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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Oh, yeh? Compare it to the libertarians wet dream;
    Sorry, but the US is not "the libertarians wet dream." Libertarians oppose the US system. For a start on the topic, you should check out the documentary by the libertarian John Stossel, the starting with the first segment here. During the first couple of decades of the last century in the US, some charity medical workers got together and formed two organisations, Blue Cross, and Blue Shield, to sell comprehensive health insurance. That is, they insured against all medical expenses, not just "catastrophic" insurance. Because they had charitable status they were exempt from variousstate and federal taxes and regulations that effected other insurers. They also benefitted from legislation that drove out fraternal organisations. The result was that they had a monopolistic privilege and omprehensive insurance became dominant. Then, during the second world war, the government imposed wage freezes, so that employers couldn't compete by raising wages. So they offered perks instead, namely insurance. Because the Blues had cornered the market, and comprehensive insurance had driven out alternatives, this meant employers bought their employees comprehensive insurance. Since then, further intervention has meant that workers don't pay income tax on employer bought insurance, and would pay tax on alternatives. The result is that far more people have employer insurance than would otherwise have it. And the result of this has been to drive up costs, as the Stossel show demonstrates.

    On top of this, Dr Mary Ruwart, a medical researcher and well known libertarian activist, has shown that without regulation of the drug industry, medicines would cost 15% what they do now, and there would be no net loss in safety.

    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.
    The UK is ranked 18th in the world, according to the WHO (and the US is 31). Meanwhile, Singapore is third. The UK spends about 8% of GDP on healthcare. Singapore spends half that.



    Life expectancy is not the only indicator of the quality of healthcare. Singapore also performs well in relation to other indicators, including low infant mortality rates and acceptable waiting times for most forms of healthcare treatment (particularly in public health care facilities).

    The key to Singapore’s efficient health care system is the emphasis on the individual to assume responsibility towards their own health and, importantly, their own health expenditure. The result is a system that is predominantly funded by private rather than public expenditure. For example, in 2002, private health expenditure in Singapore (that is, financed by individuals or employers on behalf of individuals) amounted to almost 67 per cent of total health expenditure with the remaining 33 per cent financed by the Government from tax revenue. As shown in Figure 2, this is not the norm for most developed countries (the US aside), where health financing is predominantly from public expenditure.

    Singapore’s low public health expenditure is also reflected in the low individual tax rate environment that exists there (2 per cent to 28 per cent for individuals and 26 per cent for companies) compared to the other countries which need to draw higher taxation revenue to fund their public health expenditure.


    this film about the Singaporean system.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Libertarianism (i.e. right-libertarianism) is an attempt to philosophically defend the advantages of the wealthy by objecting to any restraint on their liberties and by disingenuously presenting such defence as if promoting everyone's liberties. For all their specious arguments and appeals to essays written by their saints, it is a philosophy which in practice defends and expands the exercisable liberty of the wealthy while limiting the exercisable liberty of, and imposing the wealthy's demands upon, the remainder.
    sadly its a lesser of two evils (assuming the other 'evil' is a form of common ownership) and people in a liberal society are, on the whole, quite content (or under the illusion of contentment, depending on how positive or negative your outlook is, but the point is they're still 'contented').
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    (Original post by JW92)
    The minimum wage is a decency threshold, and I firmly believe no one should have to work for less than that.
    They don't have to. Employers cannot legally employ them at less than that, so that any worker that wants to work for less than the minimum wage will not find an employer legally allowed to let them. In the mean time, any worker who's labour is worth less that the minimum wage will not get a job. The minimum wage therefore makes the least productive, and so poorest workers, unemployed. It harms the poor the most.

    It stops companies taking advantage of the vulnerable more than it stops the vulnerable from becoming employed.
    How so? If a worker was worth £4 an hour before the minimum wage, why does the fact that an employer is obliged to pay £1.80 more than this mean that he will get £5.80 an hour?

    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.
    Any examples? 270 million people have health insurance in the US. Forty million don't. Half those forty million could afford it but choose not to buy it. The rest qualify for government assistance.

    Not that this is a good thing: Comprehensive health insurance is stupid, and would not be common in a free market economy. Health savings accounts coupled with catastrophic insurance would be more common.

    Pricing people out of healthcare and education, I don't see as a way forward.
    Schooling was near universal prior to state intervention, so I see no reason why it wouldn't be after it.
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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.
    Libertarians like Rothbard would be perfectly happy saying that those who have inherited wealth from those who gain it "unlibertarianly" can be legitimately forced to return it to thhose they take it from, or their heirs. Rothbard says,

    To sum up, for any property currently claimed and used: (a) if we know clearly that there was no criminal origin to its current title, then obviously the current title is legitimate, just and valid; (b) if we don’t know whether the current title had any criminal origins, but can’t find out either way, then the hypothetically “unowned” property reverts instantaneously and justly to its current possessor; (c) if we do know that the title is originally criminal, but can’t find the victim or his heirs, then (cl) if the current title-holder was not the criminal aggressor against the property, then it reverts to him justly as the first owner of a hypothetically unowned property. But (c2) if the current titleholder is himself the criminal or one of the criminals who stole the property, then clearly he is properly to be deprived of it, and it then reverts to the first man who takes it out of its unowned state and appropriates it for his use. And finally, (d) if the current title is the result of crime, and the victim or his heirs can be found, then the title properly reverts immediately to the latter, without compensation to the criminal or to the other holders of the unjust title.
    On this see the short chapters, here, here, and here.
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    I love how the graphs have come out.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    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 did mention diet and lifestyle when looking at coronary disease.

