Farming Societies are more Advanced than Hunter and Gatherer Societies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 24th, 2014

Week in Review

Why did the Europeans become the dominant people in the world?  Why did their colonies become some of the richest and most affluent nations?  Because when the Europeans entered those ships to cross the oceans they were farmers.  Having given up their hunter and gatherer past long ago (see DNA analysis solves the mystery of how Europeans came to be farmers by Steve Connor posted 4/24/2014 on The Independent).

It was the biggest cultural shift in European prehistory but the Stone Age transition from a lifestyle based on hunting animals and gathering wild berries to one built on farming and livestock was largely a mystery – until now.

A detailed analysis of the DNA extracted from the bones of 11 prehistoric Scandinavians who lived thousands of years ago around the Baltic Sea has shown that the transition from hunting to farming was more of a one-way takeover than previously supposed.

The genetic makeup of the people who lived through this cultural revolution has revealed that the incoming migrant farmers from southern Europe subsumed the indigenous hunter gatherers of the north, rather than the other way round, scientists said.

Farming people are more advanced than hunters and gatherers.  Because it takes knowledge and organization to master their environment and not live at its mercy.  Which is what hunters and gatherers must do.  As they travel across great expanses looking for food.  Food they can only eat if nature provides it.  And they can find it.  Whereas farmers can grow food and raise livestock.  On small farms.  And they can grow a surplus.  To carry them through winters.  And bad growing seasons.  While hunters and gatherers can only go hungry.  And die.

So farming societies are more advanced than hunter and gatherer societies.  Their knowledge and organization created food surpluses.  And economic activity.  Which created wealth.  This is why the Europeans went on to dominant the hunter and gatherers they met in the Americas, Australia, etc.  And why the transition from hunting to farming was a one-way takeover.  For advanced people have the knowledge, organization and wealth to dominant less advanced people who must live at the mercy of their environment.

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Free Market Capitalism is the Best Way to keep Workers from Bathing in the Milk we Buy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 29th, 2014

Week in Review

Competition makes everything better.  If there was only one restaurant in town they could serve pretty bad food.  Because if the people don’t have time to cook for themselves where else are they going to go?  This restaurant could use ingredients past their ‘use by’ dates.  Meats discounted by stores because they passed their shelf life date.  They could use canned goods they heat up in a microwave.  Using the cheapest ingredients that can be cooked the least amount of time by the fewest people.  To keep costs down.  It can work.  Until there is competition.

If a restaurant opened next door that cooked only with fresh ingredients and did not use a microwave oven their food is going to taste a lot better.  And people will stop going to that other restaurant to enjoy the better quality next door.  This is why competition makes everything better.  Because people choose what’s best for them.  And if a business continually strives to exceed a customer’s expectations their customers will keep coming back.  If they don’t people will just take their business elsewhere.  And businesses will run tight ships.  To make sure no one brings harm to their brand.  Because if they didn’t something like this could happen (see Russian dairy plant closed after workers bathe in the milk by Sergei L. Loiko posted 3/28/2014 on the Los Angeles Times).

A Siberian dairy plant was temporarily closed Friday after its workers had been found bathing in milk, a Russian consumer oversight agency reported.

Trade House Cheeses, a dairy producer in Omsk, about 1,600 miles east of Moscow, was closed for 90 days by regional authorities for an urgent inspection after complaints resulting from photographs and a video posted by one of its employees on a Russian social network.

In the photographs and video clips posted on New Year’s Eve by worker Artyom Romanov, a group of undressed employees relax in a container of milk as part of their celebration. While still partly undressed, they then demonstrate cheese making in a clownish manner…

After the video appeared on NTV, a federal television network, many residents of Omsk refused to buy products made at the plant, an NTV report said this week…

“For five years Russia has been languishing in a so-called experiment of practically exercising no control over consumer production after a law was introduced limiting inspections of such facilities to only once every three years,” said Yanin, the board chairman of the Russian Confederation of Consumer Societies, a Moscow-based group…

The average salary of a sanitary inspector is equal to $500 a month, but instead of raising that, the government decided to try to prevent the inspectors from taking bribes by in effect seriously curbing their ability to control production norms and practices, Yanin said.

