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Old December 10th, 2017, 01:23 PM   #11

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Originally Posted by athena View Post
Without population control, we will run out of essential resources regardless of the economic system.
Agreed, but this isn't really an issue in the US. The current fertility rate is below that which is required to replace itself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/h...lity-rate.html

It is the same in most countries - the two main exceptions are India and Africa.

Population growth in the US is purely because of immigration, which is a lot easier to control than the birthrate. The problem is the current economic model which depends upon infinite population growth to work. Until this is fixed, government policy will be to continue to grow the population until the system collapses.

Last edited by Dan Howard; December 10th, 2017 at 01:31 PM.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 04:39 AM   #12

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Some random thoughts on stuff posted in this thread:
I don't think population growth is that much of a problem. Due to continued development all over the world most predictions indicate a flattening out and then declining world population from 2050 onwards.

There is this old saying that capitalism is great at creating wealth but poor in distributing it while socialism is poor in creating wealth but good at distributing it. There is some truth to it. Capitalism works in a perfect environment perfectly. But there is no perfect environment. Therefore, the role of the state is to correct these "inaccuracies" of capitalism reulsting from the non-perfect environment. One example of how to do it that is proven to work is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordoliberalism

In most developed countries the poorest 20% live better than 90+% of people who ever lived. I think this shows how successful capitalism was. Inequality can be a problem if that means you have truly poor people (eg. do not have their basic needs fulfilled, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow...archy_of_needs). This is to be avoided, capitalism does not do this by itself, that is one of those "inaccuracies" the state has to correct. As long as the basic needs of everybody are fulfilled and people have at least a perspective of being able to achieve more I think inequality is not a problem.

I also think the advances in technology (AI and robotics) will change society in a more fundamental way than we can imagine right now.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 05:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bodhi View Post
Some random thoughts on stuff posted in this thread:
I don't think population growth is that much of a problem. Due to continued development all over the world most predictions indicate a flattening out and then declining world population from 2050 onwards.

There is this old saying that capitalism is great at creating wealth but poor in distributing it while socialism is poor in creating wealth but good at distributing it. There is some truth to it. Capitalism works in a perfect environment perfectly. But there is no perfect environment. Therefore, the role of the state is to correct these "inaccuracies" of capitalism reulsting from the non-perfect environment. One example of how to do it that is proven to work is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordoliberalism

In most developed countries the poorest 20% live better than 90+% of people who ever lived. I think this shows how successful capitalism was. Inequality can be a problem if that means you have truly poor people (eg. do not have their basic needs fulfilled, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow...archy_of_needs). This is to be avoided, capitalism does not do this by itself, that is one of those "inaccuracies" the state has to correct. As long as the basic needs of everybody are fulfilled and people have at least a perspective of being able to achieve more I think inequality is not a problem.

I also think the advances in technology (AI and robotics) will change society in a more fundamental way than we can imagine right now.
That was a very thoughtful post and I appreciate that. I especially like your explanation of why government is needed to govern. It seems clear to me a nation with plenty of land, water, natural resources and just the right number of people, can do very well with capitalism and everyone can be left free to take all he wants. But in a country where there is not enough for everyone, like a large, low-income family, someone better be sure everyone at the table gets a share of the meal, or some will not do well and some will die simply because of not having enough.

Math can be used to figure the perfect conditions for capitalism and the steps government needs to take to govern efficiently. Math can make very clear if we have overpopulation or not, and I feel strongly our judgment be based on math, not opinion or speculation.

Precisely what are the zones in your region, business, commercial, residential and how much space is each zone. Given the size of the space of the zone, how much of it is used? How much available land do you have for growth? How many jobs do you have, and what is the expected growth in jobs?

Next, how much water do you have? How much water does each zone require? How much growth can your water and sewage system handle?

How much electrical power do you have? Is this enough for growth?

We could use imagined figures to discuss the problems and solutions and determine our perfect conditions for capitalism and where government is needed to govern.

As for AI, how much liberty do we want to give up? If AI works as well as my spell check, it will be a complete nightmare. you might watch the movie "Passengers" and tell me what you think of AI and what is best for humans.

Last edited by athena; December 13th, 2017 at 05:30 AM.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 05:28 AM   #14
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Agreed, but this isn't really an issue in the US. The current fertility rate is below that which is required to replace itself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/h...lity-rate.html

It is the same in most countries - the two main exceptions are India and Africa.

Population growth in the US is purely because of immigration, which is a lot easier to control than the birthrate. The problem is the current economic model which depends upon infinite population growth to work. Until this is fixed, government policy will be to continue to grow the population until the system collapses.
The city where I live is getting very uncomfortable because of population growth. The housing is getting very small and we have lost our yards. The homeless population is very large, and government assistance programs cannot meet the need. Long before government assistance programs could not meet the need, informal charities could not keep up with the need. The traffic is getting really bad, and for older people like me this is a problem. It is not fun to drive, especially during the rush hours. I have not done the math, but if I didn't have family here, I would be moving out of town, because the conditions are worse from my point of view. It is already too late to avoid the problem of too many people.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 05:49 AM   #15

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Oregon is not typical of the rest of the US. It is a trendy boom area, driving up property prices and forcing the poor out of the housing market. Immigration has swelled Oregon's population by 200,000 in just five years. If there was no immigration, Oregon's population would have declined during this time.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 07:47 AM   #16

