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Author Topic: Mitt Romney's halo  (Read 54905 times)
RSL
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« Reply #400 on: October 18, 2012, 08:33:33 PM »
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Defense spending in 1985 was around 7% of GDP. In 2001 it had dropped to about 3.6% of GDP. In 2011, with a hot war going on and the surge, it got back up to about 6%. Now it's back down to below 5% and forecast to drop to 4.7% by 2015. Looking at the drop during the Clinton years it's clear that most of the "peace dividend" came from a massive reduction in defense spending. Part of that is understandable, but one thing neither Clinton nor anybody else in that administration seemed to understand, and something those of us who went through the aftermath of WW II and Korea understood only too well, is that it's infinitely less expensive to keep the forces up than to rebuild them once they've been gutted. We've been re-learning that lesson lately.

You go ahead and mess with that stuff in your hands, but your figures don't cut it, and I'm finished responding to your unfortunate "arguments."
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Ray
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« Reply #401 on: October 18, 2012, 10:55:23 PM »
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My take on the issue is that the problem is not food over production in the US but food underproduction in poor countries. In the long term it would be better to increase agricultural output in the poor countries than ship excess food from US and other rich countries to the poor world. When people are starving, that is another issue, than we need to help, immediately.

I think you guys are both right. There's a lot of wastage as Ray said, but Eric pointed out the major problem. Nobody's going to solve that problem with handouts or even overseas shipments of food. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Politics, as usual, is what keeps the hungry part of the world from being able to fish.

With all due respect, I think you guys need to read the following report from the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology.
http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf  

The essential problem is that large quantities of food are wasted both in industrialised countries and in developing countries, but often for different reasons. In theory, there is no need to produce a single carrot more food than is currently being produced. We just need to tackle the various known causes of wastage.

According to the above report, percentages of food losses are just as high in developing countries as they are in industrialized countries, the difference being that more than 40% of the food losses in industrialized nations occur at the retail and consumer level, whereas more than 40% of the food wasted in developing nations occurs at post-harvest and processing levels.

The main causes of food wastage in developing countries are due to a lack of infrastructure such as transportation and roads, proper storage facilities such as fridges and cool rooms, lack of processing plants to handle seasonal fluctuations of food quantities, unhygenic practices involving contaminated water and unsafe use of pesticides, and unhygenic methods of handling food in general.

I may have missed a few points. Read the report.

In terms of calories, vitamins and minerals, that is, everything required for an ideal, healthy diet, the world already produces more than three times as much food required for every man, woman and child on the planet.

It would be crazy to think we can solve a localised food shortage problem by ripping down yet more forests. There has to be a smarter approach.

Here endeth the lesson. Thank you.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 01:58:48 AM by Ray » Logged
dmerger
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« Reply #402 on: October 18, 2012, 11:22:48 PM »
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Russ, you do your best to cherry pick any number you can find to bolster you position, rather than provide a fair and reasonable picture. Maybe you’ll find these numbers interesting.  By the way, for some reason you switched to defense spending rather than military spending.  In case you don’t realize it, there is a difference.  The government publishes numbers for both, but since you now refer to defense spending, I’ll do likewise.

Perhaps the thing you’ll find most surprising is that, compared to Reagan or Bush, defense spending has increased under Obama by almost every metric. (By the way, I'm not an Obama supporter.  I am a supporter of honesty, however.)

