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2647Re: Pop growth

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  • John Snyder
    Jul 1, 2001
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      Dan wrote about greed and population. Population growth
      might not be the great devil we once worried about.
      There are hints that the world's population will
      achieve stability within this century.

      Greed, that difficult to pin down thing, is another matter.
      Greed does have direct impact on the Earth's ability to
      cope with the human life form, no matter how many people


      We might try to define greed as a desire for excess, or
      we might lable it as the simple wish to acquire wealth.
      Either definition does not convey a judgement of greed as
      being something intrinistically evil. Whether we as
      individuals judge greed to be a horrid quality or something
      to be accepted as a natural part of the human condition,
      may have to do with degree. We can not quantify greed, as
      it is an emotion. However, we can quantify wealth and the
      effects of wealth.

      Wealth exists in two basic forms; absolute and

      Absolute wealth means having more than a minimal amount
      needed. Relative wealth means having more than another.
      Absolute wealth is a matter of survival, as surpluses
      in one season can moderate the effects of shortages
      in another. Relative wealth is a matter of social
      status. The two forms do not directly relate to one
      another as it is possible to be relatively wealthy
      yet not have enough resources to stay alive. Just as
      it is possible to be relatively poor, yet have too much.

      Industrialized societies, such as the US, tend to focus
      exclusively on relative wealth in monetary units. However,
      all most everyone in the US experiences both the benefits
      and drawbacks associated with having absolute wealth.

      A few months back I found some interesting tables
      at the US Census website.

      The mean income received by each fifth of households in USA.

      1999 adjusted dollars

      year first 5th second 5th third 5th fourth 5th top 5th
      1969 $8,275.00 $22,055.00 $35,244.00 $49,363.00 $86,767.00
      1979 $9,262.00 $22,561.00 $37,136.00 $54,467.00 $96,786.00
      1989 $9,433.00 $23,379.00 $38,862.00 $58,784.00 $114,912.00
      1999 $9,940.00 $24,436.00 $40,879.00 $63,555.00 $135,401.00
      Each fifth or "quintel" represents a 20% segment of
      the total number of households, rather than individuals.
      >From that start I tried my hand at creating additional
      tables to attempt to better understand what that the
      numbers might mean.

      Percent of change from previous twenty years.

      years first 5th second 5th third 5th fourth 5th top 5th
      69-89 14.0% 6.0% 10.3% 19.1% 32.4%
      79-99 7.3% 8.3% 10.1% 16.7% 39.9%

      The formula pattern used for the above:
      percent = 100 * [(year 99 dollars /year 79 dollars)-1].

      Income as a percentage of the sum of all income quintels.

      year first 5th second 5th third 5th fourth 5th top 5th
      1969 4.1% 10.9% 17.5% 24.5% 43.0%
      1979 4.2% 10.2% 16.9% 24.7% 44.0%
      1989 3.8% 9.5% 15.8% 24.0% 46.8%
      1999 3.6% 8.9% 14.9% 23.2% 49.4%

      percent = 100 * (1st + 2nd + 3rd + 4th + 5th)/(quintel)


      The Census website also provides historic population data for
      the US. (These are individuals, not households.)

      1969 202,676,946
      1979 225,055,487
      1989 246,819,230
      1999 272,690,813

      The above can be coupled with how many motor vehicles
      are/were in the United States to estimate the prevelance
      of automobile ownership.

      Motor Vehicles people/car
      1970 111,242,295 1.8
      1980 161,490,159 1.4
      1990 193,057,376 1.3
      1996 210,236,393 1.3

      Make of it what you will. I tried 3 or 4 different
      paragraphs as a conclusion to this email. Not a one
      of them was polite enough to print.

      John Snyder