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The Persistence of Poverty - 11/1/16

You may have heard that skepticism regarding free markets is rising.  A recent survey conducted by Harvard determined that a majority of eighteen to twenty nine year old Americans do not believe in modern capitalism at all. 

As pointed out by the New York Times, the persistence of poverty in the midst of an affluent nation may be one reason for growing dissatisfaction.  After all, nearly thirteen percent of American households lived without enough food last year.  Yet the food banks frequently at the forefront of combating hunger haven’t given up on free markets. 

Recent research indicates that food banks are relying more upon them.  The research of Canice Prendergast, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, has documented the innovations of Feeding America, a large nonprofit organization that distributes hundreds of millions of tons of food to more than two hundred food banks across the U.S. 

To distribute food more effectively, Feeding America embraced a bidding system using a virtual currency.  Food banks with the greatest need could therefore submit the highest bids for critical items, helping to harness the benefits of a free market.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.