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Jim Nickerson
07-24-09, 01:39 PM
I might have been studying biology, you know Darwinian shit, when many here were study economics. My point, I really don't know that much formally about supply and demand issues.

Question: Is there an example of there being an oversupply of some commodity, in either the sense of "something useful or valued" or "an economic good" as in products, where the value actually rises?

Probably there is, but I can't think of it. Inform me.

There is definitely an oversupply of humans on this planet, and as such it is my opinion, the oversupply has devalued human life. Who gets excited about the 40-50K odd deaths in the US each year from road traffic accidents or murders as long as it isn't your own loved ones? Who gets excited about the deaths I suppose mostly in Africa from starvation at times or diseases that kill many more than in other parts of the world.

It is a fact in my life that I hate to kill an ant, or see my cats kill a mouse, a bird, or a vole. These creatures only have their lives, which happened through no choice of their making, and when their life ends that is it.

The same in one degree is true for human loss of life, but in the instance of human reproduction it is, or should be, a conscious act that leads to new human lives. Something I hear frequently repeated on my local PBS station each night in noting the sponsorship for BBC broadcasts is the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the idea that people deserve a healthful productive life." I keep looking for something in that statement that is not true, but so far I find the statement inarguable.

Yet on this planet, though there are those who are concerned, population growth remains unchecked. In fact, various institutions, the Catholic Church being foremost in my mind, but surely not the only guilty party, has forever failed to recognize human sufferings to the extent it will not direct its believers to practice birth control. US foreign aid has been put forth, but not if it involves birth control measure. What insanity!

And here is a story I heard last night on BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8166413.stm Shanghai urges 'two-child policy' To me this is the same bullshit of the US and other governments suggesting right now that people need to have more debt to buy more stuff, or in effect drug addicts need more habituating drugs as the answer to their stupor and stupidity.

Death is inevitable, and there are no counter arguments. People need to get on with accepting that, but here in the US, there seems to be no restraint on people "valiantly fighting" to stay alive days, weeks, or months more. What is the problem? Are all those who profess belief in some hereafter actually lying in their professions? Why fear death if according to what one chooses to believe on faith, there is something better after death? I believe we have a lot of lying hypocritical believers in some supreme beings designated as various "Gods," or why else are people so willing to fight for what amounts to milliseconds of more life when measured in geological time?

To my reckoning, a large part of almost all problems on this planet is the excessive number of people on the planet. I invite any argument or enlightenment to my thinking that suggests more is better, and the more of a supply increases the value of human life.

We have some major problems in this US society, and it is not the least that some of various theological leanings, if they really are truth-tellers, would in a second inflict their sense of right and wrong on the entire socieity. I crossed some post here a day or so ago that was enumerating some pending Congressional activities, one of which was a law "deeming that human life begins with conception" which I guess was oriented toward disallowing abortions. What insanity! Throw a three month old fetus out on the ground and see how much life it has. What should be important about reproductive rights in humans is that those who produce new lives should have some serious means of supporting the life to achieve at a minimun a heathful productive existence.

I think too I crossed some poster who was bad-mouthing euthanasia. Let's see, if the local humane society caught one knowingly making pets endure painful deaths, the person would probably be prosecuted. My feeling is that anyone who knowingly makes a pet endure a painful death should be prosecuted and beaten. But then some group of do-gooders declare that we should not allow ourselves to be the recipients of such humanity as euthanasia. What bullshit! The Dutch and Oregonians have this answer correct. It is a shame the suffering we as a society inflict upon ourselves.

My answers: Licensure for parenting. Abortion pills for free. Euthanasia when appropriate. Legalize drugs and tax them out of usage. Execute elected officials for criminal activity. Tax churches. These would all be good starts toward solution of some of the earth's and individual's problems.

Human life is cheap. Get over it, or do something about it.

metalman
07-24-09, 02:09 PM
i'll vote for you, jim.

Jim Nickerson
07-24-09, 02:16 PM
i'll vote for you, jim.

Thanks, that is the kindest thing you ever wrote.

*T*
07-24-09, 03:29 PM
Question: Is there an example of there being an oversupply of some commodity, in either the sense of "something useful or valued" or "an economic good" as in products, where the value actually rises?

