Andes are obviously a nonstarter.

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" I can imagine a world where having a child imposed significant externalities upon the rest of society, and therefore it seems reasonable for society to have the right to regulate that activity in such a circumstance. "


This boggles my mind. You oppose every regulation heretofore conceived by the mind of man, but when it comes to a basic biological function and fundamental right, eh, maybe, why not.

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" I know what you meant to say...it is hard for people to worry about the environment when they are struggling to survive but using the word "care" might not be the best choice."


I was an environmental action volunteer in one of the poorest countries in the world.

"Care" is a fine choice. Trust me.

There are, of course, exceptions, but by and large the people I met in Benin did not give a fuuuuuck. The environment was not a significant issue, except insofar as beautification of an area (hiding the garbage behind trees) and providing something else to blame on the West.

10/18/2016 9:26:26 PM

moron
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Quote :
""North America will be taken over by Hispanics and african americans over time and Europe will be taken over by Africans and Middle Easterners."


It won't be anything near that extreme, but yeah, there will be a significant demographic shift before all the birth rates start to equalize. "


Just want to point out that it won't be "take over" by hispanics/blacks, but whites/blacks/hispanics will have mixed race offspring forming a new demographic that's more uniquely American (similar to what's happening in Brazil).

10/19/2016 1:42:50 AM

The E Man
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Quote :
"I was an environmental action volunteer in one of the poorest countries in the world.

"Care" is a fine choice. Trust me.

There are, of course, exceptions, but by and large the people I met in Benin did not give a fuuuuuck. The environment was not a significant issue, except insofar as beautification of an area (hiding the garbage behind trees) and providing something else to blame on the West."

the fact that this was a poor country supports my point though. You can't even measure how much people care about the environment until all of their basic needs are guaranteed.

10/19/2016 2:49:35 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"So first of all, it's based on "nothing.""

In so far as everything you say is similarly based on "nothing", absolutely!

Quote :
"Africa is not covered in arable land, which you implied in an earlier post. The Sarah is spreading at a good clip, and the soil in much of the rest of the continent is garbage."

My understanding is the opposite. If only the internet existed: "According to an influential recent analysis, Africa has around 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land, roughly 60 percent of the global total."

Quote :
"This boggles my mind. You oppose every regulation heretofore conceived by the mind of man, but when it comes to a basic biological function and fundamental right, eh, maybe, why not."

I oppose regulations that cause more harm than good. They seem to be the only form of regulations discussed on this board, so I can see how you became confused.

Quote :
"You can't even measure how much people care about the environment until all of their basic needs are guaranteed."

Almost as if they didn't care about the environment...

10/19/2016 3:59:27 AM

Dentaldamn
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Quote :
"
I oppose regulations that cause more harm than good. They seem to be the only form of regulations discussed on this board, so I can see how you became confused. "


L

O

L

10/19/2016 8:06:48 AM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"So now you've dropped the (indefensible) claim that America was built by Anglo-Saxons or protestants particularly, and are trying to paint a crowd of English, Scottish, Irish, German, Dutch, and French people of different religions as "homogeneous.""


So now you’ve dropped the (indefensible) claim that America was “a melting pot”. If you don’t want to call them Anglo-Saxon, then White, ambitious, conservative, freedom-seeking Christians from western Europe, perhaps? By no current leftist standard would this be considered “diverse”. Given human nature there will always be elements of tribalism no matter how small the difference, but the difference then, why open borders worked, was that you had to assimilate to succeed. There was no welfare state, if you couldn’t make it you would have to return home.

Quote :
"We obviously and self-evidently weren't homogeneous about anything related to our government, as evidenced by the fact that we had to try a couple on for size, did so, promptly had to crush a series of rebellions, and then dealt with the possibility of the whole thing collapsing for 80 years until finally we had a big Civil War. You might have read about it. From the very beginning, even pro-independence Americans had conflicting and even polar opposite ideas on how to govern the thing."


The greatest republic in the world wasn’t created in a seamless transition from tyranny… and you’re implying that means the original immigrants weren’t a homogenous group (ideologically) in comparison to today’s immigrants? Not a very strong argument.

Yet they, the homogeneous immigrants, were all wary of strong national governments. They were all sick of having to deal with the British Crown, and the last thing they wanted was to create another out-of-touch, big, national government. That’s why the articles of confederation initially failed, Americans were so HOMOGENEOUSLY against consolidation of power they put power in the states, to a fault.

Quote :
"No, it wasn't. "Welfare states" hadn't been invented yet. It also wasn't an "indoor plumbing state" at that point. Things changed."


Yes, things have changed. That’s my point. While our initial immigrants were homogenous, this new wave of 3rd world peasants is not. You can’t have a welfare state without keeping borders.

Quote :
" Please. The British were brave enough to come over here and fight us in that war for a decade or so. Starting a war does not indicate bravery. We do not speak of the Germans being brave enough to invade Poland, or the Soviets having the cajones to take on Czechoslovakia."


If you don’t think a battle for independence against the greatest power of the time is brave, that is your opinion. Not sure why you are focusing on this small point though.

