- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The law of diminishing returns, and all that.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on August 02, 1999 at 12:10:16:

In Reply to: Rates of Change posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on July 29, 1999 at 14:41:46:

: : P.S. Incidentally ... Is anyone aware that Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world? I wonder why ...

: Burkina Faso (in Dioula, "the people's democratic state of honest men" ) was one of the poorest states in the world prior to the socialist revolution in 1983, and remains so today. During the 4 years that Thomas Sankara was in power, however, education increased by a third, one of the major diseases of teh counrty was eliminated, 60% of children were vaccinated in one two-week period, GDP began growing isgnificantly, and a railroad was completed solely with volunteer labor.. Obviously, since the man was overthrown in 1987, some of these indicators have deteriorated since then. nevertheless, much of teh porgress remains. Look at rates of change in teh indicators, not at their absolute levels; the rate of change under Sankara and afterwards is the best guide tpo whether progress was made or not.

Don: I do not know much about this specific country, however I do have a couple of points. Rate of change seems to be a good indicator, however it is insufficient. Improvements must be sustainable, and they must not come at great cost to the rest of society. Further, it must be kept in mind that it is much easier to improve *really bad* conditions than it is to improve "OK" conditions. The law of diminishing returns, and all that.

McSpotlight: "Sustainable" in what timeframe?

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