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December 13, 2012 / Admin

Ken Fisher: Capitalism as a Source for Societal Good


In the spirit of the holidays, Ken Fisher looks at capitalism as a source for societal good – Matt Goldhaber, Fisher investments

Ken Fisher: Capitalism as a Source for Societal Good

By Elisabeth Dellinger

With the holidays approaching, the season’s merry music is all over the radio. My favorite: Band-Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in which a who’s who of early-80s alt-rock implored us to “Feed the world—let them know it’s Christmas time.”

Alas, 28 years later it’s clear music can’t feed the world’s 925 million undernourished people. But a force way more powerful can, if given the chance: free markets. When it comes to feeding the world’s starving, to quote my boss Ken Fisher, “I believe in capitalism.”

Don’t buy it? Consider India, where over 200 million people are undernourished. Indian farms produce enough food to feed all of the country’s 1.2 billion people, but around one-third of it rots before it reaches the market. Outdated harvesting means and storage capacity, unpaved roads and a lack of refrigerated trucks keep over 200 million people from getting enough to eat.

To fix this, India doesn’t need subsidies or charitable aid—it needs investment in food supply chain infrastructure. But several administrative and regulatory bottlenecks limit a flood of domestic investment, and protectionism has long prevented foreign investment. Attracting foreign investment would require letting in foreign supermarkets, which many fear would make life harder for the corner shops and market stalls that dominate Indian retail. So for the sake of protecting domestic commerce, India effectively barred foreign money and forced the supply chain to remain decades behind the times. Starvation persisted.

Read More from Elisabeth Dellinger and Ken Fisher at IBD:

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