Defense Spending as % of GDP:
1985: 6.47%
2008 (Bush’s highest defense spending): 5.08%
2011: 5.82% (Note the increase over Bush)

Defense Spending Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted Dollars):
1985: $1,243.50 ($2,598.15)
2008: $2,404.80 ($2,500.99)
2011: $2,819.40 (Note the increase over Reagan and Bush)

Defense Spending (Inflation Adjusted Dollars):
1985: $253 billion ($529 billion)
2008: $616 billion ($641 billion)
2011: $750 billion (Note the increase over Reagan and Bush)
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #403 on: October 19, 2012, 02:03:25 AM »
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Like open-air cremation? Hmmm... Wrong choice of words/metaphor, perhaps? Or, de gustibus non est disputandum? Wink

Do I detect a small degree of sarcasm here?  Wink

Did you notice the river in the background, Slobodan? I can provide better views of that river, if you'd like. But only on special request. I don't wish to upset anyone.  Grin
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stamper
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« Reply #404 on: October 19, 2012, 02:58:10 AM »
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One of the major problems with food production is profit. Most of it is produced for the market. If a profit can't be made then it isn't produced and locals who need it and don't have the money don't get fed. Charities then have to step in and buy it - at inflated prices - and feed the poor. An example of profiteering was in Ireland in the nineteenth century. There was a famine that killed over a million people who mostly ate potatoes. At the time there was more than enough food produced to feed the population but most was exported because it was more profitable. The locals couldn't afford the prices so they starved or migrated to other countries. To alleviate the problem food that was cheap and unsuitable for local consumption was imported from the US. The bottom line as has been pointed out is more than enough can be produced world wide but profiteering by markets prevent it getting to the poor. Ironically it is the poor who actually do the producing but can't afford to buy what the create. The lucky ones have a patch of land they own and can feed themselves. Sad BTW there are some people who are over weight that eat less food than some who are possibly less than half their weight. Some thin people eat enormous amounts but their bodies don't turn it into fat and some obese people to their horror seem to have everything they eat turned into fat. Athletes can consume three times the amount of calories that normal people eat but exercise burns it up.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 03:06:15 AM by stamper » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #405 on: October 19, 2012, 11:13:28 AM »
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One of the major problems with food production is profit. Most of it is produced for the market. If a profit can't be made then it isn't produced and locals who need it and don't have the money don't get fed. Charities then have to step in and buy it - at inflated prices - and feed the poor.

You're not making much sense, Stamper. Making a profit is the incentive that drives most people to work. The major experiments in Communism have been a spactacular failure, especially in China under Mao. It's the profit incentive that has brought China, in just a few decades, to  being the second largest economy in the world. In another decade it might exceed the USA.

In a global market where nations have low tariff barriers, those who work hard and can produce things efficiently, whether food or electronics, get rewarded, as well as the consumers who pay less for the products, whether local or imported. We all benefit.

However, in most countries there are a certain number of desperately poor people who may be jobless and homeless and who can't afford to buy anything. Such people obviously need help and usually get help in countries that have a safety net, such as the UK and Australia.

Some countries don't have a safety net and sometimes don't even have the infrastructure in place that allows Aid agencies to access the needy, not to mention political obstruction, internal wars and corruption etc.

Quote
BTW there are some people who are over weight that eat less food than some who are possibly less than half their weight. Some thin people eat enormous amounts but their bodies don't turn it into fat and some obese people to their horror seem to have everything they eat turned into fat. Athletes can consume three times the amount of calories that normal people eat but exercise burns it up.

It's true that people's metabolism varies so that not everyone will put on weight to the same degree when eating the same excessive quantity of food whilst leading the same lifestyle.

But the idea that anyone can get overweight without eating too much is total nonsense. There's a very simple, basic law of physics that applies here. If energy output equals energy input, it is impossible to put on weight. If energy output exceeds energy input, it's impossible not to lose weight.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #406 on: October 19, 2012, 07:46:33 PM »
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Do I detect a small degree of sarcasm here?  Wink...

No sarcasm Ray, at least none intended. I was just teasing Walter for an awkward choice of metaphor Smiley
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Slobodan

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Ray
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« Reply #407 on: October 19, 2012, 09:12:09 PM »
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No sarcasm Ray, at least none intended. I was just teasing Walter for an awkward choice of metaphor Smiley

Slobodan,
Do I take it then that you are not enthralled, or at least a little bit fascinated, by the way that certain cultures conduct their funerals, by cremating their loved ones on a bonfire by the riverside?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #408 on: October 19, 2012, 10:40:58 PM »
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No, I am definitely not. I simply find it next to impossible to associate a "breath of fresh air" with open-air cremation.
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Slobodan

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Ray
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« Reply #409 on: October 19, 2012, 10:56:06 PM »
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No, I am definitely not. I simply find it next to impossible to associate a "breath of fresh air" with open-air cremation.

