Aug 9, 2010

Right to food

This NYT article obviously is the kind of article that everybody likes about India. How despite all the bluster about growth and all, India is still a poor country and hunger and malnutrition abounds. Much of it is true however and India will have to literally "outgrow" this tendency.

Coming to many comments on article, I generally thing that Matthew Yglesias has much too simplistic take on many of the things that he discusses. However, in this case i do think that the simplistic take is the right one.
In terms of the empirical details, I’m sure there’s another side to the story. But it’s hard to think of any sound theoretical or ideological reasons to believe it would be better to try to give everyone a 77-pound bag of grain than to try to give everyone stamps or coupons. There’s a place for direct public provision of services in sectors where the private sector doesn’t deliver. But “stores that sell food” is something the private sector is more than capable of delivering. Poor people don’t get enough t eat because they can’t afford to buy the food, not because the private sector doesn’t create places to buy. Give people money and they’ll feed their families
Seems spot on.