Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A curious paradox, first noted and subsequently develop by mathematician Umlaut Bonhoff, which states that no matter how prosperous a capitalist society becomes, the amount of wealth generated will never be sufficient to meet the demands placed upon it. Bonhoff observed, moreover, that in free market economies growth tends to widen inequalities, allowing the “winners” to claim an ever larger share of resources without the “losers” being willing to accept a smaller share for themselves. Governments of countries that shun redistributive policies (taxing the rich to serve the poor) find, therefore, that increases in national prosperity reduce their ability to fund basic public services (public transport, health and education, sports facilities etc.) at the level of their ambitions or their promises. In the midst of wealth, they plead poverty. Some fairly sophisticated mathematics underpin Bonhoff’s Law, which may be why, although not universally accepted, it has yet to be disproved. On the other hand, daily experience of life in the “free world” seems to bear out its fundamental accuracy.