Quote :
"Immigrants now are not some pack of cowards, either."


Oh now I see, so you can make a straw man argument.

Immigrants aren’t cowards, they are however, overwhelmingly less wealthy, less skilled, more likely to vote democrat, and more likely to be dependent on government.

Quote :
"When have we not enforced those rules? Who is knowingly letting ISIS guys get a green card?"


Illegal immigrants are in America. That is illegal. That means the rules are not enforced. It isn’t that difficult to understand.

Quote :
"I guess there's not even any point in bothering dissecting the horror that is the "3rd world peasants" line. Anyway, my point wasn't to say that we need to import people. I think banning people from coming in is idiotic, but I don't feel the need to actively court newcomers."


A person will either pay more in taxes than they take out of the system, or take out of the system more than they pay in taxes. Givers and takers. We are 20 trillion in debt. We do not need takers. It’s called common sense, it’s called fiscal responsibility.

Quote :
"But your view of immigrants as a drain on the economy has been widely and repeatedly shown to be wrong, completely in error, by just about everybody who has studied it. Immigrants contribute money."


This is the point you should have focused on, in your entire short novel you haven’t made one good point that disproves the original quote ITT.

As for “immigrants contribute money”.

Illegal immigrants are uneducated, poor, unskilled. As are their anchor babies. People in this situation are much more likely to be a net DRAIN on the economy. Business gets cheap labor, democrats get free votes, but asides from that, how does it help Americans? Illegals can’t get benefits and welfare, so they are actually the only group that isn’t a complete drain. Yet even still, $20 billion in remittances annually to Mexico, not to our economy. Increased competition for unskilled labor. Anchor babies cause increased strain on infrastructure: Schools, ESL classes, emergency responders, highways, all the subtle costs that come with having more people add up quickly.

Sparknotes version: Importing poor people does not help our welfare state.

10/19/2016 2:37:23 PM

Dentaldamn
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Quote :
"So now you’ve dropped the (indefensible) claim that America was “a melting pot”. If you don’t want to call them Anglo-Saxon, then White, ambitious, conservative, freedom-seeking Christians from western Europe, perhaps? By no current leftist standard would this be considered “diverse”. Given human nature there will always be elements of tribalism no matter how small the difference, but the difference then, why open borders worked, was that you had to assimilate to succeed. There was no welfare state, if you couldn’t make it you would have to return home."


This paragraph does a great job of completely ignoring how people feel about "others" and how people came to North and South America. Over the last 1000 years people including Irish, Italians, Greek, Polish, Scottish, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, etc have been seen as less than human and murdered for their origin and belief. These people all came to North and South America and made a life for themselves either through companies, private land owners, government colonies, military service, or the need for a new life. You seem to have a very narrow view of how people perceived themselves and how they got here centuries ago.

Are you telling me an Irish share croppers came here because he was a "White, ambitious, conservative, freedom-seeking Christians from western Europe"? LOLZ

10/19/2016 11:37:23 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"A person will either pay more in taxes than they take out of the system, or take out of the system more than they pay in taxes. Givers and takers. We are 20 trillion in debt. We do not need takers. It’s called common sense, it’s called fiscal responsibility."

It is fairly trivial to stop people from taking. Arresting and processing them at the border is rather expensive and tax payers have to pay for that, so laws keeping them out isn't preventing them from being "Takers". Of course, we can always just stop giving money to people. All it takes is an act of Congress, and everyone in the nation, legal or otherwise, would become a "Giver".

That said, you keep mentioning the 20 trillion dollar debt...the vast majority of which was run up giving free money to old rich people in the forms of SS and Medicare, two programs illegal immigrants do not currently get to collect.

10/20/2016 12:23:37 AM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"Over the last 1000 years people including Irish, Italians, Greek, Polish, Scottish, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, etc have been seen as less than human and murdered for their origin and belief. These people all came to North and South America and made a life for themselves either through companies, private land owners, government colonies, military service, or the need for a new life. You seem to have a very narrow view of how people perceived themselves and how they got here centuries ago."


So I guess you could say they all shared a... homogeneous experience? Thanks for proving my point for me.

10/20/2016 9:32:06 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
""According to an influential recent analysis, Africa has around 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land, roughly 60 percent of the global total.""


They may have more uncultivated land. Unfortunately "arable" doesn't actually mean "fantastic for farming."

"A report published last month by the Montpellier Panel – an eminent group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe – says about 65 percent of Africa’s arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production."

And let's not forget that African agriculture is part of the reason, along with climate change, that the Sahara desert is spreading at a brisk trot.

Quote :
"I oppose regulations that cause more harm than good. They seem to be the only form of regulations discussed on this board, so I can see how you became confused."


OK, I guess, though it seems like we're talking about a scenario so extreme it hardly bears mentioning in this context. In the shared human experience, trying to block reproduction is often wrong and does result in failure. I, too, can envision a situation in which it might be necessary, but it won't magically become good for all that.

Now onto Donald Trump's redneck marionette, JCE2011

No, I haven't dropped the claim that America is a melting pot. It is. It long has been. By the time of independence, the theoretically different colonies were pretty well blended.

