I got a call from a guy in my class in (architecture) school. He's arranging
the 20th anniversary party of our graduation, even though only about a
quarter of those who started with us finished with us. (It 's a little
weird. They're even inviting people who dropped out or failed along the
We were talking about 'the big court case' and other stuff, and I found out
he has three boys. (I have one girl.) It occurred to me that one of the
'elephants in the room' on the carbon/climate change issue is population
growth. China realized some time ago that it had to get an iron grip on the
population problem or collapse from shortages of resources, but now, under
the banner of sustainability, almost nobody in the west mentions
reproductive limits as a significant way to reduce the 'footprint' of the
My colleague referred to his third as a "mistake", but I started wondering,
how many kids do we get to have if we are serious about limiting our effect
on the environment. How many is enough, especially in the 'advanced world'
where they are not an immediate economic support to the family, but just a
drain on family resources? Further, our economy would seem to be based on
perpetual growth, which is obviously not sustainable unless the light
barrier is broken. When do *all* the repercussions of a zero growth economy
get put on the climate change table?
It's really a "dead" issue... here's what I mean.
Because of "vast prosperity", the growth rate in most of western Europe
is negative (not including immigrants). They're actually in an
unsustainable trend... There will be more people dying than being
born... which leads to some serious social-economic issues as most of
Europe is built on welfare states. They won't have enough people to tax
to take care of each succeeding generation. Not only that, but there
will be labor shortages and all sorts of other problems.
The US is rapidly moving in that direction, too. The more prosperous a
nation, the fewer children people have. China was somewhat forced to
implement the policy because of their poverty. I suspect that it'll
change, then naturally, people will stop having children. I would also
bet that a study of India, the other place with a population boom, will
also show that the number of children born to a couple is related in
many ways to their poverty. Remove the poverty and you, in effect,
"solve" the population problem.
Of course, you create other problems, too. I think population problems
(and poverty) are political, not natural.
One other point, though... It's nobody's damn business how many kids
any of us have or don't have. I spend days driving across vast
unpopulated areas of the country.
You could give every man woman and child on the planet 1,231 sq. ft. and
we'd only fill up Texas. Granted, Texas is a big state, but it's only
.467% of the earth's total land mass (even if you exclude Antarctica and
Wyoming, you've still got a lot of places to live).
I'm already aware of all the above, but in the context of the climate change
'discourse' nobody is mentioning the obvious impact of population
replacement on future energy demand. I'm proposing a "future carbon" tax on
kids ; )
Sometimes they are but I can imagine scenarios where they aren't.
It is in China, and the landscape cannot be all residential. I've tried it
on Sim City.
The discussion is not about elbow room. There are finite resources, even in
a static climate model. There's topsoil depletion for example, and that's
before the Great Plains are commandeered to produce fuel for Arnold's
Hummers. If you want to be really "green" and sustainable, one of the things
you'd seem to want to "reduce" is your numbers. After the last boomer cashes
their last Social Security check, who needs more people?
It's sometimes a racial issue. A number of ocuntreis are expereince
negative population growth (ex. Bulgaria) while others are experiencing
population growth only in cultures that are less educated, therefore,
less capable of sustaining themselves in the present economy.(many examples)
Let's put all the progeny to work; let 'em pay for their keep ;)
THe all wise Sim City must know the answer.... It is more reasonable to
talk about the loss of rural populace and what sectors support what
And increase the numbers of the electric cars. See movie Who Killed the
Social Security is already finite in terms of benefits. Meanwhile, we
would be helped with at least universal health care in the US. The
concept that every person has the expertise, time and guts to play the
market to fund their retirement is a non starter. We have to come to a
consensus on what social programs people ought have.
Nothing scares me more than universal health care. If it comes, I want
out. I hope I'm rich enough to pay my own doctors, fly to where I want
to go for medical care, or whatever it takes. There isn't a country on
earth with universal health care that I'd consider living in.
Universal health care is the last stop before socialism before
communism. Just wait until the government is responsible for your
health... and they'll start limiting what you get to eat (New York
City), how much you must exercise...
Governments are not the answer. Governments have become the problem(s).
I said that about capitalism on here 4 years ago:
I'm in the middle of watching this:
Unsure you already know about the bit torrent peer-to-peer file-sharing
protocol, but if you don't, I'd *highly* recommend getting into it.
I suggest using 'Azureus Vuze' as the application:
Although it might take longer, downloading the above through dialup or
satellite should be possible, (depending on your ISP's down/upload
limits of course) since dropped connections are automatically
reconnected if/when there becomes a connection.
Vuze is also apparently a company that provides an inventory of media--
free and priced-- through their site that's accessible through their
I downloaded and viewed the above show with it, along with a few others
and other torrents already.
