Category Archives: Health

Universal Healthcare – an Economic Disaster


Given the recent announcement of a new, long term plan for the NHS it seems like an opportune moment to revisit the topic of universal healthcare. The essay below is a new version of a previously published piece, with some sections revised and elaborated, while figures and references have been updated.

Universal Healthcare – an Economic Disaster

By Duncan Whitmore

“Universal healthcare” (that is, an alleged “right” to “healthcare” provided in some form by the state) is a mainstay of social democratic thought – so much so, in fact, that the UK’s NHS is taken as a given, with any kind of proposed healthcare reform couched in terms of improving “our” state-funded health service rather than ever considering whether it should exist in the first place.

However the consequences of universal healthcare are grave indeed, including spiralling costs and ever increasing numbers of sick – pretty much the effects of the welfare state in general. This is without even considering the ethics of forcibly confiscating the money of one person to benefit another, although this essay will focus on the economic aspects of what is, in effect, the socialisation of medicine. Read more

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School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem


By ilana mercer

The tele-experts assert that to do what he did—kill 10 and maim 13, at Santa Fe High School, in Texas—Dimitrios Pagourtzis had to be insane.

Likewise, Nikolas Cruz—killer of 17 in Parkland, Florida—and many shooters before him: All were victims of mental disorder. Or, so say the experts.

Come to think of it, the structure of argument coming from conservative and progressive corners is the same:

Conservatives blame mental health.

Progressives blame the National Rifle Association.

Both factions see the locus of responsibility for these murder sprees as beyond the reach and bailiwick of the individual and of what were once formative and corrective institutions: the church, for example.

As the language deployed in the culture might suggest, crimes aren’t committed, but are caused. Perpetrators don’t do the crime, but are driven to do their deeds by a confluence of uncontrollable factors.

The paradox at the heart of the disease theory of delinquency is that causal theoretical explanations are invoked only after bad deeds have been committed. Good deeds, however extravagant, are in no need of extenuation.

The evidence our tele-therapists advance for a killer’s “madness” is … the murder or murders he has committed.

Whatever the logical fallacy the psychiatrists commit—circular reasoning or backward reasoning—thinking people can agree: This is bad logic.

Fact: When they suggest a shooter is sick, they do so based on the fact that he committed murder.

Let’s run with this “logic”: The reductio ad absurdum of what the mental-health mavens are saying is that to kill, an individual must be deranged.

Does that not imply that the default condition of humanity is goodness?

Indeed, evil has been cast as a symptom of illness. It’s certainly so if to judge by the language used by the experts.

This is dangerous, because evil responds to punishment, not to kid gloves, which is what medicalizing misbehavior amounts to.

The more we medicalize dysfunctional conduct, the more of it we will get.

Why? Because the therapist’s couch—the chaise longue sofa in the movies—or his hallucinogens are a lot more pleasant than the hard work involved in reforming conduct and character.

Pleasant is a reward. Reward evil and you’ll get more of it.

That’s where the disease theory of delinquency leads. It rules out evil and brings us closer to marginalizing goodness.

By all means, scan the brains of shooters in search of significant pathology. You’ll find none—not when variables like drug-taking are controlled for, and when the absence of baseline measurements for comparison purposes is factored-in.

Moreover, most individuals classified as mentally ill do not murder.

See, evil is part of the human condition, always has been, always will be. Evil can’t be wished away, treated away, medicated away or legislated away. Evil is here to stay.

Bad people—little Damiens included—do bad things. All the more so when barriers to bad behavior are removed across the board, and when everything goes.

The infamous Nikolas Cruz was a feral boy bereft of family, friends, faith and church affiliation. Cruz was loosely attached to a sprawling, impersonal, school system that taught him and his peers about safe sex, but shielded them from the Ten Commandments.

His example of systemic institutional failure typifies instances of school shootings across America.

Failure of state institutions—FBI, education and social services—and failure of familial and faith-based institutions came together to dreadful effect. The latter, in particular, are no longer there for bad boys in the forceful, firm way they need.

Ultimately, the disease theory of delinquency is as morally fraught as it is logically wrong. You will never solve pervasive problems of character and morality, personal and societal, by medicalizing them.

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Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

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.

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Godfrey Bloom: Foreign Aid & the NHS


This afternoon, our Honorary President Godfrey Bloom spoke on the Jon Gaunt Radio Show about foreign aid and the NHS. The highlight was his mention of Jean-Baptiste Say. If you would like to listen to this 7-minute interview, please click on the audio link below.

Do Modern ‘Liberals’ Suffer from a Personality Disorder?


Do Modern ‘Liberals’ Suffer from a Personality Disorder?
By Ronald Olden

We tend to think of ‘Statism’ and, what passes for ‘Socialism’, as modern political attitudes. These allegedly political attitudes are, however, neither modern, nor principally political. Modern ‘liberal’ dogma is no more than the latest manifestation of a certain type of human psychology. Read more

The Social Costs of Air Pollution from Cars in the UK


By Neil Lock

(Author’s Note. This is an updated and re-written version of my earlier paper “Diesel Fumes” on the same subject).

Back in April the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, introduced from the coming October a £10 a day “toxicity charge” for pre 2006 cars, both petrol and diesel, entering the current London congestion charge zone. He also set out plans for a London “Ultra Low Emissions Zone” (ULEZ) [1]. From April 2019 (brought forward from September 2020), it will cost £12.50 per day to drive in this zone a diesel car first registered before September 2015, or a petrol car built before 2006. Furthermore, he plans to extend this zone to the area inside the North and South Circular roads by 2021.

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Diesel fumes: Is the UK’s witch-hunt against diesel cars driven by zealotry and greed, not science?


(Author’s Note: This paper is an example of a relatively new phenomenon; “citizen science.” And citizen science deserves citizen peer review. I would, therefore, greatly appreciate review of this paper by those with the skills to do so; whether or not they live in the UK, or drive diesel cars. Thank you.)

The recent uproar over “toxin taxes” on diesel cars in the UK raises many questions. So, in this (long) essay, I’m going to try to get a handle on how big the cost of pollution from diesel cars really is, and whether the schemes being proposed to ameliorate it are sensible or not. To do that, I’ll try to estimate the so-called “social cost” of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars of different ages in the UK, in pounds per car per year.

If my calculations are right, there is some justification for central London pollution charges for diesel cars built before 2006; for, as I work it out, the social cost of the pollution from these cars is almost £300 per car per year. However, the further schemes in London and countrywide, that are planned to start as early as 2019, are out of all proportion to the reality of the problem. They will cost 8 million or so drivers of diesel cars, first registered between January 2006 and August 2015, orders of magnitude more than the social cost of the pollution their cars emit. Worse, these drivers – including me – may be forced to scrap our cars well before the end of their designed lives. Is this not grossly unjust?

According to my calculations, for a diesel car first registered between September 2010 and August 2015, like mine, the London ULEZ entry fees from 2019 for just two days in a year will be almost as much as the social cost of pollution from that car for the whole year, in comparison to a new (since September 2015) car, which won’t be charged at all. That is both unreasonable and unfair. Indeed, for both these cars and those first registered between 2006 and 2010, it would be far better and easier to collect the social cost of pollution through the yearly licence fee.

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