Of course, this is the wrong conclusion to draw from this. The problem isn’t lax inspections by underpaid inspectors.  The proper conclusion is in a previous paragraph.  That conclusion is why we don’t have these problems in the United States.  Or if we do they are very rare.  The same goes for other capitalistic societies based on free markets.  Unlike the communism they once had in Russia.  Or the crony capitalism they now have in Russia.  Because communism and crony capitalism are corrupt systems.  Government establishes and maintains monopolies.  Either by force under communism.  Or by bribes and kickbacks under crony capitalism.  Which, of course, eliminates competition.  And THIS is the problem here.  As the residents of Omsk identify.  Who refused to buy an inferior product.

You could get rid of all the inspectors in the United States and this problem would not be any more prevalent than it is now.  Why?  Because of competition.  Especially in the age of social media.  For business have lost sales for just appearing to think ‘incorrectly’ on social issues.  Just imagine what would happen if a video like this came from an American dairy.  The backlash would be the worst conceivable.  And this would happen before any government action.  That backlash would spread to every store throughout the nation.  Nay, to every capitalistic country based on free markets in the world where that brand sells its products.  People would pause as they reached for a product from this dairy on their supermarket shelf.  And move to the left or to the right.  And pick up a product from another dairy.

This is what keeps American dairies clean.  And every other established brand.  For with competition consumers can reach for another product on the shelf.  And once they do because they lost faith in a brand for any reason (such as cleanliness) it could take a very long time for that brand to reestablish the trust of the consumer.  Costing it billions in lost revenue.  This is why food businesses are cleaner in capitalistic countries based on free markets.  Because of competition and profit.  The two best protectors a consumer can have.

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A Cooling Planet means Death while a Warming Planet means Life

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 1st, 2014

Week in Review

Those on the left are wringing their hands as they look into the abyss of global warming.  For to them there is nothing worse than a warming planet.  But as it turns out there are things worse than a warming planet.  Cold (see 6-year-old Minnesota girl found dead in subzero cold by Crystal Dey, Forum News Service, posted 2/28/2014 on Duluth News Tribune).

A 6-year-old Bemidji girl was found dead of exposure to the winter elements Thursday morning at her apartment complex, police said…

Temperatures in Bemidji early Thursday were in the 25-below-zero range with wind chills of 40 below.

According to the wind chill index from the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D., with wind chills of 40 below frostbite can set in in less than 30 minutes.

Since Dec. 1., there have been 21 recorded deaths due to cold weather in Minnesota, according to the state Department of Health. From Dec. 1, 2012 to March 30, 2013, a total of 46 deaths attributed to extreme cold and cold temperature were reported.

How tragic.  Sadly, she’s not the only victim the cold has claimed in Minnesota.  46 deaths since December, 1, 2012.  This is what is worse than a warming planet.  Cold.  Such extreme cold that frostbite takes less than 30 minutes to set in.  With hypothermia not that far behind.  As well as death.  Things that don’t happen where it’s warm.

Yes, people have died from exposure to extreme heat.  But we should note what else happens in extreme heat.  Life.  For the first great civilizations didn’t happen near the Polar Regions.  They happened near the tropics.  The Nile river valley, the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys and the Indus river valley are all in the subtropics.  Close to the tropics.  Where it is hot.  Allowing the Egyptians, the Sumerians and the Harappan to grow food.  In the rich soil of these river valleys.  Soil that was NOT covered by ice and snow.  But warm.  Warm enough to allow seeds to germinate.  So there could be food.  A lot of food.  So much food that there were food surpluses.  Allowing these great civilizations to live through the cooler and wetter winters.  Which were nowhere near as cold and snow/ice covered as they are in Minnesota.

A cooling planet means more farmland under snow and ice for greater periods of time.  And less food.  Whereas a warming planet brings more land into cultivation.  Allowing more food production.  So a warming planet gives us life.  While a cooling planet gives us less food.  And if it continues to cool, famine.  Which leads to death.  So if there is anything to fear it’s a cooling planet.  Not a warming planet.  For not only is there no frostbite or hypothermia in a warm climate there is useable farmland.  And life.

