by Robert E. Wright
The American Institute for Economic Research
So far, two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, death and pestilence, are upon us, but at least one of the others, famine, is also on the stalk.
Famines occur when available food sources provide insufficient calories and nutrients to sustain the lives of a significant number of human beings. They are often associated with the fourth horseman (war) as well as droughts and other natural disasters, but economists understand that most occur when market mechanisms cannot function.
After all, when crops fail in one place, they are bumper someplace else. All that is needed is free trade and food will flow from where it is cheapest to where it is most dear.