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  1. #131
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    The question isn't "is it a problem?"

    The right question is: "whose problem is it?"

    This is why we have BORDERS. So our President here in the US (and it better be Obama) isn't responsible for some starving kids in run down nations that have been governed like crap forever.

    This whole world citizen thing is nonsense. The US didn't become what it was overnight. Originally, it was colonists from the Mayflower and Jamestown struggling to survive. Then more people came, we got the 13 colonies, overthrew the British, had a civil war, manifested destiny, and more or less stayed out of world events until the world wars at which point we sort of were forced into our current position.

    I say it's time to scale back again and say fuck you to the rest of the developing world. We owe them nothing. Not our problem.
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

  2. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    But demand isn't all just based on "desire," is it?

    It's also based on ability of the system to respond to desire?

    So there can be lots of starving people in the world, yet there seems to be no "demand" because there is no easy way for the (1) desire to be transmitted to those capable of meeting it [i.e., "Oh, I REALLY WANT THE APPLES!"] and for the (2) desire to be met from the practical standpoint [i.e., "Oh, how on earth do we GET them the apples?"]

    I don't think we can assume that desire is always easily transmitted/communicated, not because the desire doesn't exist but because the system is SO fubar to begin with.

    Therefore, your eating an apple takes an apple out of the hands of a child who might have been dying to have one... if they knew what an apple was, if they weren't busy scrounging cardboard and grass so they'd have SOMETHING to eat, and if they had a cell phone or internet mail account let you know they were starving in the first place.
    The big fly in the ointment is that the producers of apples have to eat too. They have to buy clothes and pay their county taxes and pay their workers and pay for their supplies. All of which means that you can't grow apples for free; it takes an investment of time and effort and money.

    If there isn't some way of compensating the apple producer for his time and effort and money, he'll go into some other business NOT because he's a greedy SOB, but because he needs some kind of cash flow on which to supply his and his family's needs. And if he does go into some other business, he won't produce any more apples.

    The big implication of that is that you can't drive the price of apples low enough to make it possible to endlessly give away apples to people who want them or even need them. When the price gets that low the producers get out of the apple business, because they can't make a living at it.

    All of which is to say that the difficulties with food distribution in the third world are really not so much a problem with the food supply, but more a problem with the opportunity supply. Your average third-worlder would like nothing better than the chance to work a fair day's work for a fair day's pay so he can go buy his own apples, or better still buy a little land, plant a tree on it, and grow apples for himself.

    Many people can't do that because there just aren't any decent jobs to be had where they live, and for various reasons they're prevented from going to where a good job might be had... but in any event, this has nothing to do with the apple supply.

  3. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by IlyaK1986 View Post
    ...I say it's time to scale back again and say fuck you to the rest of the developing world. We owe them nothing. Not our problem.
    You're right, it definitely is a boundary issue, just as much as it comes down to, "Is it my problem that Buck Schmuck down the street lost his job, while I've still got to worry about feeding MY children?"

    I guess this is where personal values and communal spirit comes into play. Some people are exclusive and can block off some human beings as Other; other people cannot do this because they see that everyone is connected.

    In the past it was easy to disregard others as having to worry about their own problems. Nowadays, especially with the global Internet, telecommunications, the ability to fly around the world in 24 hours, and whatever else, it's much harder to draw lines.

    And in regards to Iraq, we MADE it our problem. We went over there and screwed up whatever system -- lousy or not -- they had in place. Now it's our problem too, because we had the audacity to pee in their already dirty pool.

    Kinda hard to wash your hands, realistically, of the problems of the rest of the world when the economies are now intermingling as well.

    The other issue is that the US is losing dominance. Give it more time, and at some point we're going to NEED other people and be part of a global community... so if we ditch them all now, we'll pay for it later. That's the problem with exclusivist/isolationist tactics, you basically cut yourself off from SUPPORT as well.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #134
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edel weiss View Post
    An eye for an eye makes the while world blind.
    I hate BS platitudes.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    You're right, it definitely is a boundary issue, just as much as it comes down to, "Is it my problem that Buck Schmuck down the street lost his job, while I've still got to worry about feeding MY children?"

