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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    I'd prefer it if the state took from the rich and gave to the poor
    Why would it do that? The only incentives that state has is to take from those with the least political pull and give to those with the most. The only reason to expect this to mean taking from the rich and giving to the poor is if the poor have more pull than the non-poor. It is doubtful that they do, and there is plenty of evidence that things like the NHS and state education benefit the non-poor more than the poor, police protection is likely to be better in non-poor communities and worse (along with crimes rates) in poor communities, and then we have corporate welfare on top of that.

    or the state forced the sweatshop to reduce profits by giving more money to the workers.
    In other words, reduce the incentives to create that sweatshop that is the alternative to starvation?
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    (Original post by JW92)
    Your implication that the poor are poor because they refuse to work hard and refuse to take on responsibility and the rich are rich because they work hard and welcome responsibility is ludicrous.
    It wasn't a generalisation of society. More of an example.


    Two individuals join a delivery company. One decides to work hard for promotion which means a greater workload and responsiblity for more money and a better standard of living. While the other is quite happy to keep doing what he is doing for the reasonable wage he is earning, which is enough to modestly support himself and his family. Therefore the first individual would be seen as richer than the second.

    That doesnt sound ludicrous. Everyone was poor once. Those who inherit their wealth, do so by the labours of their fathers and grandfathers. What is so unfair about that?
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    there is plenty of evidence that things like the NHS and state education benefit the non-poor more than the poor
    Oh come off it.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    Take the situation of a manual labourer and his employer. With state regulation that labourer can demand a decent wage in order to achieve a decent standard of living.
    No he can't. There is no law compelling employers to pay employees "a decent living." That is why minimum wages cause unemployment: If you are not worth the minimum wage, the employer won't hire you, or they will cut your hours, or lay you off. They have no legal obligation to keep you on at a state mandated level, and if they did, unemployment would be even worse, because nobody would open a business here.

    The labourer can demand a decent level of healthcare
    Not from our NHS. It does a pretty bad job compared to plenty of alternatives.

    and education for his children. This is all due to state intervention.
    The state spends £9,000 a year per pupil to give them eleven years "education" - that is more expensive than most private schools - and yet the government itself admits that one in five adults are functionally illiterate. I was talking to a supply teacher here in Nottingham. He said that he did about five minutes teaching in St Anns, and all the rest was crowd control - he even had a parent storm into the class and try to brick one of the kids "for dissing her boy." He did say he had a better experience in Chilwell, where the class, eight year olds, were better behaved and happy to be there. Unfortunately one in four of them, by the age of eight, could not even write their own names.

    Compare this with before state intervention: The Council on Education, in 1840, wanted to know how many people could read. An assessment was made on their behalf of the literacy of miners in Northumberland and Durham. It was found that a large majority of them, 79 per cent, could read, whilst over half of them, 53 per cent, could write. Twenty-five years later, a survey was made of men in the navy and marines. It was shown that 80 per cent of the marines and 89 per cent of the seamen could read. These men would have been educated, on average, a decade or so earlier. A survey of boys newly recruited from straight from schools found that 99 per cent could read. I can't see the vast improvement that this state system is meant to have provided.

    If the manual labourer could not rely on state intervention, his employer could lower his wages to a figure below a threshold of decency and deny him access to decent healthcare and education.
    No he couldn't, because he would lose that worker to a competitor.

    The state acts in a way to ensure a good standard of living for both the employer and employee, whilst the employer would only seek a better standard of living for himself.
    Bull. The state makes it harder for him to get a job, by slapping a minimum wage that prices him out of the market. Then, if he tries to start some low capital business to support himself, if orders him to pay for a host of licenses, that usually have to be approved by his competitors who have an interest in ensuring he doesn't get into business. If he tries to get help in his business he has to spend a vast amount of more time and money thanks to all the new regulations he has to comply with just by hiring somebody else - giving somebody else a job. Meanwhile, the state will be robbing him to subsidise big business, or to fund an NHS that benefits the non-poor more than the poor, or an education system that turns out stupid kids, excet those from wealthy backgrounds, who benefit the most. It will be imposing more and more regulations, usually at the behest of businessmen, often in the very industries they are to regulate, that make it harder and harder to compete with established firms, so that dominant firms can charge higher rpices than they would in a free market, or get away with paying lower wages.

