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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • There's a lot of subjective good/bad news out there, but riddle me this Batman:

    (1) How are we going to feed 10B people in the year 2050? How about \d\dB people in the year 2100? What's going to stop the population explosion? Mass famine and disease?

    And as an afterthought in case we figure out #1: (2) In a world of unbridled globalization and specialization how do you avoid massive rifts between rich and poor? I know humanity never has, and arguably much of the world is better wealth distributed than it us
    • by pudge (1) on 2005.04.04 23:03 (#39411) Homepage Journal
      The best thing we can do to feed people is to help spread democracy and capitalism. Note that there's not famine in Zimbabwe because they don't have natural resources or able bodies, but because a dictator has created a terrible political situation that has resulted in severe depression. The solution for famine there is to get rid of Mugabe, get a democracy in there, and use institutions like the World Bank to help get private enterprise going.

      Not that it doesn't bring its own problems, but it's the best answer there is.

      And I don't think the problem has worsened in your lifetime. All the stats I've seen show the opposite, especially when you consider that the two largest nations have seen huge economic improvements in that timespan, in China and India. South America and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have improved as well, thanks to democracy and capitalism. Africa has not improved, but I don't think it's gotten worse, and in the areas it has improved, it is where capitalism or democracy have been introduced. Maybe you're just more aware of the problems now?

      As to disparity between wealthy and poor, I am unconcerned with this. The problem is not how much the difference between you and me is, it is whether both you and I have what we need to live healthy and happy lives: food, shelter, medical care, education, etc. Yes, there are concerns other than those, but I think it is a moral responsibility to help people get those things; I don't feel the same about having access to a computer or car or the latest video games or stylish clothes.

      So stats that talk about the growing gap between rich and poor don't matter to me, not at this level of the discussion, and most of the evidence that people say shows that the problem of poverty is getting worse, focus on this gap, which to me doesn't show the problem of poverty is getting worse. The stats to show that would be the number of people below a poverty line, where that poverty line is based on real income, etc. Or that shows a certain number of people who are homeless, or undernourished, etc.