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1 in 8 Americans Go Hungry.... NOT!

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October 28, 2009 – Comments (48)

I really enjoyed this article debunking activist propaganda that one in eight Americans is "struggling with hunger." Much like other government numbers, the statistics on American hunger are massaged, redefined, distorted, and massaged again until they fit the perception people want to convey.  It happens with the CPI, the unemployment rate, climate change, gun control, just about any number that the government puts out.  Often it's not done as an evil attempt to "trick the public," but rather to trick their bosses and their bosses' bosses, so that the department will look useful and receive more funding.  And the bureacracies sprawl....

Think about it. If a government bureaucrat spits out wrong numbers, bad info, etc... what is the consequence?  Does he/she get fired?  Does the government go bankrupt?  No.  Nothing happens.  So not only is there no incentive to be right, there is little disincentive to not be wrong!  In the private sector, the manager of such a disreputable company section would be cast off or the company would suffer the economic consequences of so many poor practices (unless they're a big bank and the government works with them to fleece the people.)

David in Qatar

Is America Struggling With Hunger? by Jeremie T.A. Rostan

"One in eight Americans is struggling with hunger."

If you haven't heard that line, then you must not have a TV. And if you haven't read it, even if you can't be bothered to open a newspaper, then you must live in some very, very, remote part of the country.

"One in eight Americans is struggling with hunger." Everybody knows that. And everybody is talking about it. That statistic caught on like wildfire, striking everyone with a feeling of collective emergency.

My reaction was quite different; not because I don't care about the satisfaction of my neighbors' primary needs, but only because I am more suspicious than sensitive.

One in eight, I thought, that's 12.5 percent — a huge proportion. That's thirty-seven million, five hundred thousand people, a huge number — incredible, really. I said to myself, how can it be that so many Americans struggle with hunger, and yet I see so little of it?

So I did what few people do: I checked. Where does that "one in eight" come from? And what does it mean?

The now-famous statistic comes from the annual Food Security Survey (FSS) of the United States Department of Agriculture.[1] The first thing to point out is that this level of hunger is not new: contrary to what one may infer from the current campaign, the recent economic crisis has little to do with it. In fact, while food insecurity in America has increased slightly under recent economic conditions, it has been more or less stable for the last 15 years, affecting around 11 percent of households.[2]

Another interesting tidbit of information is that until 2005, the FSS divided food insecurity into "food insecurity without hunger" and "food insecurity with hunger." It then replaced those labels, without any change in their statistical definition, with "low food security" and "very low food security," respectively. Thus, the famous "one-in-eight" hungry Americans include all Americans living in households that, until 2005, were described as food insecure, but without hunger.

So, just how many Americans do face hunger? Well, households with "very low food security" have represented a consistent third of all food-insecure households in past years — around 4 percent of total households. Yet, this still does not mean that one in twenty-five Americans struggles with hunger.

Indeed, what do these statistical categories mean? This question is essential, because it is only deceptive definitions that allow activists and the mass media to foster the myth that "one in eight Americans is struggling with hunger."

In the survery, households were counted as having low food security if they reported, for instance, that in the past year they had been "worried whether [their] food would run out before [they] got money to buy more."

This is a good description of an obviously very unsatisfying condition: a feeling of insecurity concerning food. But it does not imply and must not be confused with actual insecurity concerning food, i.e., actual threats to one's ability to afford food.

Other criteria were the incapacity to afford "balanced meals," or the need to rely on a "few kinds of low-cost food." Moreover, such conditions need not be a household's constant situation, but only the case "sometimes" during the past year.

Once again, a feeling of insecurity, or the dependence on cheap food is certainly very undesirable. Still, it seems an outright lie to describe as "struggling with hunger" those households (accounting for two-thirds of all food-insecure households) which reported "few, if any, indications of reduced food intake" at anytime during the year.

What about households with very low food security? The distinction between low and very low food security can best be described as a distinction between subjective and objective food insecurity.

The "defining characteristic" of households with very low food security "is that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members is reduced and their normal eating patterns are disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food."[3]

Now, even this hardly fits in the definition of hunger as formulated by the Committee on National Statistics: "a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation."[4]

In fact, households with "very low food security" include all those that, because of reduced food intake, sometimes felt the "usual uneasy sensation" of hunger — not hunger in the sense of a day-to-day struggle to maintain one's health and strength.

Likewise, publicizing the disastrous situation of America in the face of hunger, activists obviously point out the case of children. Yet, a close look at the actual data reveals that less than 1 percent of households with children had very low food security among children.[5]

One would expect food insecurity to be closely linked to household resources. However, half of the households categorized as having very low food security have incomes well above the poverty line.[6] "On the other hand," the 2005 report states, "many low-income households (including almost two-thirds of those with incomes below the official poverty line) were food secure." Indeed, only 15 percent of households with incomes below the poverty line have very low food security.[7]

This means that 2 percent of all American households sometimes feel the "usual uneasy sensation" of hunger due to a lack of economic resources — and the vast majority of those with children manage to spare them from hunger.[8]

Certainly, this constitutes a problem; even more certainly, the truth is far from the collective-emergency myth that "one in eight Americans is struggling with hunger."

Notes

[1] A brief summary is accessible at the US Department of Agriculture website.

[2] Household Food Security in the United States, 2005, Economic Research Services, United States Department of Agriculture, p. 10.

[3] US Department of Agriculture.

[4] Household Food Security in the United States, 2005, p. 6.

[5] US Department of Agriculture.

[6] Household Food Security in the United States, 2005, p. 13.

[7] Household Food Security in the United States, 2005, p. 16.

[8] The criterion I use to classify households as "lacking economic resources" is the Poverty Line x 1.3 ratio.

Jérémie T.A. Rostan is "agrege de philosophie." He teaches philosophy and economics in San Francisco, California.

48 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 28, 2009 at 11:23 AM, jmt587 (99.87) wrote:

Good article David.  I don't usually agree with your politics, but I do like to read about when people actually get to the bottom of oft-repeated statistics.  Great find.

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#2) On October 28, 2009 at 11:25 AM, Bamafan68 (98.31) wrote:

Thank you for providing this information!  I recently viewed a tv program that quoted the 1 in 8 number while showing lines at the local food kitchens.  More than half of the people in the line were overweight with a high percentage of them morbidly obese.

