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Old 2013-01-10, 08:00   Link #25661
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Interesting. I think to deal with this we might need food prices to go up a bit. Perhaps western governments should initiate farmland buyouts, and convert them into parks.
Actually I'd rather that we improve food packaging, preparation and delivery so as to maximize the supply we already have.

Unless you were sarcastic.
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Old 2013-01-10, 10:12   Link #25662
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Actually I'd rather that we improve food packaging, preparation and delivery so as to maximize the supply we already have.

Unless you were sarcastic.
Nope, the thing is, people will only conserve things if it hits them in their wallet. And if food production is double what it should be, then we can halve the amount of land devoted to it.

Consider petrol. In the US, people didn't start seriously thinking about fuel economy until prices crept past 4$ a gallon.
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Old 2013-01-10, 10:35   Link #25663
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Nope, the thing is, people will only conserve things if it hits them in their wallet. And if food production is double what it should be, then we can halve the amount of land devoted to it.

Consider petrol. In the US, people didn't start seriously thinking about fuel economy until prices crept past 4$ a gallon.
Then it's more a problem of a wasteful human mindset don't you think? It's sad considering how many people are starving in the world when we're just wasting food on human gluttony and poor use of technology.
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Old 2013-01-10, 10:38   Link #25664
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Nope, the thing is, people will only conserve things if it hits them in their wallet. And if food production is double what it should be, then we can halve the amount of land devoted to it.

Consider petrol. In the US, people didn't start seriously thinking about fuel economy until prices crept past 4$ a gallon.
^ Yeah, it's called the invisible hand of the market. Here's the classic example:



Many people are arguing that a "semi-free market" such as what China has done would be more effective. There's both agreement and criticism .. the thing about macrecon is you don't see who's right for decades if not longer. We know pure state-run economics aren't good outside of total war scenarios (i.e. Russia/USSR) People are leery about stories of empty towns and uneconomical loans in China. Japan's government massively overspent on infrastructure.

The invisible hand isn't perfect of course, but it does prevent certain things from occurring, such as over expansion of unnecessary infrastructure and the destruction of noncompetitive businesses.
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Old 2013-01-10, 11:07   Link #25665
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Interesting. I think to deal with this we might need food prices to go up a bit. Perhaps western governments should initiate farmland buyouts, and convert them into parks.
Don't think that is going to work. The problem is with the "supply of perfect food", not the entire food supply. If doing a farmland buyout and converting them to parks, turning them back into farmland will be a ridiculously tough task.

If the article only does research on vegetables, then it may still be in good hands. Separate the vegetable bins into "bad" and "ugly" produce, process the "ugly" produce into canned food or poultry feed, break down the "bad" produce into organic acids and send them to fertiliser plants or factories.

At least that create jobs and shores up the bad UK economy for the time being. Spending is unavoidable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Then it's more a problem of a wasteful human mindset don't you think? It's sad considering how many people are starving in the world when we're just wasting food on human gluttony and poor use of technology.
One huge problem that plagues such "wastage" is that modern technology may have led to an increase in food supply in a certain country, however the technology advancement means that the high development of that country has also led to an uneven exchange rate, resulting in their food products being "unexportable". A bag of beans may cost 2 pounds in the UK, but it will cost around 30 rand in South Africa, excluding export and storage costs.

The exchange rate provides an unusually high wall for food distribution across the globe that most action groups don't talk about, because most of their leaders aren't economists. If we want a fairer distribution of food to offset starvation, shipping soylent green is the best solution I can think of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
^ Yeah, it's called the invisible hand of the market. Here's the classic example:



Many people are arguing that a "semi-free market" such as what China has done would be more effective. There's both agreement and criticism .. the thing about macrecon is you don't see who's right for decades if not longer. We know pure state-run economics aren't good outside of total war scenarios (i.e. Russia/USSR) People are leery about stories of empty towns and uneconomical loans in China. Japan's government massively overspent on infrastructure.

The invisible hand isn't perfect of course, but it does prevent certain things from occurring, such as over expansion of unnecessary infrastructure and the destruction of noncompetitive businesses.
Non-competitive businesses will kill themselves, hand or no hand. With the exception of big ones though, they die slower and take down others with them.

The problem with microeconomics in today's world of globalisation and connections is that a number of concepts have become quite less applicable; I will restrain from using the term obselete. China dug themselves a pretty deep hole when it comes to "entertainment/luxury infrastructure" (tourism towns, circuses with the exception of the CCP, shopping malls, skyscrapers, etc) - the income gap is simply too wide for everyone to afford it and given the labour hours, most Chinese would prefer to spend quiet time with their family or helping out at home. And China is so big, who would like to travel halfway across the country just to get on a roller-coaster? And why would a developer set up a interstate office before the area is even successfully developed?