I don't want to call them "Anglo-Saxon" because words mean things, and the thing that "Anglo-Saxon" means did not apply in your statement. Not only are you racist, you are bad at it. You don't even know what races people are.

Quote :
"White, ambitious, conservative, freedom-seeking Christians from western Europe, perhaps?"


No, not that, either. Many weren't freedom-seeking in any sense. There were plenty of loyalists who opposed independence. There were plenty more who wanted to enslave a bunch of people. There were some who were ordered to America as a punishment or way of paying debt. And of course there were a lot who came to America and founded the country for the same reason people people do most things, because it would get them money.

The people who fought for independence weren't conservative. This isn't a point for debate; it's the definition of the fucking word. Overthrowing your country to establish a brand-new form of government is about the least conservative thing you can do.

Most of them were Christian, or at least had Christian upbringings. That means approximately fuck-all. There were enormous gulfs between different Christian denominations, and Europe's religious wars had only just calmed down by the late 1700s.

Quote :
"the difference then, why open borders worked, was that you had to assimilate to succeed"


As you still do. Noncitizens don't get much of a social safety net, and you can't become a citizen without demonstrating the knowledge and good character associated with "assimilation."

Quote :
"you’re implying that means the original immigrants weren’t a homogenous group (ideologically) in comparison to today’s immigrants?"


Ideologically? Absolutely they weren't. You can't get much more different in terms of ideology than the early Americans. Abolitionist and slaveholder are as far apart as you can get. Puritan and Catholic and closet atheist and deist are all pretty exclusive, too. Loyalist and rebel.

Quote :
"They were all sick of having to deal with the British Crown"


Again, large numbers of loyalists (particularly in the south) would say otherwise.

Quote :
"Immigrants aren’t cowards, they are however, overwhelmingly less wealthy, less skilled, more likely to vote democrat, and more likely to be dependent on government."


Less wealthy, probably. Less skilled? Depends on what you call a skill. I don't know how to roof a house, so those hombres hanging out behind Home Depot have a skill I need. (Never mind the highly-educated immigrants who also stream into this country, you obviously hear "immigrant" and think "beaner," so we'll play that game).

More likely to vote democrat? True. 62% of them consider themselves democrats. And who can blame them, when the Republican policy is to shit all over immigrants. Though in spite of that, 25% are Republican and 13% are independent. That makes them more conservative than black people. Would you like us to get rid of all the black people?

And then we come to the last one, the dumbest of all. Immigrants are not more likely to be dependent on government. This is a fact. It has been repeatedly demonstrated.

Quote :
"Illegal immigrants are in America. That is illegal. That means the rules are not enforced."


Murder is illegal. There are murderers in America. Are we not enforcing anti-murder laws? IS OBAMA PRO-MURDER?

We obviously enforce the laws. Obama has deported enormous numbers of people, and many more are caught trying to cross and sent back.

But what I think is telling here is that you keep sliding around what it is you're talking about. This line of discussion started with your bullshit about "making sure people share our values." I said we did that. You said, "Nuh-uh, there are illegal immigrants."

Quote :
"Illegal immigrants are uneducated, poor, unskilled. As are their anchor babies. People in this situation are much more likely to be a net DRAIN on the economy. Business gets cheap labor, democrats get free votes, but asides from that, how does it help Americans? Illegals can’t get benefits and welfare, so they are actually the only group that isn’t a complete drain. Yet even still, $20 billion in remittances annually to Mexico, not to our economy. Increased competition for unskilled labor. Anchor babies cause increased strain on infrastructure: Schools, ESL classes, emergency responders, highways, all the subtle costs that come with having more people add up quickly."


OK, but, see, there are actual studies and evidence that back up my side. You have your gut feeling that immigrants cost more than they pay in. One of these is better than the other.

How do immigrants help Americans? Well, businesses that get cheap labor are owned by Americans, and provide goods and services to Americans. So you've already given part of the answer to your own question. The specific jobs they often have matter, too. An immigrant was involved in making the overwhelming majority of the food you eat at restaurants. Immigrants are more likely to start the small businesses that drive the economy and employ people. Simply by existing in the economy, they buy things and generate demand for goods and services. And overall, as it has been repeatedly demonstrated, immigrants pay into the system.

As has also been shown over and over and over again, rounding them all up, kicking them out, and building a wall would cost an enormous amount of money, to no gain. So if you're really concerned about the deficit, bear in mind that your proposal would make you and your lot the biggest "takers" of all.

Quote :
"So I guess you could say they all shared a... homogeneous experience? Thanks for proving my point for me."


Well, yeah. They share it with everybody else who comes to the Western Hemisphere, up to and including the Mexicans that keep you up at night.

