Monday, June 30, 2008

Things That Make Me Puke

From, I bring to all of you, the most disturbing quote of the week (and it's only Monday) :

"Jessica Simpson might have a right to wear what she wants, but she doesn't have a right to eat what she wants – eating meat is about suffering and death. Some people feel like they are standing up against a tide of political correctness when they make a statement like this – what she is really doing is standing up for the status quo." (Alistair Currie, PETA spokewoman)

Jessica Simpson was wearing a shirt that said "Real girls eat meat," by the way. It wasn't "real girls eat dead babies," or "real girls eat bald eagles." It was just straight up, grade-a meat. PETA

The UN climate change committee also decreased in intelligence, which I didn't think possible. They said that in order to combat global warming, everyone should go vegetarian.

I'm not sure what's worse, this, or presidential nominee Barack Obama saying that we can't drive SUVs, eat the food we want, or heat our homes when he's president.

Remember how America is suppose to be the land of the free?


Anonymous said...

In theory there is liberty
in the USA, but for all
practical purposes the
populace is manipulated,
legislated, taxed, etc.
into virtual bondage.

The public does not elect any
leaders except who the parties
designate, as in 2008. Hillary
Clinton received more votes than
BHusseinO, but the Dems
made sure Hussein got the

Sarah said...

Real girls do eat dead babies.

Stephen J. said...

Hi Cassie,

I'm not sure if the two quotes are comparable. PETA is talking about ethics, whereas Obama was talking about costs. PETA's statement was saying that the lady cannot eat meat because in their view, it was unethical.

Obama's quote, I feel, was more referring to costs rather than actions. In economics there is a concept of "total cost", which is essentially the cost of your action + cost of neutralizing the effects of your action. An example would be driving SUV's. If there was some kind of carbon tax such that SUV's were taxed in the amount it would cost for the emissions of that car to be removed from the atmosphere, then in theory, people would be paying the total cost of driving an SUV and then the market would dictate the optimal amount.

Another example would be if we owned adjoining farms. On my farm, I apply some process that produces a byproduct that consistently affects your farm. The process is costing me $X per acre, and I own n acres. The initial cost to me is then IC = n*X, and I am benefiting, since the value to me is greater than what I am paying. However, you start complaining that my process affects you. Since it is worthwhile to me to apply this process, you and I negotiate. We make a deal that I pay you Y dollars per acre (you have m acres), and at that point you will be satisfied. Then, the total cost to me is TC = X*n + Y*m. Assume the amount of benefits I am deriving from applying this process is K*n. If:

IC < K*n < TC, then the true cost outweigh the benefit of the action, and I would stop applying this process. On the other hand, if

IC < TC < K*n, then I am still benefiting even when paying the true total cost. And, you are benefiting since you are satisfied with our negotiations. If you were not satisfied, you would not have entered the deal. So, you are satisfied, and I am satisfied, and it is best for society since I would be paying the "total cost" for my actions, and would not be causing others to pay for my actions.

In the real world, it is very difficult to quantify social costs, but the principle is inherently good, which is if you want to do it, pay for it yourself. Also, there is no answer to what is the correct timescale to look at when calculating social costs. But, the idea is okay.

So, I don't think that the two statements are comparable. I think that what Obama is saying is that, recognizing the total cost of our actions, it may cause a change in our behaviors. However, I would hope the principle remains that if you want to do something, pay for it yourself.

Cassie: said...

Stephen -
The US already gives more foreign aid than the top 20 countries (minus US) combined do. I don't think we should be giving more money just because we have better stuff. It would essentially be taking away our sovereignty, which is the the same reason we don't sign on to the international court system, the Kyoto Protocol, or any of those other treaties that limit our power and punish Americans for enjoying freedom.