Doesn't it depend upon which way the wind is blowing?  Grin
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Ray
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« Reply #410 on: October 20, 2012, 12:08:24 AM »
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In order to redress the balance, having shown a dead bloke on a burning pyre with his feet sticking out, I think I should also show the other dimension of grieving. Hope no-one thinks I'm being insensitive.

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stamper
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« Reply #411 on: October 20, 2012, 03:00:22 AM »
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Quote Ray

You're not making much sense, Stamper. Making a profit is the incentive that drives most people to work.

Unquote

I am afraid Ray that you are the one not making sense. The vast majority of people in the world work for a wage therefore the profit incentive doesn't apply to them. Profit is made after wages and production costs has been deducted from the price of goods. The profit mostly then goes to one or two individuals. A better system imo would be when the people who made the goods kept the profit. That is when the profit incentive would work for the producers. The market artificially inflates the price because people are gambling with the money gained from the market and the price rises. Thus poorer people struggle to pay for the goods because one or two people have skimmed off a good profit for their own greed. The market isn't democratic in any way and benefits only a few instead of the many. Sad BTW with regards to China we have multi Billionaires and poor people still slaving in the fields for a pittance. Even their factories have long hours, low pay and bad conditions. Fabulous wealth for some and grinding poverty for the majority. The low wages make them competitive in the market hence the booming economy but the wealth isn't fairly distributed.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 03:04:53 AM by stamper » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #412 on: October 20, 2012, 04:55:30 AM »
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Quote Ray

You're not making much sense, Stamper. Making a profit is the incentive that drives most people to work.

Unquote

I am afraid Ray that you are the one not making sense. The vast majority of people in the world work for a wage therefore the profit incentive doesn't apply to them. Profit is made after wages and production costs has been deducted from the price of goods.

You're confused, Stamper. Profit is made after all costs of engaging in whatever your productive activity is, have been deducted. If your activity does not involve employing others, then there are no wages to deduct. If you're a wage earner, then your costs consists of all expenses involved in doing your job, which would include transportation to the office or factory, and specific clothes, or tools that your job requires.

After all such expenses have been deducted, you have a net profit from you labours. What part of the Outer Hebrides do you come from?  Grin
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #413 on: October 20, 2012, 07:20:25 AM »
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I found this equation interesting:

"But the idea that anyone can get overweight without eating too much is total nonsense. There's a very simple, basic law of physics that applies here. If energy output equals energy input, it is impossible to put on weight. If energy output exceeds energy input, it's impossible not to lose weight."

I am a type two diabetic who controls his diabetes with diet. The formula, under "normal" metabolic rates is probably relatively accurate though I recall some rather rotund Russian potato farmers who might tend to disagree.

I mention this because for me, it is simply a matter of sugar intake and in this case, sugar translates to carbohydrate intake. 1 carb equals one sugar. I weigh exactly the same thing I did eight years ago. I have never altered my daily carb intake (145) or the schedule in which I intake my sugars (30-15-40-15-30-15), thus maintain a steady weight. However, as true as it is stated, I have been engaged in a 45 minute Bowflex workout every morning with a two to three mile hard walk every afternoon and I still weigh the same. I did change some of the types of sugars I had eaten in the past, replacing things like ice cream with apples but that's about as much a change as I have made. I can note that my BMI has moved from 30 to 26.4 since I began this schedule (June) but my weight hasn't changed one iota. Perhaps I am merely replacing fat with mass, but even if, it sort of queers that intake-outtake theory.

