View Poll Results: Which of these would do the most good for the world?

Voters
79. You may not vote on this poll
  • Providing everyone in the world with access to clean water

    8 10.13%
  • Providing everyone in the world with enough nutritious food

    4 5.06%
  • Providing everyone in the world with free, high-quality K-12 education

    6 7.59%
  • Providing everyone in the world with access to Western-quality health care

    1 1.27%
  • Providing everyone in the world with access to information and communication (e.g. the internet)

    0 0%
  • Bringing peace, stability, and safety to every part of the world

    18 22.78%
  • Bringing democracy and freedom to every part of the world

    3 3.80%
  • Developing a clean, cheap source of energy that could be produced and distributed anywhere

    12 15.19%
  • Developing an effective, efficient transportation infrastructure in all parts of the world

    0 0%
  • Other (please describe)

    27 34.18%
Page 13 of 14 FirstFirst ... 311121314 LastLast
Results 121 to 130 of 133

Thread: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

  1. #121
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    This is like saying you can't drown because you're barely floating. Please get a better argument?
    barely floating? in the 21st Century we are wealthier than humanity has been at any point in it's existence. we are pulling people out of poverty at the fastest rate in human existence. The US Agricultural Output Alone is capable of feeding the entire world. Texas Alone could feed 3.5 Billion people.

    "Barely Floating". Tell it to the 700 million Indians and Chinese lifted out of poverty in the past couple of decades.



    A point for ya'll to consider. No one ever complains about the world being overrun with swedes. Strangely, "overpopulation" always comes down to "too many brown people". Which, given the history of population control / eugenics; isn't terribly surprising.
    Last edited by cpwill; 04-30-12 at 10:25 PM.

  2. #122
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Hey I know, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just saying that the new Malthusianism is based on energy consumption and not wages.
    Oil Reserves are Constantly Increasing

    For example, we have discovered we have mind-boggling supplies in the Rockies

    Our Natural Gas reserves have increased by 35% in the past couple of years


    and so on and so forth.

  3. #123
    Sage
    Hatuey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Seen
    Today @ 07:30 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    42,039

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    barely floating? in the 21st Century we are wealthier than humanity has been at any point in it's existence.
    Meaning what? We're consuming far more than we produce. Here is your source:

    This presumed, of course, that the world would be eating its natural biological diet.

    ....

    If the farmers of this country get off the chemical bandwagon and start working for themselves and their consumer clients instead of for the giant chemical companies that have made them their serfs, the health revolution will begin. (Mishandled soil is the first link in the long chain of practices that lead to disease, including degenerative disease.)

    ....

    Mr. Jeavons has contrasted the amount of land required for various types of agriculture based on different consumer diets. The biggest contrast is that one meat eater requires about 22,000 square feet of land for his diet intake whereas a fruitarian/vegetarian requires only 1,400 square feet, only one fifteenth as much land.
    Your argument presupposes two things: 1 - We're going to start farming organically, we're not. 2 - We're all going to become vegetarians, we're not. As of right now, we do not produce the amount of food your argument presupposes COULD be farmed. We could, but we're not, we actually have an entirely different context for food production within the US. That you're trying to pass it off as information relevant to the discussion is kind of see through.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 04-30-12 at 10:32 PM.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

  4. #124
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?



    okay. we will walk through this slowly.

    If we already have the ability to feed the entire populace of the earth based off of a small percentage of arable farmland....

    what do you think is the total current agricultural capacity of the planet?



    and, more importantly, given the massive increases over the past few decades in capacity, what in the world makes you think that that number is fixed?