10/20/2016 9:44:42 PM

JCE2011
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Can you please work on being more concise with your arguments? Not only have you still not disproved the original quote that trigged you so hard, you've actually agreed with it. You keep going on irrelevant tangents that aren't material, and you've contradicted yourself so many times I don't even know what your argument is at this point. I'll show you what I mean:

GrumpyGOP's position:

-JCE is dumb
-White people aren't making enough babies for our economy, its a problem
-Not that an economy can't thrive with a declining population (Contradiction)
-JCE's post that dumb poor people make too many babies is stupid stupid
-...But there is the concern that less-educated people tend to make less money. Less money and more kids is not good (Contradiction)
-Rich people have to be encouraged to have more kids, poor people discouraged to have more kids (So now you agree with me?)

I asked you why you didn't counter my original post (that apparently you now agree with)

-What is there to counter, you're dumb
-You're saying social programs are bad and we should let poor children starve! (straw man, THINK OF THE CHILDREN combo, bonus points)

Then you posted this
Quote :
"What is there to consider? If we define "taker" as someone who does no work and mooches entirely off the welfare teat, then your statement is irrelevant; such people are so vastly outnumbered by working people that it is a fantasy"


After just posting this
Quote :
"The swell of baby boomers was followed by a baby bust, giving us a lopsided ratio of blue haired geezers to functional, productive members of society. In terms of Social Security it's particularly stark. In 1960 there were 5.1 working folks to every 1 beneficiary. Now, there are just under 3. In 15 years, it'll be close to 2."

(+1 Contradiction)

So instead of calling my posts poop, or calling me a racist, maybe you should work on learning how to coherently make a post instead of rambling and contradicting yourself. I wanted to reply to you but your position is such a clusterfuck I couldn't even keep track with all of the contradictions.

10/20/2016 10:12:43 PM

Dentaldamn
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Quote :
"So I guess you could say they all shared a... homogeneous experience? Thanks for proving my point for me."


If the homogenous experience was hating and killing each other than I guess everyone shares a homogenous experience.

Again proving you have zero knowledge of European history.

10/21/2016 8:07:56 AM

GrumpyGOP
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My position:

-You are dumb
-Never said that. Not at all concerned with the number of white people having babies.
-I don't even know what this sentence is supposed to mean or refer to. A population can theoretically thrive with a declining population, but we'd best think about how to do that.
-Again, your posts are stupid
-The last two points of "my position" that you post are so wildly out of context, and demonstrate such a sad lack of reading comprehension, that I hardly know where to begin.

I listed encouraging wealthy people to have more children, or discouraging poor people from having as many, as possible approached. I thought the implication was clear that I did not think they were good approaches, and that option number three - people with money and no kids help out with people with kids and no money - was ultimately the best approach, and I explicitly said that all of that only applies if population growth is highly desirable.

As to your original post, let's review it:

Quote :
"You say "guarantee a living wage" and I see "steal people's money to fund stupid people making babies they cant afford""


There's still nothing to respond to in the words as written. All you say is that, "I see different things than what are actually there."

"A living wage" does not have anything to do with children. It has to do with being adequate to keep the employee off government assistance and off the street.

Moreover, "a living wage" doesn't involve stealing anything, not even in the hyberbolic sense of "taxation as theft." Living wage is about employers paying their employees, which is a voluntary arrangement. If the employer doesn't want to pay the employee that much, they can fire them. If you as the customer do not want to pay for goods or services provided by employees receiving a living wage, you do not have to.

Even social programs which are funded through taxation, and which, if I'm being very generous, I will permit you to refer to as "theft"...these programs are not designed to "fund" having more babies. Sometimes they have had, and may continue to have, that effect, but nobody is in favor of that. Nobody. Not even the most democraty democrat wants welfare to incentive having poor children. And so we try to fix those problems.

You then proceed to cite two different things I said as contradictory, and again demonstrate that you have no grasp of even the simplest concepts involved in this discussion. The elderly, increasingly supported by a smaller ratio of young people, are not "takers." They have done their time and paid into the system. They are also not, by and large, "poor and stupid," nor are they generally immigrants, nor are they having children they cannot afford. There is zero contradiction there.

The question of support matters, because SS has been so badly mismanaged by the government. But SS recipients are receiving the benefits of their having spent a lifetime as givers to the system.

10/22/2016 10:39:07 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
""A living wage" does not have anything to do with children. It has to do with being adequate to keep the employee off government assistance and off the street. "

It is easy to keep employees off government assistance. Just stop giving them government assistance.

Also, a "living wage" is about keeping society's undesirables out of the labor force and therefore pushed as far as possible to the margins of society.

10/22/2016 3:33:19 PM

JCE2011
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Quote :
""A living wage" does not have anything to do with children. It has to do with being adequate to keep the employee off government assistance and off the street. "


It has everything to do with children, because even with a minimum wage of $7.25 you can stay off the street. The only way you wouldn't is if you had tons of children you couldn't afford.

The current line used to determine poverty is an income of $11,770 a year. Which is easily met as fulltime minimum wage yields $15,080 a year. Naturally, the government made this harder on people already by forcing employers to limit the hours of workers so they wouldn't be considered fulltime and earn benefits, so most people will have to work 2 jobs at the minimum as a result. Note this pattern of the government "helping" and how it causes the employer to have to fuck the worker.

