Betting on Humanity’s Future

Cornucopians versus collapsists

(Page 2 of 2)

Sabin responded that we should exercise “a measure of humility” when dealing with environmental claims and “make our best efforts based on our current level of knowledge.” He added, “At the same time it seems important to make prudent decisions based on our best knowledge of what works.” Well, yes. But it would seem to me that those who continue to predict imminent ecological catastrophe are especially in need of “a measure of humility.”

I asked Sabin who ultimately came out ahead, Simon or Ehrlich. “I am optimistic that humans can adapt and flourish,” he replied. “Of course, we must recognize the real environmental problems that we face, climate change in particular, and then apply our creative forces to solve them. I’m hopeful.”

I pressed him further: Do you believe that Ehrlich is right in his predictions about the impending collapse of human civilization? Sabin paused, “No, I don’t.”

Julian Simon was right: Betting against human ingenuity in free societies will always be a losing proposition.

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  • Sevo||

    "In a 1981 article, Simon asked, “How often does a prophet have to be wrong before we no longer believe that he or she is a true prophet?”"

    If he's a lefty, you can't count the number.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer." - Ehrlich in his book, The Population Bomb (1968)

    "Actually, the problem in the world is that there is much too many rich people..." - Quoted by the Associated Press, April 6, 1990

    "Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun." - Quoted by R. Emmett Tyrrell in The American Spectator, September 6, 1992

    "We've already had too much economic growth in the United States. Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease, not the cure." - Quoted by Dixy Lee Ray in her book Trashing the Planet (1990)

  • ||

    Who is it that mostly buys this shit? TEAM BLUE. What matters more to TEAM BLUE? Being correct, or saying what they want to hear?

    Actions, and correctness, are irrelevant to TEAM BLUE. Only words matter. Therefore you just say what they want to hear, and they will love you forever, no matter how wrong you are and no matter how much you never follow up on your words. Just say the right thing, and you are golden forever.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm right because I believe I'm right.

  • SKR||

    I'm right because I feel I'm right

    FIFY

  • KPres||

    I'm right because it gets me what I want

    FIFY

  • barc4d||

    This is actually the best job Ive had. I work at Home with Google. I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Moreover, My Uncle Carson got a stunning gold Porsche Cayenne Hybrid only from working part time off a pc. Official website www.Pow6.com

  • Sevo||

    "The battle to feed humanity is over
    "Actually, the problem
    "Giving society cheap, abundant energy
    "We've already had too much

    And he continues to get ink in one pub after the other.

  • bassjoe||

    Hey now, don't leave neoconservatives out. For some unknown reason, Bill Kristol is still respected as some sort of expert in things.

  • robc||

    He didnt, neocons are a subset of "lefties".

  • tarran||

    Most people don't know that the neo-cons were originally Trotskyites who decided Marx was full of shit and became anti-communists. Thjey never lost their zeal for worldwide revolution.

  • robc||

    But I know, and that is all that matters.

  • bassjoe||

    Though neocons dominated the supposed right-leaning Republican Party for decades and were, in general, scorned by most in progressive circles?

    Look, you can't lump people in as "lefties" just because you disagree with them on foreign policy. Neoconservatives, whether you like it or not, are righties. The Weekly Standard, the rag for the movement, is in near-constant opposition to practically any proposal that is brought by Democrats / progressives. To call neocons "lefties" just because they have an aggressive and idiotic foreign policy -- something which you apparently believe only lefties are capable of advocating -- is evidence that you're in a supreme state of denial about the state of the conservative movement in this country.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    So Trotskyites at heart are "conservatives"? Got it.

  • tarran||

    That's a fair point.

    Neocons are hard to place in the right-left spectrum, because they are a reactionary ideology, specifically opposed to Marxism.

    Some *are* traditionalists. Others are trying to foment a worldwide revolution in whatever direction captures their fancy. Some are pretty much leftists in that they are Bismarkian welfare statists.

    Because they are emotional rather than intellectual, neocons initally allied themselves with the Scoop Jackson democrats and with right wing progressives, the so-called Rockefeller Republicans.

    To we who are opposed to muscular states, this tends to make them left wing in our minds.

