“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Can We Feed Nine Billion People? Should We?

Projections show that the global population will reach seven billion people by the end of 2011, and will exceed nine billion by 2050, with much of this growth occurring in the least-developed countries, where a high rate of mortality is outweighed by an even higher rate of fertility. Past trends indicate many of these people will try and migrate to the wealthier countries in Europe and the USA. The US population has doubled over the last fifty years, much of it from immigration. What would the US be like if in fifty years we have a population of 750 million, much of it from immigration? 


  1. .

    What would the US be like if in fifty years we have a population of 750 million, much of it from immigration?

    Gee, maybe property values would begin to recover.


  2. Yes, we have a moral duty to do so, but I don't know where the hell it ends.


  3. .

    The government of Iceland wasn’t intentionally daring or smarter than others. It couldn’t afford to bail out its banks, so it let them fail. It transferred domestic deposits and loans, at a discount, into new banks, with some $2 billion in money from taxpayers. And it left the banks’ foreign assets and foreign debts behind. Some foreign creditors could get as little as 27 cents on the euro.

    Britain and the Netherlands have pushed Iceland to cover about $5.8 billion lost by British and Dutch depositors when the bank Landsbanki went belly up in 2008. (The British and Dutch governments reimbursed their citizens in anticipation of Iceland paying up.)

    Iceland twice agreed to those demands, despite the fact that the amount is about 45 percent of its gross domestic product. Iceland’s taxpayers refused to go along. In a referendum last week, voters rejected a deal for the second time.

    Iceland has felt considerable pain. Its currency lost half of its value against the euro in 2008. A $2 billion loan from the I.M.F. managed to stave off a complete meltdown, but the economy still shrank 7 percent in 2009 and the unemployment rate quadrupled. Government debt is expected to peak at about 100 percent of G.D.P. this year — up from 42 percent three years ago. ..

    Iceland: The Bank Bailout Discussion in Miniture


  4. If we can't feed nine billion people, but only eight billion people, then we will only have eight billion people.

    If we can feed twelve billion people, but not thirteen billion, then we will have twelve billion people.

    A little cynical, maybe, but there you are.

  5. .

    ABC-Washington Post Poll of Indepemdant Voters

    How Independants Poll

    When you weed out the kool-aid drinkers on both sides of the political divide and merely talk to independent voters, it's clear they are saying "A pox on both your houses".


  6. .

    If we can feed twelve billion people, but not thirteen billion, then we will have twelve billion people.

    A little cynical, maybe, but there you are.

    Perhaps not cynical enough.

    I recall that during the debate over DDT that resulted in a world wide ban, one of the big wigs at the UN (would have to google to remember his name) argued that malaria in Africa was actually a good thing because it helped control population there.


  7. .

    China’s $3 trillion dilemma: What to do with all that cash?

    ...Over the past week, the amount “sterilized” totaled more than $12 billion. Between controlling the exchange rate and the rising amounts banks are being required to set aside in the fight against inflation, perhaps a quarter or more of China’s money supply “is now frozen or inactive,” Fan Gang, head of China’s National Economic Research Institute and a former member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, wrote in a recent essay advocating both a higher exchange rate and social, tax and other reforms that would raise Chinese household spending.

    An Embarrassment of Riches


  8. Should we?

    Who is included in the "we"?

    Our character that plays the pseudo-intellectual farmer, here at the Elephant Bar. He tells us that he'll continue feeding the masses, best as he can, as always.

    Who else amongst the posters would be in the decision loop?

    Should the Federal government take it upon itself to attempt to feed Africa, with inherent price inflation that the required quantities of food stocks needed for success.

  9. According to the United Nations there are about One Billion Acres of previously farmed land lying fallow around the World.

    9 Billion in the year 2030 would be incredibly easy. However, somewhere after that we start to run low on Phosphate. After that it gets dicey for awhile.

  10. A man was hospitalized with 5 plastic horses stuck up his ass. The doctors decribed his condition as "STABLE"

  11. The World Bank, UN, and IMF went to great lengths to convince Malawi (as well as many other African nations) NOT to use artificial fertilizers. Why? God only knows.

    The President of Malawi finally said, Fuck this; this is crazy. We are one of the poorest nations on Earth, and these asshles are trying to keep us that way.

    He instituted a subsidy program to help the small, subsistence get fertilizer - well, actually, he just backed a truck up in the village and started handing it out.

    Their rural economy is now Booming. Malnourishment is no longer a major problem among the small, subsistence farmers. They, now, have a "cash crop," Corn, and they are exporting large amounts of it to the neighboring countries.

  12. April's purchasing managers' index (PMI), a survey tracking private sector activity across the region, ticked up to 57.8 from March's 57.6, where anything over the 50-level signals activity rose.

    Prices climbed at a near-record rate, raising expectations the European Central Bank will tighten monetary policy further. The bank raised interest rates earlier this month for the first time since mid-2008, despite concerns over the effect it could have on struggling countries.

    The euro climbed to 87.72p against the pound, up from 87.69p.

  13. So although there might be a short-term advantage to Britain in our sovereign debt looking more attractive relative to America's, there is a bigger advantage to the whole world in seeing the locomotive American economy achieve a healthier fiscal balance. The IMF and international bodies have praised the British Coalition's purposeful approach to deficit reduction, and have insisted on even more rapid and austere measures in countries that are in worse shape than we are.