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Originally Posted by athena View Post
That was a very thoughtful post and I appreciate that. I especially like your explanation of why government is needed to govern. It seems clear to me a nation with plenty of land, water, natural resources and just the right number of people, can do very well with capitalism and everyone can be left free to take all he wants. But in a country where there is not enough for everyone, like a large, low-income family, someone better be sure everyone at the table gets a share of the meal, or some will not do well and some will die simply because of not having enough. .
Thank you. Well, I live in Germany and while we do have some land and water, we do not have many resources here and are quite densely populated. We are still doing quite well I think. Or look at Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands or Sweden. All of them thrive despite not having many resources and being quite densely populated. I think it is thanks to capitalism with a good shot of socialism. See, the wiki-entry on Ordoliberalism above.
Capitalism works so well because it taps into humans innate competitiveness. However, it needs to be controlled by a strong set of ethics and a state that regulates where necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by athena View Post
Math can be used to figure the perfect conditions for capitalism and the steps government needs to take to govern efficiently. Math can make very clear if we have overpopulation or not, and I feel strongly our judgment be based on math, not opinion or speculation.

Precisely what are the zones in your region, business, commercial, residential and how much space is each zone. Given the size of the space of the zone, how much of it is used? How much available land do you have for growth? How many jobs do you have, and what is the expected growth in jobs?

Next, how much water do you have? How much water does each zone require? How much growth can your water and sewage system handle?

How much electrical power do you have? Is this enough for growth?

We could use imagined figures to discuss the problems and solutions and determine our perfect conditions for capitalism and where government is needed to govern.
But that is the problem, those conditions never are the same. They are always changing or being changed (for example through innovation), and just like with the weather it's near impossible to predict. Too much data to process and interpret correctly. Not even talking about making the right conclusions out of it. At least for humans.
And on the other hand a centrally managed economy is not flexible, cannot adjust and react to change fast enough - see the failure of all experiments. And looking at the last few hundred years that change is happening faster and faster. Or well, at least humans cannot manage that.
AI maybe could ...

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Originally Posted by athena View Post
As for AI, how much liberty do we want to give up? If AI works as well as my spell check, it will be a complete nightmare. you might watch the movie "Passengers" and tell me what you think of AI and what is best for humans.
Well, Pandora's box is already opened. We already do AI and there is no way back. Specialised AI is already invented and so helpful in so many things, hell, there is AI that writes books and composes songs.
Read the following blog entries, really interesting perspective on the potential development of AI: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artif...olution-1.html

Personally, I kinda fancy the idea of AI being the next step in evolution.

Last edited by bodhi; December 13th, 2017 at 07:55 AM.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 08:11 AM   #17

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhi View Post
Some random thoughts on stuff posted in this thread:
I don't think population growth is that much of a problem. Due to continued development all over the world most predictions indicate a flattening out and then declining world population from 2050 onwards.

There is this old saying that capitalism is great at creating wealth but poor in distributing it while socialism is poor in creating wealth but good at distributing it. There is some truth to it. Capitalism works in a perfect environment perfectly. But there is no perfect environment. Therefore, the role of the state is to correct these "inaccuracies" of capitalism reulsting from the non-perfect environment. One example of how to do it that is proven to work is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordoliberalism

In most developed countries the poorest 20% live better than 90+% of people who ever lived. I think this shows how successful capitalism was. Inequality can be a problem if that means you have truly poor people (eg. do not have their basic needs fulfilled, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow...archy_of_needs). This is to be avoided, capitalism does not do this by itself, that is one of those "inaccuracies" the state has to correct. As long as the basic needs of everybody are fulfilled and people have at least a perspective of being able to achieve more I think inequality is not a problem.

I also think the advances in technology (AI and robotics) will change society in a more fundamental way than we can imagine right now.
Very good comment, Bodhi. Agree wholeheartedly
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Old December 13th, 2017, 08:14 AM   #18

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Oregon is not typical of the rest of the US. It is a trendy boom area, driving up property prices and forcing the poor out of the housing market. Immigration has swelled Oregon's population by 200,000 in just five years. If there was no immigration, Oregon's population would have declined during this time.
And your point is?

Atlanta has the same problems as Athena describes. Traffic, influx of people--mainly immigrants from other states, housing prices going up, although not yet at the level of the West Coast.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 10:19 AM   #19

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I hope everyone respects there is good and bad all mixed up in the different economic systems, when they argue why they favor one over the other. Ideally, we could take what is best from all of them and have a better global economy that also means social justice around the world. Our reality is what we make it. How can we make it the best?
However we must always be aware that a Camel is a horse designed by a committee. Camels stink, they are the worst ride ever, and they will spit on you. And furthermore they canīt pass through the eye of a needle.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 01:21 PM   #20

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And your point is?

Atlanta has the same problems as Athena describes. Traffic, influx of people--mainly immigrants from other states, housing prices going up, although not yet at the level of the West Coast.
My point is that you can't look at a few exceptions in the country and generalise those into broad conclusions. My other point is that your population problem is entirely self inflicted. It has nothing to do with the birth rate, which is very difficult to control, and everything to do with immigration, which is much easier to control. Even internal immigration is a lot easier to control (mainly through taxation, housing, and employment regulation) than birth rate.

Last edited by Dan Howard; December 13th, 2017 at 01:27 PM.
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