numbers of the day

i’m sick of people here giving anecdotal statements…yet they keep saying “we need numbers we need numbers.”  the numbers are out there.  people just have to run them.  every day i’m going to run numbers on something that i find would help paint a better picture of where the US is compared to the rest of the world and why we have no reason to justify NOT doing anything about climate change.

fact of the day:
according to the OCED poverty standards (relative to country living costs):
around 3% of the Chinese population lives in poverty
around 12.5% of the US population lives in poverty
per capita, a Chinese person uses 18% of what a person in the US uses.

although our GDP/capita is higher than china, we have more people living in poverty yet our per person energy consumption is 400% that of what ppl in china consume.  people in the US need to not only focus on how we consume energy but how we take care of each other.  there is NO reason there should be over 10% people living in poverty in the US.

Written by MERRY WALKER.

One thought on “numbers of the day

  1. Joshua "Fiasco" Cregger

    I can’t help but question the poverty numbers.

    I wonder if it means the same thing at all to be a person in poverty in China as it does in the US. Given the numbers you present, I find it doubtful that it means anything near the same thing.

    I hear that carbon intensity in China (carbon emissions per unit GDP) is something like 4x what it is in the United States. From what you presented here, it sounds as though the US is getting less from its energy use (per unit) than China is, and that is simply not true. Now assuming we can trust information from China that likely informed the OECD poverty estimates(which is being pretty liberal), does it make sense to compare a country with such extensive welfare programs (China not too long ago was actually a communist country) to one with a less extensive welfare system (sure we made leaps and bounds in the 1930’s but the system has been under attack since then)? Really when we talk about poverty levels, you are talking about distribution of wealth rather than efficiency in the creation of wealth.

    Also culture is totally different. In the US we live on credit. Current income has little to do with spending habits, nor does it really need to. In China, the saving rate is simply incredible. It works for them, but makes for a vastly different society and makes measures of poverty quite a bit more complicated and provides much more debatable metrics.

    BTW, I really like your resolution of running the numbers.

    If you want, I could regularly challenge you and maybe we’ll end up with some interesting and defensible findings!

    Good luck,



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