Tag Archives: \

Santa Fe Institute study: Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution

13 Oct

Benjamin Powell wrote in Private Property Rights, Economic Freedom, and Well Being:

The question of why some countries are rich, and others are poor, is a question
that has plagued economists at least since 1776, when Adam Smith wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Some countries that have a wealth of human and natural resources remain in poverty (in Sub-Saharan Africa for example) while other countries with few natural resources (like Hong Kong) flourish.
An understanding of how private property and economic freedom allow people to
coordinate their activities while engaging in trades that make them both people better off, gives us an indication of the institutional environment that is necessary for prosperity. Observation of the countries around the world also indicates that those countries with an institutional environment of secure property rights and high degrees of economic freedom have achieved higher levels of the various measures of human well being.

Property Rights and Voluntary Interaction

The freedom to exchange allows individuals to make trades that both parties
believe will make them better off. Private property provides the incentives for
individuals to economize on resource use because the user bears the costs of their actions. When private property is combined with market exchange, the price system that results provides the information and incentives for the many anonymous individuals in society to coordinate their activities to channel available resources to the people with the most urgent demand for them.

Private property forces individuals to bear the costs of their actions.

Without private ownership, when a person uses resources, they impose a cost on everyone else in society. Economists call this the “tragedy of the commons.” Communal property leads to over use, and depletion of resources. Once property is privatized and individually held, the owner may use the property for his own benefit but he also directly incurs the cost of using it. Private property provides an incentive to conserve resources and maintain capital for future production….
WORKING PAPER
https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Private-Property-Rights-Economic-Freedom-and-Well-Being.pdf

Science Daily reported in Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution:

Humankind first started farming in Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago. Subsequently, the practices of cultivating crops and raising livestock emerged independently at perhaps a dozen other places around the world, in what archaeologists call the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. It’s one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory — but a new paper in the Journal of Political Economy shows that most explanations for it don’t agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.
With farming came a vast expansion of the realm over which private property governed access to valued goods, replacing the forager social norms around sharing food upon acquisition. A common explanation is that farming increased labor productivity, which then encouraged the adoption of private property by providing incentives for the long-term investments required in a farming economy.
“But it’s not what the data are telling us,” says Santa Fe Institute economist Samuel Bowles, a co-author of the paper. “It is very unlikely that the number of calories acquired from a day’s work at the advent of farming made it a better option than hunting and gathering and it could well have been quite a bit worse.”
Prior studies, including those of human and animal bones, suggest that farming actually took an extreme nutritional toll on early adopters and their livestock. So why farm in the first place?
Some have suggested an inferior technology could have been imposed by political elites as a strategy for extracting taxes, tribute, or rents. But farming was independently adopted millennia before the emergence of governments or political elites capable of imposing a new way of life on heavily-armed foraging communities.
Bowles and co-author Jung-Kyoo Choi, an economist at Kyungpook National University in South Korea, use both evolutionary game theory and archaeological evidence to propose a new interpretation of the Neolithic. Based on their model, a system of mutually recognized private property rights was both a precondition for farming and also a means of limiting costly conflicts among members of a population. While rare among foragers, private property did exist among a few groups of sedentary hunter-gatherers. Among them, farming could have benefited the first adopters because it would have been easier to establish the private possession of cultivated crops and domesticated animals than for the diffuse wild resources on which hunter-gatherers relied….
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191011131858.htm

Citation:

Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution
Date: October 11, 2019
Source: Santa Fe Institute
Summary:
The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution is one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory. But a new article shows that most explanations for it don’t agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.