    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.
    Right, they have a compulsory health insurance system. Singapore has a compulsory savings accounts system. In the US, Whole Foods Ltd, after a vote by their employees, took all the money that they spent on insurance and instead used it to set up health savings accounts for their employees. This allowed workers to shop around for their healthcare needs, inquire about various costs for treatments and check ups where as previously they would have just got treatment or a check up without considering the cost. They had an incentive to do this because any of their healthcare savings they didn't spend rolled over to next year, or could be kept by them. The result was that healthcare became much cheaper for them. Private Health Savings Accounts are more efficient than private insurance, and public health savings accounts, like Singapores, are more efficient than public insurance schemes, like France's.

    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.
    Except that technology is moving in that direction already, from what I hear.
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    that 'report' by stossel was probably one of the most biased bad reporting I've ever seen. Honestly, a video from the at least 20 years ago showing doctors protesting.
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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.
    Yay for 15 year old data! Breast cancer survival was indeed worse in the early 90s, mostly because the NHS was floundering through years of chronic underfunding under Thatcher and Major and because there was no breast cancer screening program. Thankfully, moving on 15 years breast cancer survival rates are more or less on par with Western europe.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    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.
    Again this is old data harking back to a time when the NHS was massively unfunded. Also prostate cancer survivals are extremely tricky to interpret (more people die with prostate cancer than of it), especially when comparing cohorts with different screening so I wouldn't rely on it too much.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    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.
    Colon cancer survival is similarly improving, and i'd back the data you've got is old data - current survival ratings in this country are in the 55-60 region.

    The bit in bold is the key word - in America if you are diagnosed, great. However there are a large number of people who aren't diagnosed, because they can't afford healthcare, and subsequently die with an undiagnosed cancer.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    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.
    Wow, Austrailians suffer from less coronary disease? By coincidence they also get more olympic medals per capita than us. Do you reckon there could be a confounding factor :rolleyes:

    It's also worth noting that coronary disease has large amounts of environmental risk factors, which unfortunately the UK comes out with a full flush of these/.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    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.
    I wonder what the figures for stenting is? After all, this procedure is taking over more and more from open heart bypasses. Maybe that's why the UK is doing less of them.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    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.
    I sincerely hope you're not referring to the Herceptin incident. If you're not, I'd like to know what refusal of treatment cases you're talking about.

    As for waiting lists, they are better than they've being in living memory and improving. With regards to need - the more important surgeries e.g. cancer are increasingly fast-tracked according to need. In this sense your first sentence is completely wrong.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Sorry, but the US is not "the libertarians wet dream." Libertarians oppose the US system. For a start on the topic, you should check out the documentary by the libertarian John Stossel, the starting with the first segment here. During the first couple of decades of the last century in the US, some charity medical workers got together and formed two organisations, Blue Cross, and Blue Shield, to sell comprehensive health insurance. That is, they insured against all medical expenses, not just "catastrophic" insurance. Because they had charitable status they were exempt from variousstate and federal taxes and regulations that effected other insurers. They also benefitted from legislation that drove out fraternal organisations. The result was that they had a monopolistic privilege and omprehensive insurance became dominant. Then, during the second world war, the government imposed wage freezes, so that employers couldn't compete by raising wages. So they offered perks instead, namely insurance. Because the Blues had cornered the market, and comprehensive insurance had driven out alternatives, this meant employers bought their employees comprehensive insurance. Since then, further intervention has meant that workers don't pay income tax on employer bought insurance, and would pay tax on alternatives. The result is that far more people have employer insurance than would otherwise have it. And the result of this has been to drive up costs, as the Stossel show demonstrates.

    On top of this, Dr Mary Ruwart, a medical researcher and well known libertarian activist, has shown that without regulation of the drug industry, medicines would cost 15% what they do now, and there would be no net loss in safety.



    The UK is ranked 18th in the world, according to the WHO (and the US is 31). Meanwhile, Singapore is third. The UK spends about 8% of GDP on healthcare. Singapore spends half that.







    this film about the Singaporean system.
    I wouldn't use Singapore as your poster boy. The demographics of Singapore are such that their >65 population is half that of the UK. As this segment account for the majority of healthcare expenditure, I wouldn't be surprised at Singapores 'efficiency'. If we got rid of half our OAPs, we'd see similar savings.

