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Will poverty ever be history?

#1 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-June-21, 17:41

In an article on global warming, British MP Matt Ridley pointed out that according to even RCP 8.5, an IPCC scenario that he describes as "very, very, implausible," by the end of this century "The per capita income of the average human being in 2100 is three times what it is now. Poverty would be history." Okay, so the average income is three times what it is now. Does that really mean poverty will be eliminated? Or is "poverty" a relative state that will always exist, being, basically, the bottom of the income ladder?
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#2 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-21, 20:21

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-21, 17:41, said:

In an article on global warming, British MP Matt Ridley pointed out that according to even RCP 8.5, an IPCC scenario that he describes as "very, very, implausible," by the end of this century "The per capita income of the average human being in 2100 is three times what it is now. Poverty would be history." Okay, so the average income is three times what it is now. Does that really mean poverty will be eliminated? Or is "poverty" a relative state that will always exist, being, basically, the bottom of the income ladder?


will poverty even be measured in terms of income or other in 2100?
How will you define income in 2100?
Honestly I challenge you to define taxable income in 2015?

In any event will we still have victims, yes, will we still have ...Have and have nots, yes. Will we still have the top 1%, yes and the rest of you...yes

Of course I predict the singularity by 2100 so take that into account.
I predict the continuing melding of man and machine by 2100.
:)
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#3 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2014-June-21, 23:30

I would define poverty as having difficulty affording regular food and/or shelter and/or basic medical care. Basically stress about survival issues. In this sense there is still quite a bit of poverty in the US, and no reason we can't end it other than political will. I don't see the political will developing any time soon.

Worldwide the situation is more complicated, and even a tripling of the income of people in some countries will not truly free them from poverty. Of course, global warming could easily make the situation substantially worse in the next few decades.

There will probably always be gaps in relative wealth, but I wouldn't define poverty primarily based on comparisons to the top 1%. This is not to say that extreme wealth accumulation isn't a problem (I think it is) but the relationship to actual poverty is fairly minimal.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#4 User is online   gwnn 

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Posted 2014-June-22, 01:25

Not trying to be a pessimist but there's an energy crisis around the corner and a demographic crisis in the Western world which could render some countries completely impotent to handle it. On the same note I read that there will be only 500 people left in Japan by the year 3000 (and 1 by the year 3500) so that's what silly extrapolations can give you. We will not die out but our planet will be *****ed to a bigger degree than is advisable.
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#5 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-22, 09:26

Poverty is always a relative term that describes a relationship between ability to earn and cost of necessities. To extrapolate an end to poverty from an average income only shows the intelligence level of Matt Ridley, which also appears to be at poverty level. B-)
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#6 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2014-June-22, 10:41

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-June-21, 17:41, said:

In an article on global warming, British MP Matt Ridley pointed out that according to even RCP 8.5, an IPCC scenario that he describes as "very, very, implausible," by the end of this century "The per capita income of the average human being in 2100 is three times what it is now. Poverty would be history." Okay, so the average income is three times what it is now. Does that really mean poverty will be eliminated? Or is "poverty" a relative state that will always exist, being, basically, the bottom of the income ladder?


Wealth inequality is increasing dramatically across the world. In the mean time, the costs from climate change are disproportionately borne by the poor.
As such, average human income is pretty useless for measuring poverty.

Unless, of course, you're willing to engage in large scale income re-distribution...
Please remind me what your farcical religion has to say about that one.
Alderaan delenda est
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#7 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-22, 12:49

Adam expressed my general view pretty well butI will go on a bit anyway.

"Poverty will be history" is vague, or naive, or something so hard to grasp that it cannot really be debated. "The per capita income of the averagehuman being in 2100 id three times what it is now" possibly could be clarified enough to allow some sort of discussion. But why would he say first "the per capita income" and then "of the average human being"? I am not trying to fuss about words, I am trying to see what, if anything, the statement means. Certainly it is possible for per capita income to triple without banishing poverty.

If we want to debate it at all, I think Adam's focus is right: "All. or nearly all, of the world's population in 2100 will be secure in having a safe and decent place to live, nutritious (but maybe not delicious) food to eat, and medical care for at least common ailments" is a statement that we could get a bit of a grip on. I very much doubt that it is true, really I don't believe that at all, but at least it's a statement that I think in the year 2100 people could say was or was not an accurate prediction.

