The Wednesday April 23rd edition of The Washington Post has a story about a UN report on the food crisis that is spreading throughout the world. The proposed solution to the "silent tsunami" is government policies of aid and a mix of command and control. Josette Sheeran of the World Food Program is quoted as stating that "I think much of the world is waking up to the fact that food doesn't spontaneously show up on grocery store shelves."
Didn't Adam Smith tell us in The Wealth of Nations that the butcher, the baker and the brewer provides us with our daily meals not due to benevolence but self-interest directed toward mutually beneficial exchange?
So the intellectual battle in economic policy and over the basic lesson of economic science is far from settled. And while it is important once again to demonstrate to Ms. Sheeran and others the power of the spontaneous order of the market mechanism, to really address this issue we need to detail the facts of the policy failures that are resulting in the recent spike of food prices.
Who have you read that provides the best discussion of the current crisis with food prices from an economic point of view?
BTW, F. A. Hayek once said that the economist is called upon by the public to comment on policy matters more often than any other social scientist but to have his advice ignored almost as soon as it is given. Such is our plight. What remedy do you have to rectify that situation?