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Friday, 30 January 2015

Question Time (Random Thoughts)

It’s Dimbleby night. I have wasted an hour watching QT. I heard scarcely anything intelligent. Perhaps I am to blame. Over the last decade I have moved so far towards the libertarian end of the spectrum that arguments between politicians as to whether Labour or the Tories have done or would do most for the NHS in Wales leave me less than cold. Putting politicians in charge of heath care has been a disaster and will continue to be so – likewise in the case of education.

The audience is ill-informed, though some show the right prejudices. Suppose we were discussing groceries or holidays. How many would stand for government virtual monopolies?

Politicians think that if they and their mates were in charge everything would be hunky-dory. Some say that health and education are too important to be left to the market. More important than food?

The government stepped into education at a time when almost every Briton was literate. The NHS was founded at a time when very many Britons paid modest subscriptions to insure themselves against injury and disease. Admittedly, this was at a time when healthcare was much less expensive. Government has been responsible for most of the increase in cost. AND we are much richer than we were in 1946. With lower taxes enabling entrepreneurs to create wealth and jobs, we would be richer still. So, governments impoverish us and they still can’t get the schools and hospitals right, even with endless expensive tinkering.

Would that they had been less ambitious, perhaps by paying the premiums for the poorest to competing private insurance companies. Competing doctors and hospitals would have helped to keep the costs down. Even a modest system like this would probably have morphed into something huge. Bureaucracies are fiercely self-protective and self-aggrandising.

I dream of a corporation setting up a mini-state and selling parcels of property to all and sundry. It would have a savagely limited constitution. Yeah, yeah, I know. I am proposing a blueprint, having railed so often against blueprints. It could happen, though. This statelet would grow in prosperity. Other states would have to compete – by deregulating. The world would be transformed – in my dreams! Some natural resources would be nice; but some relatively successful political units have next to nothing in the way of mineral deposits, oil, land, forests etc. Hong Kong doesn’t even have guano. What does Switzerland have apart from hydro-electric power? People are the most valuable resource of all: creative, energetic people.

A thousand billionaires could do it. There are surely enough of them.

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