Quote :
"Moreover, "a living wage" doesn't involve stealing anything, not even in the hyberbolic sense of "taxation as theft." Living wage is about employers paying their employees, which is a voluntary arrangement. If the employer doesn't want to pay the employee that much, they can fire them. "


Exactly. So when an employer could hire 2 workers before at $7.25, then the government says pay workers $15, one employee gets fired. That's how money works.

Quote :
"Even social programs which are funded through taxation, and which, if I'm being very generous, I will permit you to refer to as "theft"...these programs are not designed to "fund" having more babies. Sometimes they have had, and may continue to have, that effect, but nobody is in favor of that. "


So you just admitted they incentivize poor people having more babies. But you act as if the intention should matter more than the result?

Quote :
""The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive."
-Thomas Sowell"

10/22/2016 5:04:04 PM

GrumpyGOP
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The JCE2011 tango:

1) Say ridiculous thing
2) Have ridiculous thing irrefutably disproven
3) Completely ignore exchange
4) Say new, unrelated ridiculous thing

Quote :
"The only way you wouldn't is if you had tons of children you couldn't afford."


Or have any chronic medical problem. Or just one medical emergency. Or need a car to do your job. Or live in San Francisco or any of the other numerous places around the country where $15,080 might as well be pocket change relative to the cost of living.

Or, yes, have a kid. Even just one. Maybe one that you had during a period when you could afford it. But since then you've lost your job, or your spouse who also brought home some money died, or you got divorced.

Or your premise - that a person can function in much of the US on $15 grand a year, let alone just $12k - is laughable.

I am aware of the arguments against minimum wage. Most of the ones you mention have not been supported by real-world evidence, of course, but even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, minimum wage is not theft. Not even by the wildest, most hyperbolic definition. Here we have a ridiculous thing you've said. There's no getting around the ridiculousness of it, so you've tried to change the conversation to being about minimum wage's impact on the labor market.

Quote :
"So you just admitted they incentivize poor people having more babies."


No, and let me say here that you really need to take all this rage you have for "SJWs" and the left and immigrants and poor people, and focus it instead on the people whose duty it was to teach you how to read. Because they have failed you, badly.

I said that in the past some programs have incentivized having kids. Since they do not do so any longer, we have changed them. Yay us.

I have allowed, in a moment of extreme generosity, that some programs may still have that effect. I say that because I don't know the letter of every regulation on every social policy in America. Neither do you. So it is, I confess, a possibility.

But if it is the case, yes, intentions do matter, because they indicate the willingness of both major political parties (even those immigrant-beloved Democrats) to fix them, when they are brought to their attention.

As yet you have been unable to produce an example of a policy that incentivizes having children. You seem to be laboring under the (false) belief that the government cuts poor people a check every time they pop out another kid. Point out to me one policy that has this effect, and if it does, I will agree with you that it is a policy that needs correcting.

But your original quote suggested that minimum wage laws create an incentive to have more children. This is false. It is demonstrably and self-evidently false to anybody with even the meanest understanding. It has absolutely no defense.

The further implied claim that social programs in general create such an incentive is scarcely any better.

10/22/2016 5:56:40 PM

GrumpyGOP
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LoneSnark, I'm interested to hear more about your thoughts for Africa as a breadbasket of the world.

Africa certainly will be important to a still-growing human population, not least because most of the growing will be happening there. Africa's going to be fucking huge in the coming decades, and I'm seriously concerned with how little attention America pays to it.

Leaving aside humanitarian concerns, which obviously I have for personal and professional reasons, there's the strategic picture. A lot of very important resources are in Africa. I don't think we should be positioning ourselves to take those over through corporate imperialism. The time for that has past. But some kind of action to prevent China from dominating it would be nice.

10/22/2016 6:06:06 PM

JCE2011
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Quote :
" But your original quote suggested that minimum wage laws create an incentive to have more children. "


No, my original quote did not suggest anything about incentive. I'm noticing a pattern of you completely misunderstanding simple concepts then insulting me as if the stupidity is on my end.

My original quote suggests that the only reason minimum wage would need to be raised is because a poor person has too many kids, because if they are a single able-bodied adult $15k a year is enough to survive.

Quote :
" I have allowed, in a moment of extreme generosity, that some programs may still have that effect. I say that because I don't know the letter of every regulation on every social policy in America. Neither do you. So it is, I confess, a possibility."


I like how this sentence is essentially admitting you don't know shit, yet you still manage to attempt a condescending, snobbish tone.

Quote :
" But if it is the case, yes, intentions do matter,"


Results matter more than intentions. That is the point.

Quote :
" As yet you have been unable to produce an example of a policy that incentivizes having children."


Does a life-jacket incentivize jumping in the ocean for a person that can't swim?

Are you really so obtuse as to not see how mitigating the consequences of an action encourages the action? Though I realize you just admitted you don't know how social policies work... and seem to think that intentions are the important thing in comparison to actual results.

[Edited on October 23, 2016 at 8:18 PM. Reason : /]

10/23/2016 8:17:23 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"Does a life-jacket incentivize jumping in the ocean for a person that can't swim?"


No, it doesn't.

