- Capitalism and Alternatives -

you have understood.

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 12, 1999 at 17:04:17:

In Reply to: To review... posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on October 12, 1999 at 16:35:37:

: Now let's review. Person A is dying of cancer and can't afford a bone-marrow transplant. Person B is a doctor with a track record of successful performance of bone-marrow transplants, working in an adequately-staffed, equipped, and funded hospital. What prohibits the operation from taking place? I'll tell you what. It's the fact that Person A doesn't have "effective demand," that he or she cannot exchange something with Person B of "mutual value" with the value of a bone-marrow transplant. So people die needlessly under capitalism, because the production of life-saving operations must go whoring after "effective demand."

Your peculiar notion of 'whoring' to one side - yes SDF thats a reasonable assessment. The Doctor is not automatically obliged to the patient because he has the skills to save the patient. To have such makes the doctor a virtual slave, unable to choose when or upon whom ot under which provisions to operate.

And if the work was made agreeable to the doctor by rewarding his efforts with money taken from people in general, as with a state health service, then the patient might be healed, the doctor gets paid - but what we dont see is that the rest of 'society' is then denied the sum of the operation nor what ill effects that denial may have in time. Its either/or. A drop in the ocean you may say. A million operations wouldnt be. In other words there is an opportunity cost.

: Real need obviously isn't enough. Capitalist doctors can't make a living off of meeting it, since it doesn't represent a monetary value. Of all of the demand the human race is capable of, only effective demand has a monetary value, since effective demand is defined as the product of the monetary price of a product (obviously very high under capitalist society as it is represented today) multiplied by the number of consumers able to pay. And our Person A of Stoller's example is not able to pay.

You have it.

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