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Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confirms

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 01:45:04

Newfie wrote:Kub,

KJ and I are talking about the future, not the past.
I guess you didn't notice technology is already causing job losses today? And has been for hundreds of years now? I am trying to say these job losses will continue into the future however your fears about robotics taking all our jobs are overblown. At the same time you seem to fail to realize that as a country moves up the development ladder their citizens want more and more higher class jobs and are less and less willing to take unskilled jobs. That is one reason immigrants are drawn to these jobs because they are less fussy about employment options and there is a vacancy in these jobs.

When the first industrial revolution hit, factories and mass production drew workers to the cities in droves. Manufacturing put individual craftsmen out of business. Consumers could get products cheaper and faster and that was a good thing. Yes, some workers were obviously displaced. But along with the “revolution,” new jobs were created and, over time, employment reached high levels.

Fears about the new robotic revolution
Of course, technology will eliminate many jobs – it has always done so. At the same time, we cannot predict the numbers of new jobs/careers that new technology will create. One study from Gartner Research states that while 1.8 million jobs will be lost by 2020, 2.3 million new ones will be created.

Even today, there are a huge number of technology jobs that did not exist ten years ago: State-of-the-art programming, data science, web security, marketing and sales. There is no reason to believe that the need for humans to create and manage new technology will decrease.

And in developed countries, with comparative salary data readily available for various industries, far fewer people are willing to enter low-paying work force jobs that require no thinking and that do not allow people to have a decent lifestyle. Young people who graduate high school often have vocational-technical skills that allow them to enter the workforce with skills that are needed. Others opt for vocational-technical or community college programs where they learn to use the latest technology.

Humans create and humans control
The idea that technology will replace the need for creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and initiative is rather silly right now. The idea that humans can leverage technology to provide a better world for all of us is not silly, however. It’s fascinating. Consider this: One of the industries that have seen the greatest disruption of robotics and AI has been medicine. We now have robotic and AI tools that can perform amazingly accurate diagnoses and precise surgery. Have we lost doctors to this technology? The answer is “no.” Doctors have simply learned to leverage the new technology to provide better healthcare.
Why Robots Will Not Take Over Human Jobs

Bezos believes our fear of being put out of work by robots is a failure of imagination more than anything else. "I find that people, all of us, I include myself, we are so unimaginative about what future jobs are going to look like and what they are going to be," he explained.

For example, said Bezos, if a convention of farmers a century ago were to learn that "massage therapist" would be a job, they would have been incredulous. "And in fact, I was telling this story to a friend, and they said, 'Jeff, forget massage therapist, there are dog psychiatrists,'" he said. "I went and looked that up the Internet. Sure enough you can easily hire a psychiatrist for your dog."
Jeff Bezos on AI:robots won’t put us all out of work
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 08:05:17

So your argument is we don’t have enough cops in the country capable of manual jobs? Do we need some special DNA that only comes from immigrants?

Please lay out what jobs exist in the USA for which there is no capable labor pool.

When you get to “dog psychiatrist”, “horse whisperer”, TSA Agent you should concede these are not real jobs, they are work fare. “Manicurist” is just paying for gossip groups. Sure they have some marginal value to society, but these are things folks used to do in the between work. That’s a big reason why we have a hugely expensive medical system, it’s over burdened with needless insurance paperwork which does nothing to heal people. Our healthcare dollars are subsidizing (OK , it’s a hidden TAX) the workfare if hundreds of thousand of clerks and the technology companies that produce the billing systems.

Definition of work (Entry 1 of 3)
intransitive verb
1a : to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary
works in publishing
b : to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations
worked all day over a hot stove
c : to exert oneself physically or mentally especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 09:12:35

I'm not talking about superior immigrant DNA. I'm talking about a group of people who have very few options and thus are more willing to take jobs with crap pay and/or harsh working conditions. Immigrants often work jobs many Americans don't want. Over the last decade more Mexicans have been leaving the US than immigrating. These were immigrants who worked various jobs in this country. When they left, they also left those jobs behind. So what happened to those jobs after the immigrants went home? Well what happened frequently was those jobs were left vacant:

If we lose the workers who are here illegally, it’s hard to see how they’ll be replaced, because Americans are reluctant to take these jobs, particularly the ones harvesting crops. There’s a lot of evidence for this, both anecdotal and statistical, including a particularly compelling case study done in North Carolina in 2011. That year, 489,000 people were unemployed statewide. The North Carolina Growers Association listed 6,500 available jobs. Just 268 of those 489,000 North Carolinians applied, and 245 were hired. On the first day of work, 163 showed up, and a grand total of seven finished the season. Of the mostly Mexican workers who took the rest of the jobs, 90 percent made it through to the end.