  • tarran||

    Of course, this has little to do with the fact that the progressive left, since its origins in the christian pietism of the 19th century has backed disastrous cause after disastrous cause without ever being called account for it. Form their promotion of compulsory public schooling in an attempt to strangle the Catholic Church, to their embrace of Jim Crow to protect society from blacks, to their embrace of alcohol and drug prohibition to make factory workers more productive and to protect white women from being seduced by black musicians, to their embrace of eugenics, to their embrace of gun control (to keep guns out of the hands of blacks originally), to keeping wartime economic planning going in peacetime, to promoting fascism in the 1920's and then communism in the late 30's, etc ad nauseam, it's hard to find a disastrous fad that wasn't at one time promoted by progressives.

    The sad thing is that as each fad's malignancy was exposed the progressive movement whitewashes the stain from their official histories and gives their thinkers a pass, never considering whether perhaps their entire decisionmaking process is flawed. Thus the virulent racism of Woodrow Wilson and Sanger go down the memory hole and they are instead remembered as enlightened beings that moved society in a more peaceful direction rather than enthusiastic planters of some of the most violent conflicts that would eventually kill millions.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    Or, what tarran said. I guess it would be fairer to call them national security statists (?)

  • Calidissident||

    The left-right spectrum itself is ultimately bullshit. Way too much inconsistency and far too many differences between groups that are supposedly on the same side of the spectrum

  • creech||

    Well, there is the Nolan chart, but that, too, is unsatisfactory when it comes to measuring foreign policy views.

  • Rasilio||

    There are plenty of variants that add a 3rd or even more dimensions.

  • LynchPin1477||

    We need a political hypercube! Preferably one with murderous booby traps like the real Hypercube.

  • bassjoe||

    Hey now, don't leave neoconservatives out. For some unknown reason, Bill Kristol is still respected as some sort of expert in things.

  • Zeb||

    Well, just look to religion for your answer to that. When a prophesy fails to come true, the true believers usually just figure that they misinterpreted it and it still is bound to come true, either later or in some other way.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But you don't understand. They are the party of Science(tm) and not religion. Mother Gaia tells them so in their dreams.

  • Wizard4169||

    Ture, but much like Communism, this only proves that religion without God is even worse than the traditional kind.

  • mtrueman||

    We shouldn't concern ourselves too much with what the prophets have said in the past. We can find a disturbing situation today that I don't think anyone predicted. Or prophesized.

    We live in a time when the amount of food produced in the world has never been greater. Never in human history has so much food been produced. Yet the numbers of people in the world today suffering from undernourishment is close to a billion. That's also a high in human history. Who foresaw such a bizarre coincidence? Nobody, but it's true nevertheless.

  • KPres||

    Sabin responded that we should exercise “a measure of humility” when dealing with environmental claims and “make our best efforts based on our current level of knowledge.”

    For 99% of the population, 'current knowledge' means an appeal to authority. If those authorities have been wildly wrong in the past, then skepticism IS their "best efforts based on [their] current level of knowledge."

  • sarcasmic||

    Well those environmental scientists are really really smart!

    They have degrees and they're really really smart!

    Do you have the same degrees from the same schools that won't accept anyone unless they're really really smart?

    Did I mention that they're really really smart?

    /Tony

  • Brian D||

    I don't see you with a fungineering degree!

  • KPres||

    I have no doubt they're smart (though not like physicist smart, mind you). It's their intellectual integrity and confirmation bias I don't trust. Nobody these days decides to pursue a career in climate science unless they have a pre-existing political agenda.

  • sarcasmic||

    Human activity must be harming the planet because it must, and the climate is changing. Since the human activity must be causing something, then it must the the cause of climate change. Therefor climate change is caused by human activity!

    Circular reasoning (begging the question) FTW!

  • LynchPin1477||

    +1 smart physicists

  • Tony||

    Whereas nonscientist antigovernment ideologues approach the issue with true objectivity.

    Unlike those biased scientists.

  • Free Society||

    If you looked at government from a scientific point of view you'd be antigovenrment too. Every empirical measure of economic value squares off AGAINST government. That's probably why your ilk need to use emotional props to make your arguments. That and invented problems that "only a government can solve".