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#3) On October 28, 2009 at 11:40 AM, Turfscape (37.16) wrote:

Oh...good. I can feel better because, although my neighbor doesn't know where he's going to get his next meal, can't actually afford fresh produce and only sometimes has to chose between paying the gas bill or buying generic cereal, he's not physically hungry right now. Phew! Thank goodness the system works!

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#4) On October 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Judochop172 (25.26) wrote:

Good work. When you have "The Biggest Loser" on television twice a week, it's a pretty safe bet that you're not in a food crisis.

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#5) On October 28, 2009 at 11:43 AM, PeteysTired (< 20) wrote:

Bamafan68

More than half of the people in the line were overweight with a high percentage of them morbidly obese

 I see those people too, but now I will wonder if they have "food insecurity without hunger" or "food insecurity with hunger."

Seriously, I don't want to discount someone who is really in dire straights for food, but this nation's problem is NOT lack of food or the ability to get food.  Also, I sure hope that person has the wherewithall to rely on themselves rather than a gov't agency for help. 

 

 

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#6) On October 28, 2009 at 11:50 AM, Bamafan68 (98.31) wrote:

#3) I wasn't commenting on the availability of healthy, fresh foods.   It's just tough to reconcile the statistic "1 in 8 Americans are hungry" when it's obvious that they are taking in more calories than are being expended on a daily basis.  To me, that does not qualify as being hungry.  It can certainly qualify as lack of good nutritional food availability, but that does not equate with hunger.

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#7) On October 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM, AvianFlu (35.37) wrote:

Anecdotally, it looks to me like most Americans are struggling with obesity....not hunger. And since the only proven method to extend life expectancy involves severe caloric restriction I'm not sure hunger is such a bad thing.

I have been extremely poor in my life at times. My tip for these people is to go to a mexican fast food place and order one soft tortilla and a side order of beans. Cost: about 45 cents. Put the beans on the tortilla. Then you go to the condiment table and fill it up with pico de gallo and everything else you can find. It worked for me and my wife and got us through some tough times.

Thanks in part to the Bush tax cuts and lots of hard work I was able to go from that scenario to being a millionaire. The less expensive and controlling government we have the easier it is to migrate from lower class to upper class. Picking good investments and having some good luck didn't hurt either. The best way to build wealth is to eliminate debt, including the house. And have modest tastes. For years I drove a $200 1972 Oldsmobile even though I was well off. I just sold it this year.

On another issue, that was a great post. However, I would suggest not using the phrase "climate change". They have been pounding the words "global warming" into our brains for 10 years. I suggest we continue to use it and not allow them to shift the terminology now that they apparently don't want to be associated with warming since it is clear that the world is actually cooling.

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#8) On October 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM, jddubya (< 20) wrote:

"More than half of the people in the line were overweight with a high percentage of them morbidly obese."

Hmmm... almost sounds like the TV program displayed the wrong graphic... You saw that 50% of the people were overweight... and of those more than half (high percentage?) were morbidly obese?  So then at least 25% of the people in line were morbidly obese?!?!?

I would say the program made it's flaws all too obvious... unfortunately the general public wouldn't have seen it the way you saw it... they will run with the 1 in 8 number and become part of the problem with how stats are twisted to fit someones special interest.

Hmmm... I would say that all of this typing has given me that uncomfortable feeling at a level far exceeding normal hunger... time to grab some breakfast I suppose.

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#9) On October 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM, benthalus (< 20) wrote:

I agree that these sociological studies are often inaccurately interpreted or reported, especially to support an agenda. Hunger is an especially subjective and variable sensation, difficult to accurately quantify. A much more objective study looking at whether the population is receiving adequate nuitrition would be to take blood samples and measure levels of albumin and pre-albumin (the most common protein in your blood). This is standard practice in malnurished patients, and determines whether enough protein is in the diet to support normal body function and growth. While this doesn't address the subjective experience of hunger, it does assess whether that hunger is affecting bodily processes.

 Besides, if more people in this country went a little hungry every now and then, we wouldn't be so fat.

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#10) On October 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM, Turfscape (37.16) wrote:

Judochop172 said:

"Good work. When you have "The Biggest Loser" on television twice a week, it's a pretty safe bet that you're not in a food crisis."

How is that relevant? Because one person overeats, others couldn't possibly be in need of food? That's as blind as the French aristocracy of the late 1700s saying 'what do you mean poverty and famine? look at the fabulous palaces we have!'

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#11) On October 28, 2009 at 11:58 AM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

I struggle with hunger everyday about 3:30 in the afternoon.

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#12) On October 28, 2009 at 12:04 PM, Judochop172 (25.26) wrote:

They use to give out fresh food and cheese before food stamps. Now they buy garbage in a can because fresh food costs to much due to shipping costs. Gardening is not that dificult and it can suplement your personal food supply. Food can be frozen for the winter at a fraction of the costs of buying. When the society has fat people on TV crying about their weight, you don't have a food problem. When obesity related diseases are the reason trans fats are banned from NY, you don't have a food problem. Ethiopa has a food problem, we don't. I recomend turnips. They grow twice a year and you can eat the roots and greens. You don't even have to hoe a row. .

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#13) On October 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM, Turfscape (37.16) wrote:

Bamafan68 said:

"I wasn't commenting on the availability of healthy, fresh foods.   It's just tough to reconcile the statistic "1 in 8 Americans are hungry" when it's obvious that they are taking in more calories than are being expended on a daily basis."

The stat, according to the article is "1 in 8 is STRUGGLING WITH HUNGER" not 1 in 8 is hungry. Whether someone is physically hungry today, or they don't have access to healthy meals (a much more common cause of obesity than simple overeating), or they have to forgo any other basic item in order to get a box of mac and cheese for their kids' dinner...that's struggling with hunger. And the fact that it happens in our country should be a point of shame.

Now, we can point at those who are hungry and say "it's your own fault, I'm not going to feel sorry for you" or "you're too fat anyways", or we could address the root problems (which include nutritional education, access to fresh foods, and even the overproduction of staples such as corn that lead to the abundance of extremely cheap foodstuffs that contain no nutritional value but high calories through sugar content).

Meh...the article is right; it's easier to say "I don't like your statistics, therefore no problem exists".

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#14) On October 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM, bmjones76 (39.70) wrote:

I'm hungry right now and my ankle hurts.  It's 12:07 Eastern.  I may struggle to the kitchen.  Am I a statistic?

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#15) On October 28, 2009 at 12:14 PM, Turfscape (37.16) wrote:

Judochop172 said:

"When the society has fat people on TV crying about their weight, you don't have a food problem. When obesity related diseases are the reason trans fats are banned from NY, you don't have a food problem."