Whether we could, if we were wise and if we were devoted to the welfare of all, bring this about, well that's a tough question. Wise enough and devoted enough, perhaps so. If pigs could fly.....

Maybe "per capita income of the average person" means you calculate "per capita income" after deleting the extremes from the data. But then that is a totally irrelevant figure for looking at poverty.However my guess is that "per capita income of the average person is like the "VIN number". i.e. the Vehicle Identification Number number.
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-June-22, 19:11

Argue the merits of his claim, don't waste time picking on a poor choice of words. He obviously just didn't realize as he was saying it that "per capita" and "average person" were redundant.

#9 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-22, 20:58

Wealth inequality isn't going anywhere. Hunger and the lack of shelter are. To counter gwnn's pessimism (which is old school and boring, people have been worrying about running out of oil for as long as we've had oil, and Malthus complained about population explosion in the 1800s or so), I believe 3D printing will turn us (the western world) into a society where no-one goes hungry again. Not that we'll be too happy about it, we always have and always will measure our wealth relatively, it seems to be hardwired in the primate brain.
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#10 User is online   gwnn 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 00:29

Actually, gwnn was saying that there will be a population implosion, a relatively new concept (maybe 20 years instead of 200).
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#11 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 06:17

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-June-22, 09:26, said:

To extrapolate an end to poverty from an average income only shows the intelligence level of Matt Ridley, which also appears to be at poverty level. B-)

Agree. Sadly I believe that poverty will always exist in the world. It could be eliminated in individual nations. Maybe Ridley was thinking of the UK only. It may even be that poverty is already gone from some nations.

View Posthrothgar, on 2014-June-22, 10:41, said:

average human income is pretty useless for measuring poverty.

True and should be obvious even to a politician.

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-22, 20:58, said:

Wealth inequality isn't going anywhere. Hunger and the lack of shelter are. To counter gwnn's pessimism (which is old school and boring, people have been worrying about running out of oil for as long as we've had oil, and Malthus complained about population explosion in the 1800s or so), I believe 3D printing will turn us (the western world) into a society where no-one goes hungry again. Not that we'll be too happy about it, we always have and always will measure our wealth relatively, it seems to be hardwired in the primate brain.

Well, the population explosion is very real. 7 billion and counting! And more than ever before in poverty, at least in total numbers (not sure about global per capita).

I am curious, how will 3D printing eliminate poverty? Are you going to print food?
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#12 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 07:01

View Postgwnn, on 2014-June-22, 01:25, said:

We will not die out but our planet will be *****ed to a bigger degree than is advisable.

What degree would be advisable? And what is the five-letter word that dare not be written here? :)
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#13 User is online   gwnn 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 08:02

I wrote it honestly, the forum software replaced it, and with an incorrect number of asterisk to add insult to injury. Not sure about the advisable limit but I have a strong feeling that any reasonable estimate will be surpassed in practice. The stars are the limit.
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#14 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 10:06

View Postbillw55, on 2014-June-23, 06:17, said:

I am curious, how will 3D printing eliminate poverty? Are you going to print food?
Not me, but yes, exactly that in fact.
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#15 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 12:35

View Postbarmar, on 2014-June-22, 19:11, said:

Argue the merits of his claim, don't waste time picking on a poor choice of words. He obviously just didn't realize as he was saying it that "per capita" and "average person" were redundant.


I found the claim to be too vaguely stated to give serious thought to it. I was trying to draw it out a bit.

Here is an article I saw this morning by someone who is involved and knows a great deal more than I do.

http://www.washingto...2a52_story.html

Sample question: If we are not willing to commit fairly modest sums for very basic education then how is this miracle of eradicating poverty supposed to come about?

Sachs claims, with some facts on his side I think, that some things that have been funded have actually done some good. Funding projects and getting them to work is tough enough. Not funding them and getting them to work seems to require a miracle.

Here is another way to look at this: 2100 is 86 years away. 1928 is 86 years ago. We could go back and read predictions made in 1928 and see how accurate they turned out to be. As I recall, they had a little unpredicted trouble in 1929.
Ken
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#16 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 13:50

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-23, 12:35, said:



Sachs claims, with some facts on his side I think, that some things that have been funded have actually done some good. Funding projects and getting them to work is tough enough. Not funding them and getting them to work seems to require a miracle.




I don't mean to pick on Ronald Reagan as I think he truly meant well - but I think also his thinking was seriously short-sighted, which was due to the blinders brought to him by his belief systems. I can certainly understand the appeal of wanting charity, families, and churches to take on the responsibility of taking care of the poor and the mentally ill - but I also understand that a societal-wide problem requires more than a local response, no matter how many times that response is repeated.

Localized problems are not best served by a nationalized response; however, national problem are. And those responses require funding. Educating the American youth is a national responsibility.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#17 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 14:35

View PostAntrax, on 2014-June-23, 10:06, said:

Not me, but yes, exactly that in fact.

Like the replicators on Star Trek I suppose? Technology can do many things, but not everything is possible. Personally I think the idea of printing food is pretty lol. Perhaps I will turn out to be wrong, I don't know, but I really doubt this will happen. Even so, what will the raw material be - the ink, so to speak? Throw in any old organic matter (perhaps yard cuttings) and get out edible food? That's a lot of molecular chemistry for a printer. Or perhaps technology will one day circumvent conservation of mass, so that raw material is not necessary? I just don't see it.
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#18 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 17:46

View Postbillw55, on 2014-June-23, 14:35, said:

Like the replicators on Star Trek I suppose? Technology can do many things, but not everything is possible. Personally I think the idea of printing food is pretty lol. Perhaps I will turn out to be wrong, I don't know, but I really doubt this will happen. Even so, what will the raw material be - the ink, so to speak? Throw in any old organic matter (perhaps yard cuttings) and get out edible food? That's a lot of molecular chemistry for a printer. Or perhaps technology will one day circumvent conservation of mass, so that raw material is not necessary? I just don't see it.


Printing food is already happening, see foodini and survey of 3d printing food. I agree that 3d printing doesn't necessarily make everything easier (as the raw materials, power, etc. may be just as hard or harder to send around than the traditional sort of food).

Nanotechnology, 3-d printing, the internet of things, etc. all have a lot of pontential. Thinking of sci-fi like Makers and Diamond Age as well as Star Trek does make one optimistic.

In addition to technological change, there is also social change. More people move around today than a generation ago. More people interact through the internet than used to a generation ago. Anything that can be done to increase the width of the "we" circle helps. Because we want to help "us" even if we reject "them". So if "us" can move from a person to a family to a city to a country to a federation of countries to the whole world that increases the number of people who want to help out. This help can be through pressure on gov't and large institutions, it can be through private charities (Gates foundations and others), it can be though micro-lending and other peer-to-peer actions.

So there are reasons to be optimistic. Technology should make it easier and cheaper to provide basic necessities to everyone in the world. Even without that, it is already in our power to feed everyone in the world and end extreme poverty around the world (see here for example). As Adam noted above it is largely a political/economic/social/logistic problem to actually do so. The trend there is moving in the right direction.

But it is moving slowly and there are a lot of reasons to be cynical also.
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#19 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 18:50

View PostMbodell, on 2014-June-23, 17:46, said:

Printing food is already happening, see foodini and survey of 3d printing food. I agree that 3d printing doesn't necessarily make everything easier (as the raw materials, power, etc. may be just as hard or harder to send around than the traditional sort of food).

.........

Technology should make it easier and cheaper to provide basic necessities to everyone in the world.


In general, I think that preparing the food to be eaten will be cheaper, easier and quicker than preparing it to be printed. At least for the foreseeable future.
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#20 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2014-June-23, 21:37

Damn, Mbodell stole my counter :(
But what is "moving slowly"? Can you think of technology that was in the prototype stage and took more than 20 years to reach mass production? If we already have a prohibitively expensive implementation of a concept, it's a pretty sure thing we'll have the working version in our lifetimes. So yeah, it's crazy but I believe I'll have a Star Trek replicator in my home during my life, and it probably won't have any issue with Earl Grey tea too.
Furthermore, I believe I'll live in a house that was 3D printed. I saw 3D printers when they were new and all they could do is create brittle artwork. It took them five years and they're already useful of cost-effective printing of useful products. To imagine it would take much longer to start creating the really crazy things is baseless pessimism.

I can be plenty pessimistic about our future when it comes to privacy and the ability to resist government oppression. But as far as hunger is concerned, I think we have that sucker on the ropes.
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