Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: A Simple Suggestion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Directly above the center of the Earth
    Posts
    4,884


    Lightbulb A Simple Suggestion

    Recently, my political science class studied the problem of the national debt, and the statistics are truly alarming. Right now, if the US government had all its future revenues, but had to pay off all its future expenditure commitments, the shortfall would amount to $45 trillion, $45,000,000,000,000, an obscene amount of money. In fact, it's twelve times larger than our current debt, a little over four times the size of the country's current GDP.

    How will we pay for this? We can either raise all income taxed by 69%, raise payroll taxes by 95%, cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by 56% or cut federal discretionary spending by 100%. Other possibilities include such rosy prospects as defaulting on debts or print so much money as to induce hyperinflation. This is a fiscal time bomb that is going to destroy our economy.

    The government is maintaining a willful ignorance about this looming crisis, because most official calculations only count government bonds and other loans, which are dwarfed by the government's "implicit liabilities" - Medicare and social security payments that have been promised. These payments form the large majority of future debt. Unfortunately, the AARP is the most powerful lobby in the country, and viciously fight any attempts at cutting social security and Medicare programs to the point where it isn't politically viable to propose any cuts. The elderly are going to ruin us.

    Simultaneously, we have oil prices apparently rising out of control. True, the prices are not as high as they were during the 70's crisis, nor during the early 90's. Though prices may stabilize over the next few months, we have appeared to reach at least new pricing plateau that will slowly increase over the coming years. Already, some economists claim that this increase in fuel prices is not only slowing our recovery - it may actually be driving us further into recession. The world is running out of oil, and we have yet to secure a viable alternate fuel source. The future is looking grim.

    Now, I've been thinking a lot about these issues and what can be done. Retirees provide no real service to our economy - they just largely siphon off government money. On the other hand, the elderly have enormous political pull (the AARP has 35 million members), so this problem cannot be solved through traditional government routes. Yet have to solve our imminent welfare-state crisis, and there have been no convincing solutions put forth.

    Likewise, we are overly dependent on foreign oil. As much rhetoric has been said about weaning the US off foreign oil, little has been done to seek out a replacement energy source. Both problems are coming to a head within the next few decades, and both will cripple this great nation. We must find a solution. Then I suddenly had an idea.

    While the elderly are an enormous political force, physically they are extremely weak and easy to coerce. Perhaps we should stop looking at them as an unstoppable, economy-crushing force that will surely bankrupt the country and start looking at them as our greatest natural resource. By 2020, there will be over 100 million Americans over 50. Given the epidemic rates of obesity, the average American weighs something like 155 lbs. This represents 15,500,000,000 lbs. of biomass, 46,500,000,000,000,000 calories.* To put this in perspective, a gallon of gasoline contains a mere 31,000 calories. By 2020, we will have the equivalent of 1.5 trillion gallons of gasoline sitting in our own backyards and nursing homes!

    It would be fairly simple to convert the nations coal power plants (many of which currently burn oil) to harness our aged natural resource. It would be best to start with our nation's oldest citizens and work our way down, as those people would be more likely to die on their own, and we shouldn't allow a drop of biomass to wither away.

    It is my simple suggestion that we stop viewing the elderly as a drain on our economy and instead see them for what they really are - a massive, renewable energy source that can finally wrest the country from the grip of foreign oil linked to repressive regimes while simultaneously saving our government from future insolvency. Now, precisely because this energy source is so vital to our future economic stability, I willingly relinquish all control over it. I believe that such an important matter should be handled by the government instead of allowing any one individual to profit. In such a crucial matter as this, I find putting personal gain over the collective good to be sickening.

    *Roughly, one lb. of human fat equals 3,000 calories. Assuming that muscles contain more, while other parts of the body contain less, 3,000 is about average. Now, the definition of a calorie is the amount of energy it would take to raise one gram of water 1 degree Celsius. However, the "calories" you actually see on food products are kilocalories, or 1,000 calories. So technically, 1 lb. of human is 3,000,000 calories.
    “It is a strange paradox that today’s central banks are generally staffed by economists, who by and large profess a belief in a theory which says that their jobs are, at the best, unnecessary, and more likely wealth-destroying. Needless to say, this is not a point widely discussed among respectable economists. Nevertheless, it is an issue worth pondering.”