When society has people on TV competing to invest in startup companies (Shark Tank) you don't have an economic downturn. When society has people on TV renovating houses into dream homes (Extreme Home Makeover) you don't have a drop in housing markets. When society has people on TV giving away high-paying jobs (The Apprentice) then you don't have unemployment problems.

Wow...it looks like the Obama administration is doing a lot better than we give them credit for...no economic worries in this country. TV shows said so.

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#16) On October 28, 2009 at 12:17 PM, whereaminow (27.41) wrote:

The statistics convey the message that America is facing a national emergency.  Clearly it is not. 

If we really want to get to the root of the problem, we need accurate information, not massaged and distorted data.  I don't think anyone in the government wants to get to the root of the problem however. That's not they get rewarded.  They get rewarded by identifying an emergency (hunger) and promising to fix it (pandering.)

With such low levels of real hunger in America, charity is more than ample to meet the need.

David in Qatar

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#17) On October 28, 2009 at 12:25 PM, ozzfan1317 (78.60) wrote:

That number is probably more accuarate than we want to admit many people are trapped deciding between their utility bill and food right now.

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#18) On October 28, 2009 at 12:31 PM, anticitrade (99.65) wrote:

When I think of all the starving Americans (figuratively 1/8th of our population), the stress of it actually drives me towards the comfort I can only find in unnatural amounts of chedder and salted meats.  Which in turn drives food shortages for others.....  As you can see... It is a viscious cycle.

ocsurf took my initial obnoxious comment....

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#19) On October 28, 2009 at 1:53 PM, USNHR (33.25) wrote:

""They get rewarded by identifying an emergency (hunger) and promising to fix it (pandering.)""

Spending more american tax money for more useless programs causing the attitude that "Uncle Sam will take care of Me".

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#20) On October 28, 2009 at 2:34 PM, Darvo285 (60.32) wrote:

I know Cato was looking for quotes today but I figured this one fit nicely with this topic.

"Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenseless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will perform them." – Lysander Spooner

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#21) On October 28, 2009 at 2:41 PM, ChrisGraley (29.92) wrote:

I'm kinda hungry?!?

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#22) On October 28, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Darvo285 (60.32) wrote:

I have some generic cereal, boxed mac and cheese, cheddar and some salted meat .... if your interested. Don't worry though, I am working on passing legislation that would mandate an edible arrangement be delivered to anyone unable to obtain fresh produce. Just the plain ones though, not the ones dipped in chocolate that would be ridiculous.

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#23) On October 28, 2009 at 3:23 PM, jstegma (29.42) wrote:

Good post.  I agree with your explanation of why statistics get pumped up to make things sound like a crisis. 

Two points to take away from this:

1.  America has very good food security.  That is easy to take for granted, but it is an extremely important competitive advantage when you think about it.  

2.  The same reasoning as in where's first paragraph probably applies to global warming research and explains why the scientific community is so quick to ridicule anyone who claims that the problem is nonexistent or even less acute than is generally claimed.  I'm not saying that global warming is not an issue, but I think the reasoning figures prominently in the debate.

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#24) On October 28, 2009 at 6:12 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
The lack of basic logic in your tirade is simply amazing. Your diatribe begins with this sentence:
"I really enjoyed this article debunking activist propaganda that one in eight Americans is "struggling with hunger."
So the problem is activist propaganda, right? That's not what your second sentence says:
"Much like other government numbers, the statistics on American hunger are massaged, redefined, distorted, and massaged again until they fit the perception people want to convey."
Now the problem is government fudging numbers, right? Not so fast. Further down in your message, you wrote:
"If you haven't heard that line, then you must not have a TV. And if you haven't read it, even if you can't be bothered to open a newspaper, then you must live in some very, very, remote part of the country.
"One in eight Americans is struggling with hunger." Everybody knows that. And everybody is talking about it. That statistic caught on like wildfire, striking everyone with a feeling of collective emergency"

Now the problem is the clueless media and/or a sloppy/innumerate/sensationalist journalist spreading a not so accurate story? Or the story is factually right but context-free (the number of hungry Americans is correct but has nothing to do with the current recession)? Did you realize that this "debunking" relies on government data?
Now tell me how do you managed to involve activists and the government when the problem is clearly journalists' malpractice? Will you admit that involving the government and activists in your rant was a mistake?

@Bamafan68,
"lack of good nutritional food availability"
There's a concept for that: food desert.

@AvianFlu,
"The less expensive and controlling government we have the easier it is to migrate from lower class to upper class."
Excuse me, I'm going to debunk this myth
"People may move up or down the social ladder within their lifetime or from one generation to the next. That everyone has the same chance of moving up is what lies behind the idea of equality of opportunity.
One way to measure social mobility is to see whether rich parents have rich children and poor parents poor children, or whether the incomes of parents and their children are unrelated. Can children of poor parents become rich? Researchers at the London School of Economics have used this method to compare social mobility in eight countries. Using their data, we have shown that, at least among these few countries, the more equal countries have higher social mobility (see graph). It looks as if the American Dream is far more likely to remain a dream for Americans than it is for people living in Scandinavian countries. Greater inequalities of outcome seem to make it easier for rich parents to pass on their advantages. While income differences have widened in Britain and the USA, social mobility has slowed. Bigger income differences may make it harder to achieve equality of opportunity because they increase social class differentiation and perhaps prejudice."

Oops



"However, I would suggest not using the phrase "climate change". They have been pounding the words "global warming" into our brains for 10 years."
Are you serious?
- The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was founded 21 years ago, so "they" have been pounding the words climate change since 1988.
- You can treat climate change and global warming as quasi-synonyms. The most accurate description would be anthropogenic climate change since it conveys both the cause (mankind activities, mainly the releasing of GHG into the atmosphere) and the outcome (change in the whole climate, not just temperatures). Both global warming and climate change an be a bit misleading since global warming only reflects one phenomena (the rise in average global temperature) and limate change may give the impression of a natural phenomenon (the climate changes naturally but not this time)
- If you feel that you've been misled look at Frank Luntz, a leading Republican consultant:
"The US Republican party is changing tactics on the environment, avoiding "frightening" phrases such as global warming, after a confidential party memo warned that it is the domestic issue on which George Bush is most vulnerable.
The memo, by the leading Republican consultant Frank Luntz, concedes the party has "lost the environmental communications battle" and urges its politicians to encourage the public in the view that there is no scientific consensus on the dangers of greenhouse gases.
"The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science," Mr Luntz writes in the memo, obtained by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based campaigning organisation.
"Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly.
"Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate."