  5. #125
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    There will be nothing "gradual" about it. Capital is extremely fungible. Three Fourths of US dollars are held overseas. When it becomes obvious that the US intends to monetize it's debt (aside from all the other problems that will cause), most of those will come crashing home, and they will do so very quickly. The dollar is the note of the Federal Reserve, and there will be a world-wide run on the bank. US Borrowing Rates will soar, and the United States will be caught in an interest rate spiral, meaning that we will have to inflate the monetary supply by 10% of GDP every year just to be able to spend all the money we have promised, and that is before the world dumps the dollar as the reserve and oil currency. We will shift into hyperinflation, and for a short time annualized rates could rise to the triple digits. With no domestic demand for Treasury Bonds that now pay far below inflation, the abilities of the Fed to combat that will be roughly nil. Japan will probably not last as we know her for another 5 years - even at the ridiculously low interest rates provided by her massive domestic savings rate (which we lack), too many are retiring and being replaced by too few workers. That means that there won't be any net domestic savings to keep that rate low. The money will flee from Europe to Japan and the US, and then when it realizes that Japan is a doomed ship, it will flee to the US, and then investors (who no longer trust sovereign debt) will look with a jaundiced eye to see if our downgraded bonds are trustworthy... just as it is becoming obvious that we intend to monetize the debt.
    If investors were at all worried about that doomsday possibility - for either the US or Japan - it isn't being reflected in the markets. Furthermore, it has been obvious for over 100 years that the US intends to "monetize the debt" (if you mean not pay it back). The US hasn't actually paid back its debts since Andrew Jackson was president, it just pays the interest and attempts to grow the economy faster than it grows the debt...and that arrangement is OK.

    Same goes for Japan. Japan has one of the highest debt-to-GDP rates in the world, yet it can borrow money for less than 1%. Investors are not at all concerned about the security of their investment.

    The CBO says that the US Economy will functionally cease to exist in the 2030's under our current path. Frankly, I suspect that is wildly optimistic, as it assumes international stability, strong growth, permanent low treasury rates, and current law reductions in spending. If President Romney serves two terms and fails to structurally change our entitlements, the President that follows him will preside over destruction of the level not wrecked on this nation since the 1860's. I'll be alright - I know how to kill people (with all due respect to Ms Streisand: people who kill people are the most employable people in the world). Many of our fellow Americans whose livelihoods are dependent upon a highly integrated (and frankly fragile) global supply chain and extreme division of labor may find themselves in for a rude surprise.
    I think you're grossly overestimating the demographic problems the US faces, and grossly underestimating the role of technology, migration, and economics in solving those problems relatively smoothly.

    Forming a United States of Europe would lead to nigh open revolt at home, and impossible economics abroad for the European nations. The last Constitution required enough obvious ignoring-the-peasantry, and sparked enough of a backlash. Attempts to create an USE will not so much pour gasoline as nitroglycerin on the current fires of nationalism/fascism that are starting to smolder on that continent. As far as fiscal integration and carrying everyone else's burden, Germans have been pushed about as far as they are probably willing to go. Splitting up the EU and letting the southern states restructure their debt (read: declare bankruptcy) will happen, and when it does massive amounts of "wealth" will disappear and Europe will be in the mother of all liquidity crises at the same time that she is trying to perform massive structural changes to her currency. Good luck with that. Everyone thinks that the losers will be Greece, maybe Spain and Portugal. In reality, it's going to be Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, probably Ireland, and quite possibly France.
    I agree that a USE is certainly not politically possible right now. However, if the current financial crisis gets worse - or if Europe manages to muddle through only to get hit by another financial crisis in 10 years - who knows what will be politically possible? Stranger things have happened.

    In any case, I agree that Europe is in a worse economic situation. But this is mostly due to the mismatch between who sets fiscal policy and who sets monetary policy, rather than demographic patterns. True, Europe would be better off with higher birth rates...but this problem is solvable if European nations are willing to allow more immigration and abandon the outdated idea that nations are defined by a shared ethnicity.