Journal Reference:
Samuel Bowles, Jung-Kyoo Choi. The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution and the Origins of Private Property. Journal of Political Economy, 2019; 127 (5): 2186 DOI: 10.1086/701789

Here is the press release from the Santa Fe Institute:

OCTOBER 10, 2019
Humankind first started farming in Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago. Subsequently, the practices of cultivating crops and raising livestock emerged independently at perhaps a dozen other places around the world, in what archaeologists call the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. It’s one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory — but a new paper in the Journal of Political Economy shows that most explanations for it don’t agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.
With farming came a vast expansion of the realm over which private property governed access to valued goods, replacing the forager social norms around sharing food upon acquisition. A common explanation is that farming increased labor productivity, which then encouraged the adoption of private property by providing incentives for the long-term investments required in a farming economy.
“But it’s not what the data are telling us”, says Santa Fe Institute economist Samuel Bowles, a co-author of the paper. “It is very unlikely that the number of calories acquired from a day’s work at the advent of farming made it a better option than hunting and gathering and it could well have been quite a bit worse.”
Prior studies, including those of human and animal bones, suggest that farming actually took an extreme nutritional toll on early adopters and their livestock. So why farm in the first place?
Some have suggested an inferior technology could have been imposed by political elites as a strategy for extracting taxes, tribute, or rents. But farming was independently adopted millennia before the emergence of governments or political elites capable of imposing a new way of life on heavily-armed foraging communities.
Bowles and co-author Jung-Kyoo Choi, an economist at Kyungpook National University in South Korea, use both evolutionary game theory and archaeological evidence to propose a new interpretation of the Neolithic. Based on their model, a system of mutually recognized private property rights was both a precondition for farming and also a means of limiting costly conflicts among members of a population. While rare among foragers, private property did exist among a few groups of sedentary hunter-gatherers. Among them, farming could have benefited the first adopters because it would have been easier to establish the private possession of cultivated crops and domesticated animals than for the diffuse wild resources on which hunter-gatherers relied.
“It is a lot easier to define and defend property rights in a domesticated cow than in a wild kudu,” says Choi. “Farming initially succeeded because it facilitated a broader application of private property rights, not because it lightened the toil of making a living.”
Read the paper, “The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution and the Origins of Private Property,” in the Journal of Political Economy (October 2019) https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/701789

Tom DeWeese wrote in Private Property Ownership Is the Only Way to Eradicate Poverty:

Poverty. It’s the excuse for nearly every government spending program. Help the poor. Tax the Rich. Get the One Percent. How dare they get so wealthy while everyone else suffers!

And what is the preferred way to eliminate poverty? Redistribution of wealth. It is the force behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, Agenda 21 and its Social Justice schemes, nearly every poverty program of the Federal government, and even most charitable poverty programs….
The Real Way to End Poverty

It is becoming increasingly clear that poverty will never be eradicated unless those working on the problem will allow themselves to look for a drastically new way to attack it. Simply put, rather than constantly applying band-aids to the effects of poverty, they must look for the cause and fix it.

One must first look at the world and see where wealth is created and why it is so. The greatest example of wealth creation is obviously the United States. It is the beacon of wealth and freedom for the entire world. Most people in the world envy America’s wealth and seek ways to share it, yet very few look at how the nation got its wealth, or attempt to copy its system for success.

Why did the United States become so wealthy? Was it the possession of vast natural resources? Africa has more. Was it the existence of greater industry? Japan has more. Was it the existence of a superior education system? The United States now ranks below the top ten nations in education.

The reason the United States has led the world in wealth, standard of living, and abundance is that the average resident of the United States has had the ability and the opportunity to invest and produce capital.

Why could ordinary citizens of the United States produce their own capital to create personal wealth, while most of the rest of the world failed at such an attempt? The answer is actually very simple. The United States created a very easy, immediate, complete system for recording and securing ownership of private property.

Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto explains the root of American wealth in his book, The Mystery of Capital. De Soto asks, “Why does Capitalism thrive only in the West, as if enclosed in a bell jar?”

