Re: Human population evolving...



On Sat, 03 Dec 2011 01:40:23 -0600, Garamond Lethe
<cartographical@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Sat, 03 Dec 2011 06:57:49 +0000, Mike Dworetsky wrote:

Garamond Lethe wrote:
On Fri, 02 Dec 2011 16:52:36 -0800, Boikat wrote:

On Dec 2, 6:20 pm, dav...@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
chris thompson <chris.linthomp...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:





...and dragging the rest of us along with it, whether we want it or
not.

There are more cases of pertussis this year than there have been for
over a decade. Many of these are apparently (note uncertainty there)
due to the unreasonable fear that childhood vaccines are unsafe.
With more middle-school kids around who have not been vaccinated
against pertussis, it is inevitable that people like teachers will
bring the disease home to infants too young to be vaccinated:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/315319

Yeah, a case of cultural evolution driving biological evolution, I
would suggest.

How long will it be before the US sees an outbreak of diphtheria?
Before you scoff, recall that the Russian Federation- which used to
be a model of childhood vaccination (ok, at bayonet-point, true) had
a multi-year outbreak of diptheria and thousands of kids died.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00022128.htm

What will the world be like with 8 or 9 or 10 billion?-

You must think humans in general are too stupid solve a large
population problem.

Based on our track record at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 billion that's a
pretty good bet.

My option is GM grains and livestock (including cloned "meat").

Kinda like trying to put out fire with kerosene, yes?

What's yours?

More literate young girls and women in poorer countries, more
politically empowered young girls and women in poorer countries.
Reduction of infant mortality.

When that happens birth rates go down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate

[Speaking of, it looks like the US is currently #46 in terms of infant
mortality. When it comes to prenatal care we're still getting our
asses kicked by Wallis and Futuna, Gurnsey, Liechtenstein, the Czech
Republic, Malta, Anguilla, Macau and Singapore. I'm too lazy to look
it up, but I expect all those countries have higher tax rates than we
do. Woo hoo! YOU-ESS-AY! YOU-ESS-AY!]

Actually, many of them have lower taxes. Guernsey is one of the
Channel Islands, and is a tax haven where wealthy people try to get
residency because of the low taxation. Liechtenstein similarly, though
more a place where the rich hide their money in secret bank accounts.

It has far more to do with ignorance than taxes...



Ok, now I'm curious. You're probably right about the
tax haven countries. I wonder what the rest look like.

Taking the countries represented in the first graph here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world

in order of declining personal income tax rates as a percentage of income
(completely ignoring corporate taxes for the moment), vs. rank in infant
mortality rate.

Inf. Inf. Personal Income Tax
Mort. Mort. Rank (highest to
Rank. Rate lowest)
--------------------------------------------
24 4.44 Belgium
15 3.99 Germany
8 3.33 France
62 7.86 Hungary
3 2.75 Sweden
23 4.42 Austria
42 5.51 Italy
9 3.47 Finland
14 3.79 Czech Rep.
53 6.80 Poland
140 25.78 Turkey
22 4.34 Denmark
17 4.21 Spain
38 5.16 Greece
27 4.73 Netherlands
54 6.84 Slovak Rep.
11 3.58 Norway
30 4.78 Portugal
26 4.56 Luxemburg
32 4.85 UK
36 5.04 Canada
16 4.18 Switzerland
46 6.26 US
7 3.23 Iceland
29 4.75 Australia
37 5.05 Ireland
33 4.92 New Zealand
112 18.42 Mexico
21 4.26 S. Korea

Looks like I was wrong. Just eyeballing it I'd say there was
a negative correlation between tax rates and infant mortality,
but the US is so much of an outlier that the correlation can't
be used to account for it.

Tax revenue as a fraction of GDP for most countries is available from
the Heritage Foundation. Also, using the raw infant mortality numbers
is misleading. On a country-basis, infant mortality is lognormal. A
multiple regression of the log of infant mortality on the tax burden,
and dummy variables for whether each country's economy is industrial,
oil-based, or less-developed (emerging markets show up in the
regression constant), as currently assigned by MSCI, and using a
heterskedasticity consistent covariance matrix gives:

n = 173 Const Tax Indust Oil LDC
3.10 -0.02 -0.93 -0.90 1.14
tstat: 19.50 -4.25 -7.36 -5.51 9.45
adjR^2 = 0.75
df= 168.00

Infant Mortality - UN Tax Revenue/GDP - Heritage Foundation (2008)
Development categories: Morgan Stanley Capital International

Using tax and ln(infant mortality) as regressors, Logit correctly
predicts that the US is in the group of industrialized nations. At 6.8
per thousand, the US has achieved about 97% of the best infant
mortality result reported globally, so the US is not an outlier in
overall outcomes.

Where we really stand out as bad is in cost for those outcomes. Our
healthcare system consumes almost twice as much of our GDP as say,
France's. Despite being the most expensive, last year, the
Commonwealth Fund ranked the quality of US healthcare last among
similar countries. Part of that is probably because such a large
fraction of our population receives low quality care, so the average
quality is low.

We don't get much bang for our buck.

.



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