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.