“There’s sufficient evidence that over the last 30-plus years there’s a dearth of U.S. workers that want to go into this field.” Whether the pun is intended, these jobs are acceptable only to people who have very few, very bad options. The work is brutally hard. “It’s not just the physical stress. It’s the psychological stress. You have to keep up, you can’t afford to lose this job.” And the pay? “These families are earning $10,000 a year.”
Illegal immigrants help fuel U.S. farms. Does affordable produce depend on them?

Last year marked the fifth consecutive year Santa Barbara County’s agriculture industry has struggled with labor shortages. Farmers, therefore, must leave crops to rot in the fields. An estimated $13 million of strawberries, broccoli, leafy greens, and other unharvested produce were plowed under last year. Total, there are anywhere from 15,000 to 23,000 ag workers in Santa Barbara County, most of whom are from Mexico. In the last decade more Mexican immigrants have been leaving the United States than have been arriving. As Mexico’s economy improves and becomes less reliant on agriculture, Mexicans are having fewer children and “feeling less the push to migrate north.” Security has also tightened along the southern border. The Obama administration deported about three million undocumented immigrants between 2009 and 2016 many more than the two million the Bush administration deported during the eight years prior. Under the Trump administration, immigration arrests have surged by nearly 40 percent in three months compared to the same time frame last year.

Ninety percent of the mothers and fathers who were part of the Bracero Program, which brought millions of Mexican guest workers to the U.S. in the mid-20th century, now have back problems. “In some ways, the most vulnerable immigrants” ​— ​who are from indigenous villages and speak little Spanish or English ​— ​“tend to work in the fields.”
Labor Shortage Leaves $13 Million in Crops to Rot in Fields

A shortage of migrant workers is resulting in lost crops in California. Farmers say they’re having trouble hiring enough people to work during harvest season, causing some crops to rot before they can be picked. Already, the situation has triggered losses of more than $13 million in two California counties alone. The vast majority of California’s farm workers are foreign born, with many coming from Mexico. However, the PEW Research Center reports more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than coming here.

To make the jobs more attractive, farmers are offering salaries above minimum wage, along with paid time off and 401(k) plans, but even that’s not proving enough.
California Crops Rot as Immigration Crackdown Creates Farmworker Shortage

In 2017 research conducted by the Cornell Farmworker Program, 30 New York dairy farmers told us they turned to undocumented workers because they were unable to find and keep reliable U.S. citizens to do the jobs. That's in part because farm work can be physically demanding, dirty and socially denigrated work. More importantly, it is one the most dangerous occupations in the U.S.

A study commissioned by the dairy industry suggested that if federal labor and immigration policies reduced the number of foreign-born workers by 50 percent, more than 3,500 dairy farms would close, leading to a big drop in milk production and a spike in prices of about 30 percent. Total elimination of immigrant labor would increase milk prices by 90 percent.

The U.S. fruit, vegetable and meat industries are similarly at risk, and without the help of unauthorized workers, production would drop and consumers would likely see higher prices.
These U.S. industries can't work without illegal immigrants
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 09:17:06

I don’t care what jobs Americans “don’t want.” Ive never yet worked a job I “wanted”, I worked jobs that paid and met my families needs. Tough cookies.

Reminds me of a family court judge said “I don’t care your client can’t find a job that meets his qualifications, find a job that meets his family obligations. Does he qualify for McDonalds?”

We need a cultural shift so that people do those jobs. In part it’s about making those jobs meaningful, which includes but not limited to raising the wages paid. But it’s also about a culture shift. Since when are we Gods chosen who are above doing manual tasks?

That stuff has to stop, get over it, get to work.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Cog » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 09:30:44

Part of degrowth, that was the topic of another thread, was to reduce consumption. If we can't have cheap labor doing and making everything for us, prices will rise and consumption will drop. Which is exactly the pathway forward.

Do I need fresh tomatoes in the winter-time? No I do not.
Can I mow my own yard? Yes I can or I can pay a citizen more than an illegal to do it.

