Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Social Justice

Norman Borlaug, 92, developed new varieties of wheat that have helped feed the world. For this he won the Nobel Prize in 1970. But the wheat wasn't enough on its own. As told in today's Wall Street Journal, countries like Pakistan and India, eager to feed their populations, insisted on price controls: they required farmers to sell their grain to the government at less than half the world price. Mr. Borlaug used his prestige to insist on fair prices for farmers. Fair prices combined the new grains enabled Pakistan to become self-sufficient in grain by 1968 and India by 1974.

The law of supply and demand cannot be defeated by mere governments. It is unfortunate that governments have been willing to starve their citizens while trying to prove otherwise.

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