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Thread: Why haven't we solved world hunger?

  1. #41
    Supreme High Commander Array Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Questions such as this one are salient in any society most of the time but the fact that they were more salient in the past in some nations and only in others presently is key.

    Smith's Wealth of Nations, other literary economic works like it were all part of a discourse and discussion about how to work all this out.

    Smith's basic idea was that it was not a question of distribution but of production, max out production and even the least will have enough, when the least has enough who cares what the uber-rich have right? So goes the idea. Rawls et al only produced a variation on this theme, comparing an unequal and egalitarian society they concluded that if the least well off in an unequal society were doing better than the least well off in an egalitarian one then the unequal society is the better one.

    However, Smith's ideas have got to fall down in an era when maxing out production is unstainable and no solution. I think he was a humanist and was sincere and was trying to devise a way in which people could be helped without disturbing property rights and interests, not because he didnt care to but because his whole idea is about how to harness the selfish, not because it is a virtue, but because it is a fact for the common good. Its a kind of social alchemy which is at work.

    Smith did say that any nation in which the greater part were in want could not be said to be prospering, that and a lot of other lines from his works read like a lot of other political-literary books but socialist, communist and utopian ones, even some of the conservatives got in on the act.

    I tend to think if people had full possession of the information they may feel differently about the distributive idea, the true nature of inequality and plutonomy pretty much escapes people. They dont like the idea of redistribution because to date it has been pretty much horizontal, the least pay for other parts of the least, the really, really uber rich are not disturbed in the least by taxation or redistribution because like povery its something that happens to other people.
    The idea of maximising production rather reminds me of how in the modern age we are so concerned with economic growth. We need it to pay the national debt, because we keep taking out more and more of it. It's insane when you think about it. If you heard someone living of loans and credit assuring their friends everything was ok so long as they continued to get a pay rise every year you'd think they were dumb, to put it mildly. Yet that is fundamentally how we run our economy. It's no wonder we have huge recessions every so often.

    The other problem with the idea of maximising production is that our ideas of wealth and poverty are relative. Compared to the 19th century, most of us in the western world live like lords, with hot water on demand and electric lighting. The more we can produe, the more we consume, and the more we expect to be able to consume.

    It's like the old predictions that one day we'd only have to work two or three days a week. I suspect that if we kept modern production methods, but were prepared to live like the victorians any way, that level of reduced labour would be enough to meet our needs. Yet here we are, manufacuring god knows how many times more than Adam Smith ever dreams of, and still the homeless are on the streets because those with the ability to take feel entitled to take so much more. And those that don't have the ability to take find themselves scratching at the leftovers, which have increased only a little.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  2. #42
    Riva
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    Assuming this hasn't been said before; world hunger isn't something that is being tried to be solved by the powers who are capable of it.

    Yes they would try to solve their own but wouldn't try to do so for the rest of the world.

    The food market naturally has more income to it than energy; so why would they give it for free or for a lesser price?

    It's all about money; sadly.

  3. #43
    Member Array CheshireCat's Avatar
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    As was stated in the book Siddhartha "The seeking impedes the finding".

    There are many factors that contribute to this issue, but I'd say the element that propels the severity of the issue is greed. The wealthy prosper at the expense of the poor. How do you get the poor to support the wealthy? Well you back them into a corner and force them to choose between starvation or slavery- erm- work.

    "...Under these circumstances, the only alternative left them for saving even their lives, or the lives of their families, was to yield up not only the crops they had gathered, and the lands they had cultivated, but themselves and their families also as slaves. Thenceforth their fate was, as slaves, to cultivate for others the lands they had before cultivated for themselves. Being driven constantly to their labor, wealth slowly increased; but all went into the hands of their tyrants."

    http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59 Chapter 3 section two second paragraph.


    Gradually overtime this system that was once fought against became a common place thing; A fact of life. You work, get a job, provide for your family, buy food from a store... Living off the land has become strange and alien to us- Though, that is inarguably the best approach to maintaining a wealth of being. Yea. Life is what it is and we don't often question why things are the way they are, when it all started, if it's to our benefit, or if their are consequences and what they are... etc.