    The state is worst for the poor.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    No he can't. There is no law compelling employers to pay employees "a decent living." That is why minimum wages cause unemployment: If you are not worth the minimum wage, the employer won't hire you, or they will cut your hours, or lay you off. They have no legal obligation to keep you on at a state mandated level, and if they did, unemployment would be even worse, because nobody would open a business here.
    The introduction of the minimum wage was incredibly successful, even the Tories admitted it in the end. Employers weren't paying less than minimum wage because they had to, they were doing it because they could.

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Not from our NHS. It does a pretty bad job compared to plenty of alternatives.
    The NHS is very popular and successful. It provides healthcare for those who need it, not those who can afford it.

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    The state spends £9,000 a year per pupil to give them eleven years "education" - that is more expensive than most private schools - and yet the government itself admits that one in five adults are functionally illiterate. I was talking to a supply teacher here in Nottingham. He said that he did about five minutes teaching in St Anns, and all the rest was crowd control - he even had a parent storm into the class and try to brick one of the kids "for dissing her boy." He did say he had a better experience in Chilwell, where the class, eight year olds, were better behaved and happy to be there. Unfortunately one in four of them, by the age of eight, could not even write their own names.
    1 in 5 adults are functionally illiterate. Source, please? I don't understand - are you proposing doing away with state education is preferable?


    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Compare this with before state intervention: The Council on Education, in 1840, wanted to know how many people could read. An assessment was made on their behalf of the literacy of miners in Northumberland and Durham. It was found that a large majority of them, 79 per cent, could read, whilst over half of them, 53 per cent, could write. Twenty-five years later, a survey was made of men in the navy and marines. It was shown that 80 per cent of the marines and 89 per cent of the seamen could read. These men would have been educated, on average, a decade or so earlier. A survey of boys newly recruited from straight from schools found that 99 per cent could read. I can't see the vast improvement that this state system is meant to have provided.
    I still don't understand - are you proposing doing away with state education?

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    No he couldn't, because he would lose that worker to a competitor.
    So that's why a woman with special needs was being paid 28p an hour before the introduction of the minimum wage.

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Bull. The state makes it harder for him to get a job, by slapping a minimum wage that prices him out of the market. Then, if he tries to start some low capital business to support himself, if orders him to pay for a host of licenses, that usually have to be approved by his competitors who have an interest in ensuring he doesn't get into business. If he tries to get help in his business he has to spend a vast amount of more time and money thanks to all the new regulations he has to comply with just by hiring somebody else - giving somebody else a job. Meanwhile, the state will be robbing him to subsidise big business, or to fund an NHS that benefits the non-poor more than the poor, or an education system that turns out stupid kids, excet those from wealthy backgrounds, who benefit the most. It will be imposing more and more regulations, usually at the behest of businessmen, often in the very industries they are to regulate, that make it harder and harder to compete with established firms, so that dominant firms can charge higher rpices than they would in a free market, or get away with paying lower wages.

    The state is worst for the poor.
    State regulation ensures the poor have a decent standard of living. The poor benefit immensely from the NHS and state education funded from taxes. You are not living in the real world.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    Oh come off it.

    The NHS:

    While the NHS was created to treat the whole population in an equitable manner and according to need, in practice the historical evidence suggests that its impact has been otherwise. Julian Le Grand has shown that, relative to need, people in the professional and managerial classes receive more than 40 per cent more NHS spending per illness episode than those in the lower semi-skilled and unskilled classifications (Benzeval et al., 1995: 104).
    On top of this, the NHS was supposed to be paid for by National Insurance contributions, though undoubtably, taxes go to it too. National Insurance is a flat rate tax. Beyond that, poor people tend to start work earlier in their lives, not going into further or higher education, and so start paying into it earlier, and they also tend to retire or stop working much later. This means that they spend a longer period of their lives working to pay into it than the non-poor (throw the state pension into this too, and yet get poor people who spend longer working to pay into the state pension, and yet retire later, and so live less time on it).

