The Crumbling Tower of Chaos, Known as the NHS


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), or as I prefer to call them, the Institute for Fiscal Stupidity, have proposed a 10% rises in UK taxes to further feed the ravenous maw of the useless Black Hole otherwise known as the communist National Health Service (NHS).

What kinds of economics courses do IFS staffers go on, anyway?

Let’s suppose we live in a handsome fairy land, where the UK government steals another 10% of the entire economy, without that seriously degrading and undermining that economy. Do they really genuinely think that a socialist organisation like the NHS can take that money and spend it wisely?

Or will it all just get wasted, like most of the current mountain of money they currently consume? Let us imagine a further Snowflake La-La-Land where absolutely everyone in the NHS is a complete well-meaning angel, including its hundreds of thousands of handsomely paid bureaucrats, who really do want to improve the NHS rather than award themselves and their drug-company friends even higher amounts in salaries, pensions, and expenses.

They just cannot do it, because socialism cannot calculate. This was clearly explained by Von Mises in the early twentieth century. With massive state regulation and without free market prices, all economies and micro-economies fail. And with the NHS eating up more than 10% of the UK economy’s output, that is some micro-economy!

The NHS is a chaotic financial black hole and should be put out of its misery. It should be entirely privatised and all of the money that currently goes into feeding this useless monster should be handed back to us as massive tax cuts, so that we can either take care of our own health situation, or if we choose to do so, take care of the health situations of others. (Please be my guest, get together with your friends and form your own private NHS, if you love this sick creature so much. Just leave me out of it.)

Obviously, this won’t happen. There is no more sacred cow in the UK than the NHS. And all must bow before it and worship at its altar. However, there won’t be any tax rises, either, because politicians love their own incomes and ministerial cars just as much as NHS bureaucrats love awarding themselves regular handsome pay rises.

The UK state will fund this spending rise instead by issuing UK government bonds, then the state’s Bank of England will later print up the money to purchase these bonds back, thus inflating the money supply and thus stealing our money via the back door in this concealed manner.

Prices rises all round for everyone, especially in the housing sector, where most of this new money will gravitate, to avoid at least some further depreciation.

And this manner of ‘funding’ is far worse than a tax rise, leading to even more horrible economic effects. And still, it won’t help the NHS, because they simply cannot do economic calculation. We’ll all get poorer, and still in ten years time the NHS will be even worse than it is now.

IFS people. Do yourselves a favour. Read ‘Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth‘ by Ludwig von Mises.

Do all the rest of us a massive favour, too. Google the book title. It’s a free download. And it’s a really short book. Even you might be able to understand its incredibly simple lessons.

There is a reason the NHS is a gigantic useless mess. And it’s not through any lack of funding.

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2 comments

  • The NHS needs to go for sure. The problem is there is absolutely zero probability of any politician, electable or otherwise, even talking about abolishing it let alone actively campaigning for that.
    I’m amazed Mises.org even published this article – not that it’s not needed but that you risked being burned at the stake.

  • If the NHS is such a sacred entity that no politician could envisage replacing/dismantling/selling it then the natural question seem to be: What can be done to turn the population at lathe against the NHS? In other words, how can we (or someone) arrange that the population turn against it?

    To some extent, this does seem to be happening naturally. The NHS is attracting growing ire because of a number of issues, from an increasing number of errors (some of them very large scale indeed) right down to car park charges. However, the public blame for these issues still (largely) seems to turn back to perceived lack of taxpayer funding and not systematic faults that no amount of funding could ever fix.

    We need a neosocialist-style long term campaign to sell the idea of the NHS not being the only solution to healthcare, similar to the phenomenally successful way that political correctness has been sold, promoted, and taught over many decades, such that to counter certain aspects of political correctness is now as publicly unthinkable as criticising the structure and design of the NHS.

    How do we (or somebody) do this?

    (As an aside, it would be impractical to just privatise or dismantle the NHS over night. A more sensible solution would be a multi-decade project to move the NHS to the private sector, initially with limited aspects of service delivery, then with more aspects of service delivery, and finally with a reduction in taxpayer funding moving it to a private funding basis. But this would take a long term, stable, multi-government project that is impossible in a so-called democracy such as the UK).

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