China expanded pretty fast for a large country, but there are still pockets of rural mindsets and modern disconnects. This is going to eat China up from within, even if their situation is not as bad as India's.
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Old 2013-01-10, 13:23   Link #25666
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
How is Piers an idiot again?
I wouldn't say he's an idiot, but he's certainly disingenuous and aren't looking for an honest debate on the subject - first he shouts over his guests and name calls those who disagrees with him, then he invites the lunatics to make himself look like the reasonable one, accusing others of misrepresenting data while doing exactly just that himself etc.

He's not an idiot, but he's certainly a tabloid reporter who's more concerned about driving up ratings and controversy than anything else.

If you want to talk gun control, ask the mod to unlock the thread, though if all you've got is more of these thinly-veiled attacks and broad generalization of those who disagrees with your view, I wouldn't bother.
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Old 2013-01-10, 13:34   Link #25667
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Then it's more a problem of a wasteful human mindset don't you think? It's sad considering how many people are starving in the world when we're just wasting food on human gluttony and poor use of technology.
The government can't really change human mindsets directly. However the government is in the business of maintaining the natural environment. If food is oversupplied, then government can directly reduce the oversupply by taking measures to reduce food production, but as for improving food distribution and waste, that is something best left to consumers and businesses. But by reducing supply, it makes economy a more appealing way for people to make savings. If shoppers only save 10$ a month from buying the "correct" amount of food they mightn't bother to change their habits, but if they save 50$ a month, or 100$...

Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
^ Yeah, it's called the invisible hand of the market.
Yes, and I think buying up agricultural land is the least "intrusive" way for the government to interfere in agricultural production. Quotas, taxes and subsidies just cause gaming of the system. Furthermore, if we want to talk environmentalism, nothing is more beneficial to the environment then turning land over to nature. More land for plants/trees to soak up CO2 and more habitat for endangered species. And that's certainly something the "hand" can't do.

Land buyouts can be "gamed", of course, but any corruption involved would be one time, so the amount of wasteful spending would be inherently limited (compared to spending on other interventions), and you wouldn't even need to use "forced" buyouts, the government could simply acquire land through "attrition" (IE just buying up land when it comes to market).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Don't think that is going to work. The problem is with the "supply of perfect food", not the entire food supply. If doing a farmland buyout and converting them to parks, turning them back into farmland will be a ridiculously tough task.
Shortfalls in food supply should hopefully be made up with improvements in food production through better crops, fertilizers and GMOs. The government should tread lightly before buying land of course, perhaps buying up the least fertile land first.
Quote:
If the article only does research on vegetables, then it may still be in good hands. Separate the vegetable bins into "bad" and "ugly" produce, process the "ugly" produce into canned food or poultry feed, break down the "bad" produce into organic acids and send them to fertiliser plants or factories.
If it's not being done now, then clearly there isn't enough profitability in buying up the "bad" crops. Perhaps there isn't "enough" canned food, animal feed etc. to soak up all the "ugly" vegetables.

Also, if we can cause a general increase in prices, the optimal situation I would hope for is that the "pretty" vegetables will be sold at "premium" prices, while the "ugly" vegetables, rather then being thrown away, will be sold at a discount.

Right now vegetables are really cheap, it's E1.39 for 1 kg of loose carrots. At that price there's no reason for consumers to buy the "inferior" carrots. My local supermarket could put them out, but everyone would just buy the "good" ones. But if there were less "good" carrots, and the price rose to, say, E6 a kilogram, then suddenly if the supermarket offered the "ugly" carrots at E1.25 a kg, they'd start selling. But at current prices, it's not worth it for retailers to bother selling the "ugly" carrots, even at discount, because with overheads there'd be no profit in it.

I don't think this problem exists due to lack of economy on the part of distributors, it's a very competitive sector in the British Isles, if there was an opportunity to make money by selling underpriced "ugly" vegetables one of them would have leapt on it already.

Quote:
One huge problem that plagues such "wastage" is that modern technology may have led to an increase in food supply in a certain country, however the technology advancement means that the high development of that country has also led to an uneven exchange rate, resulting in their food products being "unexportable". A bag of beans may cost 2 pounds in the UK, but it will cost around 30 rand in South Africa, excluding export and storage costs.
Very true, in this case the government buying up land works even better. It will lead to improved incomes for farmers as a whole as prices rise, as they'll all be able to sell their produce for more as the prices go up.

Quote:
Non-competitive businesses will kill themselves, hand or no hand. With the exception of big ones though, they die slower and take down others with them.
There is one thing that "stops" non-competitive industries from dying, and that's subsidies. It's notable that agriculture is one of the most subsidized industry in the "developed" world. However, if we removed the subsidy, while the economy would probably come to the right equilibrium in due time, it would likely have bad political ramifications. I think the blow could be softened considerably by doing the land buyups as subsidies are gradually phased out. If done correctly, the increase in income due to higher food prices should offset the lost income from the loss of the subsidy.