  • Hopfiend||

    Excellent point. If Americans brought any rationality to the conversation government would be viewed much more skeptically. Now, however, it appears the distrust is growing and that can't help but be a positive development.

  • Wizard4169||

    You know, you'd really think so. Problem is, no matter how clearly you show that government is the source of the problem, far too many people still seem to think that "more government" is the solution.

  • KPres||

    Not scientists. Climatologists. Scientists respond to evidence and maintain their skepticism. Climatologists are mostly political operatives. At least the ones at the IPCC that control the flow of information.

  • Free Society||

    Climatologists are governed by Weber's Law of Bureaucracy.

  • Hopfiend||

    It's not necessarily that you lack intelligence, it's that you lack imagination.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Two questions

    1) Is there a proposed explanation for the "supercycle"? It sort of makes sense to me that prices would rise until the arrival of a break-through new technology caused them to drop again, and then rise slowly as available reserves were depleted until new sources were once again found.

    2) Did Ehrlich ever ever try to offer explanations for why his predictions were wrong, or did he just go on saying "But this time I'm super, super cereal"?

  • Ron Bailey||

    LP#: (1) About what you said.
    (2) No. Ehrlich has never explained nor recanted.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Thanks. I appreciate that you respond here.

  • Agammamon||

    IIRC - he *has* changed the dates of his predictions in successive versions of 'The Population Bomb', to the point that I think in the latest version he drops the famine prediction entirely.

    But that's Orwellian editing and not explanaition.

  • Sevo||

    "IIRC - he *has* changed the dates of his predictions in successive versions of 'The Population Bomb',"

    Yeah, so do the folks who publish The Watchtower.

  • Wizard4169||

    Yep, any prediction can be redeemed with sufficient revision.

  • Leigh||

    Re 1) or something else replaces the need for said material.

  • ||

    What are the chances the the Malthusians, Obama included, are attempting to make their prophesies come true by deliberately stifling our ability to innovate, increase wealth, and flourish by smothering us politically?

  • ||

    Dammit, that post was supposed to lead with ;

    " The world's problem, Simon concluded, “is not too many people, but lack of political and economic freedom.”

  • ||

    And I just thought that I should have added that part of that smotheriing tactic would be the instituting of CARBON TAXES.

    Thats right Bailey, until you retract your position on that we will never let you live it down.

  • robc||

    Even after he retracts it, we may not let him live it down.

  • ||

    It would be tempting to needle him about it, but we should not. Anyone who sees the light and comes over to the right side should be embraced. Bailey is pretty good on everything....just that global warming crap. I dont get it.

  • robc||

    It keeps the humility mentioned in the article up.

  • ||

    I was flipping through my old Historical Geology text the other night looking for Dinohyus ( now that would be a good hunt if you had a time machine and a good 45 caliber rifle ) and ran across a summation of climate for the last 100k years. We fit very nicely into the graph. The climate change crap is just that; crap.

  • KPres||

    I'd prefer a carbon tax in exchange for an equal amount of income tax. I'd guess it's a lot fairer, since your carbon footprint almost certainly correlates closer with your use of government services than your income. Also, since the tax is mostly collected and payed by businesses who then pass it on to consumers in higher prices, dumbass proglotards won't know that it's making the overall tax system flatter in terms of incidence. They'll be busy celebrating how they stuck it to the evul corporationz!

  • ||

    I would prefer a constitutional amendment capping all taxes at 15% or less of GNP, exempting no one and the elimination of the personal income tax altogether. Oh, and forbidding tax money to be distributed to subsidies or bailouts. They get 15% and can only use it to operate the govt.

    Then they can tax whatever they want within those bounds.

  • Zeb||

    Sounds like a plan to me, Southenboy.

  • KPres||

    Why 15%? Roads, cops, courts...I'm thinking 7% or 8% max. They can bump it to 15% if we get invaded.

  • Zeb||

    I've been told that when the amendment allowing an income tax was passed, some wanted to limit it to a maximum of 7%, but others objected because Congress would then just immediately run it up to 7%. Oops (assuming that is true).

  • ||

    Oh god, can we not put that perverse incentive into play?