    "feeding the hungry" has actually played it's role into contributing to the existence of the "system" I speak of. Why? Because it pulls energy and resources out of the very system to create the illusion of solving a problem it ultimately perpetuates. I think of it like a hydra- cut off one head it grows two more. In regards to this thought I'll add:

    “Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.”
    — Frederick Bastiat, http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html#SECTION_G007

    I guess it's only fair, if your advocate for a problem you advocate for a solution... That can be found in "the path to dignity and progress" within the law written by Frederick Bastiat.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    Assuming this hasn't been said before; world hunger isn't something that is being tried to be solved by the powers who are capable of it.

    Yes they would try to solve their own but wouldn't try to do so for the rest of the world.

    The food market naturally has more income to it than energy; so why would they give it for free or for a lesser price?

    It's all about money; sadly.
    Yeah but if you believe the libertarian lies then a little thing called consumer sovereignty should have resulted in something like hunger disappearing long ago.

  5. #45
    waiting for Winterman Array Osprey's Avatar
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    I don't understand why people have such an issue with hunger. Go to the grocery store, ya dingus!

    Winterman is coming through the forest down to his Chrimbus cave inside the woods. Now's the time to tell him everything you want inside your Chrimbus bush!

  6. #46
    Senior Member Array SensEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheshireCat View Post
    "feeding the hungry" has actually played it's role into contributing to the existence of the "system" I speak of. Why? Because it pulls energy and resources out of the very system to create the illusion of solving a problem it ultimately perpetuates. I think of it like a hydra- cut off one head it grows two more.
    I said basically the same thing upthread. The root cause of global hunger is not a food shortage issue or resource transfer issue (except in the very short term), it's a poor people having kids issue. Handouts will simply perpetuate the problem.

    This salient fact got drowned out in everybody's rush to link hands and sing Kumbaya.

  7. #47
    Member Array CheshireCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SensEye View Post
    It's stupidity. Pure and simple.
    I would argue that it is a deliberate misleading of facts.... Coupled with a hypnotic state of mind induced by the instant gratification of technologies, that squelches the capacity for one to utilize his independent thought processes. Give man whatever he desires and he is reduced to a beast.


    Quote Originally Posted by SensEye View Post
    The root cause of world hunger is that people without the economic resources to support children, have children anyways. Until we can find a way to stop this behavior, world hunger cannot be resolved. .
    I contest. People had children before there was the development of an economy. How could biological reproduction, that existed before the economy, cause world hunger?

    That is not to say that reproduction is not a factor, indeed reproduction when resources are scarce exasperates the problem. I am merely trying to draw attention to the chronological sequence of events.

    Hunger has and will always be a constant, it is one of natures mechanisms for controlling population. But modern day hunger has reached megalomaniac proportions.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Array SensEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheshireCat View Post
    I contest. People had children before there was the development of an economy. How could biological reproduction, that existed before the economy, cause world hunger?
    It's not the act of having children that is the problem itself, it's having children without the resources to support them. In more primitive days, if you had children and couldn't feed them, they died. Your immediate community/tribe would help, but that's about it. They did not get food handouts from halfway across the globe, grow into puberty, and have their own children, who more often than not, will also rely on food handouts to survive.

    Do this for a few decades and you end up with a whole mass of people who rely on food handouts to survive, ergo, a world hunger problem.

  9. #49
    Member Array CheshireCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SensEye View Post
    It's not the act of having children that is the problem itself, it's having children without the resources to support them. In more primitive days, if you had children and couldn't feed them, they died. Your immediate community/tribe would help, but that's about it. They did not get food handouts from halfway across the globe, grow into puberty, and have their own children, who more often than not, will also rely on food handouts to survive.

    Do this for a few decades and you end up with a whole mass of people who rely on food handouts to survive, ergo, a world hunger problem.
    I see what you are saying, I do.

    All I'm saying is the grotesque starvation problem is symptomatic of the system. Ergo, the problem you seek to implore is merely treating a symptom. It is not alleviating illness or liberating health.

  10. #50
    Member Array CheshireCat's Avatar
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    As hitler put it in mein Kampf

    'What leads one man to starvation trains another for hard work."
    "The unconscious mind should be called the super-conconsious mind."

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