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Smoking Marijuana may give you Lung Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

It’s no secret.  You get the munchies after smoking marijuana.  Whether it’s recreational smoking.  Or medical smoking.  Apparently (see Girl Scout sells 117 boxes of cookies outside Green Cross medical marijuana clinic by Heather Saul posted 2/22/2014 on The Independent).

A girl scout has proved it really is “all about location” after selling 117 boxes of cookies from her stand outside The Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in just two hours.

Thirteen-year-old Danielle Lei set up her cookie stall outside of the clinic in San Francisco and was welcomed by patients and staff.

Danielle sold out of her first batch within 45 minutes, according to the clinic, which is a fully licensed dispensary serving qualified California patients.

The left wants to tax sugary beverages.  They want to take away McDonald’s Happy Meals from our children.  And Michelle Obama wants our kids to eat rabbit food in school because our kids are too fat.  As childhood obesity leads to chronic and costly health problems later in life.  Then there’s the crusade against smoking.  Which they have banned from pretty much everywhere.  As first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke will kill you.  For just the whiff of tobacco odor will give you lung cancer.  Yes, the left is very concerned about what we eat, drink and smoke.  Because we apparently don’t know what’s good for us. Or what’s bad.  Thankfully, they do.

Which makes their drive to decriminalize marijuana puzzling to say the least.  They say it’s harmless.  No worse than a cocktail after work each day (though there are some who will say you are an alcoholic if you have a drink every day).  But marijuana causes first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke.  Giving marijuana smokers lung cancer.  And if that wasn’t bad enough marijuana also makes people obese.  Because of the munchies.  It’s so bad that people have to buy Girl Scout cookies just after buying their medical marijuana.  Even before they gave themselves a little more lung cancer by smoking it.  And it should be noted that Girl Scout cookies aren’t rabbit food.  No.  They’re the kind of food that tastes good.  And makes our kids obese.

Lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., are bad.  And we need to change people’s eating, drinking and smoking habits so their poor choices don’t become a burden to society.  Unless you get lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., from smoking marijuana.  Because smoking marijuana will give you the less deadly and less costly forms of lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.  Apparently.

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China’s Fettered State-Capitalism puts Poisonous Gutter Oil on Store Shelves

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 11th, 2014

Week in Review

There’s a myth in America that if we don’t have government food inspectors that evil corporations will sell poisonous food to unsuspecting Americans.  As if people will keep buying from a food manufacturer who has a reputation of poisoning their customers.  They won’t.  For every food brand has a competitor just waiting to take their business away.  Which they will do if the people believe they sell a higher quality product.  So there is a huge incentive to sell people nothing but the best and safest food they can.  For without government limiting a business’ competition it is only their good name that keeps customers coming back.  Unlike in China (see Ten jailed for producing, selling ‘gutter oil’ posted 1/7/2014 on China Daily USA).

A man was given a suspended death sentence and two others life in jail for producing and selling poisonous food, a court in east China ruled on Tuesday…

In 2006, they began to produce “gutter oil”, which refers to oil illegally made by reprocessing waste oil or even leftovers from restaurants. It was then marketed and re-used as cooking oil.

They then sold the “gutter oil” to 17 edible oil dealers in Shandong and Shanxi provinces, with a sales value of 52.4 million yuan…

China has been clamping down on “gutter oil” as part of its food safety efforts. The oil, which contains carcinogenic substances, is dangerous if consumed.

This is what happens when you fetter unfettered capitalism.  And transform it into state-capitalism.  Or a planned economy.  Where the government picks winners and losers.  Favoring their friends.  And hurting their competition.  Such as by limiting competition to protect their friend.  Giving them a state-enforced monopoly.  The only way a monopoly can exist.

Without competition you can sell crap and the people have little choice but to buy it.  Which is why a lot of businesses in a planned economy like China do things like this.  Because they can get rich.  Until someone catches them.  Because without unfettered capitalism other competitors can’t enter the market to keep them honest.  Leaving you to rely on a bloated, ponderous and often corrupt public sector to police that planned economy.  And because they aren’t that good you get people trying to sell gutter oil in China.  While food manufacturers police themselves in the United States.  Because they know their brand is not the only brand on supermarket shelves.