A life jacket is there to save you if you can't swim, and you can get in serious trouble for misusing it. So while it's a good analogy, it proves the opposite of your point.

I gave you a long list of reasons why $15k a year might be woefully inadequate for a person to live off of. You don't get to sneak in some new qualifiers (single, able-bodied) that you just now seem to have thought of, then hope nobody notices.

I ask you again for an example of a policy that incentivizes having children. If you can't produce one, stop wasting your time here and go spew your garbage in some other thread.

10/23/2016 8:43:51 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"LoneSnark, I'm interested to hear more about your thoughts for Africa as a breadbasket of the world."

My position is that it could be. It contains all the natural stuff it needs to feed itself and several billion more people...But, the perfectly good arable land that they are not currently bothering to farm is that way for a good reason: the politics in Africa is often terrible, as I said earlier. So yes, it is fair to say the optimal human population calculation is fairly dependent upon the optimal political arrangement assumption. For example, if we assume China, America, and Europe will stumble down the kleptocratic socialist calamity plan as Venezuela has, then whatever population you have will suffer chronic starvation and strife, be it 7 billion or 100 million.

Quote :
"Africa certainly will be important to a still-growing human population, not least because most of the growing will be happening there. Africa's going to be fucking huge in the coming decades, and I'm seriously concerned with how little attention America pays to it.

Leaving aside humanitarian concerns, which obviously I have for personal and professional reasons, there's the strategic picture. A lot of very important resources are in Africa. I don't think we should be positioning ourselves to take those over through corporate imperialism. The time for that has past. But some kind of action to prevent China from dominating it would be nice."

I could not disagree more. Good governance is what Africa needs and is all that matters. Whether the mines are owned by foreigners is entirely irrelevant. It is conceivable for foreign ownership to even provide beneficial influence upon kleptocracy regimes. That said, turning the country into a civil war between competing foreigners (think the battles between the soviet union and the U.S. in the mid-20th) is a recipe for absolute disaster.

So, I believe the African policy should be absolute hands off. Of course, world's policemen we are, so when China falls victim to the inevitable pushback from Africans (nice mine you modernized there...shame if someone nationalized it), African states should feel free to ask for help and receive it in the event China attempts any military invasions. But short of that, let China do whatever every other people are free to do. Hell, the Chinese have figured out how to have a communist regime grow a quasi-capitalist economy. Maybe they can teach the Africans to do the same.

Important concept: For anyone that fights and sacrifices to achieve control over a resource, the last thing they should ever want to do is restrict the supply and educate the world over just how easy it would be to live without that resource. After-all, this is what China just did with rare-earth metals. China restricted exportation, the price shot up, engineers around the world suddenly realized just how easy it was to re-design devices not to use them, while miners remembered just how plentiful the materials were. Not only has the price collapsed back down, but China can't even consistently fill its export quota anymore. I know nothing in Africa that wouldn't suffer the same fate.

10/26/2016 12:22:12 AM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"A life jacket is there to save you if you can't swim, and you can get in serious trouble for misusing it. So while it's a good analogy, it proves the opposite of your point."


No, for your argument an air-bag would be a better analogy. And that is how government assistance programs should work in theory.

Life jackets are different because they mitigate a fear of drowning from someone who isn’t otherwise able to swim effectively. Just as government assistance removes a fear of birthing children from someone who isn’t able to produce value in the market place effectively.

Poor people being afraid of birthing children they can’t afford, and people that can’t swim being afraid of water, is A GOOD THING. Waiting until you can afford children, waiting until you know how to swim, is a personally responsible choice that we want people to make.

The difference is, a life jacket is cheap, whereas government dependence can cost around $35k a year for the tax payer.

Quote :
"I gave you a long list of reasons why $15k a year might be woefully inadequate for a person to live off of.

You don't get to sneak in some new qualifiers (single, able-bodied) that you just now seem to have thought of, then hope nobody notices."


I added the qualifiers in because as soon as you presented your list of reasons, you made it clear you weren’t differentiating between bad choices vs bad luck. For the “bad luck” causes on your list, that is where the air-bag analogy works. For “bad choices” like living in San Francisco, you don’t get to leech off of society just because you want to live in an expensive city.

So yes, if you work minimum wage 40 hours a week, make $15k a year, and suddenly get a brain tumor that your health insurance doesn’t help you enough with, absolutely. Use the air-bag to avoid the damage from the car crash.

However, if you work minimum wage, and are able-bodied, but get knocked up out of wedlock… your burger-flipping ability at McDonalds is not suddenly worth $15 an hour just because you made a poor life choice, and it certainly isn’t your employer’s job to babysit you, nor the government’s job to force them to babysit you. Even if the government hands you a life jacket and tells you to dive in, you should learn how to swim first. It may not be easy, but independence > dependence, and our society should incentivize that, because eventually the dependents will realize they would rather sit and float than tread water by themselves. And when you are $20 trillion in debt, life jackets start to look pretty expensive.

Quote :
"I ask you again for an example of a policy that incentivizes having children. If you can't produce one, stop wasting your time here and go spew your garbage in some other thread."