The phrase "global warming" should be abandoned in favour of "climate change", Mr Luntz says, and the party should describe its policies as "conservationist" instead of "environmentalist", because "most people" think environmentalists are "extremists" who indulge in "some pretty bizarre behaviour... that turns off many voters".
Words such as "common sense" should be used, with pro-business arguments avoided wherever possible."


"I suggest we continue to use it and not allow them to shift the terminology now that they apparently don't want to be associated with warming since it is clear that the world is actually cooling"
Reality doesn't support this talking point
AP IMPACT: Statisticians reject global cooling. Some quotes:
"Have you heard that the world is now cooling instead of warming? You may have seen some news reports on the Internet or heard about it from a provocative new book.
Only one problem: It's not true, according to an analysis of the numbers done by several independent statisticians for The Associated Press.
The case that the Earth might be cooling partly stems from recent weather. Last year was cooler than previous years. It's been a while since the super-hot years of 1998 and 2005. So is this a longer climate trend or just weather's normal ups and downs?
In a blind test, the AP gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time."

"If you look at the data and sort of cherry-pick a micro-trend within a bigger trend, that technique is particularly suspect," said John Grego, a professor of statistics at the University of South Carolina."
"The recent Internet chatter about cooling led NOAA's climate data center to re-examine its temperature data. It found no cooling trend.
"The last 10 years are the warmest 10-year period of the modern record," said NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt. "Even if you analyze the trend during that 10 years, the trend is actually positive, which means warming."

"Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.
Saying there's a downward trend since 1998 is not scientifically legitimate, said David Peterson, a retired Duke University statistics professor and one of those analyzing the numbers.
Identifying a downward trend is a case of "people coming at the data with preconceived notions," said Peterson, author of the book "Why Did They Do That? An Introduction to Forensic Decision Analysis."
"Statisticians say that in sizing up climate change, it's important to look at moving averages of about 10 years. They compare the average of 1999-2008 to the average of 2000-2009. In all data sets, 10-year moving averages have been higher in the last five years than in any previous years.

"To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous," said Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford.
Ben Santer, a climate scientist at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Lab, called it "a concerted strategy to obfuscate and generate confusion in the minds of the public and policymakers" ahead of international climate talks in December in Copenhagen."

"Of the 10 hottest years recorded by NOAA, eight have occurred since 2000, and after this year it will be nine because this year is on track to be the sixth-warmest on record.
The current El Nino is forecast to get stronger, probably pushing global temperatures even higher next year, scientists say. NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt predicts 2010 may break a record, so a cooling trend "will be never talked about again."


@benthalus,
"A much more objective study looking at whether the population is receiving adequate nuitrition would be to take blood samples and measure levels of albumin and pre-albumin (the most common protein in your blood)."
Well, hunger and malnourishment/undernourishment are different issues. Taking blood samples and measuring proteins, key micro-nutrients, etc would say nothing about hunger. Hunger involves other things in addition to malnourishment/undernourishment.

@Judochop172,
"When obesity related diseases are the reason trans fats are banned from NY, you don't have a food problem. Ethiopa has a food problem, we don't."
Lack of food isn't the only food problem. Overeating and bad eating are also food-related problems.

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#25) On October 28, 2009 at 6:28 PM, whereaminow (27.41) wrote:

"Yep, AGW is a big weapon for progressives (I'm one) and environmentalists." - lucas1985

Science is not a weapon. It is the search for laws.  You'll never find one if all you care about is advancing the progressive agenda.

Visit Climate Physics for more debunking of AGW.  (It's also very funny.)

David in Qatar

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#26) On October 28, 2009 at 7:38 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
Wow, talk about changing topics. That generally happens when your argument goes down in flames.
"Yep, AGW is a big weapon for progressives (I'm one) and environmentalists." - lucas1985
I should recognize that you have some skill, namely distorting other people's words and statements. I'll use an example that may help you to understand what I said:
Every educated and thoughtful person knows that capitalism/free markets/private enterprise have brought increasing levels of prosperity, material wealth and living standards. We also know that central planning (specially Soviet style planning) is condemned to failure in the long run as exemplified by the collapse of the USSR. So, with these facts in hand, we can predict that groups whose rhetoric is largely pro-market/pro-business/anti-government such as conservatives, right-libertarians and others will use these facts to advance their agenda (less government intervention, freer trade, etc). Similarly, liberals, progressives, environmentalists and others will use other set of facts (anthropogenic climate change, ocean acidification, income inequality, etc) to advance their agenda (environmental regulations, internalization of externalities, progressive tax policy, etc). Now, do you understand what I said when I wrote :"Yep, AGW is a big weapon for progressives (I'm one) and environmentalists"?

"Science is not a weapon. It is the search for laws."
Science is much more than the search of laws. It has an epistemology. It has an ethos:
"Cudos is an acronym used to denote principles that should guide good scientific research. According to the CUDOS principles, the scientific ethos should be governed by Communalism, Universalism, Disinterestedness, Organised Scepticism.
The term CUDOS was introduced in 1942 by Robert K. Merton. An alternative term for Cudos is the Mertonian norms. The term Cudos is gaining in acceptance in the scientific community as a way of summarizing principles for good science.
The guiding principles in Cudos are:
    * Communalism entails that scientific results are the common property of the entire scientific community.
    * Universalism means that all scientists can contribute to science regardless of race, nationality, culture, or gender.
    * Disinterestedness according to which scientists should not present their results entangled with their personal beliefs or activism for a cause. Scientists should have an arms length attitude towards their findings.
    * Organised Scepticism Scepticism means that scientific claims must be exposed to critical scrutiny before being accepted."


"You'll never find one if all you care about is advancing the progressive agenda."
This statement shows how ignorant are you. You don't go very far in science if you care more about your agenda than if you care for the facts. If you fudge data, misinterpret sources and/or say things unsupported by the evidence your career is pretty much finished. Sloppiness and agenda-driven conclusions aren't rewarded. That's what happening to the few climate change skeptics who have the credentials/expertise to offer an informed opinion. If climate change skeptics say things unsupported by the evidence, are caught fudging data, don't submit their findings to the scientific community and are agenda-driven it's no wonder that they aren't taken seriously.

