|About the Book|
A damning attack on free-market capitalism. This book deals with the economics of food distribution during famines and looks at the most famous famines of the latter part of the last century. Sen reaches no specific conclusion on what should be done to ameliorate the poor distribution of a common and vital resource under capitalism.Sen describes how there is a tradition of famine-stricken countries containing enough food to adequately feed the populace and sometimes even enough to be exporting substantial amounts of food and yet large sections of the populace cannot afford sufficient food because they do not have economic access to it. I.e. theyre too poor to afford to eat. Too poor to eat in a country that holds enough food to feed everyone. If that wasnt the best argument against capitalist economics I dont know what is.One interesting point that the author makes is between peasants and landless workers and how peasant classes generally do better in famine conditions as they have a direct entitlement to the crops they harvest whereas workers can only receive a wage which they must exchange in return for food. Presuming the wage is adequate enough and food available enough.Sen isnt a socialist and he leaves the reader to draw their own conclusion as to what solution is best, whether it be just a form of state welfare or full-blown socialism.