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Harper's Magazine: Let them Eat Cash: Can Bill Gates Turn Hunger into Profit?

Author: Frederick Kaufman
June 2009


Frederick Kaufman explores the problem of world hunger.

The latter-day emperors arrived in Rome. Presidents, prime ministers, plutocrats, puppets, dictators, and thugs left their limousines across the street from the Circus Maximus and paraded into the High-Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy. That was quite a bit to consider in one conference, but as the number of starving people on earth rose toward one billion, famine pushed aside all other concerns.

On the first day, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, echoed the wisdom of Thorstein Veblen as he blamed world hunger on “conspicuous consumptions,” which have “put all nations in the world on the verge of destruction.” Such practices, declared Ahmadinejad, were satanic.

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