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Eating Healthy is More Expensive than Eating Fast Food

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 7th, 2013

Week in Review

Fast food workers recently picketed to raise the minimum wage. To a ‘living’ wage.  Saying they can’t afford to live without a ‘living’ wage.  Even though they have been ‘living’ on the wages they have now.  For however low their wages may be they have been able to put food on the table.  In large part because of fast food.  Because of those low wages.  Making fast food a great value for the money.  Of course if they raised everyone’s wages they would have to raise the price of their food to cover the higher labor cost.  Making fast food less of a value for the money.  Raising the prices such that some families will have no choice but to buy less.  And go hungry more often.

It may not be the healthiest food out there.  But it is the most affordable food out there.  Allowing people to eat until they’re full and then some.  But there are some who want to raise the cost of fast food.  Such as those picketing minimum wage workers.  And Canadians concerned about healthy diets (see Eating healthy adds $2,000 a year to family grocery bill by CBC News posted 12/5/2013 on CBC).

A family on a healthy diet can expect to pay $2,000 more a year for food than one having less nutritious meals, say researchers who recommend that the cost gap be closed…

“Our results indicate that lowering the price of healthier diet patterns — on average about $1.50/day more expensive — should be a goal of public health and policy efforts, and some studies suggest that this intervention can indeed reduce consumption of unhealthy foods,” Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and his co-authors concluded.

Eating a healthier diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts would increase food costs for one person by about $550 a year, the researchers said. Diets rich in processed foods, meats and refined grains were considered unhealthy…

Previously, Mozaffarian’s team suggested taxing less healthy foods together with subsidies for healthier foods would balance price differences.

Does anyone see the failed logic in this taxing scheme?  Poorer people tend to eat fast food and richer people tend to eat the healthier fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts.  So they are advocating raising the taxes on the poorer to make the food of the richer less costly.  In hopes of getting the poorer to eat the food of the richer.  But if they do just who will pay the tax on the bad food to subsidize the good food?  On the one hand the poorest people will pay more for their food.  On the other hand if the taxing scheme works the source of the subsidies will vanish.  Either way this taxing scheme will force the poorer to pay more for their food.  Or it will simply require higher taxes to replace the lost subsidies.  Which is Canada’s problem in the first place.

Why are people struggling to buy food?  Because of high taxes.  And a weakened economy those higher taxes bring about.  For adding a ‘bad food’ tax on fast food will surely reduce sales.  As is the goal.  But with fewer sales you need fewer people.  So some people will lose their job.

If you want people to eat healthier just let them get a decent job so they can afford to.  Cut taxes and regulations to spur economic activity.  Let the demand for workers increase.  Which will increase wages.  And make it easier for everyone to put healthier fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts on the table.

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Free Trade, the Corn Laws and The Economist

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2013

Week in Review

Today the political left attacks capitalism as being unfair.  And mean.  Whereas they laud government intervention into the free market.  To level the playing field.  And to redistribute income.  To help those who can’t be as successful as others.  They support unions.  And oppose free trade.  Because free trade lowers prices for consumers.  By breaking up monopolies.  And giving them choice.  Free trade is an essential element of capitalism.  But the fight to make people’s lives better with free trade wasn’t easy.  As people who got rich with government-protected high prices opposed free trade (see Why did The Economist favour free trade? by C.R. posted 9/6/2013 on The Economist).

IN NINETEENTH century Europe and America, debates over whether tariffs or free trade produced the most economic growth dominated the political scene. Up until the early 1840s, protection appeared to be winning the argument. In Britain, high tariffs were imposed on agricultural imports in 1819, by legislation known as the Corn Laws. The ideas of Friedrich List, a German economist who argued that tariffs boosted industrial development through the protection of infant industries, were gaining ground, particularly in the United States. One Pennsylvanian legislator even joked in 1833 that the dictionary definition of man should be changed to “an animal that makes tariff speeches” so frequently were they heard.

