Must-Read: I don't know if I dare show this to Joachim Voth, lest he be thereby driven into shrill unholy madness, and have to abandon his cushy chair at Zürich for one at Miskatonic University in haunted Arkham, MA...
There were a great many people who firmly believed and there was a very widespread sentiment that it was very important to keep the profit motive out of or to limit its influence over the grain trade. See, for example:
- Karl Gunnar Persson (1993): On Corn, Turgot, and Elasticities: The Case for Deregulation of Grain Markets in Mid-Eighteenth Century France
And, of course:
- Amartya Sen (1981): Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation
The view that when the stakes become high--matters of life and death--then market solutions can no longer be justified by the claim that they maximize a weighted sum of individual utilities, because the weight they then place on some people's utilities is zero. That's a very powerful argument. People should not pretend it doesn't exist:
Megan McArdle: Health Care Is a Business, Not a Right:
People need a lot of things. You’ll die without food long before you’ll die without health care, and yet few people say we need to “take the profit motive out of farming”. There are some, to be sure, but this was never a widespread sentiment even when food was a lot scarcer and more expensive). Why is health care special?...