It's great and I've practically said goodbye to tv.
You'll just have to wait it out. Or else do like you do and be the flint
that starts the fire. Look into WiMax, or other long range wireless
technologies. Seems like companies looking to expand are losing a great
deal of potential customers just because they aren't in range. But you've
also said before, that people out there don't really care much (or know
Uh, there were no HMOs until fairly recently - i.e., IIRC, about 20 years
I remember when Emergency Rooms were for *emergencies*, but people were
not turned away from teh ER because of "overcrowding". I remember when
you paid your physician directly - and none of them overcharged because
then they'd never get any business. I also remember when peopel went
into medicine because they wanted to be physicians - and even tho' the
pay was decent, they still lived in the same town as "the little people",
and you could call your doctor preety much any time of day or night if
you had something serious going on.
Yeah, there have been a lot of medical advances, and many of th enew
procedures do cost a lot - it's a matter of specialized production of
equipment, specialized training for professionals, an dso on. And yeah,
pharmaceuticals ain't cheap, even if one stopped the blatant theft that
But part of the problem is that HMOs come between patients and
physicians, to the detriment of both. Part of the problem is that the
emphasis is not on wellness, but on trying to treat disease after it
happens, rather than trying to do things that will prevent or at least
mitigate disease. And partof th eproblemis that too much money is goign
into bureaucracies (andinevitably getting lost) rather than goign
directly to pay for services and research and so on.
IOW, there are waaaaay too many middlemen.
It'ssort of like buying peaches. If you go to the Farmer's Market and
buy peaches from the grower, you pay less, and the grower make smore,
because there aren't 7 layers of middlemen all taking a cut. It's not
all that different, at least not in principle.
The problem with gov.t getting involved is that it adds layers of
bureaucracy - middlemen - and each layer dilutes the funding. Adding
even *more* gov.t (i.e. layers of bureaucracy) to the mix is only going
to make things worse.
Just look at Johnson's "GreatSociety", i.e. Wellfare, i.e. the
destruction of the Black family.
THe *intentions* were good, but, in the end, all the laws and rules and
bureaucracy created a horrible mess that is *much* worse than the
situation it was supposed to improve.
Unlike Don, I do think that gov.t, or at least, public institutions,
*can* do things to improve the lot of people, and yes, the gov.t *is*
charged with "providing for the public good" or something like that (I
forgot the exact phrase), however, politics involces so much diversion of
monies into politicianslittle pet projects (and personal pockets...) that
it is *excrutiatingly* easy for gov.t to completely foul things up.
A *good* gov.t would take all possible measures to minimize the resources
used to administer (i.e., meddle in) any program.
Take student loans as an example. It ought to be straightforward: the
gov.t will offer a low-rate loan to students so that they can attend
college, and they can defer payback until they graduate and start
I had a student loan, and that's how it worked. I also paid it all back
- before it was due. I didn't know anyone in my graduating class who
just defaulted for the hell of it. The rules eventually got so
convoluted, tho', that efaulting became the norm, and the system became
so over-governemntalized that it's now basically defunct.
I don't have any problem with student loans, then - they can and should
be an investment in the future, *But* people who default need to be made
to pay. Screw all of this "loan forgiveness" shit - you graduate, you
pay - it's a contract. If you don't think you can deal with it, don't
ener into it. It is a priviledge, not an entitlement, and it needs to
have responsibilities attached to it.
The problem with gov.t programs is that they usually end up being th
erefuge of the irresponsible and the willfully-incompetent. Notice the
word "wilfully". THere are some people who are mentally handicapped, and
need assistance so as to be productive - I have no qualms about paying
for group homes for challenged people so that they can do basic jobs
during th eday, and then have a safe place to go to at night. But I have
no patience whatsoever for people who are just plain lazy and "don't
feel like" making any sort of contrinution to society. IN those cases,
my opinion is, if they don't want to take any responsibility for
themselves, that istheir choice and nobody else should be forced to take
care of 'em. IOW, ther eis a difference between *need*, and laziness.
Unfortunately, gov.t programs cannot differentiate between the two, and
lazy people are usually much better at taking advantage of those
programs, than needy people are at getting help.
ALso, I think it is vital to remember that mega-corporations and
monopolies exist *because* of gov.t, NOT in spite of it. One can list
all sorts of areas where the so-called "private sector" has completely
screwed the pooch (i.e., the "common man", whom they see as dogs). But
"the corporate sector" is really not the same thing as "the private
sector". Remember that mega-corporations are are identical to mega-
governemnt - i.e., mega-bureaucracy.
THe problem is not small/limited personal business or direct governemnt -
the evil is *bureaucracy*.
Nothing can be solved until people learn to differentiate between
bureaucracy, and small business/limited-direct governemnt.
You're mixing the issues.
Don is not saying that "equal access to healthcare is bad", he is saying
that "the forceable insertion of HMO and gov.t bureaucracies into teh
doctor-patient relationship is bad".
Prejudice (be it racial or other) is/was in no way eliminated just
because gov.t got involved in health care.
But you're mixing two different points. This is not about "turning back
the clock across the board", this i sabout reducing bureaucratic waste,
and getting teh middlemen out from between health care providers, and
health care recipients.
Regardelss of your color (or religion or gender or sexual preference or
size or whatever), the fact is that currently, if your physician
determines you should have, oh, a colonoscopy or a mammogram, there is a
bureuacracy acting as a gatekeeper standing between you, and what your
physician prescribes, and you either will or will not be *permitted* to
follow the doctor's orders based upon a bunch of statistics and whatnot
as interpreted by someone who quite likely lives a thousand miles away
from you and your physician.
And if you believe that bureaucracy is going to go to any effort to make
sure that your case is not going to be judged inequitably, well......
I'm personally *sick* of all of this childish name-calling about who is
or is not delusional. Good grief =>:-p
EVERYBODY is "delusional" in one way or another. Get over it. What
matters is (1) trying to get the facts and (2) trying to avoid trampling
I stand by my point, GOVERNMENT (not beauracracy) has worked towards (and is
bound by) equality, and people have fought long and hard to get that
equality which has not come easy. To say that things were better back then
because the government was not involved ignores the thousands of people who
were NOT getting the same level of care because of inequality. If we have
to bring others down so that others may FINALLY be equal, so be it. Since
then we should have been working on bringing everyone back up, but instead
inequality continues. I agree 100% with reducing bureaucratic waste but
that waste is not the same as what the govenrment should be.
You yourself are confusing the issue. Government is not the same as
bureaucratic (I always have trouble spelling that one). You can have one
without the other, and we should be working towards eliminating beauracracy.
I agree it is the worst thing about this government and something I feel
should be eliminated if we want to fix anything.
As long as Don is here, your going to keep getting "sick" of it. I only
resort to what is thrown at me. I've tried and tried with the level headed
discussion, but this is the only type of argument he seems to
understand...YOU get over it.
Taken out of context like that of course it sounds horrible, like the cunt
you are, you can twist my words all you want, but it doesn't mean a damn
thing near what your shit for brains thinks it means.
Unless you really do prefer the past where minorities were treated like
second class citizens, you can take it for all I care, there are plenty of
countries out there where people would happily slit your throat for being
Blah blah blah...duh here let me use someone elses words to try and discuss
Um, please show me WHERE exactly I have ever said I don't want to live under
my own rules??? In fact I get derided every time I explain I have no
problems paying for taxes to help other people etc, etc. If I wanted to own
a gun, I would happily take a training course, just like I did trying to get
my drivers license. Your limbaugh sound bites won't help you here.
And on the other hand I have consistently shown how pure socialism is just
as bad as pure capitalism or anarchy, and again your shit for brains never
has a decent answer to any of that either, just spouting off bullshit and
flaming because someone is taking your toys (oh noes they stepped on my lawn
I will kill the bastards!). When your challenged all you do is come back
with flaming...the defenition of a troll.
I really don't know what sort of mental deficiency you have there Don, but
it's starting to get irritating. A little disclosure would help, starting
with the types of meds you're on.
Ok lets hear it, what's the next insult going to be? I know it's coming
because you have nothing of substance to say. Here let me help
you..."Duh...little doodz, go watch your tee vee and leavez us alonz, or
Equality is a myth. It always has been. Nobody is born "equal". Some
are born smart, some dumb, some blind, some deaf, some crippled, you
name it. Some born in the USA to affluent parents, other born into
starvation in the Andes. Life is not equal. Nor will it ever by and to
think that "equality" is a laudable goal shows a lack of understanding
of human nature.
Governments cannot and should not try to create "equality". They
shouldn't even try for "fairness." If you want to think that "equality"
is granted or created by government, go back and reading the Federalist
papers, and the writings of the Founders. The only thing we have equal
is the opportunity to pursue our happiness without interference from
government. It's the opportunity to pursue happiness that is to be
protected and guarded, not the happiness itself. As long as our pursit
does not infringe on the natural rights* of others, then we're good to go.
Philosopher John Locke's vision of natural law guided the founders of
our nation. Our Declaration of Independence expresses that vision,
declaring, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit
of Happiness." Government is necessary, but the only rights we can
delegate to government are the ones we possess. For example, we all have
a natural right to defend ourselves against predators. Since we possess
that right, we can delegate authority to government to defend us. By
contrast, we don't have a natural right to take the property of one
person to give to another; therefore, we cannot legitimately delegate
such authority to government.
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