"Visit Climate Physics for more debunking of AGW.  (It's also very funny.)"
Yawn. Another rehash of debunked talking points. Example: "Cold is Coming". Easily debunked.
- AP IMPACT: Statisticians reject global cooling. See quotes in previous post.
- Are we now experiencing global cooling?
* Skeptic argument
"Global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable." (source: Henrik Svensmark)"
* What the science says
"Empirical measurements of the Earth's heat content show the planet is still accumulating heat and global warming is still happening. Surface temperatures can show short term cooling when heat is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, which has a much greater heat capacity than the air."

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#27) On October 28, 2009 at 10:07 PM, devoish (98.08) wrote:

If we are going to talk about misrepresentations, the first one I want to mention is yours, David in Qatar. While Mr Rostan's article is about misrepresentative reporting, you characterize it as a Gov't disinformation campaign. All the information in Mr Rostan's report is on the USDA website, and very clearly explained.

Think about it. If a government bureaucrat spits out wrong numbers, bad info, etc... what is the consequence?

So anyway, thanks for keeping the "massaged, redefined, distorted, and massaged again until they fit the perception people want to convey" introduction short.

Anyway on to Mr Rostan's representation of the data.

Right away he tells us that he doubts the most often reported statistic is accurate.

One in eight, I thought, that's 12.5 percent — a huge proportion. That's thirty-seven million, five hundred thousand people, a huge number — incredible, really. I said to myself, how can it be that so many Americans struggle with hunger, and yet I see so little of it?

Now your Mr Rostan makes large of the fact that people who were worried about running out of food are included in the percentage of people who are described as having "low food security". I did a little "fact checking" on my own and the survey says that group does not include 12.5% of all Americans, but 15.4% of all Americans or one in six who answered yes to the question "were you worried about running out of food in 2006.

12.5% said they actually did run out of food and did not have money to buy more in 2006 because they ran out of money. Not worried they would run out, they did run out. 37% of them said it happened almost every month. 59% of them said it happened in some but not every month, and the rest said it occured only once or twice during the year.

I say it perfectly accurate to make the statement that these people are struggling with hunger. If you are running out of food at the end of two months out of the year you are probably struggling to avoid hunger the other ten months. If you are running out of food more than two months out of the year you are losing that struggle.

Now Mr Rostan might "see so little of"  this hunger problem because these Americans are ashamed that they cannot feed their familys or themselves. I for one would prefer to let them keep their anonymity if they prefer. But I think it is because he does not want to see it and serves his purpose that I do not believe it either, whatever his motivation is.

And this post is brought to us from David in Qatar who whines that inflation impoverishes us and now tries to sell me that poverty does not really exist here.

Yeah David, Gov't is lying to me, not you.

And if Mr Rottan says it is lying to describe people as "struggling with hunger" because they only ran out food at the end of the month, I disagree. I say if you ran out of food some months you were struggling against hunger the other months too.

Mr Rotten piece of Sh** may want to actually see bodies of starved Americans before he is willing to acknowledge a problem exists, but that is a reflection of his lack of character.

There are other, what did you call them, David, massaged, redefined, distorted, and massaged again, perceptions in Mr rotten POS's article too.

The vast majority of kids he describes avoided hunger because the vast majority of their caregivers sacrificed their own food for them, which kind of belies the perception David sells of struggling families being worthless drug addicts.

Follow some advice I did what few people do: I checked. because there is nothing else in Mr Rotten's post worth your time.

Check Here.

David in Qatar. I would love to say that this is the most inaccurate, biggest load of crap you have ever posted, but it is not.

 

 

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#28) On October 29, 2009 at 1:48 AM, whereaminow (27.41) wrote:

devoish,

My favorite posts are the ones that get your panties all in a bunch.  (well, you and Mr. Science lucas1985).  I wish you were this diligent in attempting to debunk the stuff that really scares me.

1 in 8 Americans are not struggling with hunger.  They have no idea what that even means.  Feeling that you may not get food and NOT GETTING FOOD are two very different things. If you had ever travelled you would know the difference.  Take a trip to Peshawar, Pakistan or the shanties outside Joburg, SA.  Have a peak at the starving sub-Sahara or war-ravaged Sri Lanka.  That's hunger.  

America has never had a problem with hunger.  Even in the 1800s everyone ate.  No one starved.  Food is abundant because the government does not command and control the food supply, though they often intervene.  In fact, the government could remove price controls and tariffs on various food items and any shortfalls faced in America would be wiped out instantly.

Take care and thanks for the compliments.  Coming from you, criticisms means I'm doing well.

David in Qatar 

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#29) On October 29, 2009 at 4:53 AM, devoish (98.08) wrote:

David in Qatar,

One in SIX Americans are worried about going hungry.

One in Eight ran out of food and money.

Your post is incorrect. That small gov't Sri Lanka has it worse does not change that.

The statement that one in eight Americans struggle with hunger is true.

That a small Gov't like Sri lanka struggles with starvation does not change that. It only reveals that having a small gov't does not help many people.

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#30) On October 29, 2009 at 5:39 AM, whereaminow (27.41) wrote:

lucas1985,

Who drew that income inequality graph?  It looks like the work of a 3rd grader.

I read a book once called "The Millionaire Next Door."  Now granted it didn't have fancy graphs like that :) but it was written by two Harvard professors that studied the traits of millionaires in America.  It showed quite conclusively that income mobility was alive and well.  Then again, they didn't draw any pretty pictures but it was the best they could do.

devoish,

You're absolutely insane.  If one in eight Americans actually ran out of food, we wouldn't be hearing about it two years later.  There's a reason so many people on this site refer to you as an "idiot."  

Sri Lankan small government huh?  You know there is a reason Chomsky calls them "failed states" and not "failed markets."

David in Qatar

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#31) On October 29, 2009 at 10:06 AM, Gemini846 (53.90) wrote:

Devoish since you're so good at digging. Dig up these stats:

How many of those families who are "struggling with hunger" have cable TV? How many of them have multiple cars? How many eat fast food multiple times a month?

Go digging and you'll find out that its more than you think.

lucas1985 do you know that most lower class Americans have a higher standard of living than the "middle class" of Europe? They live in bigger dwellings, eat more red meat, have 1 or more cars, have greater access to cell phones et et et.

Where's the statistics behind that graph? Is it based on % of income change? Numbers of people below the poverty line that now arent? Number of people who grew up rich but now arent?