Against this atmosphere, James Wilson founded The Economist in 1843 to campaign for free trade. His first target was to repeal the Corns Laws in Britain. He argued:

They are, in fact, laws passed by the seller to compel the buyer to give him more for his article than it is worth. They are laws enacted by the noble shopkeepers who rule us, to compel the nation to deal at their shop alone.”

The UAW got very generous contracts with the Big Three during the Fifties and the Sixties.  Raising the price of cars.  Which wasn’t a problem when they were the only ones making cars.  But then came the imports.  Which told the people how much more they were paying than these articles were worth.  And started buying the imports.  As they did those generous pay and benefit packages became more difficult to pay.  So the Big Three lobbied for tariffs on those less costly imports.  And got them.  Raising the price of the imports.  Forcing Americans to deal with the Big Three alone.  And buy their more costly cars.

More people bought cars than made them, though.  And the people who made the cars were better paid than most Americans.  So these tariffs forced poorer people to spend more on a car leaving them less for their families.  So richer people could have more.  This is what tariffs do.  They allow fewer people to have more.  While more people have to do with less.  So fewer buy more.  While more buy less.  Because there are more people who buy cars than make them these tariffs, then, reduce economic activity.  And because the Big Three didn’t have to figure out how to give more for less to their customers they didn’t.  Giving their customers ‘rust buckets’ in the Seventies.  Something else that tariffs do.  Lead to inferior goods.  Because if the government forces people to buy from you then the quality of what you sell doesn’t matter.

Wilson believed that protectionism caused “war among the material interests of the world”, in other words, war between nations and classes. A high tariff regime was no longer economically “productive”; Britain was stuck in an economic depression in the early 1840s. In contrast, free trade produced “abundance and employment”. It was appropriate for Britain’s economy where “a large proportion of the population and property depended on commerce and industry alone”. On the other hand, List’s ideas about protection were dismissed as unnecessary “swaddling clothes” for a mature economy, such as Britain’s.

The Economist’s early views on free trade were strongly influenced by the classical economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo, as Ruth Dudley Edwards, a historian, has pointed out. Wilson, like Smith, realised that trade was a two way exchange. Countries needed to “increase imports to increase exports” to boost economic growth. Consumers, Smith argued in the Wealth of Nations, should buy products from where they were cheapest. All protection did was create monopolies, which were “a great enemy to good management”. Ricardo took Smith’s ideas further, arguing that all countries benefit from free trade by producing what they were best at relative to other countries.

That’s what the Big Three wanted.  A monopoly on cars sold in America.  And there is only one way to get one.  The government has to create them.  Hence the Big Three’s request for tariff protection.

David Ricardo’s comparative advantage said nations should make what they can make best and trade for those things they can’t.  For example, if two countries can both make one thing but one can do so at lower costs they can make more of them for the same costs.  Giving them a larger surplus to trade for other things.  While the other nation will consume more resources to build the same quantity leaving less to make the other things they need.  While having fewer things available for export.  So if you try to make things you can’t make efficiently you end up consuming more resources to have less.  Whereas the nation that makes only what it can make best ends up consuming fewer resources that are then available to make other things.  And they have more things to trade.  Leading to a higher standard of living.  And if their trading partners do likewise they, too, experience a higher standard of living.

Free trade leads to greater economic activity.  Which made Britain wealthy.  Allowing them to extend their empire for another 70 years or so.  Despite the warnings of the rich landowners who said repealing the Corn Laws would cause harm.  Instead, repealing the Corn Laws led to greater economic activity.  And less costly food. Allowing people to feed their families more easily.  The only harm suffered was to the profits of the big landowners.  Who lost their monopoly.  And could no longer charge more than their food was worth.

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Democrats in New York looking at Revising the Cost of Cow Poop

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2013

Week in Review

PETA doesn’t want you eating meat.  They say we should be vegetarians.  Because it is healthier for us.  And it will allow cows to live out their days naturally.  The way God meant them to do.  To graze, sleep and crap all over the land.  Instead of eating meat we can eat stuff that grows.  And dairy products from dairy cows.  For they have a pretty good life.  Food, shelter and a place to crap.  And someone to milk them.  Who could ask for anything more?  A pretty plush life on a small farm.  Not quite so nice on a large industrial farm.   Of course, there are some who are unhappy with the ethical treatment of so many cows.  Environmentalists.  Because of the crap (see Cuomo in Billion-Pound Manure Fight as New York Promotes Yogurt by Freeman Klopott posted 8/22/2013 on Bloomberg).