Probably there is, but I can't think of it. Inform me.


Heroin, if we permit confusion of value and price.

Arguably, scientific knowledge. More knowledge means you make better use of what you know.

Playing cards. 48 is not useful. 52 is.

You could make the same argument about people. I would, if people were 'used correctly'.

Jim Nickerson
07-24-09, 03:40 PM
Heroin, if we permit confusion of value and price.

Arguably, scientific knowledge. More knowledge means you make better use of what you know.

Playing cards. 48 is not useful. 52 is.

You could make the same argument about people. I would, if people were 'used correctly'.

Most of what you wrote is over my head. More heroin should make it cheaper.

More scientific knowledge is relative to the past amount of knowledge and in that respect what is "more" today is not necessarily an "oversupply" compared to the unknown of how much more there is that might at some time be known.

"people used correctly" What does that mean?

I'd appreciate arguments, not riddles.

cjppjc
07-24-09, 05:30 PM
Most of what you wrote is over my head. More heroin should make it cheaper.

More scientific knowledge is relative to the past amount of knowledge and in that respect what is "more" today is not necessarily an "oversupply" compared to the unknown of how much more there is that might at some time be known.

"people used correctly" What does that mean?

I'd appreciate arguments, not riddles.

*T* was answering your questions literally. To me I think the euthanasia postion needs to flushed out a little bit.:)

cjppjc
07-24-09, 05:32 PM
Arguably, scientific knowledge. More knowledge means you make better use of what you know.




Knowledge as a commodity. It never is discussed as such. It is actually obvious.

ThePythonicCow
07-24-09, 05:45 PM
There is definitely an oversupply of humans on this planetWow - provocative post, Jim. Thanks.

Until this moment, I associated any such statement with pre-World War II Germany (I won't say the name of the political party, to avoid raising even higher the risk of derailing this discussion) or with more recent New World Order elitists.

But with your sensible post, it occurs to me that once again a reasonable view point or some worthwhile observations are at risk of being politicized. It happens frequently with politically correct or incorrect topics.

It may well be correct to state, as you do, that biologically we have too many people on this planet. I am not convinced that is so, personally, given the enormous resourcefulness of humans to adapt. But you could be right.

However the risk remains grave that some people with way too much power and way too little respect for the dignity and freedom of others will use (or are using) this claim to justify some horribly indecent acts.

My answers: Licensure for parenting. Abortion pills for free. Euthanasia when appropriate. Legalize drugs and tax them out of usage. Execute elected officials for criminal activity. Tax churches. These would all be good starts toward solution of some of the earth's and individual's problems.Such answers must be kept out of the hands of the more powerful institutions. They are a license to more evil acts, and as such must be kept under more local control (unless, such as with national defense, there are practical considerations requiring the amasssing of some seriously dangerous power on some seriously large scale.)

ThePythonicCow
07-24-09, 06:03 PM
Question: Is there an example of there being an oversupply of some commodity, in either the sense of "something useful or valued" or "an economic good" as in products, where the value actually rises?Well, there is one circumstance in which this is common, though your qualifier over supply may rule out my example.

There are what we call, in analyzing the economics of large scale computer based systems, network effects. If there were but one computer on the planet that supported "Facebook", for but one user, then Facebook would be worthless, worth zero. If I built the only router on the planet that supported the "PythonicCow Network Protocol" (PCNP), that router would be worthless, worth zero. If Google only a handful of users, it would get much bigger, really fast, or it would disappear. If EJ were the only iTulip user, it would be worthless. If I were the only human browsing the web using port 80 and http protocol, there would be no web to browse.

In each such case, items which by themselves in isolation have zero value will gain increased value as more similar interconnectable users or nodes are added.

Even hoola hoops and Beanie Babies have an element of this. It was not until after the factories came online to crank out these silly items in volume that they gained even what value they ever had.

