Search Our Site

Custom Search

January 9, 2011

Socialist Success Story: India's Central Planning with Agriculture

Around 2000, India had a surplus of wheat and rice that existing with government food supports. Does food surpluses mean that people were eating during this period?

Guess again.

According to the Far Eastern Economic Review also found in Thomas Sowell's book Basic Economics:

"India's public stock of food grains is at an all-time high, and next spring, it will grow further by 80 million tonnes, or four times the amount necessary in case of a national emergency. Yet while that wheat and rice sits idle, in some cases for years, millions of Indians don't have enough to eat."

Sowell also pointed to this article in the New York Times, written in 2002, that describes the food situation in India. What's interesting about government-controlled agricultural industries is that not even the Soviet Union could effectively manage food production long term. From the book The Soviet Economic System;

"It is still necessary to consider the very considerable 'private sector."

The book goes on to discuss how most of the food produced on private plots is consumed privately, amongst the people who raised it. What would have happened to these people if the government would have implemented strict restrictions forbidding them to farm? They would have been dependent on the government for their food source and would have likely starved.

This should make us wonder whether government action (versus intentions) in the United States agriculture sector is really helpful.

Popular This Month