All that stands between dairy farmer Kerry Adams and expanding her herd of cows to tap New York’s booming yogurt industry is 1 billion pounds of manure.

Adams was planning to take advantage of a change Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through this year that allows farmers to increase their herds to 299 from 199 before permits are required, which can add more than $150,000 to expansion costs. Then environmental groups sued to block the move, saying expanding dairy production will add 1 billion pounds (454 million kilograms) of unregulated cow dung annually, damaging waterways…

As in some other states, milk prices in New York are set by federal regulators. Even with increased demand from yogurt producers, prices aren’t rising, according to Novakovic and the New York Farm Bureau. To increase profits, farmers need to produce more milk, which means adding cows…

A permit requires farmers to handle the increased manure load. They must pay a certified planner as much as $15,000, obtain engineering designs for new systems that can cost $50,000 and execute them for about $100,000, the review said. That’s in addition to the $382,000 needed for cows, land and holding pens…

Adams and Travis Rea, whose family has owned a dairy farm north of Albany in Cambridge for 215 years, said they’re planning to mitigate their manure as they grow anyway. Both, though, are holding off on expanding until they know the outcome of the lawsuit.

“We don’t have much money day to day and we’re up against groups that do,” Rea said by phone. “The environmentalists, they kind of scare me.”

You would think that the most damaged drinking water would be from the wells under those herds these dairy farmers draw their water from.  Are they poisoning themselves?  If they are they must be a glutton for punishment.  Because they’re drinking the water their cows are pooping in.

Once the buffaloes roamed the Great Plains.  And the Native Americans followed these great herds.  Hunted them.  And drank the water all that buffalo poop eventually washed into.  With some estimates of those buffalo herds being as large as 30 million strong that must have been a lot of buffalo poop.  Yet the Native Americans didn’t bitch about it damaging the waterways.

The only thing that will truly please PETA and the environmentalists is if the human race just died out and became extinct.  But until we do they will make our lives as miserable as possible.  Such as interfering with free markets.  Raising the cost for anyone trying to do business.  And then bitch about all the cow poop we’re producing because some other anti-business law put a ceiling on milk prices.  Which made adding cows—and more manure—the only way to expand business.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if we pleased one of these leftist organizations.  Say PETA.  By freeing all captive farm animals.  Letting them live free in the wild.  Where they would all die from age.  Eating and pooping to their hearts content.  Which, of course, would draw the ire of that other leftist organization.  The environmentalists.  Because of all that poop entering our waterways.  For with no one killing cattle for their meat the cattle populations would grow like the buffalo populations once did.  So the environmentalists, of course, would call for the culling of those herds.  Killing animals to save the planet.  Wouldn’t those be interesting debates?  Between PETA and the environmentalists?  Two leftist groups attacking each other as if the other was a conservative.

Permit costs that can add $150,000 to a small family farm?  Fear of environmentalists?  What has this country come to?

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The Democrats make the Poor travel for Hours by Bus to do their Grocery Shopping

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 18th, 2013

Week in Review

The Democrats champion unions.  And the poor.  Which creates a bit of a problem for Democrats.  As unions actually help to keep the poor poor.  Union employees raise selling prices higher than non-union employees.  Which is why cars built in the union North are more expensive than cars built in the non-union South.  And why the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, can sell at such low prices.  Because their stores use non-union labor.  Which the Democrats hate.  And work actively to prevent them from moving into new neighborhoods.  Which may explain problems like this (see How access to fresh food divides Americans by Iris Mansour posted 8/15/2013 on CNNMoney).

Twenty-nine million Americans live in urban and rural food deserts, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). By this definition, Americans in low-income rural areas have to travel at least 10 miles to get to their nearest supermarket. While city dwellers from low-income neighborhoods have to travel a mile or more.