Capital, he argues, “is the force that raises the productivity of labor and creates the wealth of nations, It is the lifeblood of the capitalist system, the foundation of progress, and the one thing that the poor countries of the world cannot seem to produce for themselves….”
https://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/13821-private-property-ownership-is-the-only-way-to-eradicate-poverty

See, Reasons for Low Capital Formation in Under-Developed Countries http://www.economicsdiscussion.net/articles/reasons-for-low-capital-formation-in-under-developed-countries/1537

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Brigham and Women’s Hospital study: Breastfeeding associated with better brain development, neurocognitive outcomes

31 Jul

Most medical personnel probably advise new mothers to breastfeed their babies. Alexandra Sifferlin wrote in the Time article, Why New Mothers Stop Breast-Feeding:

While nearly all mothers start breast-feeding their newborns, about half stop after a few weeks. The latest study explains why.
A team of researchers conducted over 2,700 interviews with 532 first-time mothers multiple times after they gave birth, starting 24 hours after delivery and ending at 60 days postpartum, about their breast-feeding choices. They report in the journal Pediatrics that women who worried from the start about their ability to nurse their infants were more likely to switch to formula sooner than those who didn’t have these concerns.
By the third day after delivering, over half of these women were worried about their babies’ ability to latch on, while 44% were concerned about breast-feeding pain, and 40% about their capacity to produce enough milk to nourish their infants.
These results support earlier studies that found that new moms often don’t have proper support and education about breast-feeding, which can lead to anxiety and a greater likelihood of stopping nursing. In January, TIME reported that hospitals may not offer women the resources they need to encourage women and address their anxiety…
http://healthland.time.com/2013/09/23/why-new-mothers-stop-breastfeeding/

See, Is the Medical Community Failing Breastfeeding Moms? http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/02/is-the-medical-community-failing-breastfeeding-moms/
There are some very good reasons why mothers should breastfeed their babies.

UNICEF Mozambique has a concise statement regarding the benefits of breastfeeding:

  1. Breastmilk alone is the best food and drink for an infant for the first six months of life. No other food or drink, not even water, is usually needed during this period. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/1.html 2. Newborn babies should be given to the mother to hold immediately after delivery. They should have skin-to-skin contact with the mother and begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/2.html 3. Almost every mother can breastfeed successfully. Breastfeeding the baby frequently causes production of more milk. The baby should breastfeed at least eight times daily, day and night, and on demand. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/3.html 4. Breastfeeding helps protect babies and young children against dangerous illnesses. It also creates a special bond between mother and child. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/4.html 5. Bottle feeding and giving a baby breastmilk substitutes such as infant formula or animal milk can threaten the baby’s health and survival. If a woman cannot breastfeed her infant, the baby can be fed expressed breastmilk or, if necessary, a quality breastmilk substitute from an ordinary clean cup. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/5.html 6. If a woman is infected with HIV, there is a risk that she can pass the infection to her infant through breastfeeding. In the first six months, this risk is much greater if the infant is fed both breastmilk and other liquids and foods than if fed breastmilk alone. Therefore, it is recommended that the baby receives breastmilk alone for the first six months, unless it is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe to give breastmilk substitutes (infant formula) exclusively. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/6.html 7. A woman employed away from her home can continue to breastfeed her child. She should breastfeed as often as possible when she is with the infant and express her breastmilk when they are apart so that another caregiver can feed it to the baby in a clean and safe way. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/7.html 8. After 6 months of age, when babies begin to eat foods, breastfeeding should continue for up to two years and beyond because it is an important source of nutrition, energy and protection from illness. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/04/8.html For more information, please contact: Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org http://www.unicef.org/mozambique/media_9256.html

See, the Benefits of Breastfeeding https://www.llli.org/nb/nbbenefits.html

Science Daily reported in Breastfeeding associated with better brain development, neurocognitive outcomes:

A new study, which followed 180 pre-term infants from birth to age seven, found that babies who were fed more breast milk within the first 28 days of life had had larger volumes of certain regions of the brain at term equivalent and had better IQs, academic achievement, working memory, and motor function.

The findings were published online in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“Our data support current recommendations for using mother’s milk to feed preterm babies during their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization. This is not only important for moms, but also for hospitals, employers, and friends and family members, so that they can provide the support that’s needed during this time when mothers are under stress and working so hard to produce milk for their babies,” says Mandy Brown Belfort, MD, a researcher and physician in the Department of Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead author.