  • Free Society||

    A bit naive. Make a 15% of GNP tax cap and watch as the government definition of GNP changes on a whim.

  • CE||

    Just cap all taxes at 10,000 per person per year. 300 million Americans times 10K each is about 3 billion. The amount can go down if we cut spending (that'll get more people on board.)

    If you pay 10K up front, you don't have to file any forms.

  • CE||

    Derp, 3 trillion

  • Zeb||

    I agree. Only if the income tax is completely eliminated, of course. IN addition to what you say, a sales tax or VAT type tax is much better because it doesn't require you to disclose all of your financial information to the government.

  • KPres||

    I like a sales tax only if it gets tacked-on to the price at the register, the way states do it now. The best feature is that it makes people acutely aware of how much of their income is actually being funneled into the state coffers.

  • Zeb||

    I live in a place without sales tax, so not including it in the price annoys me. But putting how much the tax is going to be on the price tag woudl solve that problem and preserve the benefit of telling people how much tax they are paying.
    For similar reasons, income tax withholding should be gotten rid of. If people had to write a big check every year instead of receiving a small check it might wake some people up.

  • BakedPenguin||

    After living my entire adult life in a state with sales tax, it's weird to now pay the actual sticker price.

    One huge benefit: much less pocket change.

  • KPres||

    You carry cash?

  • R C Dean||

    Some of us don't care to have the NSA snickering over our purchase of KY, snug-fit condoms, and My Little Pony DVDs.

  • Libertarius||

    You mean you don't do everything in cash? What the hell kind of libertarian are you? lol

  • Agammamon||

    " since your carbon footprint almost certainly correlates closer with your use of government services than your income."

    How does that work? 'Cause it seems to me its the rich who are able to afford to use large quantities of energy and they're usually the one's using the least percentage of government services.

  • KPres||

    "Cause it seems to me its the rich who are able to afford to use large quantities of energy"

    But not relative to their income.

  • R C Dean||

    I seriously doubt it. The folks cashing disability, SocSec, MA, and miscellaneous other welfare checks probably don't have particularly large footprints.

  • KPres||

    Yeah, but they have even smaller incomes.

  • KPres||

    Put it this way...does a Mercedes have twice the carbon footprint as a Ford, even if it costs twice as much? No? So which is a flatter distribution, taxing the income spent on the car or the carbon footprint?

  • Alien Invader||

    Okay so here's a slightly OT question. Is there a way to motivate government to want to maintain good economic growth? In the economy at large.

    I'm not sure this is actually possible. How for example could you motivate a regulatory agency to want to constrain its issuance of regulations?

    But if there was a way to do it....

  • JasonW1415||

    Take away the government's ability to print or borrow money, and they will be constrained by their revenue. For instance, if we abolish the fed, the government will have to have a plan to pay back money it borrows other than borrowing more. Abolishing the fed is obviously a pipe dream, but a balanced budget amendment will accomplish the same objectives (assuming it's enforced)by preventing the government from using the fed to fund unlimited spending. Of course, a balanced budget amendment is a pipe dream as well. A debt ceiling has the same impact as a balanced budget amendment or abolishing the fed, although the higher the debt ceiling, the more resources will have to be dedicated to servicing the debt. Sadly, sequester not withstanding, it seems unlikely that they'll refrain from raising the debt ceiling this time.

  • johnl||

    To be fair to Ron, Carbon taxes are a much more efficient mechanism for reducing Carbon emissions than Cap and Trade.

  • Tim||

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
    H. L. Mencken

    Ehrlich's doomsaying has kept him dining out for decades.

  • Ron Bailey||

    T: Not to mention a MacArthur "genius" award.

  • ||

    I see you are here and ignoring my jabs. haha.

  • Tim||

    The wages of sin, something something.

  • Sevo||

    Ron Bailey| 9.13.13 @ 1:59PM |#
    "T: Not to mention a MacArthur "genius" award."

    Call and I'll raise you one Nobel "Peace" prize!

  • LynchPin1477||

    Ehrlich's doomsaying has kept him dining out for decades.

    He's just doing his part to make his predictions come true.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    Nice.