    America has swum against that policy stream for two reasons, neither good. First because it can – because the Chinese go on funding American debt.

    Second, because Obama has not found the political willpower or traction to do otherwise.

    Buck Stops Here

  14. In a letter to the editor today, Mexico’s ambassador, Arturo Sarukhan , comes to the defense of these mass murdering, torturing, dismembering, bombing, beheading, kidnapping and drug trafficking organizations, arguing that they are businessmen, not terrorists. Folks, we have a first here. You will not, until now, have seen any top Mexican official actually defending the cartels to this extent. But Sarukhan, taking issue with our editorial last week in defense of a bill before Congress to put Mexico’s six biggest cartels on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, strongly disagrees.

    Yes, they are very violent criminal organizations, he says. But “they pursue a single goal. They want to maximize their profits and do what most business do: hostile takeovers and pursue mergers and acquisitions.”

    Gateway Pundit

  15. There is zero chance that those cartels aren't owned by/supported by the highest reaches of the Government of Mexico.

    None. Zip. Nada.

  16. Three young women, all wearing delicate hijabs, are gathered outside a TriBeCa lecture hall in eager anticipation. It's not an actor or a pop star they're waiting for. The object of their giddiness is Sheriff Lee Baca, in town for just one night.


    The events of 9/11 quickly took Baca in an unusual direction. When many politicians chose an arms-length approach to Muslims, Baca chose the Koran — literally.


    To pinpoint legitimate concerns, Baca needed his deputies inside Muslim communities. His focus on homegrown terror grew after the 2005 London Underground bombings, when four men, all living and working in England for years, killed 52.

    Not Confrontation

  17. There was something I wanted to say about crime on the last thread, and didn't have time to do so.

    Here in Idaho a woman has more rights in self defense than a man and I think this is just.

    I can't remember the exact language of the law, in the case law, but if I a male am sitting here at this hot spot and someone comes up and threatens me I can blow them away if I am confronted with a true threat to my life or physical well being. I must prove that.

    There is a lesser standard for the girls, which womens rights activists might take note of :)--- If you even have the perception of a threat -- you can blow them away.

    I am all for this, but there is a distinct difference in our law here between men and women.

    I remembered the future but can't recall the past......

    1450am old song...:)

  18. Us old shit kickers out here treat our women right.


  19. Sydney Airport confirmed 16 passengers walked through a security screening point unchecked in the T2 terminal after a power failure at 3.15pm.


    A Virgin Blue spokeswoman said the entire terminal had been “evacuated'' and all flights would be delayed substantially.

    The incident comes less than a fortnight after a man walking through an exit door caused a similar security scare at Qantas's Melbourne Airport.

    Evacuation Of Terminal

  20. Brazil has more viable land lying fallow than the U.S. has under cultivation.

    China is the world's largest, (and, I found this shocking,) and most efficient Wheat producer.

    Russia has 100 Million Acres of prime "Black" land lying fallow.

    The U.S. pays farmers Not to cultivate over 30 Million Acres.

    And, Africa. You don't even want to think about Africa.

    The biggest problem with a lot of Africa's land is "aluminum toxicity." Our seed companies have, now, developed seeds that work in aluminum toxic land.

    Seeds for plants that resist pests.

    Seeds that deliver more Vitamins, and protein, and less (or more) fats, and carbohydrates.

    Seeds for "drought resistance."

    The problem will be "Energy." Specifically "Energy" to run the tractors, and trucks. We solve that, and the rest will fall into place, easily. Until we get short of Phosphates, anyway.

  21. .

    Obama Panel to Curb Medicare Costs Finds Foes in Both Parties

    WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans are joining to oppose one of the most important features of President Obama’s new deficit reduction plan, a powerful independent board that could make sweeping cuts in the growth of Medicare spending.

    Mr. Obama wants to expand the power of the 15-member panel, which was created by the new health care law, to rein in Medicare costs...

    The "Death Panel" Discussion


  22. And the Mexicans elites are hand in hand with the US elites, rufus.

    Published: January 19, 2009

    The New York Times Company said Monday it had reached an agreement with the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim HelĂș for a $250 million loan intended to help the newspaper company finance its businesses.

    Under the terms of the deal, Mr. Slim, who already owns 6.9 percent of the Times Company, would invest $250 million in the form of six-year notes with warrants that are convertible into common shares, the company said in a statement. The notes also carry a 14 percent interest rate, with 11 percent paid in cash and 3 percent in additional bonds.

    The integration of the North American economy and culture, it is well under way.

    It is not by accident that the cultural confluence is continuing.

  23. Bob:Us old shit kickers out here treat our women right.

    Sure, Bob.

    A recent court ruling gave rapists something to be thankful for: the state of Idaho is on their side, so long as they are not married to their victim.

    Last summer, a woman in southwestern Idaho became the victim of her boyfriend's deceit, who tricked her into having sex with a stranger. After reporting this crime to the police, both men were arrested and subsequently indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape and conspiracy to commit rape.

    Last week, both men were set free and all charges were dismissed, thanks to very specific wording in Idaho's rape law. Bound by this law, the judge had no other choice.

    According to subsection 7 of Idaho Code 18-6101, rape of a woman by deceit and concealment is only unlawful if she believes the perpetrator is her husband.