Economics and Facebook? Part 1

February 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s really not often that I take a somewhat conservative standpoint on things. I’m a loud-and-proud liberal, yet being raised by one parent who is conservative and one who is liberal leaves you with a fairly balanced sense on how things should work. (you are, in effect, the ideal representation of bi-partisanism. Additionally, you also realize why nothing gets done in this country, because you see the good and bad effects of EVERY SINGLE PROPOSED IDEA. And this isn’t a debate between two people, oh no. It’s in your brain. There’s a reason why I’m crazy)

So, lately Facebox has been rolling out their new layout. There are the usual “WE LOVE IT!” and “WE HATE IT!” camps. Me, I will continue to not like it until I figure out an efficient way to jump from thing to thing that I do, and then I’ll just continue to be like ‘whatever, it’s a website, I’ve got my way of navigating now, I’m good’. A funny thing happened as I was browsing around…

People were very cynical, and very stupid about their comments regarding the love-versus-hate camps. Not the usual “Jesus Christ, get over it”, though that was mixed in, but a “Man, I wish people could get this passionate about ‘blahblablah’ and then we’d have a fix for it!” stance. Two popular ‘blahblahblah’s I noticed in particular were poverty and world hunger. Now, this is a lovely sentiment, but we live in the real world. It’s time to get grounded. Here’s why these comments were, in my honest opinion, stupid:

1. More likely than anything else I am about to say, no one cares that much about the changes made by Facebook. It’s annoying, to be sure, because once you get a system down, it’s not fun to suddenly be overturned and have to relearn it all. It’s frustrating, and people vent once or twice to get it out of their systems, and then it’s done. If they care that much to continue months into it, please point them in the direction of Greenpeace, or another world-saving organization of your choosing.

2. Have you never complained about something that doesn’t matter that much to anyone else but you? You have? I thought so.

3. It is impossible for the world to exist as we know it if poverty and world hunger was ended.

WHAT?! You mean it’s not possible for the people of Sudan to have HDTV like we do and continue on regularly?! We can’t help those poor starving children in Ethiopia and continue as we are!? The simple fact of the matter is… no. I mean, I’m not opposed to charity. I donated a little money to help with the rescue efforts in Haiti. I’ve put in change that I could have used to keep my clothes clean or pay for gas in my car that gets me to my job into the collections basket during Sunday Mass. Every little bit does help. But there is a bottom line:

It will never end. And if it did, society as we know it would cease to exist, and even human life as we know it would either die out completely or be reduced rapidly due to many, many, many circumstances we created ourselves. And here’s why.

World Hunger:

There are over 6 Billion people on this planet. I think it’s reaching 7 billion, I can’t remember. 6 billion is a lot. (put in money terms, to own as much money as there are people on the planet, you are about #75 on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people) Now, I believe there is a way to REDUCE world hunger, but I do not believe we will ever be able to completely eliminate it. It’s true that Americans are fat. We are an obese nation. So, we cut out a lot of foods that we are eating, and send them to other countries. Cool, except for the countries that won’t import from us. (for some reason, Russia won’t accept chicken imports from America right now. There’s an import ban. No idea why) This would be ideal, except for the whole places-like-sub-Sarahan-Africa-you-know-the-places-that-are-starving-don’t-have-refrigeration. I’m sure we’d just start exporting a lot of salt, though. (but then there’d be more health risks from increased salt intake, and then people would be fighting for world health increases more than they already are, and then the rest of us fighting for reduced world hunger would just throw our hands up in disgust).

So, we just start eating less and export more foods to other nations. Perhaps at a reduced charge, so the international debt would go down. But then the farmers would get mad because they aren’t getting paid their dues, and then the economy would start to falter again, because we know what happens when there are food shortages and angry farmers: the US economy starts to tank again. (true story, farmers are one of our main economic staples) But on to more important things, WHY we won’t be able to ELIMINATE the problem.

It’s because there is not enough space for us to grow that much food, be it meat or vegetable. At the current population growth and urbanization rate, there is not enough fertile land good for growing crops, or wide, ranged spaces for cattle ranching or pig farming, or whatever. In order to change the geographic landscape to allow us to grow more crops, we would be completely destroying fragile habitats. The desert is not meant to become a grassy plain. We’ve done enough to damage the earth. It’s painful to realize, but it’s almost funny to follow the logic of  ‘Soylent Green is people!!’. People are our never-ending, abundant resource. Less people means more food. That’s why the natives of Easter Island turned cannibalistic towards the end: they had no other choice. There was no food, there were no more trees to make canoes to flee the island, they could only continue to war with each other and feast upon the dead.

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