    On schooling:

    Today, as the educational budgets of both rich and poor nations get more and more gigantic, we would add a further criticism of the role of the state as educator throughout the world: the affront to the idea of social justice. An immense effort by well intentioned reformers has gone into the attempt to manipulate the education system to provide equality of opportunity, but this has simply resulted in a theoretical and illusory equal start in a competition to become more and more unequal. The greater the sums of money that are poured into the education industries of the world, the smaller the benefit to the people at the bottom of the educational, occupational and social hierarchy. The universal education system turns out to be yet another way in which the poor subsidise the rich. Everett Reimer, for instance, remarking that schools are an almost perfectly regressive form of taxation, notes that the children of the poorest one-tenth of the population in the United States cost the public in schooling $2,500each over a lifetime, while the children of the richest one-tenth cost about $35,000. Assuming that one-third of this is private expenditure, the richest one-tenth still gets ten times as much as the poorest one tenth.

    In his suppressed UNESCO report of 1970 Michael Huberman reached the same conclusion for the majority of countries in the world. In Britain, ignoring completely the university aspect, we spend twice as much on the secondary school life of a grammar-school sixth former as on a secondary modern schoolleaver, while, if we do include university expenditure, we spend as much on an undergraduate in one year as on a normal schoolchild throughout his life. While the highest social group benefit seventeen times as much as the lowest group from the expenditure on our universities, they only contribute five times as much revenue. We must thus conclude that one significant role of the state education system is to perpetuate social and economic injustice.
    - Colin War, Anarchy in Action

    One of the best primary schools in London is Our Lady of Victories in South Kensington. A governor on the admissions committee says that again and again the applicants are wealthy bankers or lawyers. The London Oratory is another of the better state schools. Nine out of ten children who sit their GCSEs there get five or more A-C grades. Who has gone there? The children of the Prime Minister [then, Tony Blair].

    Not far from The London Oratory is another state school, called Pheonix Hig. Only 21 per cent of its students get five or more A-C grades. Who goes there? Children of poorer people. Four times as many of them have 'special educational need'. The school gets a large number of asylum seekers - 18 per cent of their total pupils. How many asylum seekers go to the school attended by the Prime Minister's sons? None.

    [b]A house within the catchment area of a good primary school can cost as much as a third more than a similar home in the next street. This gives a significant advantage to those who are richer. Professor Paul Cheshire of the London School of Economics, who studied this phenomenon remarked, 'Our results confirm that getting your children into a better school is conditioned on income.'

    The bourgeois get the best of state education - the better schools and then the better universities. The poor get the leavings - what Alastair Campbel, the Prime Minister's former spokesman, called 'bog-standard comprehensives'.

    ... A bright girl born into a low-income family in 1958 had a four in ten chance of getting a degree, But the chances of a similar girl born twelve years later were less than three in ten. Conversely, a low ability girl from a wealthy background increased her chances from 5 per cent to 15 per cent, according to the Institute of Education and the Centre for Economic Performance.
    - James Bartholomew, [i]The Welfare State We're In
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)

    Not from our NHS. It does a pretty bad job compared to plenty of alternatives.
    Oh, yeh? Compare it to the libertarians wet dream;The USA. It manages to provide vastly more expensive healthcare per capita than the UK.The healthcare in the UK is consistently rated one of the best in the world;always better than the free market US solution. You might argue that people choose not to buy health inurace in the US but that's because people are stupid;they want it so the state should provide it for them regardless of the mistakes they have made.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
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    The alternative is pricing the needy out of healthcare and education. I'm sure you can buy a better education and better healthcare, so feel free to do so.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    The introduction of the minimum wage was incredibly successful, even the Tories admitted it in the end. Employers weren't paying less than minimum wage because they had to, they were doing it because they could.
    Of course they were doing it because they could, and now they can't, so some people are out of jobs. Great! Congratulations! Some of the most vulnerable people in society are now forbidden by law to have a job, but hey, at least employers aren't paying less than minimum wage.