Researchers studied infants born before 30 weeks gestation that were enrolled in the Victorian Infant Brain Studies cohort from 2001-2003. They determined the number of days that infants received breast milk as more than 50 percent of of their nutritional intake from birth to 28 days of life. Additionally, researchers examined data related to regional brain volumes measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at each baby’s term equivalent age and at seven years old, and also looked at cognitive (IQ, reading, mathematics, attention, working memory, language, visual perception) and motor testing at age seven.

The findings show that, accross all babies, infants who received predominantly breast milk on more days during their NICU hospitalization had larger deep nuclear gray matter volume, an area important for processing and transmitting neural signals to other parts of the brain, at term equivalent age, and by age seven, performed better in IQ, mathematics, working memory, and motor function tests. Overall, ingesting more human milk correlated with better outcomes, including larger regional brain volumes at term equivalent and improved cognitive outcomes at age 7….                                                                                                                                                 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160729092524.htm

Citation:

Breastfeeding associated with better brain development, neurocognitive outcomes

Date:         July 29, 2016

Source:     Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Summary:

A new study, which followed 180 pre-term infants from birth to age seven, found that babies who were fed more breast milk within the first 28 days of life had had larger volumes of certain regions of the brain at term equivalent and had better IQs, academic achievement, working memory, and motor function.

Journal Reference:

  1. Mandy B. Belfort, MD, MPH et al. Breast Milk Feeding, Brain Development, and Neurocognitive Outcomes: A 7-Year Longitudinal Study in Infants Born at Less Than 30 Weeks’ Gestation. The Journal of Pediatrics, July 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.06.045

Here is the press release:

Breastfeeding Associated with Better Brain Development And Neurocognitive Outcomes

Published: July 29, 2016.
Released by Brigham and Women’s Hospital

A new study, which followed 180 pre-term infants from birth to age seven, found that babies who were fed more breast milk within the first 28 days of life had had larger volumes of certain regions of the brain at term equivalent and had better IQs, academic achievement, working memory, and motor function.

The findings were published online Friday, July 29, in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“Our data support current recommendations for using mother’s milk to feed preterm babies during their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization. This is not only important for moms, but also for hospitals, employers, and friends and family members, so that they can provide the support that’s needed during this time when mothers are under stress and working so hard to produce milk for their babies,” says Mandy Brown Belfort, MD, a researcher and physician in the Department of Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead author.

Researchers studied infants born before 30 weeks gestation that were enrolled in the Victorian Infant Brain Studies cohort from 2001-2003. They determined the number of days that infants received breast milk as more than 50 percent of of their nutritional intake from birth to 28 days of life. Additionally, researchers examined data related to regional brain volumes measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at each baby’s term equivalent age and at seven years old, and also looked at cognitive (IQ, reading, mathematics, attention, working memory, language, visual perception) and motor testing at age seven.

The findings show that, accross all babies, infants who received predominantly breast milk on more days during their NICU hospitalization had larger deep nuclear gray matter volume, an area important for processing and transmitting neural signals to other parts of the brain, at term equivalent age, and by age seven, performed better in IQ, mathematics, working memory, and motor function tests. Overall, ingesting more human milk correlated with better outcomes, including larger regional brain volumes at term equivalent and improved cognitive outcomes at age 7.

“Many mothers of preterm babies have difficulty providing breast milk for their babies, and we need to work hard to ensure that these mothers have the best possible support systems in place to maximize their ability to meet their own feeding goals. It’s also important to note that there are so many factors that influence a baby’s development, with breast milk being just one,” says Belfort.

Researchers note some limitations on the study, including that it was observational. Although they adjusted for factors such as differences in maternal education, some of the effects could possibly be explained by other factors that were not measured, such as greater maternal involvement in other aspects of infant care.

Belfort adds that future studies using other MRI techniques could provide more information about the specific ways in which human milk intake may influence the structure and function of the brain. Future work is also needed to untangle the role of breastfeeding from other types of maternal care and nurturing on development of the preterm baby’s brain.