    Which problem would that be? the problem isn't just that we are shrinking in our populace, it is that our welfare states are built upon a pyramid scheme model, and require steady influx of ever increasing numbers of people paying into the system. But floods of immigrants into a nation with a welfare state don't pay into the system as much as the natives - they disproportionately cost the system. Letting in floods of third-world immigrants without welfare state reform to keep them from becoming net fiscal burdens will exacerbate rather than solve the problem.
    There are millions of well-educated people who want to immigrate to the United States, who are turned away every year. And there are hundreds of millions of uneducated but intelligent people who want to immigrate to the United States, who are turned away every year. I'm not saying we need to accept them all, but accepting a great deal more of highly-skilled or highly-intelligent people would be a good place to start. We could even pay for their educations like we do for our own children, in order to produce more qualified American workers and taxpayers.

    Ultimately I think that the demographic problems in developed countries are highly exaggerated, in terms of their effect on the global economy (although they'll be bad for some individual nations if no steps are taken to reverse the trend). More people than ever are attaining a level of affluence at which they can help solve global problems, and this trend is unlikely to reverse IMO.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-01-12 at 10:34 AM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  6. #126
    Global Moderator
    Custom User Title
    LaughAtTheWorld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Seoul/Chicago
    Last Seen
    12-10-17 @ 01:34 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    9,541

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem facing humanity? Suppose that you had one wish, which you had to use altruistically to make the world a better place. Which do you think would do the most "good" (however you want to define that), and why?

    - Providing everyone in the world with access to clean water
    - Providing everyone in the world with enough nutritious food
    - Providing everyone in the world with free, high-quality K-12 education
    - Providing everyone in the world with access to Western-quality health care
    - Providing everyone in the world with access to information and communication (e.g. the internet)
    - Bringing peace, stability, and safety to every part of the world
    - Bringing democracy and freedom to every part of the world
    - Developing a 100% clean, very cheap source of energy that could be produced and distributed anywhere in the world
    - Developing an effective, efficient transportation infrastructure in all parts of the world
    - Other
    I like it how K-12 (which is something I haven't even heard of) and Western-quality health care and such are all exclusively, Western-oriented.

    As for the choices, I really don't see anything to choose there. All of them are in immediate need, but the one I can think up of that is urgent is peace. Without peace, infrastructure will be ruined, resources will be abnormally wasted, everything in there will be rendered worthless
    "The misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all" - Joan Robinson
    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries" - Winston Churchill

  7. #127
    Sage
    lpast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fla
    Last Seen
    05-21-16 @ 10:12 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    13,565

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    I like it how K-12 (which is something I haven't even heard of) and Western-quality health care and such are all exclusively, Western-oriented.

    As for the choices, I really don't see anything to choose there. All of them are in immediate need, but the one I can think up of that is urgent is peace. Without peace, infrastructure will be ruined, resources will be abnormally wasted, everything in there will be rendered worthless
    I hope most never witness the utter devastation of war...very very well said PSk...we in america have so much and have experienced so little compared to others in the world...most of us are actually IGNORANT...opinionated boobs that really dont know much of squat...MOI included

  8. #128
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    I like it how K-12 (which is something I haven't even heard of)
    It's education for young people, from approximately age 5 to age 18. I don't know what it's called in South Korea.

    and Western-quality health care
    "Western-quality health care" refers to the QUALITY of health care. I felt "good" health care was too vague, because "good health care" in Nigeria might be nothing more than some childhood vaccines and a midwife to deliver babies. I'm referring to a higher standard than that.

    and such are all exclusively, Western-oriented.
    Oh please. Only a couple of the items on my list are problems in the Western world at all, but they are all huge global problems. I suggest you get the chip off your shoulder, and just replace the terms with whatever they're called in South Korea.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-01-12 at 10:49 AM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  9. #129
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If investors were at all worried about that doomsday possibility - for either the US or Japan - it isn't being reflected in the markets. Furthermore, it has been obvious for over 100 years that the US intends to "monetize the debt" (if you mean not pay it back). The US hasn't actually paid back its debts since Andrew Jackson was president, it just pays the interest and attempts to grow the economy faster than it grows the debt...and that arrangement is OK.