    The NHS is very popular and successful. It provides healthcare for those who need it, not those who can afford it.
    Yes, but the healthcare is poor quality compared to even the nearest alternatives. If the NHS had a cancer survival rate that just matched the European average - that's nothing particularly special, just the average - 10 000 people fewer would die every year. Add in the numbers for sub-par performance in treating heart disease, hospital infection, etc, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are 40 000 needless deaths a year. But hey, at least it's not a private insurance based system, like the ones that work so well in Europe.

    1 in 5 adults are functionally illiterate. Source, please? I don't understand - are you proposing doing away with state education is preferable?
    Source. I mean seriously, look it up - it's like the second google result. These are the government figures. And yes, I'm proposing to do away with state education. If the poorest people in the poorest slums in Ghana and India can afford to send their kids to private schools which outperform the state sector, I have no doubts the same could happen here.

    So that's why a woman with special needs was being paid 28p an hour before the introduction of the minimum wage.
    Could it be, do you think, that her marginal productivity simply wasn't that much higher than 28p? And that, despite not being paid very much, she was still better off having that job then not?


    State regulation ensures the poor have a decent standard of living. The poor benefit immensely from the NHS and state education funded from taxes. You are not living in the real world.
    No, what ensures the poor having a decent standard of living is economic growth. Government regulation cannot, despite what a lot of people would like to believe, magically make growth appear. In fact, it has the opposite effect:
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Oh, yeh? Compare it to the libertarians wet dream;The USA. It manages to provide vastly more expensive healthcare per capita than the UK.The healthcare in the UK is consistently rated one of the best in the world;always better than the free market US solution. You might argue that people choose not to buy health inurace in the US but that's because people are stupid;they want it so the state should provide it for them regardless of the mistakes they have made.
    What, you mean the 'free market' US healthcare system where the government spends more per capita than the UK government does? Come on, you've got to be kidding me. There are a whole bunch of reasons why the US is messed up, but the idea that it's some kind of free market in healthcare is beyond ridiculous.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    What, you mean the 'free market' US healthcare system where the government spends more per capita than the UK government does? Come on, you've got to be kidding me. There are a whole bunch of reasons why the US is messed up, but the idea that it's some kind of free market in healthcare is beyond ridiculous.
    it clearly has a more free market solution than here because the state doesn't own the healthcare companies.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
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    The minimum wage is a decency threshold, and I firmly believe no one should have to work for less than that. It stops companies taking advantage of the vulnerable more than it stops the vulnerable from becoming employed. Private healthcare is available if you choose to take it and can afford it, besides which the insurance systems in other countries prevents the poor and those with pre-existing conditions from accessing proper healthcare. Pricing people out of healthcare and education, I don't see as a way forward. Lastly, economic growth is no indication of the quality of life across the classes. Economic growth means very little to the ordinary man being paid less than the minimum wage (since you'd also like to do away with that).
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    (Original post by Aeolus)

    That doesnt sound ludicrous. Everyone was poor once. Those who inherit their wealth, do so by the labours of their fathers and grandfathers. What is so unfair about that?
    I agree with most of what the libertarianists have said so far. However, there is a problem with this statement, those who inherit their wealth may do so from people who have gotten wealthy by "breaking" libertarian views. For instance imagine a decendent of a former tyrann, he could very well be wealthy, but rhan he is rich because of something that have happened that may not have been deserved.

    So, if we all started in a world made up of libertarian principles your view might be right, but really libertarian principles haven't been in use for that long.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    The introduction of the minimum wage was incredibly successful, even the Tories admitted it in the end. Employers weren't paying less than minimum wage because they had to, they were doing it because they could.
    Nonsense. The minimum wage has caused unemployment. By ten years after New Labour came to power and introduced the minimum wage, youth unemployemnt (unemployment between amongst those aged between 16 and 25) doubled, and it has grown faster since. The minimum wage hurts marginal and entry level workers more, those who can be replaced by skilled labour, those who might not be worth much as workers, but want a chance to improve their position, or might be worth more than a minimum wage, but need a chance to prove it first, and untill they have done so will not find an employer willing to offer them minimum wage.