Last edited by DonQuigleone; 2013-01-10 at 13:47.
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Old 2013-01-10, 13:38   Link #25668
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When you see the likes of John Lott Jr. going into verbal sparring with other people (probably relatives of shooting victims) during a commercial break in that town hall format show a few weeks ago, that tells me a huge lot about how overly stubborn the people ranting against any form of gun control are.

Seriously, with 4 armed branches of US military, FBI, state police, local police and the National Guard (matching the definition of a well regulated militia made of volunteers) being paid to defend people, why the need to own so many guns in the drawer?
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Old 2013-01-10, 13:53   Link #25669
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Seriously, with 4 armed branches of US military, FBI, state police, local police and the National Guard (matching the definition of a well regulated militia made of volunteers) being paid to defend people, why the need to own so many guns in the drawer?
You should ask this to thoses than look at their own gouvenment as a menace.
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Old 2013-01-10, 14:04   Link #25670
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If one is having a vegetable problem, encourage farmers to export their product without really altering local prices. It reduces the local supply to match the demand while still allowing the produce to be produced. As other news has suggested serious crop shortages on other countries around the world and panic over there not being enough food.

As the supply falls locally, the locals will either buy less because the stores run out faster (or not waste as much as they have been), or the supply will become less than the demand (prices will either go up, the locals will not waste as much, or the companies will redistribute to maintain balance, as the supply reduction is artificial due to the increase in exports).
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Old 2013-01-10, 14:08   Link #25671
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
-Snip-
What if we need less farm land and more guns? i.e. Butter x Guns?

When do we pivot? Is the government going to decide? What about all the farmers making a living at current crop prices? Who gets to decide what is a good idea where to allocate resources that will be efficient in the long run?
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Old 2013-01-10, 14:18   Link #25672
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Interesting. I think to deal with this we might need food prices to go up a bit. Perhaps western governments should initiate farmland buyouts, and convert them into parks.
Food riots. Exactly what we need. I'm reminded of that piece of dialogue from Night Watch:
"You mean we'll be in a famine situation?"
"If we aren't I'm sure you could organise one."

Besides, if all you want is to make food expensive, you can always tax it. But the point is seeing to it that everyone is fed, not to merely "not waste food".

Not to mention, food (especially fresh food) is already considered expensive by the poor and middle class.
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Old 2013-01-10, 14:40   Link #25673
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
If one is having a vegetable problem, encourage farmers to export their product without really altering local prices. It reduces the local supply to match the demand while still allowing the produce to be produced. As other news has suggested serious crop shortages on other countries around the world and panic over there not being enough food.
I don't think you can "encourage" farmers to export. Farmers already do what they can. Government saying "please" export is meaningless, unless they implement some kind of solid incentive (EG I'll pay you $5 for ever kg of produce you export). I think land buyups is a more subtle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
What if we need less farm land and more guns? i.e. Butter x Guns?

When do we pivot? Is the government going to decide? What about all the farmers making a living at current crop prices? Who gets to decide what is a good idea where to allocate resources that will be efficient in the long run?
There will always be farmers looking to get out of the business. You don't force farmers to stop farming, but rather just take the land out of circulation as the opportunity presents itself.

As I see it, this is more of an environmental question then anything else. If there were no environmental considerations, the food wastage would not really be a problem. The market can simply handle it, and if it's cheaper to just open more land for agriculture then to reduce waste/ get more food from land available then full speed ahead!

However, this is an environmental issue, and is not something the market can handle. Under current market conditions, there is simply no point in reducing food waste. Food is simply too cheap for it to be an issue.

Now I generally believe that it's best whenever possible to leave things to the "market" to resolve itself. If we want to resolve the inefficiencies in food production we could have the government heavily involving itself in trying to reduce "waste", but I think it'd be quite wasteful, compared to simply working to cause a rise in food prices. If the prices go up, it will become much more profitable to try to reduce food waste. But so long as a kg of carrots is worth only a dollar, then people will worry about throwing away a kg of carrots (a hefty amount of food!) about as much as they think about losing a dollar IE not very much.

It's a simple calculus. We need to enlarge our parks for a host of reasons. We also need to raise food prices. Buying farm land is an efficient way to do both...