So I guess like many things, the value of an individual item is often correlated with the number of such items available. However that correlation is not usually linear, but rather peaked. Too many, or too few, and the items value will tend to be less. Of course other factors control the value as well, such as place, time, and the sexual attractiveness of the sales person :D.

dummass
07-24-09, 07:52 PM
The more you have the more it's worth:

Political power and influence

In advertising, they count eyeballs and readership

In warfare, arms and ammo

Poker, 4 aces

In business , majority stock holder

Jim Nickerson
07-25-09, 12:02 AM
*T* was answering your questions literally. To me I think the euthanasia postion needs to flushed out a little bit.:)

If you are asking me to give you criteria that would be acceptable for human euthanasia, I have not given it any serious thought, but I will bet you that the people in the Netherlands have as well as those here in Oregon.

I am devoted to the notion that if I have anything to do with it, I shall not die in a hospital seeking to gain days, weeks or months of life, nor in a nursing home waiting for the "dwindles" to overtake me. My choices are carbon monoxide asphyxiation or a pistol. I think I should have more choices if I am capable of making them, and a choice of offering directions to others to end my life under certain circumstances.

I am near 68, were I younger than 60 and depending upon family, I am sure I would look at things differently, but the older one gets to be, the more thought, I think, should be given to the act of dying, and whether you want to control that important moment if possible, or think it better to let some, perhaps incorrect, form of morality control it.

Jim Nickerson
07-25-09, 12:24 AM
Wow - provocative post, Jim. Thanks.

Until this moment, I associated any such statement with pre-World War II Germany (I won't say the name of the political party, to avoid raising even higher the risk of derailing this discussion) or with more recent New World Order elitists.

But with your sensible post, it occurs to me that once again a reasonable view point or some worthwhile observations are at risk of being politicized. It happens frequently with politically correct or incorrect topics.

It may well be correct to state, as you do, that biologically we have too many people on this planet. I am not convinced that is so, personally, given the enormous resourcefulness of humans to adapt. But you could be right.

However the risk remains grave that some people with way too much power and way too little respect for the dignity and freedom of others will use (or are using) this claim to justify some horribly indecent acts.
Such answers must be kept out of the hands of the more powerful institutions. They are a license to more evil acts, and as such must be kept under more local control (unless, such as with national defense, there are practical considerations requiring the amasssing of some seriously dangerous power on some seriously large scale.)

People should have the choice to abort. If one thinks for whatever the reasons abortion is morally wrong, then those of course would never choose abortion.

Euthanasia is humane and again if one makes a choice, if it is available, to avail oneself of euthanasia it might be one of the greatest freedoms--not that you can't get to the same endpoint with a gun to one's temple, and of course, those to whom it is morally repugnant can kick, fight, scream, beg to hang on to the last moment of life before they might go to "a better place."

The freaking "war on drugs" is a joke. People who would restrain the use of legal drugs need to get real with regards to people doing "bad" things, and try to make the best of the "bad" things. How much sadness and disruption of people's lives are being forced upon the Mexican people these days, so that dumbass Americans can get their illicit drugs. One problem with making drugs legal is that it would leave a lot of drug producers, manfacturers, haulers, pushers, and their armies unemployed which would be another problem which I see as there being too many people on the planet right now without the possibility of having a productive life that adds to society.

P-cow, I don't think there is any question but there are too many people already on the planet and there is nothing on the horizon that will improve the circumstances for the poorest and poor. If I am wrong, and you for the moment are correct, unless some natural or man-made disaster reduces the population, then in its unchecked present growth excessive population must become a problem.

When people by their own choices do not restrain their behaviors from negatively impacting others in society, eventually governments will pass laws to force restraint of humans' behaviors. That's why laws evolve and will continue to do so.

Jim Nickerson
07-25-09, 12:45 AM
The more you have the more it's worth:

Political power and influence

In advertising, they count eyeballs and readership

In warfare, arms and ammo

Poker, 4 aces

In business , majority stock holder


Maybe not, dumbass. Political power comes about from money, and if there are more people with "real money" in given a democracy, then it could lessen the power of those who have it now--basically the democrats or the republicans--by the establishment of a third or even a fourth political party. What is the commodity here with political power? Power is only useful and of value to those with it in one sense, but it it only useful and of value in a larger societal sense if it returns something to those who bestow the power; either the voters at superficial glance, or the oligarchs probably on deeper inspection.

In advertising there are two companies that can garner equal exposure to their ads, the one that charges the least to those who advertise might do better. The commodity here are the advertisements. The more companies that can disemminate them, the lesser their cost (value) to the purchaser.

