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Old 04-16-2008, 05:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hvatum View Post
Agreed. Micro-credit is a much better investment and actually helps them develop their economy and infrastructure so they can sustain themselves. Also actually developing their economy gives them a sense of involvement and responsibility for the welfare of their country and community, unlike year after year food aid which sends them the signal that "life here sucks, but where we come from things are great." Encouraging the smart hard working people to leave is exactly the opposite of what we want - but giving them a stake in the economy encourages them to stay (for this reason I'm also somewhat against immigration, since it tends to retard the development of the country of emigration).

I am in favor of food aid during extraordinary situations though, like in Ireland during the Potato famine - that's a temporary situation which can be solved. But just giving people food year after year... we agree on that.

Duffman:
I think were we differ is that now that food prices have risen, farmers where I am from now receive prices for their crops that exceed their costs. I see the rising price of food as the route to eliminating subsidies to agriculture. Its unfortunate that it is hurting poor people around the world, but the fact that it is hurting people may indicate that their situation was unsustainable as well. I think its more important to address root causes of problems than just feeding starving mouths.


That would be nice if we could lessen subsidies. Also the rising food prices will hopefully encourage people in other countries to invest in modern farming methods since they'll have more of a profit to show for it. So this could be a blessing in disguise.

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Old 04-16-2008, 10:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Since solar-energy has been brought up, there was an interesting article on Slashdot yesterday about concentrated solar collectors. They're positively genius. Instead of trying to convert the photons into electricity, they collect and store the heat, which then runs steam-driven turbines.
They are simple and efficient, and they've been in operation since the 70's.
Here's a link to the slashdot comments http://science.slashdot.org/article..../04/15/1159257
which contains a link to the original article.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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hvatum,
I agree entirely with that.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:26 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arminius View Post
With all due respect, it's my opinion that the only entity that can squeeze you is the government. Companies can only pay their CEO's with profits, or pay them at a loss. However, they can't take YOUR money an pay CEO's with it. In fact, you can decide to buy from somoene else if you don't like what a company does with the money THEY earned or borrowed. They're free to do that under the law, just like WE are free to spen OUR money.
That assumes the consumer has a choice... I can't just switch electric utility companies - there's only one for my house.... Sure, one could say just go off grid - but that brings us back to the squeeze :/ Just a few pennies for the devil...
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Wow, nice to see we agree on stuff, I'm used to most people disagreeing with me. I think people here are a bit ahead of the curb. Makes sense given that being here means you've accepted that gas prices will only increase from here on out, something most people are still in denial about (including unfortunately all too many of the execs at GM and ford!)
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
That assumes the consumer has a choice... I can't just switch electric utility companies - there's only one for my house.... Sure, one could say just go off grid - but that brings us back to the squeeze :/ Just a few pennies for the devil...
The comment wasn't directed at you. If, however, your only complaint is about CEO's of utilites, and you know what they get paid, then that's fine. If it's about any other CEO's it doesn't.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:58 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arminius View Post
If your only complaint was about CEO's of utilites, and you know what they get paid, then that's fine. If it's about any other CEO's it doesn't.
"Walmart moved in to my town and the local grocer had to close shop."

When I did my cross country trip - I was amazed at how many smaller cities had this sort of situation... But taken even further - Walmart moves in and the local grocer needs to raise prices due to less volume... I can choose not to support Walmart - but it's going to squeeze my wallet.

That, plus I'm 1) not going to list all of my problems with every company I can think of and 2)I'm not so big on complaining (too much )

I'm not saying my point applies to everything - I'm just saying that your point doesn't apply to every other business

As much as I'd like to blame government for all of this - I can't. For example, Berkeley, CA - the local gov't restricts the amount of drive through restaurants (imagine the killing they'd make if there was one right across the street from their University). As a result, a whole bunch of mom/pop restaurants are able to stay in business and live happily without big box chains eating into their market share with their $1 crap meal :/
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:11 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
"Walmart moved in to my town and the local grocer had to close shop."

When I did my cross country trip - I was amazed at how many smaller cities had this sort of situation... But taken even further - Walmart moves in and the local grocer needs to raise prices due to less volume... I can choose not to support Walmart - but it's going to squeeze my wallet.

That, plus I'm 1) not going to list all of my problems with every company I can think of and 2)I'm not so big on complaining (too much )

I'm not saying my point applies to everything - I'm just saying that your point doesn't apply to every other business

As much as I'd like to blame government for all of this - I can't. For example, Berkeley, CA - the local gov't restricts the amount of drive through restaurants (imagine the killing they'd make if there was one right across the street from their University). As a result, a whole bunch of mom/pop restaurants are able to stay in business and live happily without big box chains eating into their market share with their $1 crap meal :/
You shift the topic with every post. Now your compliant is that you want more expensive meals at places where people make less. That wasn't the original topic, and I wasn't addressing you in the original post.

If your concern is that someone is making too much, by all means pay as much as you want, and support companies that no one else wants to support. However, the original issue was that people were having to pay too much!
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:13 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvatum View Post
Wow, nice to see we agree on stuff, I'm used to most people disagreeing with me. I think people here are a bit ahead of the curb. Makes sense given that being here means you've accepted that gas prices will only increase from here on out, something most people are still in denial about (including unfortunately all too many of the execs at GM and ford!)

You're a pragmatist. The only ones that can disagree are idealists or people who have differing information. In the second case, notes just need to be compared where there is disagreement. In the former case, there is no end to the disagreement.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:47 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Hence the lunacy of "relief" organizations that focus soley on shipping food in while ignoring the underlying population/resource imbalances. I call them "enablers". Is it any wonder that some of these organizations have been doing this for 50 years, with nothing to show for it.
Your a smart guy Frank.

Never establish a dependency you aren't willing to support F O R E V E R.

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