Re: ECON: "Unsustainable Predictions"

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Apr 06 2001 - 08:53:23 MDT

Mark Plus:
> An Indian economist (I believe he's named Amarya Sen) argues that
> democracies tend to become famine-resistant. When things get too bad in
> some region in a democratic country, the afflicted people complain to their
> politicians. Because these politicians want to get re-elected, they have
> incentives to _do something_ to alleviate the food shortages. It's
> significant that the greatest famines in the 20th Century occurred under
> authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, while in more-or-less democratic
> India, the food situation seems to be improving, along with general
> economic conditions.

I don't think it is democracy itself, but rather open societies with free
markets that become immune. After all, if it was just a question of the
government doing something, then one would expect feudal societies to become
immune too.

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