Over-consumption is easy because we have farmed out cheap labor overseas or allowed to come here in the form of illegals. It doesn't have to be that way.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 10:14:06

I'm guessing it's more about the wages than a cultural shift. There are plenty of harsh jobs Americans take. The difference is the wages are better:

Tom Surtees is tired of hearing employers grouse about their lazy countrymen. “Don’t tell me an Alabamian can’t work out in the field picking produce because it’s hot and labor intensive,” he says. “Go into a steel mill. Go into a foundry. Go into numerous other occupations and tell them Alabamians don’t like this work because it’s hot and it requires manual labor.” The difference being, jobs in Alabama’s foundries and steel mills pay better wages—with benefits. “If you’re trying to justify paying someone below whatever an appropriate wage level is so you can bring your product, I don’t think that’s a valid argument.”

“They gotta come up with a better pay system,” says Rayford. “This ain’t no easy work. If you need somebody to do this type of work, you gotta be payin’. If they was paying by the hour, motherf—–s would work overtime, so you’d know what you’re working for.” He starts to pace around the car. “I could just work at McDonald’s.”
Why Americans won't do dirty jobs

Bottom Salaries
Among the positions that employed at least 1,000 people in steel mills, the lowest-paying were usually unskilled labor. For instance, the 3,300 production helpers working in steel plants were the lowest-paid workers, at $31,450 on average, according to the bureau. The 2,490 laborers and movers were paid $35,050 on average.
Salary of Steel Plant Workers

If these agricultural/retired care workers were paid at the same rate as workers in a steel mill, I'm guessing their staffing problems would vanish. But going from $13k a year no benefits to $35k a year with benefits is a 2-3 times increase in payout. Long term care costs are already hefty. Increasing them by 2-3 times might not be feasible.

A Wall Street Journal article gives an overview of a topic we discussed briefly before: an escalating crisis in the long-term care business. As we explain in more detail below, the entire industry massively underpriced policies that cover nursing home and other types of long-term care for the elderly. They are now playing catch-up with hefty rate increases.

7.3 million individuals, equal to nearly 20% of the people over 65, are grappling with the dilemma of what to do about long-term care sticker shock. Some examples from the Journal’s story:

In the past two years, CNA Financial Corp. has increased the annual long-term-care insurance bill for Ms. Wylie and her husband by more than 90% to $4,831. They bought the policies in 2008, which promise future benefits of as much as $268,275 per person. The Wylies are bracing for more increases.

Many adults don’t realize until they approach retirement age that Medicare does not provide for coverage in what are called long-term care facilities, such as assisted living (where the residents aren’t hospitalized but need help with some activities, like bathing or getting dressed) and nursing homes. Medicaid does, but it has strict financial eligibility limits (among other things, you will effectively be required to exhaust your financial assets). And based on reports by readers, facilities that accept Medicaid patients often do not provide a high standard of care.

Insurers rushed to fill this gap in a serious way about 40 years ago. Long-term care policies will reimburse the cost of care in approved facilities, or in many cases with approved home health care services, up to a daily maximum amount. Policies typically also have a maximum total payout amount (which may be expressed in other terms but amounts to the same thing).

The problem was twofold. One was that the insurers had no experience in offering this sort of policy and made unduly optimistic assumptions, such as how many people would lapse (stop paying before they used the policy), how long they would live, and how many days of care they would consume if and when they needed care. Ironically, when my father was looking at whether to get a long term care policy over 30 years ago, he was frustrated at his inability to get data to make any sort of an informed decision. It turns out the insurers themselves didn’t have enough of a track record to be doing any better than guessing, and they guessed wrong.

It turned out that nearly everyone underestimated how long policyholders would live and claims would last. For example, actuaries, insurers and regulators didn’t anticipate a proliferation of assisted-living facilities. And they assumed families would do whatever they could to avoid moving loved ones into nursing homes, holding down policy claims.

By the late 1990s, assisted-living facilities were widely popular. Especially at well-run ones, staff members looked after policyholders so well that they lived years longer than actuaries had projected. Residents “are taking their medications; they are not falling,” says Mr. Bodnar, now a senior executive at Genworth.

The rate of individuals buying new policies has plunged now that insures are charging more for them:
Fewer than 100,000 long-term-care insurance policies were sold in the U.S. in 2016, and sales fell to about 34,000 in the first half of 2017. Both those totals are the lowest in more than 25 years. The business peaked in 2002 with about 750,000 sales.

