If economics is about choices, who gets to make them? Activist and academic Raj Patel says that prices often mislead us, and he reveals the "hidden costs" of goods. To demonstrate his argument that the free market and corporations distort price and value, Patel suggests that the true price of a hamburger would be $200 if we factor in the hidden environment and health costs.
Patel offers a controversial critique of our present political system and argues that to understand our current economic crisis, we need to rethink our very meaning of democracy by re-balancing society and limiting markets.
Raj Patel holds a doctorate in Sociology from Cornell University and has worked at the World Bank, World Trade Organization, and the United Nations.
He is a writer and activist concerned with land reform politics, development studies, and food sovereignty. He authored Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. His most recent book, The Value of Nothing, was on The New York Times best-seller list during February 2010.
Sandip Roy is an editor with New America Media and host of its radio show New America Now on KALW 91.7 FM.