In America, where the car is king, a 15-minute, one-mile drive doesn’t seem unreasonable. But if you live in a dense city like Washington D.C., that may mean having to take two hour-long bus rides in each direction to get to a supermarket, with shopping bags in tow…

But why the supermarket shortfall..?

Brian Lang, Director of the National Campaign for Healthy Food Access at The Food Trust says supermarkets stay away because urban settings force them to rethink the shape and size of their stores. Walgreens (WAG) can’t transplant its standard rectangular layouts from the sprawling suburbs into tightly packed neighborhoods. TRF’s Hinkle-Brown highlights another issue. A supermarket’s employees tend to live very nearby. “If they’re operating in low-income areas, they’re less work-ready. It takes six months longer to train them, and insurance costs are higher in urban areas,” he says.

Jeffrey Brown has experienced these problems firsthand. He operates six ShopRite supermarkets in former food deserts and five in suburban areas. He explains that suburban grocery stores, like his own, can expect to make a 1% net profit after tax, while his urban stores initially showed a 4% loss, resulting in a 5% gap between urban and suburban profits…

Hinkle-Brown explains that in 2004 he couldn’t get a meeting with a national grocery store. But today Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT) are opening smaller urban stores. “They realized that the big business frontier of revolutionary growth was behind them,” says Hinkle-Brown.

Walmart has a made a commitment to open 275 to 300 stores in food desert areas by 2016.

Most of these food deserts are in impoverished parts of big cities.  That are Democrat.  Like Detroit.  San Francisco.  Seattle.  Boston.  New York City.  And Washington D.C.  Where the local Democrat governments have done everything within their power to keep Wal-Mart out (see Washington D.C. and Detroit say ‘No’ to Wal-Mart because they don’t need Jobs or Shelves full of Low-Priced Goods posted 7/20/2013 on Pithocrates).  Because they care more for their dues-paying union supporters than the poor.  Apparently.

Wal-Mart can make life better for so many.  And they want to.  But because they’re non-union the Democrats are keeping them away from the people that would benefit most from them.  It’s not the Republicans doing this to the poor.  It’s the Democrats doing this to the poor.  And they’re supposed to be the protector of the poor?  Let’s hope the poor remember this the next time they vote.  Of course, for that, the Democrats will drive them to the polls.  Because that’s what they really care about.  Their vote.  Not how many hours they have to travel by bus to do their grocery shopping.

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Climate Experts blame a Population Collapse during a Severe Drought on Anger not Famine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

Here’s another study by climate experts to show why we don’t have to worry about anything climate experts say (see Climate change linked to increase in violence, war posted 8/2/2013 on cbcnews).

The world is likely to become a more violent place as temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, a new study suggests.

Published in Science, the study links elevated temperatures and changes in rainfall to the rise of personal assaults and group conflicts such as civil war…

“We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict … across all major regions of the world,” researchers said.

Hsiang also noted the collapse of the Mayan civilization occurred during periods of severe drought more than 1,200 years ago.

Wow.  Severe drought 1,200 years ago caused the collapse of the Mayan civilization.  Because they got violent with the rising temperatures and turned on each other.  Killing themselves out of existence.  That’s one explanation for why the Mayan civilization collapsed during a severe drought.  Here’s another.  That severe drought caused a famine.  Without food these people starved to death.  And those who didn’t fought over the diminishing food supplies.

Today when we have a severe drought we complain about high food prices.  Because our agricultural techniques are so advanced that even with a severe drought there is always enough food to feed us.  And with fossil fuels there is always fuel for ships, trains and planes to transport food from places not suffering a severe drought to a place that is.  Even perishable produce.  Something that just wasn’t possible 1,200 years ago.

There is a theory called Occam’s razor.  Which states the simplest explanation is often the correct explanation.  If you hear the pounding of hooves in the United States you think of horses.  Not zebras.  This is what these climate experts are telling us.  They want us to think zebras where there are only horses.

Did people die out during a severe drought because they were so angry over climate change that they started killing each other?  Or did they die out during a severe drought because there was no food to eat and they starved to death?  Is it zebras?   Or horses?  Occam’s razor tells us it’s horses.  And it probably is.

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