    Secondly, the Singapore government plays a huge, and decidedly, non-libertarian role in the healthcare. The government puts price controls on all healthcare resources for instance.

    Finally, the environmental factors have to be considered. Singapore is an small urban county that doesn't need to have extensive infrastructure and it's economy relys on migrant workers who aren't covered by the healthcare plan.

    With all this in mind, it's quite telling that Healthcare saving accounts haven't been replicated anywhere else in the world, and not for lack of trying.
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    Would a farmer neglect the condition of his plow or a mechanic his wrench? No
    This same argument was used by slave owners. They claimed as they technically owned their labour, they would take better care of their employees than if they were free men and they were just 'renting' them

    Just some random trivia i'm not really in the mood to wade into this one, at least not until the morning.
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    consider myself liberal, ot completely libertarian. I think that, if the statement was worded quite differently, it may be justifiable. But as it is, no - it seems extremely derogatory. The use of tyranny is also wrong - tyranny is not something to be accepted in any form or for any reason.
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    (Original post by Natasharox)
    consider myself liberal, ot completely libertarian. I think that, if the statement was worded quite differently, it may be justifiable. But as it is, no - it seems extremely derogatory. The use of tyranny is also wrong - tyranny is not something to be accepted in any form or for any reason.
    I think we can all agree that tyranny is wrong, now we just need to agree on what it is.
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    (Original post by Communist Daughter)
    This same argument was used by slave owners. They claimed as they technically owned their labour, they would take better care of their employees than if they were free men and they were just 'renting' them



    Ahh, the old slavery comparison argument, have you been reading Chomsky lately?:p: I suppose yes, but it isnt really relevant to the argument for state intervention. he said:

    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.

    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
    I was arguing that it would be uneconomical not to care for his employees. Just as it would be uneconomical not to care for his tools. However as the employee is not a slave, it gives another incentive for the employer to provide healthcare. being that the employee can take his labour elsewhere if not adequetly cared for. Do you not agree?
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    (Original post by Aeolus)


    I was arguing that it would be uneconomical not to care for his employees. Just as it would be uneconomical not to care for his tools. However as the employee is not a slave, it gives another incentive for the employer to provide healthcare. being that the employee can take his labour elsewhere if not adequetly cared for. Do you not agree?
    It would be interesting to find out if the labour gained from providing a safe working environment would on balance offset the cost of providing it. If you also factor in providing healthcare (which i believe is the government's job) the answer would be a resounding no.

    I personally think you are overstating the ease of just 'Taking your labour elsewhere'. With unemployment so high these days it's not as easy as you might think. Another factor is that if someone is taking an underpaid unsafe job do you really think they have options elsewhere?
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    I was arguing that it would be uneconomical not to care for his employees. Just as it would be uneconomical not to care for his tools. However as the employee is not a slave, it gives another incentive for the employer to provide healthcare. being that the employee can take his labour elsewhere if not adequetly cared for. Do you not agree?
    You are, of course, assuming that employers (or people in general) act rationally and in their best interests. Unfortunately this is far from reality
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    (Original post by MichaelG)
    sadly its a lesser of two evils (assuming the other 'evil' is a form of common ownership) and people in a liberal society are, on the whole, quite content (or under the illusion of contentment, depending on how positive or negative your outlook is, but the point is they're still 'contented').
    That is no doubt what the wealthy want you to believe and no doubt a slave can be rendered 'content' if he has food, shelter, is treated 'well' and is persuaded that 'its the lesser of two evils'. I also think you're confusing welfare- or progressive- liberalism with libertarianism.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    That is no doubt what the wealthy want you to believe and no doubt a slave can be rendered 'content' if he has food, shelter, is treated 'well' and is persuaded that 'its the lesser of two evils'. I also think you're confusing welfare- or progressive- liberalism with libertarianism.
    i have confused to the two in theoretical terms, but if you take a step forward and look at the practical application of the two ideologies, you do end up with virtually the same sort of state set up. i mean in the UK for example, the conservative party and labour party are merely a choice between classic liberalism and contemporary liberalism, there is no longer a clear cut right vs. left divide. You still end up with that core false class conscious.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    You are, of course, assuming that employers (or people in general) act rationally and in their best interests. Unfortunately this is far from reality
    All the more reason why we shouldn't put some people in positions of massively concentrated power...
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    All the more reason why we shouldn't put some people in positions of massively concentrated power...
    Such as being the CEO of a multinational corporation.

    Libertarian Socialism ftw :p:
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Such as being the CEO of a multinational corporation.

    Libertarian Socialism ftw :p:
    Get rid of the corporate form, by all means, and the size of some companies will become prohibitively costly. But what would be a crying shame is eradicating the possibility of economies of scale.

    Seeing as you have been known on occasion to quote the Spanish Anarchist movement as an exemplary illustration of what libertarian socialism would look like, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about this.
 
 
 
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