Do rich parents teach thier kids how to have more wealth? Of course. Why wouldn't they? Can a government inspire people to greatness with salary caps and high taxes? No. Public education has been the biggest flop this century. Is there value in teaching someone the basics like reading and math skills? Sure. Does every kid need to know trig and waste money in college? No. If college was a right, then why do we have to borrow money to go there rather than allow the government to provide it? Establishing debts that produce no real income increse for the majority of grads puts them in bondage for the rest of thier lives.

I'm glad that David brought up "The Millionaire Next Door" because it talks about how many of these people are self made and didn't inherit thier money. Forbes reports that of thier Billionare list they publish each year 90% of them grew up in families that were not wealthy.

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#32) On October 29, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Turfscape (37.16) wrote:

Gemini846 said:

"I'm glad that David brought up "The Millionaire Next Door" because it talks about how many of these people are self made and didn't inherit thier money."

People do that in China, too...must be a good political system. Nothing wrong with dictatorial communism so long as it has a sprinkling of capitalist policy because, after all, some people there have made it to billionaire status just fine without inheriting their money.

Also good to know that since some people who are hungry have cars and cable tv that a hunger problem doesn't exist anywhere in the country. Phew...I was worried for a little while that maybe the facts were being skewed to suit your singular point of view. Thankfully you pointed out that other people somewhere else have it worse, thereby completely eliminating the possibility of a problem or potential problem to exist here. Thank goodness for logic, reasoning and common sense like that.

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#33) On October 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM, jstegma (29.42) wrote:

It's hard to believe that people believe 1 in 8 Americans has hunger problems.  It sounds like a fun game to play - "Let's look for starving people".  To make the game even more fun, we could combine it with a game of "Let's look for fat people".  We'll say starving people are worth 8 pts and fat people are worth 1 pt.  I think the only way to make the game work would be to go to a homeless shelter, and even then I wouldn't want to bet against the guy counting fat people.

That "1 in 8 Americans is having hunger issues" is pure 100% USDA inspected Grade A BS.

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#34) On October 29, 2009 at 2:54 PM, DaretothREdux (44.76) wrote:

Turfscape,

I think you are completely missing the point. David is not saying that people can't get rich under other systems of government/economics. He is saying that the free-market capitalist system allows for the "most" (as in a higher percentage of Americans v. Chinese) people to live above the poverty line.

Can you prove that wrong?

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#35) On October 29, 2009 at 3:38 PM, bigpeach (30.32) wrote:

Well, I must say, Lucas is entirely right. While you're correct that the 1 in 8 "fact" is a complete lie, you are entirely off base trying to twist this into an example of government fact distortion. In fact, the article you posted uses government data (which it assumes to be accurate) to debunk the lies propagated by private groups. Groups such as Feeding America whose sponsors include ConAgra, Campbell's, Walmart, Kraft, Kroger and Cargill. Hmmm.... wonder why they would support a group whose mission is to buy food. In fact, it is your beloved capitalism that promotes this particular lie. It seems to be you who has done the "massaging" to promote your anti government agenda.

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#36) On October 29, 2009 at 3:45 PM, Turfscape (37.16) wrote:

DaretothREdux said:

"Can you prove that wrong?"

Actually, I don't need to...I was addressing Gemini846. MY point is that people who complain about others cherry-picking stats tend to couter with cherry-picked stats of their own.

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#37) On October 29, 2009 at 4:06 PM, jstegma (29.42) wrote:

I think some of the fat people in this country could probably "run out of food" at an all-you-can-eat buffet. 

I don't equate that situation with hunger, but I think the statistics would.

 

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#38) On October 29, 2009 at 5:18 PM, devoish (98.08) wrote:

During the last twelve months, which of these statements is true?

Household items:

Worried food would run out before (I/we) got money to buy more  yes - 15.4%

Food bought didn’t last and (I/we) didn’t have money to get more yes - 12.4%

Couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals yes - 11.3%

I consider one in eight to mean 12% of Americans struggled with hunger.

gemini,

You make unsupported allegations.  Do your own digging, do your own survey. Everyone they called had a phone they could give up, and I suppose, lights.

Arbitron reports that 60% of Americans have cable.

MSNBC reports to that 80% of Americans have either cable or satellite tv.

Let's see. 100% minus 80% equals... more than 12.4%.

Perhaps you should "go digging". you might find out it is less than you think. And if the facts do not support you, then what would you think?

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#39) On October 29, 2009 at 5:43 PM, outoffocus (23.31) wrote:

Well, I can't speak for exact statistics, but:

For one, I highly doubt 1 in 8 people in America are hungry.  Having said that, I do believe that there are people in America that are hungry.  But this country is so awash in cheap food that anyone who is struggling to put food on the table merely slips through the cracks. 

In the inner cities, there are so many churches, charities, and food banks that if you aren't homeless, you almost have to be trying hard to be struggling to eat.  In the rural areas however, access to charities and food banks are not always readily available.  Also, food stamp benefits are often far below that of areas with higher populations. Most of the time these people are miles away from any form of charity or food bank and these rural areas tend to be reminiscent of third world countries (Oprah did a special on this phenomena a couple years ago). 

I've given out food in the inner city as well as the rural areas.  In in a country as blessed as ours, it is hard to fulfill every need because it is a 2 way street.  Not only do you have to be willing to assist people in their hour of need, but the people in need have to be humble enough to admit where they are.  Awareness is another issue.  The food banks need to be aware of where the needy are and the needy have to be aware of where they can get assistance.  Because of that disconnect, I'm afraid there will ALWAYS be hungry people in this country. 

I made my comments because it seems that previous commentors are merely arguing over semantics and missing the issue at hand. 

I reiterate, yes there are people struggling with hunger in this country, but I highly doubt it's as high as 1 in 8 people and  we have more than enough here in the US to absorb that need. The challenge is not the statistics, but coming up with ways to fix it.

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#40) On October 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM, jstegma (29.42) wrote:

I'm not disagreeing that there are some people in the US with legitimate hunger issues, but I wanted to point out that I don't agree with the 12% thing either. 

It was just a survey question that people answered.

If you look at the question in devoish's comment, it doesn't even seem to take into account any alternatives to buying more food with your own money.  To call is a real hunger problem, I think you'd have to consider alternatives to simply starving or eating dirt or whatever.  

Borrowed money from friends or relatives.

Got food at food bank.

Used food stamps.

Ate at family or friends' houses.