    George Cooper, The Origin of Economic Crises

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    6,008


    Default

    But how do you propose the calories stored in fat be converted to usable energy?
    omg sigged fuck you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New Jersey!!!
    Posts
    8,684


    Default

    Bump.

    I'm surprised this thread only managed one reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Tizzalicious.com
    Posts
    12,056


    Default

    It had a lot of replies on the LJ community back when it was first posted.

    - WCM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New Jersey!!!
    Posts
    8,684


    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tizzalicious
    It had a lot of replies on the LJ community back when it was first posted.

    - WCM
    You're right. I was wondering why I remembered the topic so well when it only had 1 reply on here and it wasn't even from me. Still, more than just 1337ers read this place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    6,008


    Default

    I totally don't remember making that reply, but it is something I would say O_O
    omg sigged fuck you

  7. #7


    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mota Boy

    *Roughly, one lb. of human fat equals 3,000 calories. .
    1g Carb = 4kcals
    1g Protein = 4kcal
    1g Fat = 9kcals.

    Assuming that muscles contain more, while other parts of the body contain less, 3,000 is about average
    Muscle is mostly constituted by proteins, a great deal of protein. So it's still 4kcal per g of bodyweight. The fatty bits (breasts in females, especially) will be more calorically dense. Assuming average fat, I'd put the figure at more around 2000-2200, depending on the cut of course.

    There is a documented case of a woman of 30 having breasts weighing 52lbs. Since breast is almost entirely adipose tissue (not mammary like most think), that's 212,281kcals of human breast.

  8. #8


    Default

    Mmmm breasts.
    All I can hear, I me mine
    I me mine, I me mine

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Directly above the center of the Earth
    Posts
    4,884


    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by sKratch
    But how do you propose the calories stored in fat be converted to usable energy?
    My boy, the poor state of your reading comprehension skills is quite alarming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mota Boy
    It would be fairly simple to convert the nation's coal power plants (many of which currently burn oil) to harness our aged natural resource.
    Why, it would be the simplest of all to go with straight incineration. Haul them in on dump trucks and send them into the coals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outerbands
    Assuming average fat, I'd put the figure at more around 2000-2200, depending on the cut of course.
    Well, that's too bad. I was working under the assumption that muscle, as a denser material, would pack in the calories. Anyway, Americans just keep getting fatter and fatter, so even though my projections are currently overly optimistic, we'll start to use more higher-calorie humans as the oil supply dips, balancing it out nicely. Plus, Hispanics are not only the largest and fastest-growing minority in the United States, but also the one with the highest level of obesity, so demographics are in our favor. Ole!
    “It is a strange paradox that today’s central banks are generally staffed by economists, who by and large profess a belief in a theory which says that their jobs are, at the best, unnecessary, and more likely wealth-destroying. Needless to say, this is not a point widely discussed among respectable economists. Nevertheless, it is an issue worth pondering.”

    George Cooper, The Origin of Economic Crises

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Directly above the center of the Earth
    Posts
    4,884


    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by nieh
    I'm surprised this thread only managed one reply.
    I think the problem might be an acute lack of attention span, plus the fact that the LJ post had sapped many potential comments.

    A bit of trivia - I published this in my school's literary magazine. My school's chancellor had a habit of always writing my editor glowing letters about each issue, praising him for the high quality of the publication, often referencing specific articles. After that was published, his following letter included the line "While I don't support everything you say, I support your right to say it."
    “It is a strange paradox that today’s central banks are generally staffed by economists, who by and large profess a belief in a theory which says that their jobs are, at the best, unnecessary, and more likely wealth-destroying. Needless to say, this is not a point widely discussed among respectable economists. Nevertheless, it is an issue worth pondering.”

    George Cooper, The Origin of Economic Crises

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •