Re: ECON: "Unsustainable Predictions"

From: Mark Plus (
Date: Thu Apr 05 2001 - 22:44:29 MDT

Spike Jones wrote,

>From: Spike Jones <>
>Subject: Re: ECON: "Unsustainable Predictions"
>Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 20:36:57 -0700
> > Mark Plus wrote: From:
> >
> >
> >
> > While in college during the early 1970s, many of my professors gave me a
> > large dose of gloom and doom about the future...
> >
> > My high school chemistry teacher convinced me to purchase Paul Ehrlich’s
> > 1968 "classic," The Population Bomb, because Ehrlich supposedly had a
> > handle on the future, depressing though it might be. (The first line of
> > book declared, "The battle to feed humanity is over." Worldwide famine,
> > Ehrlich declared, had won.)...
>I must give much credit to my professor for Engineering and the
>Environment class from 1979. He was from India. He said
>"The problem of overpopulation can be solved. In my country are
>ten millions of starving children. America sends food. Pretty
>soon you have twenty millions of starving children. But the real
>problem is that in my country, after the sun goes down, there is
>nothing to do! America needs to keep its grain, America needs
>to send TVs!"
>He had it right, even back in the 70s. spike

An Indian economist (I believe he's named Amarya Sen) argues that
democracies tend to become famine-resistant. When things get too bad in
some region in a democratic country, the afflicted people complain to their
politicians. Because these politicians want to get re-elected, they have
incentives to _do something_ to alleviate the food shortages. It's
significant that the greatest famines in the 20th Century occurred under
authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, while in more-or-less democratic
India, the food situation seems to be improving, along with general economic

Trans-millennially yours,

Mark Plus, Expansionary
"Working to make religion and death obsolescent in the 21st Century."

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