- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, UK ) on April 07, 1999 at 16:14:34:

In Reply to: Who is 'we' to decide what is proper and what is wasteful? posted by Gee on April 07, 1999 at 12:45:06:

: Thats one of the expensive options I mentioned. The point was not that a service exists but that it cannot be one that provides an equal service to all. In British newspapers (and news sites) there are stories about how people in one county get one type of treatment unavailable in the next county and so on. The collection times for people in the sparsely populated areas differ also, not every outlying village has a district hospital in convenient range. The call out doctor doesnt have the resource to deal with everything a major hospital can, nor do district hospitals. In these senses the NHS coverage is 'unfair' in that it discriminates.

Well, two reasons:
1:The tory press are talking up teh crisis in order to try and re-privatise teh health system.
2:The ongoing economic decline and crisis in Britain means that we are less able to afford teh NHS- at teh hieght of economic prosperity (the 60's) it was functioning fine.

: Take another look at the UK budget (or the US budget for comparison) and see where the vast majority of the money goes - social welfare programmes. These are a bottomless pit, there is always another ill peron, another child, another twisted ankle to take care of. Keeping the current budget level and devoting every penny to welfare would reach further into the pit, but that is all. The point of the post was to ask "where would you stop?"

Erm, no, a fair whack of the UK and US budgets go on Arms spending, and a lot of that is excess from having to work within teh market (Housing Benefit for example- teh cheap opption, but and maintain many homes- epxpensive option, pay market rents to private landlords, teh former would trash teh renting and housing market, can't be done).

: Who is "we" to decide what is proper and what is wasteful? The people buying Rolls Royces, Flavoured crisps, holidays abroad, Easter eggs, childrens cuddly toys, daytrips to the funfair, ice cream, tickets to football games, alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and other such 'unnecessary luxury' goods are a huge part of "we". Where is a line to be drawn? Thats the point I am making.

Everyone, I have no objection to a little luxury, I enjoy it myself, however teh resoures from Rolls Royce could go into providing many more trips to teh seaside, etc. The difference being, that instead of one pound one vote, I want one person one vote.

: Are you sure your not painting a rosy picture of the NHS? It appears to be much better now, more people 'processed' and recovering rather than less. All due to the increase in medical knowledge. Im sure the current budget applied to 1970s medical knowledge (or whenever the NHS heyday was) would make a really 'great' system. Because now more diseases are treatable than ever before, so more people are suddenly patients.

No, I'm not being rosy, it was cutting edge even at that time, but its being hit by the same problem as teh private sector would- declining rate of profit (ever more expensive tech) while teh public sector purse if being squeezed.

: I dont mind that so much, a few very rich people dont make a huge dent (as per the longevity measure) unless its a tiny country where all the billionaires move to! A mode or median average is the best measure, because it looks at how the majority of people are.

In which case, if we took a world median, poverty would be horrendous.

: Youre right in a way Im not sure you meant when you said "if we abolished poverty, wealth would disapear" assuming the method of abolishing poverty was 'redistributing' income away from those who had it (and once the few rich were bled then next would be the so called middle and working classes of the west).

If we abolish poverty, ensure that no one is starving, or dispossed, or truly disdvantaged, then tehr ich have nothing to reflect against, and say 'I am better than that' We abolish poverty in part by redistribution, but alsdo by production, making more wealth, but spreading that new wealth.

: But the point, again, was to ask at what point is one satisfied that everyone who needed 'help' has had sufficient? And at what cost?

I am satisfied when they are, we all have to decide how well we want to live.

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