    I guess this is where personal values and communal spirit comes into play. Some people are exclusive and can block off some human beings as Other; other people cannot do this because they see that everyone is connected.

    In the past it was easy to disregard others as having to worry about their own problems. Nowadays, especially with the global Internet, telecommunications, the ability to fly around the world in 24 hours, and whatever else, it's much harder to draw lines.

    And in regards to Iraq, we MADE it our problem. We went over there and screwed up whatever system -- lousy or not -- they had in place. Now it's our problem too, because we had the audacity to pee in their already dirty pool.

    Kinda hard to wash your hands, realistically, of the problems of the rest of the world when the economies are now intermingling as well.

    The other issue is that the US is losing dominance. Give it more time, and at some point we're going to NEED other people and be part of a global community... so if we ditch them all now, we'll pay for it later. That's the problem with exclusivist/isolationist tactics, you basically cut yourself off from SUPPORT as well.
    It's even less of a problem than the buck schmuck because that buck schmuck still lives off the same government you do. The ability to fly around the world is irrelevant if we clamp down on who can enter our borders and who can't.

    And in terms of support, who out there supports us right now? Israel, Japan, Britain, and more or less nobody else.
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

  6. #136
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Well, say it this way... I was given high standard of living, I have all kinds of opportunities to become whatever I want. This was made possible by work of other people before me that made my country rise above some countries. When I follow the resources needed to do this, I see that without unfair treatment of other countries this would not have been possible. There are countries that are in a bad shape now because their chances for better have been stolen by irresponsible use of capitalism.
    Wrong. The 'stealing' of resources has nothing to do with capitalism. Communist/socialist countries can also steal resources.

    And, I might add that the world is polluted and dying. So it could be fair for me to try to give something back.
    The world isn't dying.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    But you miss another point... we could grow more apples if we wanted to. Your "certain number of apples" is not a fixed number. If there was increased demand for apples, we'd plant more orchards, and there would be more apples.
    You missed my point, because I wasn't talking about apples Replace apples with oil, consider just how important it is for our economies, add in the diminishing supply, and you will see the problem. The poor will not have fertilizers because you or I want to have a big car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I guess this is where personal values and communal spirit comes into play. Some people are exclusive and can block off some human beings as Other; other people cannot do this because they see that everyone is connected.
    Yes, exactly.

  8. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Wrong. The 'stealing' of resources has nothing to do with capitalism. Communist/socialist countries can also steal resources.
    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    irresponsible use of capitalism.
    If you pay a penny for something that's worth a dollar, you will get rich and the poor guy selling to you will not. The market works that way with the poor countries. Just because it isn't illegal doesn't mean its right.

  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by IlyaK1986 View Post
    ...And in terms of support, who out there supports us right now? Israel, Japan, Britain, and more or less nobody else.
    You've got N, right? I don't know, but I can sit and see the patterns and where things will end up in 25 years, or 50 years, or 100...

    ...And I don't think exclusionary tactics are going to pan out for us in a larger timeframe even if they resolve some of our temporary problems.

    So, like I said, I don't disagree with some of your current observations, but I'm talking in bigger terms than the current snapshot of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I hate BS platitudes.
    When rain is inevitable, sell umbrellas.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #140
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    You missed my point, because I wasn't talking about apples Replace apples with oil, consider just how important it is for our economies, add in the diminishing supply, and you will see the problem. The poor will not have fertilizers because you or I want to have a big car.
    You missed my point... we can expand production capacity for oil just as we can expand production capacity for apples. As far as I know, the rate at which oil is being produced hasn't even started to taper off. We know intellectually that the world petroleum supply is limited... but we have yet to see the effects in production.

    But the price of crude dropped below $90 the barrel this week, and US demand for gasoline is down ten percent from this point last year. Under those circumstances, don't look for any new oil refineries to be built any time soon.

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