I'll keep you posted if this changes.
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Ray
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« Reply #414 on: October 20, 2012, 08:25:36 AM »
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I can note that my BMI has moved from 30 to 26.4 since I began this schedule (June) but my weight hasn't changed one iota. Perhaps I am merely replacing fat with mass, but even if, it sort of queers that intake-outtake theory.

I'll keep you posted if this changes.

You'll have to explain this in more detail to me. I don't normally fuss about my Body Mass Index because I don't have a weight problem nor any specific health problem. But recently, just out of curiosity, I did check on how to calculate one's BMI.

As I understand, one calculates one's BMI by dividing one's weight in kilograms by the square of one's height in metres. If one's BMI falls from 30 to 26.4, as in your case, then either you have lost weight or you have lost height. A BMI of 25kg/m2 is the threshold between normal weight and overweight.

Moderate exercise, like a brisk walk 2 or 3 times a week, is not a particularly effective way of losing weight in itself. In fact, the exercise may increase own's appetitie, resulting in an increased food intake. But any exercise is better than no exercise for one's health in general.

As I understand, in general terms, all food represents energy. Such energy is needed just to keep the body systems functioning, even if you are just sitting down all day watching TV. If you move around and exert yourself, take a walk or go to the gym, you'll inevitably use more energy. If you eat more food as a result of your increased activity, your weight may not change. If you don't eat more as a result of increased activity, you must lose weight.

One further point, self-reporting on the amount of food one eats is very unreliable for scientific purposes. People tend to kid themselves where weight matters are concerned.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #415 on: October 20, 2012, 09:58:30 AM »
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You can lose inches and gain mass (muscle) and still not lose or gain weight. My doctor has a scale which does the BMI caclculation so not sure of the formula you used, but I am sure it has accuracy. I've lost one waist size and one inch off my chest, but gained inches on my arms and legs.

As to a brisk walk, few people can walk with me without doing a bit of a jog. I walk quite fast. I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for my weight stability despite the exercize.
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Ray
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« Reply #416 on: October 20, 2012, 10:20:19 AM »
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You can lose inches and gain mass (muscle) and still not lose or gain weight. My doctor has a scale which does the BMI caclculation so not sure of the formula you used, but I am sure it has accuracy. I've lost one waist size and one inch off my chest, but gained inches on my arms and legs.

As to a brisk walk, few people can walk with me without doing a bit of a jog. I walk quite fast. I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for my weight stability despite the exercize.

From that infallible source of reliable information, Wikipedia, I quote: The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2

Yes, there is a reasonable explanation for your weight stability. Your energy output equals your energy input (ie, food intake). If you were to stop exercising but continue eating the same quantity of food, you would put on weight.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #417 on: October 20, 2012, 12:37:58 PM »
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From that infallible source of reliable information, Wikipedia, I quote: The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2

Yes, there is a reasonable explanation for your weight stability. Your energy output equals your energy input (ie, food intake). If you were to stop exercising but continue eating the same quantity of food, you would put on weight.


In the first part of my opening statement, I noted I hadn't changed weight in 8 years and that it has only been since June that I have been doing this vigorous exercise routine...sooooooo how does this fit in with the input-output theory?
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #418 on: October 20, 2012, 12:49:16 PM »
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By the way, for some reason you switched to defense spending rather than military spending. 
nukes cost was in DOE budget, not DOD budget... you can find some (and expensive) defense related items in the budget of rather civilian agencies.
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #419 on: October 20, 2012, 12:56:34 PM »
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And yet, Poland needed Soviets to free it and remained Soviet for the next 50+ years, while Yugoslavia freed itself and remained independent from Soviets for the same time period.

again - Yugoslavia just happened to be not in the way, that's it... Poland lies en route to Berlin and Yugoslavia is not, hence Tito was allowed to "liberate" yourself...

said what I said, and those who know history know what I am talking about. Those who do not, are free to disagree, peddle their silly logic and their own theories or whatever.  

the whole point is that it is you who do not... as your mistake with the dates and oil in Stalingrad, etc clearly showed.
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