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[P&R] Public Integrity - The Canadian health care system I disparaged
(09-07-2014, 08:22 AM)Kersus Wrote: It's very true that what many consider necessary simply isn't, when we're talking about survival. I recall people vehemently complaining and spearheading campaigns to get their cable tv back up and running in Florida after a hurricane. They didn't care if they had electricity or many times, even a roof. They expected cable tv. Nevermind the logic behind cable working without electricity. It was something that really stuck with me.

A couple points here. I was trying to be clear that with all the corners I cut and the money I saved, I was still living a modern life. I would never have considered myself barely surviving. I had a digital projector and a 5.1 surround sound DVD (in the days before 7.1). Whenever I had the urge to go see a movie, I'd instead buy a DVD. At my home, it was just as good as going out to see a movie. It would cost the same. Less if I got it out of the bargain bin. But I could also re-play it any number of times. If on average I watched a DVD 4 times, I saved 75% compared to going to the movies. And now, after all these years, I have a library of over 300 movies.

The second point is the sense of priorities you raise in regarding Florida after a hurricane. For one, I'm sure the people demanding cable service back on were not necessarily the same people who were without electricity. But the point is taken. And that point is one man's need is another man's desire, and vice versa. I say "need" is nothing but a "want" that is more immediate. There is no big red line separating the two. No reason to hold one up on a pedestal as somehow worthy of special treatment.

Quote:I don't have cable myself, but I do spend increasingly insane amounts of money on electricity and my cell phone bill alone is probably your monthly average for everything. Add my Internet and phone line. Now, the cell and Internet are part of how I make a living, and the landline is actual just an emergency line but it costs $50 to have it sit there in case of emergency.

And this in itself is a point that if this discussion continues far enough down the line that will re-surface as absolutely vital. During the days when I was a musician, if I was down to my last $10, buying guitar strings trumped food. Now even I, on authority of some bullshit I learned in the 3rd grade, will agree that food is a necessity of life. Guitar strings are not. But if spending $10 on guitar strings allows me to play the next 8 gigs, on which I earn $500, suddenly that's a no-brainer and the "necessity" argument begins to look pretty weak.

In economics, we call this a capital investment. You'd be strung up in polite society for suggesting capital investment is worth taking food off of poor schmuck's table. But you and I both can point to real world examples where capital investments obviously are the only sensible priorities.

Now I'd agree that we don't want J.P. Morgan taking food off of Farmer Brown's table. But the welfare mom who's got food stamps can only use them to buy food. Not to make capital investments. We can't just give her cash, which she could invest, because we're paranoid she'll buy crack instead of milk for her kids. This demonstrates how the nanny-state mentality does not solve the poverty problem, but rather does more to extend it.

Quote:To answer your question though, I'd say no. The ideal system for me is one where all people regardless of race, sex, station, intelligence, ability, etc., have exactly the same access to all goods and services. Those who work hard may very well merit more goods and services but do not get to skip ahead in line over others.

So allow me to follow up with this question. Suppose a heart surgeon himself needs heart surgery. Doesn't it make sense his heart surgery is skipped ahead of all others? After all, saving his life will enable him to perform 50 such surgeries in the future.

How about a baker? Should he not be the first to eat? After all, him staying nourished is in society's best interest since he will contribute so much more staple-of-life bread than he will ever consume.

I myself was a baker for 15 years. But towards the end, those last 2 years, I came under the belief that bread was actually very unhealthy for me. If you agree that I should have first dibs on that which I create with my own hands, should I not be allowed to make a trade for an alternative form of nourishment, especially as a life-or-death health decision, the priority argument still holding?

(Side note, I would argue that choice really was life-or-death for me. At age 30, I was in many ways in the best shape of my life as I exercised regularly and was able to do some pretty hard-core yoga stuff, which is insane for a man of my body frame. Yet still, at age 30, my blood pressure was just a little high and I would frequently experience chest pains. After changing my diet, 7 years later, I no longer exercise regularly, no longer do physical labor, but my blood pressure is normal and I haven't experienced chest pains in more than 5 years, despite having more stress and less fun than I used to have.)

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RE: [Public Integrity]The Canadian health care system I disparaged - by Lunamancer - 09-07-2014, 10:49 AM

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