  • JW||

    Considering how often the Malthusians have been proven, not just wrong, but gobsmackingly, stupendously, pants-on-fire wrong, they officially qualify as objectively irrational, if not outright insane, to continue making the same claims over and over.

  • ||

    To their audience, only words matter. Being correct? Irrelevant. Their audience wants to hear this stuff. That it's wrong just makes them want to hear it more.

  • Tim||

    That's the theory behind my upcoming book: " The meatlover's pizza and chocolate shake diet"
    I expect to be rich almost overnight.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    SIGN ME UP!

  • sarcasmic||

    But it feels right!

  • ||

    "...they officially qualify as objectively irrational, if not outright insane, to continue making the same claims over and over."

    Have you ever been around one? They are thoroughly batshit crazy, every one of 'em. And not just about the Malthusianism, but everything else. Completely nuts.

  • Alien Invader||

    Yeah. Now if we could only do something about the gobsmackingly, stupendously pants-wetting crowds of idiots that will pay to listen to them.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    How about flat batman?

  • Mainer2||

    does this have anything to do with the old joke, what do you call Batman and Robin after the steamroller ran over them ? Flat Man and Ribbon.

  • Libertarius||

    Sounds like something an old school stoner would come up with

  • Agammamon||

    Hey, don't other Robin just because he put on a few pounds. Its how well he fights crime, not how good he looks while doing it.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    So that other article about all the people who were dying and suffering because of a lack of resources relative to the population.. do we just forget about that for now? Maybe remember it later if becomes convenient again?

  • ||

    Huh?

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    This article suggests that population issues and scarce resources are never a problem, but a week or two ago Bailey had an article about people who who were so resource starved they didn't have room to grow a vitamin a rich plant. Many of them die, go blind, and deal with other serious issues, this seems contradictory to me.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Actually, the point of that article was that human ingenuity was able to solve the problem of vitamin deficiency, which is also the point of this review. No one argues that increasing populations don't present challenges. But the historical record shows that human ingenuity is more than capable of solving most, if not all of them.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "Actually, the point of that article was that human ingenuity was able to solve the problem of vitamin deficiency, "

    Not quite yet, but even so how many millions died or suffered immensely while this problem was worked on? The point is limited resources and overpopulation have and are killing people and just because the number isn't as high as erlhich predicted doesn't mean it is a non-issue.

    "which is also the point of this review. No one argues that increasing populations don't present challenges."

    I think the ones here at least underestimate the challenges.

    " But the historical record shows that human ingenuity is more than capable of solving most, if not all of them"

    eventually, and hopefully that continues. But the millions dying worldwide show that it is not always before the problem arises and the solution isn't immediate.

  • Sevo||

    "But the millions dying worldwide show that it is not always before the problem arises and the solution isn't immediate."

    Whatever the "problem" is, it *isn't* over-population.
    So would you care to try some intelligent comment?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Bullshit. The problem isn't limited resources it's governments that get in the way of people feeding themselves. This isn't 10 AD. We have the technology to more than feed the current population of the planet. Calorie production per global capita is higher than it has ever been.

    So what's the problem? Well, promoting organic farming 'cause it's healthier (and less productive) doesn't help. Subsidizing first world farmers so they can dominate and drive out third world farmers in the global marketplace certainly doesn't help either. Ever heard of sugar tariffs? Dictators that spend all of their money on first world goods and bang toys instead of feeding their people also don't help.

    Stop pretending that humanity is a bacteria colony sitting in a finite agar bath. Bacteria doesn't understand quantum mechanics and nuclear fission. Bacteria can't unlock trapped resources. Humans -if allowed the freedom- can.

  • Sevo||

    Zack was peddling similar sophistry on a GM crop thread last week.
    S/he's an ignoramus trying every bit of bullshit imaginable to pitch the luddite points.

  • mtrueman||

    I'm not sure where you stand on the issue. You say that the problem isn't limited resources, but go on to say that the use of less productive agricultural techniques like organic farming is a problem, as though lagging agricultural productivity were a problem. I don't think that's the case, and from your opening paragraph you appear to agree with me.

