- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, Uk ) on April 06, 1999 at 19:47:15:

In Reply to: What is your list of 'should haves' posted by Gee on April 06, 1999 at 17:09:23:

: But how far would you be willing to go if you were in charge of everything?

As a side note, I will *never* be in charge of everything. ;)

: Lets use a simple example. Lets say you decide its correct for a nationalised health service to be run for all the poeple, and that as part of this its important to have emergency services to pick up the injured and ill quickly (ie ambulances). Now lets say that you plan it so that major urban areas are neatly covered by ambulance vehicles. What about those people living in the wilds of Nevada, or in secluded parts of Wales and Scotland?

Hate to tell you this gee, man, but we already have a national health service, that covers everyone in the country, usually outlying districts have smaller istrict hospitals, liek the one my mother works in, or at teh least, ahve a community call out Doctor. Ever heard of Hellicopters?

: Note the key words "very expensive". Providing medical, educational services, providing food, shelter and other material goods is very expensive. Whatever resource you spend on this, there are less resources to spend on other things.

Like Nuclear submarines, and aircraft carriers....

:If you dont like money then think of spending in terms of spending peoples time (which is all tax is anyway). There is that old bugbear scarcity again. Wealth is not created so fast that in a given day you can spend infinity.

no, but we can direct resources to meeting everyones basic needs, and stop producing 'luxury' items like rolls royes...

: So where do you draw the line? I asked this question because I often hear (here and in the media and among people) the equivalent of the phrase "something should be done about it!". The nurses should get more pay, there should be national immunisation plans for this or that
: rare disease, the people of Africa should be fed, children should be allowed to study what they like for free instead of having to learn skills to pay off debts, inner cities should have community areas and facilities, my grandmother should have a chair lift, eye tests should be 'free' etc etc. Thats a bill for $infinity (or peoples time infinity) please.

Strangely until recently, when the general economic crisis has begun to kick in, we managed over here with a very fine health service, free eye tests, free dental check ups (at the point of use that is), etc.

: So which ones are priorities and which ones will you let slide. There is an underlying issue too, that poverty cannot be practically defined as relative to the wealthiest, because if it is then there will *never* be an end to list of "should haves". Perhaps it would be interesting to
see lists of should haves.

How about definijg it relative to the mean of society? But poverty is relative to wealth, if we abolished poverty, wealth would disapear, rich would vanish, it can only be known by referrence to poverty...

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