THe US probably had more guns and ammo in Korea, Viet Nam, first and second Iraq wars and even on the war on terror. If lots of companies make guns and ammo, then the value (cost) of them should be less. Having more of guns and ammo in itself does not necessarily increase their value in winning a war, at least not so much in the last 50 years for the US.

Poker is a rules-constrained game of chance. Increase the supply of cards so that each player has as many packs of cards as will fill his pockets and the value of four aces would be clearly diminished.

*T*
07-25-09, 08:36 AM
Most of what you wrote is over my head. More heroin should make it cheaper.

...

I'd appreciate arguments, not riddles.

Sorry Jim I don't mean to speak in riddles. I am not given to expansive argument but I shall try to explain.

Generally oversupply does decrease price. However there are exceptions which you asked for examples of. This is what I was replying to.

An increase in the supply heroin gets more people hooked and increases demand.

If I have five playing cards, an extra ten is not worth much to me. If I have two short of a full deck, then those two are worth more to me than those extra ten I mentioned earlier, because it would give me a full deck.

Essentially, while I think higher supply tends to reduce price, it is not a universal rule. Oversupply does, but that is just a tautology. Also I think you are wrongly conflating price and value.

I also do not think that there is an oversupply of humans, though there are plenty of us. I think it is a leap too far to say the value of humans has reduced. There were fewer humans in ancient times, but life was given value according to cultural norms (buddhists, jains, christians revere life, in theory, while many others didn't). So I disagree with your 'quantity theory of humans'.

What I think is more culpable is the ridiculous -- and historically unparalleled -- distribution of wealth and resources. The ultra-rich are relatively and absolutely more wealthy than ever before. Perhaps you should look here for the cause of your concern.

I do however agree that people should have access to birth control, abortion and the right to choose the manner of their own death. But this is a matter of the right to control over your own life, to me, rather than some hypothesised overpopulation argument.

KGW
07-25-09, 10:38 AM
rather than some hypothesised overpopulation argument.

I'm here to tell you that California has way too many people! I remember some fellow on the tv years ago saying that since California's population was going to increase by 10 million in a few short years, we should enable the transfer of agricultural water to the dry parts of the state so development could continue.:eek: Everytime I end up on the "freeways," I wonder who would call this progress, other than some entrepreneur who wants to sell more widgets.

Unfortunately, we are likely past the point of no return, as in "overshoot." Like Wiley Coyote, we are in free fall and just don't know it yet.

Jim Nickerson
07-25-09, 12:25 PM
Sorry Jim I don't mean to speak in riddles. I am not given to expansive argument but I shall try to explain.

Generally oversupply does decrease price. However there are exceptions which you asked for examples of. This is what I was replying to.

An increase in the supply heroin gets more people hooked and increases demand.

If I have five playing cards, an extra ten is not worth much to me. If I have two short of a full deck, then those two are worth more to me than those extra ten I mentioned earlier, because it would give me a full deck.

Essentially, while I think higher supply tends to reduce price, it is not a universal rule. Oversupply does, but that is just a tautology. Also I think you are wrongly conflating price and value.

I also do not think that there is an oversupply of humans, though there are plenty of us. I think it is a leap too far to say the value of humans has reduced. There were fewer humans in ancient times, but life was given value according to cultural norms (buddhists, jains, christians revere life, in theory, while many others didn't). So I disagree with your 'quantity theory of humans'.

What I think is more culpable is the ridiculous -- and historically unparalleled -- distribution of wealth and resources. The ultra-rich are relatively and absolutely more wealthy than ever before. Perhaps you should look here for the cause of your concern.

I do however agree that people should have access to birth control, abortion and the right to choose the manner of their own death. But this is a matter of the right to control over your own life, to me, rather than some hypothesised overpopulation argument.

Thanks, T, for your expanded comments, much better for me.

Perhaps you are correct with heroin, but if the stuff grew everywhere and there really were an oversupply, I'm not at all sure more and more of the poplulation would be come users. If the shit were free, I wouldn't use it. On the other hand if supply of drugs were unending and people's prospects of a healthful productive life continued to diminish then maybe being drugged with heroin would be a good choice, and as such maybe more would engage in criminal activity in order to be able to buy it.