People approaching 60, which is usually the latest these insurers will write policies, don’t have good options.

Given the plunge in people buying these policies, the US is clearly moving towards the neoliberal answer of “Die faster!”
The Long-Term Care Crisis: Premiums Exploding, Leaving Seniors With “An Awful Choice”

I can see produce prices going up and consumption going down because farm workers are paid decent wages. But what does "consumption will drop" look like for retired care?
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 10:42:49

Now we are talking.

Salary of Steel Plant Workers

If these agricultural/retired care workers were paid at the same rate as workers in a steel mill, I'm guessing their staffing problems would vanish. But going from $13k a year no benefits to $35k a year with benefits is a 2-3 times increase in payout. Long term care costs are already hefty. Increasing them by 2-3 times might not be feasible.


Think this through, let’s make a thought experiment.

2 situations both with 100 elderly in care. It takes roughly 4.5 people to cover one position 24x7x365. Each of the elderly are in their own home. So this is a bit extreme example but I’m trying to make it simple.

1- pays $15/hr for Citizens to supply care, ~$30k/year. 450 workers. $1.35 million. Each worker is supporting 1 additional family member in average so 900 Citizens are directly supported by the $1.35 million. The total population being 1,000 people.

2- pays $7.50 per hour for immigrants to supply care. $675 thousand. But you now still have 900 citizens on unemployment, Medicaid, disability, welfare, in jail. That has a cost. Let’s call it $10k/person/year or $900k. That’s probably very low. Total $1,575 million annual cost. But wait, there’s more, we now have some social obligation to these 450 immigrant workers who, when they age, will be an additional 450 elderly that need care over the 900 citizens.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 11:08:09

You mean something like this?

Illinois senators narrowly approved a bill Tuesday to increase wages paid to home care workers in the state’s Community Care Program.

Under Senate Bill 3511, home care worker wages would jump from about $10.98 an hour to $11.98 an hour on July 1. Wages would continue to climb by $1 an hour per year until they reached $14.98 in 2021.

Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago said the workers supply home care to 100,000 seniors, allowing them to remain out of nursing homes and in their own homes. The Service Employees International Union, which represents the workers, said low wages for home care workers leads to high turnover among home care workers.

Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said the bill will cost the state $800 million a year that it doesn’t have.

“We’d all like to help these people,” he said. “It might be a good idea to sit down and figure out a budget before we spend another $800 million we don’t have. We have to figure out which programs we’re going to cut.”

Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington voted against the bill. Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, voted for it. Sen. Sam McCann, R-Plainview, did not vote.

The bill now goes to the House.
Senate OKs bill to increase home care workers’ pay
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Jan 2019, 11:26:19

Yes, it’s a start. Raising wages is required but not sufficient. Paying for it is an issue, but they are asking the question the wrong way. They need to be looking at the systemic costs of alternatives.

The elder workers need to receive some training and some social recognition, status. They need to be stroked. We all need to be stroked.

Maybe Illinois needs to start looking at the current ranks of elder workers and reporting all illegals involved. Get them out of the state so they don’t have to pay to support them.

Charity begins at home. How the hell are we going to care for a flood of immigrants if we can’t even care for our elderly citizens?
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby EdwinSm » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 02:05:43

Back to Population in Japan.

According to the Population Reference Bureau statistics https://www.prb.org/ Japan has a current birth rate of 8/1000 and death rate of 11/1000, giving a natural "growth" of -0.3%.

Japan does have an inward migration of about 0.1%.

Given these the population is estimated to be 119 million in 2030, and 102 million in 2050. This is down from a peak population of 128 million in 2011, but still way way up from the 84 million of 1950.

- - - -
Japan's population seems to be going towards sustainability, but still will be for a very long time much higher than in the years after WWII.
I suppose one important question for sustainability in an era of low fossil fuel input is whether the population reduction is occurring faster in the countryside or in the over crowded cities. Does anyone have any ideas on this?
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 03:53:24

Japan has been experiencing rural to urban migration. From 2008-2013 rural populations were falling while urban population were growing. From 2013-2017 both rural and urban populations were falling:
Urban and rural population in Japan from 2008 to 2017

City users use less fossil fuels per capita than rural users:
More than half the U.S. population is packed into three dozen well-lit metro areas, each one home to at least a million power-hungry people. Surely Americans could save money and energy by living somewhere simpler. Right? You'd think so, especially looking at nighttime satellite photos that show dark landscapes illuminated by glowing urban dots. On the surface, these seem like clear evidence of city dwellers' oversized energy footprints. How do the owners of farmhouses and penthouses stack up head-to-head? Is it dense to live densely, or are rural residents being left out in the cold?

