Last week, Sylvia Nasar, author of Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, addressed the issue of economics as it relates to food systems and the future, at the sixth session of the Baltimore Food and Faith Project’s Enoughness series. Complex and massive, the topic garnered a number of diverse responses. Here are two contrasting written responses, excerpted from attendees of the session.
Avram I. Reisner, PhD, rabbi of Congregation Chevrei Tzedek, Baltimore:
Sylvia Nasar gave an important presentation for us to hear, this morning, precisely because it so represented economic orthodoxy and failed to grapple with the very issues we are convened to consider. … We must be thankful for and preserve those gains [from the Industrial Revolution], no doubt. But her prescription for the future was continued productivity gain through the free market. And I, and I think all of us, question whether that is a reasonable prescription for the future. She presumes a continued escalator; that productivity can and will rise in the future as it has in the past. Is that likely? … Granting that humankind was not producing enough before the Industrial Revolution, are we now, and should we now remain in thrall to the old orthodoxy that rapid productivity growth is necessary? Read More >