You are correct that I did confuse the issue of price and value, though I guess unless one deals in human trafficing, it is uncommon to put a price on whatever is the value of humans in general. So far, I will stick with the assertion I tried to make and that is that the abundance of humans now seems to have devalued them. I suppose there is some sort of a moral judgement there. But if we throw in price, and there are more workers than there are jobs for them, the price to employ one should diminish, so those not employed are not very valuable if at all.

The value of a TV set is unchanged in its utility whether it is a tubed one or a flat-screened one (maybe an exception exists for gamers). Copper's value might be the same despite whatever its cost. Basically trying to think out loud here.

If groups of people promote that they value human life above all else or something close to that, and yet these same people appear willing to worry little to none about just what sorts of existence all these people face, there is, to me, a contradiction in there somewhere. Right now and no telling how far back there has been a supply of humans that has exceeded any prospects of them having either a healthful or productive life. {EDIT: So for those who value life above all or most all else without deep consideration of the consequences to my thinking should not ever be allowed to determine how every other person handles birth control measure. As I think I wrote above, such is insanity.]

Let's assume some sort of a world approaching utopia where everyone is productive and healthy, so utopic in those senses; however, there is no further restriction of the number of these healthy productive individuals. There must arise, it seems to me, a point where what a person would then be worth in price (earning power) is diminshed. This sort of problem is imaginary and though I lack imagination, I don't think anything approaching a utopia will ever occur.

What we have now is the reality of more humans than can be provided for with regard to their living a healthy life or there being enough jobs producing enough income for subsistence, for many, even at the level of how many people in the US are defined as living in poverty (and maybe that is too high of a standard for what is achievable for all humans). Given the choices of society to provide a world in which all newcomers can reasonably be assured of a healthy productive life vs. a curtailment in the number of newcomers (new babies being spat out) so that perhaps the newcomers can have serious prospects of a healthy productive life, the latter seems possibly achievable. I don't think the former will likely ever be achieved.



I do however agree that people should have access to birth control, abortion and the right to choose the manner of their own death. But this is a matter of the right to control over your own life, to me, rather than some hypothesised overpopulation argument.


The issues of control over choice of using contraceptive measures or abortion and population are intimately related. People can either choose to limit population expansion or at some point (already in China to some degree for 40 years or so) face mandated limitation of creation of new babies.

Again, thanks for expanding your initial post.

ThePythonicCow
07-25-09, 07:38 PM
What we have now is the reality of more humans than can be provided for ...I don't think that varying the number of humans will help.

The emerging super-structures of human civilization (media, political, religious, economic, corporate, legal, ...) are becoming increasingly beyond the control of even the finest of individual humans, and are rapidly increasing their "suckiness factor" with regard to the well being of individual humans.

*T*
07-26-09, 06:41 AM
I'm here to tell you that California has way too many people!

The world has too many Californians, perhaps...

... the exception that proves the rule...

dummass
07-26-09, 10:46 AM
Jim, as a general rule, price/value will be determined by the scarcity of the underling object. That said, I was attempting (at your request) to find examples of where scarcity may be produced by artificial means, i.e., by controlling the majority of said objects. Most resources are limited, like a deck of cards; if you control all of the aces it creates a scarcity of aces; if you control the majority of a corporation's stock you gain value in that you now have superior voting rights and control the decisions made by the corporation. A monopoly, such as diamond mining, could serve as another example. The trick is to maintain scarcity.

Yes, you are right, if you keep producing aces or diamonds or diluting the shares of common stock, those items will loose their value, for they will no longer be viewed as scarce. However, we live on a finite planet and eventually all things are scarce. The finite nature of any one underlying commodity may not become evident until it's too late.

Oil is an example of this phenomenon. The more you drill for it and pump it, the cheaper is gets (in the short run), because it creates the illusion of plenty. In time, the scarcity of oil will be better understood, at which time the price/value will come to reflect this new reality: oil is scarce and its supply is finite. The faster you deplete it, the more value it will have in time. In the short term, however, the overproduction of any commodity will create a short term surplus and lead to decreasing price/value of the underlying commodity. This is the tragedy of the commons.