Other interesting answers could include:

I've just been conditioned to lie on surveys like this to appear more aid-worthy.  I don't know if you're the government checking up on me looking to cut my welfare and food stamps or if you're going to offer me some kind of additional aid if I appear to need it.

I'm too stupid to comprehend a basic question and answer yes or no, so the answer you get from me is entirely random.  Basically I'm an idiot.

 

 

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#41) On October 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM, devoish (98.08) wrote:

outoffocus,

The OP condemned saying "1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger" as biased reporting.

He then tried to characterize almost all of them as people who said they were "worried" about running out of food, which is over 15% of us, so 3% of the "worried" managed to avoid being hungry.

In fact 12.4% or 1 in 8 Americans actually ran out food and did not have money to buy more. 37% of them said it happened often, almost 70% said it happened more than twice, and the rest said it happened one or two time in the last year.

If you run out of food twice a year you are struggling with hunger and twice lost out.

On any given night, it is not 1 in 8, unless maybe at the end of the month. But every year since 2004 it is.

I agree with you the challenge is coming up with a way to fix it.

Gemini was trying to tell me these people just need to give up their cable.

 

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#42) On October 29, 2009 at 6:28 PM, devoish (98.08) wrote:

jstegma,

Survey says... They ran out of food and money. Maybe the relatives and food bank did too. Maybe they already cut costs by living in the same house.

The "fraud" in the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit was reported by uknucklehead as 10% when it is likely to be less than 1%. I bet fraud in the food stamp program is worse than 1%. But it is probably not 3%.

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#43) On October 29, 2009 at 6:38 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

I am craving chocolate ice cream but I am stuck at work, am I a statistic? lol.

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#44) On October 29, 2009 at 6:48 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"I wish you were this diligent in attempting to debunk the stuff that really scares me."
- I'm diligent to debunk stuff, specially fact-free illogical conservative talking points. I do it on a weekly basis.
- What's the stuff that really scares you?

"Take a trip to Peshawar, Pakistan or the shanties outside Joburg, SA.  Have a peak at the starving sub-Sahara or war-ravaged Sri Lanka. That's hunger."
That's more than "simple" hunger. That's malnutrition, famine or starvation. I don't need to travel thousands of kilometers to see that. I live in a Third World country, so I'm familiar with these phenomenons.
"Hunger is a feeling experienced when one has a desire to eat. Satiety is the absence of hunger. The often unpleasant feeling of hunger originates from the hypothalamus releasing hormones that target receptors in the liver. Although an average nourished individual can survive weeks without food intake, the sensation of hunger typically begins after a couple of hours without eating and is generally considered quite uncomfortable. The sensation of hunger can often be alleviated and even mitigated entirely with the consumption of food. Hunger is also the most commonly used term to describe the social condition of people who frequently experience, or live with the threat of experiencing, the physical sensation of hunger.
    * Malnutrition is a general term for a condition caused by improper diet or nutrition.
    * Famine is a widespread scarcity of food that may apply to any faunal species, which phenomenon is usually accompanied by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.
    * Starvation describes a "state of exhaustion of the body caused by lack of food." This state may precede death."

From Wikipedia.

"Coming from you, criticisms means I'm doing well"
Uh no, criticisms means that you flunked. Your anti-government zeal polluted an otherwise interesting article.

"Who drew that income inequality graph?  It looks like the work of a 3rd grader."
Did you care to read the source of the graph? At the end of their article The Equality Trust cite the sources:
"* Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE. The problems of relative deprivation: why some societies do better than others. Social Science and Medicine 2007; 65: 1965-78.
 * Blanden J, Gregg P, Machin S. Intergenerational mobility in Europe and North America. London: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, 2005.
 * Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE. The Spirit Level. Penguin. 2009"
And there's a link called "Statistical Sources and Methods"

"I read a book once called "The Millionaire Next Door."  Now granted it didn't have fancy graphs like that :) but it was written by two Harvard professors that studied the traits of millionaires in America.  It showed quite conclusively that income mobility was alive and well."
You got your facts wrong again:
- The writers of "The Millionaire Next Door" are not Harvard professors. According to Amazon.com, the authors are Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Neither admit to having studied at Harvard.
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a sharp criticism of the basic argument of the book, according to Wikipedia
"Nassim Nicholas Taleb criticized the premise of the book on the basis of two instances of survivorship bias: that there is no mention of the accumulators who have accumulated underperforming assets, and that the United States had just gone through the greatest bull market in its history at the time of the book's publication. He suggested that the authors should lower the net worth of the observed millionaires to compensate for the effect of the unobserved losers, and to consider the fate of accumulators following prolonged periods of recession such as in 1982 or 1935."
- I didn't say that there's no social mobility in the USA. I said that the odds of social mobility are higher in other developed countries
"One way to measure social mobility is to see whether rich parents have rich children and poor parents poor children, or whether the incomes of parents and their children are unrelated. Can children of poor parents become rich? Researchers at the London School of Economics have used this method to compare social mobility in eight countries. Using their data, we have shown that, at least among these few countries, the more equal countries have higher social mobility"
Reality is nuanced, not black/white.

"Sri Lankan small government huh?  You know there is a reason Chomsky calls them "failed states" and not "failed markets.""
You flunked again. Definition of failed state
"The term failed state is often used by political commentators and journalists to describe a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government. In order to make this definition more precise, the following attributes, proposed by the Fund for Peace, are often used to characterize a failed state:
    * loss of physical control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein,
    * erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions,
    * an inability to provide reasonable public services, and
    * an inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.
Common characteristics of a failing state include a central government so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory; non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; refugees and involuntary movement of populations; and sharp economic decline"
"A state could be said to "succeed" if it maintains, in the words of Max Weber, a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within its borders. When this is broken (e.g., through the dominant presence of warlords, paramilitary groups, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes dubious, and the state becomes a failed state. The difficulty of determining whether a government maintains "a monopoly on the legitimate use of force" (which includes the problems of the definition of "legitimate") means it is not clear precisely when a state can be said to have "failed." This problem of legitimacy can be solved by understanding what Weber intended by it. Weber clearly explains that only the state has the means of production necessary for physical violence (politics as vocation). This means that the state does not require legitimacy for achieving monopoly on the means of violence (de facto) but will need one if it needs to use it (de jure).
The term is also used in the sense of a state that has been rendered ineffective (i.e., has nominal military/police control over its territory only in the sense of having no armed opposition groups directly challenging state authority; in short, the "no news is good news" approach) and is not able to enforce its laws uniformly because of high crime rates, extreme political corruption, an extensive informal market, impenetrable bureaucracy, judicial ineffectiveness, military interference in politics, cultural situations in which traditional leaders wield more power than the state over a certain area but do not compete with the state, or a number of other factors."