    I agree about subsidies to wealthy farmers, but I think the issue is that they shut out poorer farmers from their own markets in their own countries. Access to global markets is problematic. Rather than producing food that can actually be eaten, this access to global markets tends to encourage cultivation of crops such as tobacco. That was Zimbabwe's contribution to the global market for many years. Tobacco exports flourished while the locals went undernourished.

  • Sevo||

    "That was Zimbabwe's contribution to the global market for many years. Tobacco exports flourished while the locals went undernourished."

    Outside of Zack, I don't think anyone is arguing for subsistence farming; if tobacco is their highest competitive advantage, that's how they trade with the world.
    As David Friedman points out, Iowa farmers grow Toyotas in their fields. It was loaded on bulk carriers, went out on the Pacific and the ships turned into auto carriers, turned around and delivered Toyotas!

  • mtrueman||

    Go to a bit of trouble and you'll probably find plenty of people who would be satisfied with a full stomach and a regime of subsistence farming. Start in Zimbabwe.

    I'm more or less aware that the economy text books talk of competitive advantage, but ideally it works to everyone's advantage. The situation we find ourselves in is far from ideal. The rich plugged into the global marketplace while their neighbours go hungry is not what the economists envisaged. It's a recipe for the kind of innovation that nobody here has any use for.

  • Sevo||

    You said this:
    "Access to global markets is problematic. Rather than producing food that can actually be eaten, this access to global markets tends to encourage cultivation of crops such as tobacco."

    I showed there was access and tobacco was their product.
    What is your point now?

  • mtrueman||

    My point, then and now, was that access to global markets, or global access to local markets, is not a solution to feeding the hungry. Ideally, it should be, but the world doesn't necessarily live up to the lofty ideals of the economy text book authors. This is true in Zimbabwe, which has a recent history of turmoil and violence, and it is also true in India, with a recent history of democracy and economic liberalization.

    Sorry if I didn't make this clearer earlier on.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman| 9.14.13 @ 3:45PM |#
    "My point, then and now, was that access to global markets, or global access to local markets, is not a solution to feeding the hungry."

    Agreed that it is possible for local conditions to cause hunger and starvation, in spite of access to markets.
    But the examples you offer are merely victims of thugish governments and I'm not sure what could help, shy of changing those governments.

  • mtrueman||

    I'd say the hungry are victims of government policy rather than government thuggishness. That's always the way it is with famines. A government that sacrifices the food security of its own people to satisfy international pressure to conform to a free trade regime has its priorities wrong. Eating food is always more fundamental than trading food.

  • Sevo||

    ZackTheHypochondriac| 9.13.13 @ 3:46PM |#
    ..."but a week or two ago Bailey had an article about people who who were so resource starved they didn't have room to grow a vitamin a rich plant."

    Sarc or stupidity?
    Not even a question; abysmal stupidity.
    Now, you idiot, if you'd like to ask an honest question, you might get an honest answer.
    Go suck sewage.

  • Agammamon||

    ". . .doomsters like Ehrlich and doomslayers like Simon. . ."

    Should'a used *doomsayers* and doomslayers.

  • Russell||

    S\Where fo traders go to short Royal Society Fellowship Futures ?

  • CE||

    The world's problem, Simon concluded, “is not too many people, but lack of political and economic freedom.”

    So he's a dangerous TeaParty government-slashing anarchist like Boehner? Lock him up!

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    More like dig him up! Amiright, guys?

  • Sevo||

  • JasonW1415||

    Of course, in un-free economies, scarcity and population collapse are entirely possible. It's hard to innovate when innovation is illegal (or simply when regulation makes it expensive). The US is less free now than it has been in my lifetime. The most heavily regulated sectors of the economy always see the most scarcity, or the smallest increases in availability (housing, healthcare, and energy, for instance). Malthusian collapsists will simply blame free markets after they create a catastrophe.

  • mtrueman||

    "Of course, in un-free economies"

    I don't know of any free economies in the world today, but in fact food production has never been higher, thanks in large part to the efforts of farmers in un-free economies such as the USA. Where US government involvement in the economy is among the greatest, IT and telecommunications, these sectors are innovating and growing and there doesn't seem to be any scarcity on the horizon.

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