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First, do no harm

Many people will be hungry this Christmas. But despite what the official studies say, the globe is not going to hell in a handcart. Nicholas Eberstadt challenges the pessimists on both overpopulation and famine and argues that political and economic liberty are the best ways of combating malnutrition

In the century when the formula for attaining mass affluence was finally per-fected, more people have perished from famine than ever before in human history. Why? Why do we live in a world in which millions upon millions of children and adults suffer from the scourges of extreme hunger and malnutrition? These are profound and terrible questions. And there is scarcely a nobler quest in the world than the search for the right answers.

But in no other humanitarian venture do people so mistake good intentions for good policy. For some reason, it seems that contemplating the problems of starvation…

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