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Raj Patel: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy

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Date and time
Monday, January 11, 2010

Activist Raj Patel discusses his new book, *The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy*, with radio's *On Point* producer, John Wihbey. In *The Value of Nothing*, Raj Patel, a long-time visionary in issues of global development, points to the inadequecy of price as a measure of value, and urges us to look at the larger environmental, political, and social cost of the goods we consume. The book reveals that our current crisis is not simply the result of too much of the wrong kind of economics. While we need to rethink our economic model, Patel argues that the larger failure beneath the food, climate, and economic crises is a political one. If economics is about choices, Patel writes, it isn't often said who gets to make them. *The Value of Nothing* offers an accessible way to think about economics and the choices we will all need to make in order to create a sustainable economy and society.

Raj Patel, the author of *Stuffed and Starved*, is an activist and academic who has been hailed as "a visionary" for his prescience about the food crisis. Raj has worked for the World Bank and the World Trade Organization and has protested against them on four continents. He is currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for African Studies, an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a fellow at the Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First.
John Wihbey produces segments and blogs for *On Point*, with a focus on politics, the environment, and foreign policy. He worked as a reporter for *The Star-Ledger* in New Jersey, where he covered environmental and land use issues and dug up off-beat features. He has also written for *USA Today*, *The Huffington Post*, *Boston Magazine* online, and *The Yale Climate Media Forum*.