Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

Illusions of Inequality

A while back I promised that I would write a post on markets and the universal destination of goods. That post will probably have to wait a while, I’m afraid. But as a down payment, I offer this intriguing two part essay by John Nye, an economics professor at Washington University. Prof. Nye starts by asking us to

[i]magine a system where the efforts of the richest people in the world greatly expand the range and quality of goods and services available to most people—oftentimes at the expense of those groups at or near the top of the income ladder. Imagine a system where wealthy capitalists and ambitious innovators work day and night on projects with little chance of success, all at their own expense. Sometimes, even to the point where even the most successful among them manage to capture only a small part of the benefits while the rest goes to the average man or woman in the street. In their own lives they have the privilege of paying more for goods that they always would have bought, while the poorest get better, more numerous, and more widely available goods at cheaper prices than ever before.

He then goes on to argue that “in the real world, no system would come closer to implementing the most important parts of this scheme than market capitalism.” It’s definitely worth a read.


March 5, 2008 - Posted by | Economics, Equality

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