Do you understand that when someone talks about a failed state s/he is talking about a situation of widespread anarchy, corruption, informality, lack of law enforcement, lack of public services. In other words, failed state is almost a synonymous of weak, ineffective, inexistent government.

@Gemini846,
"How many of those families who are "struggling with hunger" have cable TV? How many of them have multiple cars? How many eat fast food multiple times a month?"
Ahh, the Cadillac queen talking point resurfaces again.
"Unfortunately, like most great conservative anecdotes, it wasn't really true. The media searched for this welfare cheat in the hopes of interviewing her, and discovered that she didn't even exist.
As a bit of class warfare, however, it was brilliant. It diverted public attention from insider traders in their limousines to Welfare Queens in their Cadillacs, even though the former were stealing thousands of times more from the American people than the latter. Just one example of the cost of white collar crime would become apparent a few years later, when President Bush bailed out the Savings & Loans industry with $500 billion of the taxpayer's money -- enough to fund 20 years of federal AFDC"


"lucas1985 do you know that most lower class Americans have a higher standard of living than the "middle class" of Europe? They live in bigger dwellings, eat more red meat, have 1 or more cars, have greater access to cell phones et et et."
So, eating more red meat means that you have a higher standard of living? I didn't know that the Argentines (I'm one) were the wealthiest people on the world
"Argentina has the world's highest consumption rate of beef, at 68 kg a year per capita."
If I use access to public transport, educational levels, access to Internet, etc some European countries are light years ahead of America in standard of living. See? Everyone can cherry-pick facts.
"Public education has been the biggest flop this century."
Sure
"The greater levels of technological innovation in Chicago probably reflected the higher levels of education in the United States. Throughout the 19th century, Chicago was almost completely literate, because the rural migrants who came to the city had been well educated in the common schools that dotted America’s farmland. By contrast, more than a fifth of Buenos Aires’s population was illiterate until 1900, reflecting the far lower levels of education in rural Argentina.
Schooling is measured by the share of the relevant populations that was enrolled in primary, secondary or tertiary schooling. Argentina may have been rich, but it was not that well-educated. In 2000, Argentina was doing about as well as would be expected based on its education levels in 1900. Long-run national success is built on human capital, both because of the link between schooling and technology and because of the link between education and well-functioning democracy."


"Does every kid need to know trig and waste money in college? No. If college was a right, then why do we have to borrow money to go there rather than allow the government to provide it?"
- If government made college a right for everyone and provided free tuition you would be crying about wasteful spending and meddling on private matters. You can't have it both ways.
- Did you realize that perhaps people go into debt to pay for college because they know that getting a degree ensures a higher income? If you look at the stats for income inequality, the gap between college-educated people and high school graduates is getting larger. It means that the return on human capital is getting bigger. Some people call it the knowledge economy.

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#45) On November 01, 2009 at 12:57 AM, ajm101 (32.12) wrote:

@devoish:

"Let's see. 100% minus 80% equals... more than 12.4%."

You're simply observing all the anti-statists going Galt in reaction to the parasite state stealing their food to give to shiftless fat people.  

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#46) On November 03, 2009 at 4:40 PM, XXX222 (< 20) wrote:

Excellent post, David. We just had a fundraiser at my school to raise money for food aid to foreign countries, and I heard this statistic mentioned to refer to the United States

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#47) On November 03, 2009 at 6:31 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

Once again, those pesky facts get in the way of ideological posturing

Half of US children -- and most black children -- will use food stamps, Cornell study reports

"Nearly half of American children – including 90 percent of black children and 90 percent of children who spend their childhoods in single-parent households – will eat meals paid for by food stamps at some point during childhood, reports a Cornell researcher.
Nearly one-quarter of U.S. children will live in homes that receive food stamps for five or more years. Food stamps are important indicators of poverty and risk of food insecurity, "two of the most detrimental economic conditions affecting a child's health," says Thomas A. Hirschl, Cornell professor of development sociology and co-author of a study published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (163:11).
The study is based on an analysis of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a 32-year study of about 4,800 U.S. households; it builds on the authors' 2004 research that reported that half of all Americans will use food stamps during adulthood.
"Children in poverty are significantly more likely to experience a range of health problems, including low birth weight, lead poisoning, asthma, mental health disorders, delayed immunization, dental problems and accidental death," write Hirschl and co-author Mark R. Rank of Washington University in St. Louis. "Poverty during childhood is also associated with a host of health, economic and social problems later in life."
It also adds some $22 billion per year in additional health care costs, the researchers report.
And the risk of living in homes using food stamps is far from equitably distributed: Ninety percent of children who live with single parents (compared with 37 percent who live in married and other two-parent households), 90 percent of black children (compared with 37 percent of white children) and 62 percent of those whose head of household did not graduate from high school (compared with 31 percent where the head has more than 12 years of school) "encounter spells of food stamp use," the authors find.
Putting those risk factors together, the researchers found that 97 percent of black children living in non-married households where the household head has less than 12 years of education will have received food stamps, compared with 21 percent of white children living in married households whose head of household has 12 or more years of education.
"The situation is likely bad for children," says Hirschl, "because families eligible for food stamps who participate tend to be worse off nutritionally than eligible families who don't participate." Only about 60 percent of families eligible for food stamps actually participate, he said, because of the stigma associated with government help. Although the sample used is representative of the U.S. populations, it does not reflect the immigrant population."


It seems that reality doesn't like conservative talking points.

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#48) On December 15, 2009 at 12:02 PM, thatcmhguy (< 20) wrote:

What you all are missing is the chubby guy in line at the food pantry or kitchen probably just lost his job, fired, laid off, etc.. so of course let's initially judge because he is overweight. He is not a bear and cannot sleep it off during the winter.. ALL people need food daily to survive.

People who are going hungry are normally unseen by regular working people, and I would venture a guess that children are included in the people count. In Ohio alone, 1 in 6 children go to sleep hungry.

USDA has programs to counter childhood hunger nationwide. Before you all get hyper critical about another "blown out of proportion report" - you need need to do your homework, and investigate the actual non profit organizations around the country, whom serve the people (adults and children). Hunger is a HUGE problem! Sticking your nose up in the air to ignore it, does not make the problem go away. Doh.

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