    It simply does not make sense to say that artificially raising the prices without there being a corresponding rise in demand will not cause a fall in consumption. It is economics 101.

    The NHS is very popular and successful. It provides healthcare for those who need it, not those who can afford it.
    The NHS is very popular, but not very successful. For instance, Britain is not the country you would want to be in if you got cancer. The US would be better for you. The EU did a study of the survival rate of those diagnosed with breast cancer across nineteen European countries between 1990 and 1994. The survey included some of the porr former communist countriesm such as Poland, Estonia and Slovakia. Sweden, Finland and France came out bestm with over 70 per cent of those diagnosed with breast cancer still being alive a year after first being diagnosed. The former communist countries did worst, unsurprisingly. Among the wester countries, though, the one with the thrid worst performance was England. The second worst was Scotland, and the worst was Wales, where fewer than 70 per cent survived. A woman diagnosed with breast cancer in Britain is forty times more likely to die within the first five years after diagnosis than a woman born in France.

    Britain has does a bit better over lung cancer, but England only came twelfth out of seventeen, beating mostly only former communist countries. Scotland came equal second. The same goes for most cancers. In the Eurocare survey, out of eight major western countries, including France, Germany and Italy, Britain came sixth for leukaemia in men and seventh in women, seventh for non-Hodgkins lymphoma in men and eighth in women, third for cancer of the head and neck, and last for prostate cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. Britain was clearly the worst of the eight: For lung cancer, a survival rate of only 7.7 per cent was less than half that of France.

    In another survey of colon cancer, the British survival rate was shown to be 36 per cent, whilst in America it was 60 per cent. In the US black people are more likely to be poor than whites, and so are also more likely to be uninsured than whites. But black people diagnosed with cancer in the USA have a better survival rate than people on the NHS.

    The WHO statistics on how many men per 100,000 die before the age of 75 of coronary diseases in different countries also tell against the NHS. They are age adjusted to take account of the fact that old people are more likely to die than young people. Former communist countries like Latvia do the worst, but sticking to advanced countries, Japan and France have easily the best results: Only 53 per 100,000 died in Japan in 2002, and 82 in France. Of course, heart disease has to do with more than just access to decent healthcare. It involves life style and diet, too, so we should probably compare the UK with countries where the diet and life style is more like our own. In Australia 138 died per 100,000 men. In Germany it was 170, and in the Netherlands it was 113. In the UK the death rate was 201 per 100,000. Put another way, somebody in Australia is 31 per cent less likely to die prematurely of coronary heart disease than somebody in the UK.

    If there is a greater propensity for heart disease in the UK, does this mean that more resources are devoted to treating it? No. Around the year 2000, British surgeons performed open heart surgery 645 times for every million people, compared with 907 times in Switzerland, 904 times in the Netherlands, 1061 in Sweden, and 1191 in Germany.

    The NHS plainly does not provide healthcare to people according to need, or else we would not get stories about cancer patients refused treatment on the NHS. Throw the problem of waiting lists on top of that, and the picture gets even worse.

    1 in 5 adults are functionally illiterate. Source, please? I don't understand - are you proposing doing away with state education is preferable?
    The BBC

    At least seven million adults in the UK are functionally illiterate, according to an annual United Nations (UN) survey.
    The Guardian

    As many as 20% of children leave primary school functionally illiterate, Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector of schools, said as she unveiled reforms to the inspection process designed to intensify pressure on the lowest-performing and "coasting" schools which are failing to improve.
    The Mail

    One in five British adults struggles to read and write, official research has revealed.
    They are 'functionally illiterate', which means that they have the reading age of the average 11-year-old or worse.
    The appalling figures, revealed by Education Secretary Estelle Morris yesterday, are a legacy of the 1970s and 1980s when there was a lack of emphasis on the three Rs in schools.
    Apart from the literacy problems, one in four adults has difficulties with numbers and would not be able to write 'one hundred and four pounds and four pence' in figures.
    The statistics emerged as many of the estimated seven million adults who have basic literacy and numeracy problems await their own children's GCSE results.
    Remember, there was a whole big thing on TV, a whole season devoted to "getting Britain reading."