The amount of assistance received is primarily determined by the number of people, so in most cases the number of children per a single parent. So your facetious comment of “being handed a check when a baby is born” isn’t as far-fetched as you thought. I’ll reference this study:

https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/the_work_versus_welfare_trade-off_2013_wp.pdf

to give you some examples of how these policies remove consequences from poor people making poor decisions, and more importantly, de-incintivize working. The example provided in the study has the following welfare programs for a single parent with 2 children:

$6,648 cash welfare
$6,249 SNAP
$12,702 Housing Subsidies
$11,302 Health Care
$275 Heating
$300 Emergency Food Assistance Program
$1,156 WIC

While this total of $38,632 only represents the maximum a dependent could receive in theory, even a fraction of this allows poor people to make bad decisions without consequences, and even worse, it continues a cycle of dependency. But hey, as long as they vote democrat, lets throw them some money and tell them they are victims.

[Edited on October 26, 2016 at 3:47 PM. Reason : .]

10/26/2016 3:46:39 PM

OopsPowSrprs
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^ of course your entire argument fails once you realize how much money you make has very little to do with your actual worth to society and everything to do with what vagina you fall out of

10/26/2016 4:23:45 PM

afripino
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^^republicans will never get rid of or de-fund welfare either, so your jabs at democrats are unfounded.

10/26/2016 5:14:37 PM

JCE2011
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^^How much money you make has everything to do with your worth to society. You should spend more than 10 seconds thinking before you post something so stupid.

And what vagina you fall out of does determine your starting point, so if we want to improve starting points, stopping poor people from breeding like rabbits only helps, so thanks for helping prove my point.

^ Except one side needs and benefits from black people being poor and dependent, and the other doesn't.

10/26/2016 6:56:28 PM

OopsPowSrprs
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Cool well if you make any money at all then you've just proved my point

10/26/2016 7:43:02 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Man, this new job - really, this new commute - really sucks out all the desire I have to get home, hop online, and start arguing with the intellectual cesspool of JCE2011 or the immovable object of LoneSnark.

LoneSnark - I maintain that much of the allegedly "arable" land in Africa is crap, and the idea that it is going to feed "billions" is way off base.

I also think that a hands-off policy is no good when China's hands-on policy actively promotes bad governance. I'm not concerned about market competition from firms in other countries. I'm concerned about de facto economic imperialism, the seizing of resources by state owned enterprises, and the supporting of governments that do awful shit.

JCE2011

It's straying from the topic, but I'd like to point out that some researchers think that car safety features, including air bags, actually increase the number of accidents because people adjust their behavior to compensate for perceived changes in the level of risk. Safety features = safer car = less risk = riskier behavior. Also, airbags kill a lot of people. So maybe not how government assistance should work.

But back to the matter at hand. We're finally getting around to the kernel of truth in your weird worldview, which is that you aren't opposed to government assistance. You're fine with it, as long as it's going to the people you want to get it. And I think we can all make some pretty accurate demographic guesses about what those people would look like.

Here's the thing: $15,000 isn't enough. It isn't. Not for a lifetime. Sure, you can skate by for a few years while you're young. But you won't be young forever. And if you're working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job, the odds against you dramatically improving your position by old age are pretty long.

There's also something important that your complaints about children ignore, and I think it's important. Babies don't just happen. There's an activity that causes them. Now, people should be careful. They should use protection if they can't afford kids. But as theDuke will tell you, sometimes protection fails. And if your actual idea is "Nobody should fuck until they can afford to have kids," then, well, I hope you were a virgin until you had a couple hundred thousand in the bank.

Now as for your Cato piece. I'd like to start out by quoting it directly:

Quote :
"Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence
that people on welfare are lazy or do
not wish to work"


It also makes no claims whatsoever that welfare and associated programs offer an incentive to have children, though they do suggest it offers an incentive not to work. Which is true, and is one reason I favor a universal basic income applied through earned income tax over outright welfare programs.

We can dismantle most of the things in your $38,632 figure without breaking a sweat. For one thing, it applies only to a "dependent" living in the state of Rhode Island. In ten states the maximum is around half that, or less. Only in four states and DC could they receive more, and even then only if they had perfected the system and exactly fit the profile Cato used.

Most of those services don't incentivize shiit, and they certainly don't come close to being analogous to getting handed a check for having a kid. "Health care," meaning "medicaid," isn't like a stipend people get. WIC, SNAP, and Emergency Food Assistance aren't going to leave you with extra cash after you get done feeding two kids for a year - you're definitely losing money on that deal.

Even if there are tons of layabout Rhode Islanders getting $38,000 grand for nothing every year (and there aren't), they aren't "making bad decisions without consequences." There are consequences. There's the opportunity cost of not making more than $38,000 a year. There's not being able to live where you want, because those subsidies don't just put you up any ol' place, and aren't enough to cover most anyway (and besides, if you move almost anywhere outside of RI, you'll get less). There's increased difficulty in finding work if you decide to start making good decisions, because the longer you're unemployed, the harder it is to find something.