    Same goes for Japan. Japan has one of the highest debt-to-GDP rates in the world, yet it can borrow money for less than 1%. Investors are not at all concerned about the security of their investment.
    that is correct. humans are herd animals. when Europe goes they will stampede to perceived safety, and those US/JPN interest rates will drop even further. Then it will become obvious that Japan is a doomed ship as well, and they will stampede out of there. At that point, however, they will be beginning to see Sovereign Debt the same way everyone saw Mortgage Backed Securities in 2008/2009: as a bubble asset. If we do not have a very plausible and very reassuring plan in place to deal with our long term structural deficit by that point, they will dump the Treasury as soon as they are done fleeing the Japanese.

    I think you're grossly overestimating the demographic problems the US faces, and grossly underestimating the role of technology, migration, and economics in solving those problems relatively smoothly.
    The US Demographic problems are serious, but light compared to Europe and Japan. We just have a bulge - a kidney stone to pass. Japan is a dead nation walking, and they are also one of the most xenophobic nations on the planet. They have no intention of mass immigration, and they would have to deny those immigrants access to the welfare state if they did.

    as Friedman pointed out: an open borders policy and a welfare state do not mix well.

    I agree that a USE is certainly not politically possible right now. However, if the current financial crisis gets worse - or if Europe manages to muddle through only to get hit by another financial crisis in 10 years - who knows what will be politically possible? Stranger things have happened.
    they aren't going to get 10 years. I doubt they get two years.

    In any case, I agree that Europe is in a worse economic situation. But this is mostly due to the mismatch between who sets fiscal policy and who sets monetary policy, rather than demographic patterns.
    not at all - our problems in the US would not be solved if our States could print money, or if they ceased to exist and we all turned to the Federal Government for all our needs. In Greece, every 100 Grandparents have 42 Grandkids trying to provide for them. That's just not a sustainable model when you are taxing the young to pay for the old.

    True, Europe would be better off with higher birth rates...but this problem is solvable if European nations are willing to allow more immigration and abandon the outdated idea that nations are defined by a shared ethnicity.
    Europe long ago decided to let in immigration (which is currently sparking a backlash) The problem is that they aren't willing to deny those immigrants access to the welfare state. but that would be cruel and racist and anglo-saxon jungle-like. And so instead immigrant populaces prove to be greater average drains upon the nations fisc than the native borns.

    There are millions of well-educated people who want to immigrate to the United States, who are turned away every year. And there are hundreds of millions of uneducated but intelligent people who want to immigrate to the United States, who are turned away every year. I'm not saying we need to accept them all, but accepting a great deal more of highly-skilled or highly-intelligent people would be a good place to start. We could even pay for their educations like we do for our own children, in order to produce more qualified American workers and taxpayers.
    You will get no argument from me that current US immigration policy is flawed. We should be seeking to drain the brains of everyone else; not the other way 'round.

    Ultimately I think that the demographic problems in developed countries are highly exaggerated, in terms of their effect on the global economy (although they'll be bad for some individual nations if no steps are taken to reverse the trend). More people than ever are attaining a level of affluence at which they can help solve global problems, and this trend is unlikely to reverse IMO.
    That is a nice statement that sounds good but means nothing. "Help solve global problems"? If you don't bother to show up for the future, you won't be there. A good chunk of Western Culture has decided not to show up for the future - and all those things we'd like to wish we could take for granted (individual liberty, equality of women, freedom of speech, representative government) will fade when the culture that supports them does. The problems of the world are about to get worse.

  10. #130
    Sage
    cpwill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USofA
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:43 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    57,107

    Re: What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    I like it how K-12 (which is something I haven't even heard of) and Western-quality health care and such are all exclusively, Western-oriented
    Indeed they are. And that is precisely my point. If we Westerners want the future to look more like us, we'd better bother to show up for it, or else it won't.

Page 13 of 14 FirstFirst ... 311121314 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •