Thursday, June 09, 2011

Surely a Parody?

Cervantes posts (8 June), I hope ironically and with sarcasm, in Staying Alive Blog HERE:

‘Perhaps I repeat myself’

As you have no doubt heard, Medicare is "unsustainable," so we're just going to have to make old people pay for their own damn health care, and if they can't afford it, there's nothing we can do about it, we're tired of all these freeloaders. But one thing we absolutely cannot allow is rationing of health care, because life is infinitely precious.

For people under 65, it includes a lot of folks, obviously, but denying them health care isn't "rationing," it's the sacred invisible hand of God.’

The idea is beyond execrable and the dragging in of the so called ‘invisible hand of God’ inevitable, given the ubiquitous prevalence of the metaphor among modern economists and from them at all levels from their students in politics, the media, and conversations.

The problem is that some people will agree with the sentiment, expressed by ‘Cervantes’ (I hope) as a parody in the tradition of Jonathan Swift.

Let no one doubt, Adam Smith advised the public purse be used to relieve the suffering of people ‘in the same manner as it would deserve its most serious attention to prevent leprosy or any other loathsome and offensive disease, though neither mortal nor dangerous, from spreading itself among them, though, perhaps, not other publick good might result from such attention besides the prevention of so great a publick evil’
(WN, Book V.ii.60:)

Living in Scotland, and as a user of the British National Health Service, I have never understood the vivid hostility of some of those opposed to the principle that health provision should be free at the point of use to all citizens of the rich capitalist economies that choose to spend some of the taxation on the service that is raised from the same citizens, if the majority of them vote for it (as they have repeatedly done so since the late 1940s).

However, to each his or her own.

All those who suffer from the absence of treatment for quite ordinary illnesses, let alone expensive cancer treatments like ‘Sipuleucel-T, brand name Provenge’, are on the consciences of those who make ‘not crossing the road’ to assist others in need a so-called sacred principle of what I know not, as we never know to which side of the road we might be on in future.



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