Most importantly, $38,000 for an adult and two kids is nothing. It's even less than what is needed to live in your fantasy land where $15,000/person/year is plenty. At that figure, a single parent with two kids is losing bad. Calling that an incentive for kids is like calling the cast an incentive for a broken leg.

[Edited on October 26, 2016 at 9:28 PM. Reason : ]

10/26/2016 9:25:08 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Looking over what I've written I'm afraid it makes me sound like a fan of welfare programs as they exist in the US right now. I'm not. It's unrealistic to think that we're ever going to completely eliminate government assistance to the needy, but the grab bag of programs we have now doesn't work great, and as the Cato piece says, in some cases it offers an incentive not to work. It isn't a question of laziness, it's a question of doing the thing that gets the most money. But I want to emphasize that having kids is pretty much never that thing.

10/26/2016 9:37:49 PM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"Looking over what I've written I'm afraid it makes me sound like a fan of welfare programs as they exist in the US right now. I'm not. "


This is what I was talking about with your rambling, conflicting posts. Remember middle school english? Thesis with supporting paragraphs, each starting with a topic sentence supporting the thesis? Try that. Also try to make your thesis a little more complex than "JCE is dumb" for extra credit.

Also, just to clarify for you since you seem to struggle with reading comprehension... I've not once actually made the claim that "Welfare incentivizes poor people having kids". You made that straw man claim in one of your conflicting rants and I just went with it. It was funny to watch you argue against yourself for a few short novels though. My claim was that welfare removed a deterrent, as I stated in the life jacket analogy (in case you were curious what my actual argument was before you go on an incoherent, conflicting rant.

Anyways, back to my actual points:
-The only reason $15k a year wouldn't suffice is if you had children you couldn't afford (poor life choice)
-Other people that didn't make poor choices shouldn't have to pay for you being stupid (including employers)

So, the original quote that started this thread still stands. Calling it dumb doesn't disprove it, neither does making a giant wall of text where you contradict yourself so many times I'm not even sure what your argument is.

[Edited on October 27, 2016 at 12:01 AM. Reason : .]

10/26/2016 11:58:27 PM

LoneSnark
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"I also think that a hands-off policy is no good when China's hands-on policy actively promotes bad governance. I'm not concerned about market competition from firms in other countries. I'm concerned about de facto economic imperialism, the seizing of resources by state owned enterprises, and the supporting of governments that do awful shit."

U.S. influence on the 3rd world has not been stellar. So, it isn't like our de-facto imperialism spawned good governance. Try to remember, the U.S. government has fairly perverse incentives of its own (Loans for massive government projects that enrich western firms and leave the country in debt for generations! Woo!!!)

So, yes, I can imagine a situation worse than the hands-on policy of an imperial master: a hands-on policy from two imperial masters, dragging African states kicking and screaming towards civil war.

That said, you need to keep in mind many of these states are already kleptocratic hell-scapes run as the personal piggyback for the native African rulers. I can't really imagine the Chinese doing much worse.

Quote :
"I maintain that much of the allegedly "arable" land in Africa is crap, and the idea that it is going to feed "billions" is way off base."

All land is crap without the requisite institutions to make it productive. Given that Africa manages to support much of its 900 million population using what amounts to 19th century technology (African farmers can't afford modern farming technology. What they do afford tends to get stolen). So yea, Africa has a huge amount of unrealized potential. Where you are probably right at being skeptical is whether those institutions can improve enough to make the land comparatively productive. However, in a world with lots of people, the value of farm land grows very much. Right now, farm land in Africa is worse than worthless, so the rulers steal their wealth from mining and oil. But, in a world where significant wealth flows from farmers, the rulers incentives change dramatically from "Rob and kill the peasant farmers because they don't matter" to "protect the foreign run high-tech agri-businesses because that is where the real money is!"

[Edited on October 27, 2016 at 1:39 AM. Reason : .,.]

10/27/2016 1:25:37 AM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"Anyways, back to my actual points:
-The only reason $15k a year wouldn't suffice is if you had children you couldn't afford (poor life choice)"


A point which we've repeatedly shown to be wrong, several different ways, to which you respond "Oh well that's just bad luck, that's different."

Quote :
"Other people that didn't make poor choices shouldn't have to pay for you being stupid (including employers)"


I think you'll find that nobody is in favor of paying people for being stupid. We do tend to be in favor of keeping people from starving or freezing to death, though. Particularly if they're children.

---

LoneSnark -

Africa rather famously doesn't support its 900 million people. It could, I'll grant. It could probably support quite a few more. But it is not a potential breadbasket for some massively more populated earth. Good governance isn't going to make the soil magically more productive. In fact, just about the only thing that will save soil from becoming sand in many areas would be the cessation of agricultural activity.

I lived for several years in an African country whose "wealth," such as it was, came from agriculture. Benin grows cotton. It doesn't grow it particularly well, and would be better off growing other things, but cotton is what they have. There's no mining or oil to speak of. The politicians fight over cotton. And the result has not been protection of the cotton industry. It's pretty much "rob the peasant farmer" (killing would be pretty un-Beninese)

10/27/2016 8:31:45 PM

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