Transportation
Despite hosting regular traffic jams, cities win the head-to-head efficiency matchup in transportation thanks to their mass transit systems and denser layouts, which promote walking and bicycling. Small-town and suburban residents usually have to drive themselves to get around, which isn't cheap. According to EIA data, urban U.S. households own an average of 1.8 vehicles each, compared with 2.2 for each rural household. Urban families also drive about 7,000 fewer miles annually than their rural counterparts, saving more than 400 gallons of gasoline.

Housing
Cities have the lowest annual energy use per household (85.3 million Btu) and household member (33.7 million Btu) of all four categories. Rural areas consume about 95 million Btu per household each year. The compact construction of urban condo towers and apartment buildings helps insulate their indoor climates, while large homes common in less dense areas need more energy for heating and cooling, and have a harder time keeping air from leaking outside.
Urban or rural: Which is more energy-efficient?

When considering per capita and sector specific consumptions, decreasing per capita consumption patterns are observed for growing population densities.

The data provided here and the patterns and relations explored mostly suggest that there are overall savings in terms of total energy consumption associated with higher density urban settings.
Urban and Rural—Population and Energy Consumption Dynamics

Of course rural vs urban energy consumption differences are small compared to country level energy consumption differences.
Energy Consumption per Household
The country with the largest energy consumption per household is the USA[101 GJ/household/year]. Compared to other developed countries, Japan consumes a small amount[41 GJ/household/year].
International Comparison of Household Energy Consumption and Its Indicator

But then Japan supplies only 6% of it's own energy needs vs over 90% for the US:
Japan is poor in resources such as oil and natural gas. The energy self-sufficiency ratio of Japan in 2014 was 6.0% which was a low level even compared to other OECD countries. Japan depends on fossil fuels such as oil/coal/natural gas (LNG) imported from abroad. Dependency increased to 88% (based on the composition of power sources) in FY 2014, more than during the first oil shock.
Japan Energy
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 07:19:40

I think it will take a long time and a lot of population loss before the population redistributes away from the cities. My understanding of Japanese agriculture, from about WWII, was that it was made up of small parcels, many parcels may have been owned by a single entity, but they were worked by small farmers. So it was inefficient by Western standards. How that has or has not changed I don’t know.

It would be interesting to see some stats on population DENSITY, rural vs urban, for the last hundred years. Japan is just such a unique case.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 08:53:43

Looks like the US census Bureau uses a cutoff of 1000 people per square mile or higher as urban and 1-999 people per square miles as rural.

Here's some population densities for various countries:
Code: Select all
Population density for various countries
Country people per square mile
Japan   904
Germany 611
China   390
Spain   241
Mexico  174
World   152
US       93
Russia   23
Australia 8
List of Countries by Population Density

The population density of the US is an order of magnitude more dense than Australia. Japan is an order of magnitude more dense than the US.

Or how about arable land per capita:
Code: Select all
Country   Arable land(hectares per person)
Australia 2.14
Russia    0.85
US        0.51
Spain     0.27
Mexico    0.21
Germany   0.15
China     0.08
Japan     0.03
Arable land

Japan does not look particularly sustainable from where I am sitting. A slowly shrinking population does not alter the facts that Japan is highly dense with little arable land or energy resources.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 15:08:13

True, same with the UK.

Arable land per person (hectares)
2015
UK. 0.09
Japan 0.06
USA 0.98
China 0.16
India. 0.34

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG ... cations=US
(Seems our data does not agree, but points are similar)
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 15:15:21

Those are not 2015 figures. They are 1961 figures. 2015 data is in the second column. The figures for 2015 pretty much match my data.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 20 Jan 2019, 15:26:29

kublikhan wrote:Those are not 2015 figures. They are 1961 figures. 2015 data is in the second column. The figures for 2015 pretty much match my data.


BUGGER ALL! Thanks for that.
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Re: Peak Japan? Population shrinks by a million census confi

Unread postby JimBof » Tue 19 Feb 2019, 19:11:48

Just remember the productivity of the land. In some parts of Australia it is square miles per cow. In New Zealand it is cows per acre.
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