There are disadvantages for bottle fed babies. The University of Wisconsin Health Center succinctly discussed the disadvantages of bottle feeding in Bottle-Feeding: Disadvantages for Babies:

Bottle-Feeding: Disadvantages for Babies
Topic Overview
Infant formulas take two times longer for a baby to digest than breast milk. The slower digestion of infant formula can affect:
Feeding frequency. Babies who take infant formula usually want to feed less often than babies who are breast-feeding.
Sleeping patterns. Babies who take infant formula may sleep longer at night once they are about 2 months old. But babies who are breast-fed usually catch up shortly after, at about 3 to 5 months of age.
Bowel movements. Infant formula causes formed, brown stools that have a noticeable odor. Breast milk causes loose, yellow stools that have less odor.
Breast milk, unlike formula, has antibodiesClick here to see more information.. Breast-feeding may lower your child’s risk for many types of infections and allergies. Breast milk may also help protect your child from some health problems, such as eczema, asthma, and diabetes. For more information, see the topic Breast-Feeding.
Related Information
Last Revised: August 1, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD – Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC – Pediatrics
http://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/special/bottlefeeding-disadvantages-for-babies/tj8029.html

See, Breast-Feeding vs. Bottle-Feeding http://psychcentral.com/lib/breast-feeding-vs-bottle-feeding/0001228
Researchers are looking at the link between baby formula and adult obesity.

Kathleen Miles reported in the Huffington Post article, Baby Formula May Increase Risk Of Adult Obesity, Diseases, Study Says:

Formula-fed babies may grow too quickly and may be more susceptible than breastfed babies to obesity and other chronic diseases later in life, a new study says.
Five formula-fed baby rhesus monkeys grew faster and larger than five breastfed rhesus monkey babies, and had higher insulin levels after just one week, lead study author Carolyn Slupsky, a researcher at University of California, Davis, told The Huffington Post. The study was funded by Fonterra Research and Development Centre, an arm of the New Zealand-based global dairy giant, which makes baby formula, and was published in the June issue of Journal of Proteome Research.
“This is the fist time somebody has glimpsed into the mechanism of what’s going on with formula,” Slupsky said. The results, she said, should be “a call to arms to the formula companies to come up with better formulas that are going to ensure the health of our future population.”
The UC Davis researchers closely monitored the monkey babies’ weight and feeding, and took weekly blood and urine samples for three months.
In addition to having higher insulin and amino acid levels, the formula-fed babies had microbes in their digestive tracts that were “completely different” than those in the breastfed babies, the study says. This may put formula-fed babies at a higher risk of a wide range of health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, liver problems and cardiovascular disease, Slupsky said.
Part of the difference may be explained by an excess of protein in formula milk. Human milk is 8 percent to 9 percent protein, and rhesus monkey milk is 11.6 percent protein. But formula has 18.3 percent protein. “The quality of protein in formula is not the same as in human milk, so formula companies decided to add more of it to make up for any deficits,” Slupsky explained. “But that may be problematic.”
A study in 2010 suggested that parents may overfeed bottle-fed babies, while breastfed babies limit their intake because they have to work hard to get it. Slupsky said she does not think that was a factor in her study because the formula-fed baby monkeys fed themselves by sucking on a bottle when they were hungry.
Slupsky said researchers at UC Davis are working with formula companies to create formula that more closely resembles human breast milk.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/baby-formula-disease-study_n_3728706.html

Citation:

Early Diet Impacts Infant Rhesus Gut Microbiome, Immunity, and Metabolism
Aifric O’Sullivan ‡§, Xuan He ‡, Elizabeth M. S. McNiven ‡, Neill W. Haggarty , Bo Lönnerdal ‡, and Carolyn M. Slupsky *‡§
‡Department of Nutrition, §Department of Food Science and Technology, One Shields Avenue,University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616, United States
Fonterra Ingredients Innovation, Fonterra Co-operative Group, Private Bag 11029, Fitzherbert Dairy Farm Road, Palmerston North, New Zealand
J. Proteome Res., 2013, 12 (6), pp 2833–2845
DOI: 10.1021/pr4001702
Publication Date (Web): May 7, 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society
*E-mail: cslupsky@ucdavis.edu. Ph: (530) 752-6804. Fax:(530) 752-8966.
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/pr4001702?journalCode=jprobs

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/