    I still don't understand - are you proposing doing away with state education?
    Yes. Ideally I would do away with state anything, but between then and now is an alternative of, for instance, giving parents vouchers redeemable in any school, for a value of £7,000. Then there is the possibility of just giving them £7,000 so that they can keep anything they do not spend. And then there is a minimal state with no role in education. And then there is anarchism.

    So that's why a woman with special needs was being paid 28p an hour before the introduction of the minimum wage.
    As opposed to a woman with special need not being paid anything but living on welfare after the introduction of the minimum wage?

    State regulation ensures the poor have a decent standard of living. The poor benefit immensely from the NHS and state education funded from taxes. You are not living in the real world.
    I'm living in this real world, I don't know which you are in.
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    (Original post by LFCDRM)
    I agree with most of what the libertarianists have said so far. However, there is a problem with this statement, those who inherit their wealth may do so from people who have gotten wealthy by "breaking" libertarian views. For instance imagine a decendent of a former tyrann, he could very well be wealthy, but rhan he is rich because of something that have happened that may not have been deserved.

    So, if we all started in a world made up of libertarian principles your view might be right, but really libertarian principles haven't been in use for that long.

    I see your point and you are correct. I did make that statement with honestly earned wealth in mind though.

    But i wonder, would it be right to confiscate the wealth of those who have inherited it from the type of individual you describe above?
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Of course they were doing it because they could, and now they can't, so some people are out of jobs. Great! Congratulations! Some of the most vulnerable people in society are now forbidden by law to have a job, but hey, at least employers aren't paying less than minimum wage.

    Doesn't this depend on the supply and demand of labour? When the minimum wage was introduced it didn't necessarily mean that some people were deprived of work because there was a higher demand for labour than the supply of labour. You might be thinking that if this was the case then the companies would be forced to pay more for labour to retain labour from competition but I don't think this is the case. There was probably some price fixing of labour by the companies.
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    I see your point and you are correct. I did make that statement with honestly earned wealth in mind though.

    But i wonder, would it be right to confiscate the wealth of those who have inherited it from the type of individual you describe above?
    If it's possible to trace back the wealth to its rightful owner, then yeah, damn right it would be right to give it back. If the rightful owner is not so easily identifiable, then the issue gets very murky. But as Nozick said, there is no sense in punishing ourselves with "socialism as a cure for our sins."
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Doesn't this depend on the supply and demand of labour? When the minimum wage was introduced it didn't necessarily mean that some people were deprived of work because there was a higher demand for labour than the supply of labour. You might be thinking that if this was the case then the companies would be forced to pay more for labour to retain labour from competition but I don't think this is the case. There was probably some price fixing of labour by the companies.
    The most a company can pay a worker in salary is that worker's marginal productivity: if a worker makes his employer £5 an hour, there is no way that the employer will pay him more than £5, because he would then be losing money. (OK, it could happen, but it would then be a case of charity rather than employment.) So it comes down to this question: is the minimum wage higher than the marginal productivity of some workers? If it is, then these people will be out of a job for the simple reason that it will now become illegal to employ them at a profit. And, unfortunately, the people with the lowest marginal productivities are going to be the unskilled, the untrained, the young, ethic minorities, etc - the most vulnerable in society. These are precisely the people who are being denied the opportunity to engage in productive work, and it's a terrible thing.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)



    The NHS is very popular, but not very successful. For instance, Britain is not the country you would want to be in if you got cancer. The US would be better for you. The EU did a study of the survival rate of those diagnosed with breast cancer across nineteen European countries between 1990 and 1994. The survey included some of the porr former communist countriesm such as Poland, Estonia and Slovakia. Sweden, Finland and France came out bestm with over 70 per cent of those diagnosed with breast cancer still being alive a year after first being diagnosed. The former communist countries did worst, unsurprisingly. Among the wester countries, though, the one with the thrid worst performance was England. The second worst was Scotland, and the worst was Wales, where fewer than 70 per cent survived. A woman diagnosed with breast cancer in Britain is forty times more likely to die within the first five years after diagnosis than a woman born in France.