Also, agricultural land is often REALLY cheap. About 1000$-$2000/acre in places like south Dakota, if 1/2 of the USA land is being used for agriculture, then, you could probably buy 1/4 of the US's agricultural land (at $1000/acre) for 300 billion dollars. That's half of what the USA spends on defense in a single year, and you certainly wouldn't need to buy a 1/4 of the US's land, nor buy it all at once.
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Old 2013-01-10, 15:36   Link #25674
Sugetsu
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The food crisis is man made. We have the technology to feed everyone 10 times over. The problem is the market needs to be stripped off its control of the food supply. In other words, the food industry needs to disappear. A simply answer yet a difficult solution.

Jack Fresco saw this coming a mile away since the 1930s. As long as money is intermingled with the basic necessities of life there will be waste and misuse of resources.
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Old 2013-01-10, 16:07   Link #25675
DonQuigleone
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I disagree. Very little of the world is "malnourished", and that number is ever shrinking. The problem is poverty, they cannot afford to buy food. The solution, is prosperity.

Attempts to centrally plan food production have generally not worked.

Or there ends out being too much onions, and not enough turnips.
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Old 2013-01-10, 17:14   Link #25676
ganbaru
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Breaking: 2 reportedly shot at Taft Union High School in Kern County
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...rn-county.html
1 student shot at high school in Taft, Calif.
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/city-...ool-taft-calif
At least this time it look like there is no causality.
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Old 2013-01-10, 17:23   Link #25677
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I disagree. Very little of the world is "malnourished", and that number is ever shrinking. The problem is poverty, they cannot afford to buy food. The solution, is prosperity.

Attempts to centrally plan food production have generally not worked.

Or there ends out being too much onions, and not enough turnips.
I saw a post the other day elsewhere that obesity is actually killing more people on the planet than starvation. Haven't had a chance to verify/validate that statement yet but it would be a remarkably damning turnpoint in human history.
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Old 2013-01-10, 18:10   Link #25678
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Red Alert

New Breed of Anchor Babies From...



supplemental(s)
http://news.yahoo.com/maternity-mans...opstories.html
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...889,full.story
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2411989.html

Last edited by flying ^; 2013-01-10 at 18:20.
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Old 2013-01-10, 18:37   Link #25679
kyp275
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Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Seriously, with 4 armed branches of US military, FBI, state police, local police and the National Guard (matching the definition of a well regulated militia made of volunteers) being paid to defend people, why the need to own so many guns in the drawer?
I think you're a bit misinformed about what those agencies actually are or do.

I know some people like to leave out the Coasties, but they are one of the FIVE branches of the US military. Which, btw, cannot operate/deploy inside the US unless directly authorized by Congress.

the FBI is an investigative agency that primarily handles inter-state, organized, or other crimes that falls under federal jurisdiction, which isn't many, and they certainly aren't involved in the day to day safety of the general population.

state and local police on the other hand are, but only as a deterrence and for investigation after-the-fact. They aren't obligated to protect you, and most would be unable to even if they wanted to unless they're right next to you when whatever it is happens.

The National Guard is both a federal/state reserve armed force that is also tied in with the Army and Air Force, and these days they're more of a second army reserve than a "militia". The volunteer bit is also irrelevant, as every branch of service is voluntary anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
The food crisis is man made. We have the technology to feed everyone 10 times over. The problem is the market needs to be stripped off its control of the food supply. In other words, the food industry needs to disappear. A simply answer yet a difficult solution.
I'm sure everyone is jumping at the chance for Sugetsu the Beloved Supreme Leader to tell them what can and can't be done.

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As long as HUMAN is intermingled with the basic necessities of life there will be waste and misuse of resources.
Fixed it for you.
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Old 2013-01-10, 19:19   Link #25680
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
I think you're a bit misinformed about what those agencies actually are or do.

I know some people like to leave out the Coasties, but they are one of the FIVE branches of the US military. Which, btw, cannot operate/deploy inside the US unless directly authorized by Congress.

the FBI is an investigative agency that primarily handles inter-state, organized, or other crimes that falls under federal jurisdiction, which isn't many, and they certainly aren't involved in the day to day safety of the general population.

state and local police on the other hand are, but only as a deterrence and for investigation after-the-fact. They aren't obligated to protect you, and most would be unable to even if they wanted to unless they're right next to you when whatever it is happens.

The National Guard is both a federal/state reserve armed force that is also tied in with the Army and Air Force, and these days they're more of a second army reserve than a "militia". The volunteer bit is also irrelevant, as every branch of service is voluntary anyway.
Yeah, well. That makes plenty of organized groups with specific objectives for each with the same common purpose: defending Americans. I'm just saying that it looks totally bizarre people would need to own guns when there are so many men and women who are paid to handle weapons and save lives.

BTW, I read an article the other day about how strict gun laws in Japan even scare the hell out of yakuza (and yet we all know how they are more powerful than our typical North American mafia). My point is that if laws are as strict as those can even have an effect on organized crime, why the distrust about such an idea of gun control? We should all think about it wherever we come from.
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