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> "How are many national economies keeping innumerable people hungry, even though there's plenty of food to go around several times over?"

I never see this question on TV. What I mainly see on Tv is talk about political strategies, result surveys and the like. Climate change is one of the few things that I see being discussed. And even that has a lot of this let's talk about politicians positions and poll results.

I want to see more about how to improve the world. Does anyone know any good on-line resources about this? Because mass media is doing a poor job. And we need them to do a better job.




https://thebreadbook.org/ - Peter Kropotkin argues that there's now enough industrial capability to feed, shelter, and clothe everyone, but this capability is poorly distributed. Notably he wrote this over 100 years ago.

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/no-shortcuts-9780190... - Jane F. McAlevey examines the difference between the ineffective activism of the last 40 years and successful movements like the Civil Rights Movement and the industrial labor movement. Her work is also explained well in this interview - https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/04/jane-mcalevey-on-how-...


>Notably he wrote this over 100 years ago.

Is that notable in a good way or bad way? Anything written for the population densities and totals 100 years ago is woefully out of date.

100 years ago there were homesteaders in the western US who were given free acres of land just for being there.


A huge part of Kropotkin's arguments are about what's possible with the technology of the time. This is even more relevant now with 100 years of improvements. It's a strong contrast to the futurist "everything will get better by default because technology."

Population densities are higher now but Kropotkin was writing before the green revolution. Our capability to feed everyone has grown dramatically in the intervening time


Opinion:

The tough truth is that improving the world at that scale is mostly about politics. Politics is how the nations allocate resources to problems.

You maybe want them to talk about the technical fundamentals of the problem but the important bit is usually the politics.

[A sibling comment says to look at TED talks. This is an excellent idea. Then, after a couple of years, ask why none of the solutions have been implemented, and you are ready to get interested in the politics.]


In the 1950s, building a moonbase would have been an engineering and technological challenge.

Today, it's basically a political and economics challenge, to convince enough people it would be worth while to spend the time and effort to do it. Which is not to say there wouldn't be engineers involved, solving new problems, but we already know enough of the solutions that it's not really the sticking point now.

(Which is to agree with you, a lot of things are organizational problems at this point.)


> "Today, it's basically a political and economics challenge, to convince enough people it would be worth while to spend the time and effort to do it."

There's a quote by (I believe) Winston Churchill - which I can't seem to find atm - that goes something along the lines of:

Winning a war/battle is relatively easy. It's convincing them to let you fight that's far more difficult.


The 50s were during the Cold War so building a moon base was absolutely a political challenge. It just so happens that it was an internal political challenge rather than an internal one.


Politics is the wrong word. Not everything is about the state. Its about property rights distribution and the ability to trade.

Politics of course often leads to bad propert rights distribution and limitations to trade.

But I prefer this definition because in many places de-facto property tights are privatly enforced and defended and its produce is not effected by state level politics.

You overall point is certainly true, bad governance leads to a lack of food.


> Politics is how the nations allocate resources to problems.

That's a hard pill to swallow, but I fear you're right.

Shouldn't government's priorities be establishing rule of law, courts & justice, national defense, and regulating commerce? How did massive taxes, a huge budget, and political fights over resource allocation ever get thrown into the mix?

A historian once said that democracy fails when people begin voting themselves into the nation's purse [i.e. voting for politicians who promise them money].


Because rich people don't get rich by spending money. With unfettered capitalism taxation is the best system available to keep the wealth from pooling at the top, so the government is needed to decide what to spend the money on.


>Because rich people don't get rich by spending money

That’s an oft-repeated but incorrect trope. You can’t save your way to being rich. Rich people are either born rich or they spend lots of money on investing into businesses (their own and others).

You also made no supporting argument for why the government is needed to decide what to spend some peoples’ money on. If we eliminated the top 1% and gave everyone else in the US the resulting few thousand dollars each, do you think that would eliminate the need for taxation going forward?


Why should maximizing the well-being of the people not be a government priority?

Any system, including someone's anarcho-capitalist fantasy, determines allocation of resources. Some are just more humanitarian than others.


Because it’s a fantasy to think there is even agreement on what “maximizing the well-being” means. The people running the re-education camps in China probably even think they are doing that.


A fundamentally American idea is that maximizing freedom results in maximum well-being of the people.

Though that idea was footnoted: not so with people lacking in moral virtue.


You might be interested in supporting Andrew Yang: https://www.yang2020.com/

All he talks about is the problem of resource redistribution through the means of a basic income, $1000/month to every citizen!


It’s too bad his arguments for basic income aren’t backed by better arguments. His whole example of his wife not being valued by the market makes no sense because personal caretakers are super expensive on the market.

They just chose as a couple to have her take care of her own son as a caretaker instead of her working and them hiring. That’s not a failure of the market anymore than the market not valuing my car because I refuse to sell it.


"Redesigning Civilization with Permaculture" http://tobyhemenway.com/videos/redesigning-civilization-with...

With integrated carbon-neutral fuel production: http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/node/277

> "Alcohol Can Be a Gas!" (subtitled Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century) is an information-dense, highly readable, profusely illustrated manual, covering every aspect of alcohol fuel from history through crops, hands-on fuel production, and vehicle conversion. It's the first comprehensive book on small- to farm-scale alcohol production and use written in over 90 years.


It's mainly focused on how to do good with your career but 80,000 hours (https://80000hours.org/) has a lot of resources and articles about basically what problems out there make sense to tackle and then career pathways to do so. Alternatively Effective Altruism (https://www.effectivealtruism.org/) has a bunch of resources more closely aligned with just understanding how to do the most good possible. If you're looking for something more one-off and easier rather than a career change or something significant, I recommend Givewell.org which ranks some of the charities that they've verified do the most good at the lowest cost and donating to one of them!


You could try TED (or TEDx) talks. For example, a couple of titles I see by skimming the video list are "The living tech we need to support human life on other planets" and "5 challenges we could solve by designing new proteins".




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