    Britain has does a bit better over lung cancer, but England only came twelfth out of seventeen, beating mostly only former communist countries. Scotland came equal second. The same goes for most cancers. In the Eurocare survey, out of eight major western countries, including France, Germany and Italy, Britain came sixth for leukaemia in men and seventh in women, seventh for non-Hodgkins lymphoma in men and eighth in women, third for cancer of the head and neck, and last for prostate cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. Britain was clearly the worst of the eight: For lung cancer, a survival rate of only 7.7 per cent was less than half that of France.

    In another survey of colon cancer, the British survival rate was shown to be 36 per cent, whilst in America it was 60 per cent. In the US black people are more likely to be poor than whites, and so are also more likely to be uninsured than whites. But black people diagnosed with cancer in the USA have a better survival rate than people on the NHS.

    The WHO statistics on how many men per 100,000 die before the age of 75 of coronary diseases in different countries also tell against the NHS. They are age adjusted to take account of the fact that old people are more likely to die than young people. Former communist countries like Latvia do the worst, but sticking to advanced countries, Japan and France have easily the best results: Only 53 per 100,000 died in Japan in 2002, and 82 in France. Of course, heart disease has to do with more than just access to decent healthcare. It involves life style and diet, too, so we should probably compare the UK with countries where the diet and life style is more like our own. In Australia 138 died per 100,000 men. In Germany it was 170, and in the Netherlands it was 113. In the UK the death rate was 201 per 100,000. Put another way, somebody in Australia is 31 per cent less likely to die prematurely of coronary heart disease than somebody in the UK.

    If there is a greater propensity for heart disease in the UK, does this mean that more resources are devoted to treating it? No. Around the year 2000, British surgeons performed open heart surgery 645 times for every million people, compared with 907 times in Switzerland, 904 times in the Netherlands, 1061 in Sweden, and 1191 in Germany.

    The NHS plainly does not provide healthcare to people according to need, or else we would not get stories about cancer patients refused treatment on the NHS. Throw the problem of waiting lists on top of that, and the picture gets even worse.



    The BBC



    The Guardian



    The Mail



    Remember, there was a whole big thing on TV, a whole season devoted to "getting Britain reading."



    Yes. Ideally I would do away with state anything, but between then and now is an alternative of, for instance, giving parents vouchers redeemable in any school, for a value of £7,000. Then there is the possibility of just giving them £7,000 so that they can keep anything they do not spend. And then there is a minimal state with no role in education. And then there is anarchism.



    As opposed to a woman with special need not being paid anything but living on welfare after the introduction of the minimum wage?



    I'm living in this real world, I don't know which you are in.
    None of this tells us anything about how successful the NHS is. Perhaps French women eat healthier food which improves their chances of survival. I would prefer a system where there is slightly worse healthcare if everyone got it regardless of whether they could afford it. France has universal healthcare even though it is all done through private hospitals but this doesn't help your argument for libertarianism.Why do libertarians have such faith in the efficiency of the free market? Take cell phone coverage where each network often has areas that are covered only by themselves, it would be much more efficient if the state owned them all and provided coverage so everyone got it, not depending on network.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    The most a company can pay a worker in salary is that worker's marginal productivity: if a worker makes his employer £5 an hour, there is no way that the employer will pay him more than £5, because he would then be losing money. (OK, it could happen, but it would then be a case of charity rather than employment.) So it comes down to this question: is the minimum wage higher than the marginal productivity of some workers? If it is, then these people will be out of a job for the simple reason that it will now become illegal to employ them at a profit. And, unfortunately, the people with the lowest marginal productivities are going to be the unskilled, the untrained, the young, ethic minorities, etc - the most vulnerable in society. These are precisely the people who are being denied the opportunity to engage in productive work, and it's a terrible thing.
    only if the state doesn't support the company financially.
 
 
 
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