Reply to post: Re: Sorta - Stalinist?

Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorta - Stalinist?

Sticking "Stalinist" in front is just cheap hiding of a lack of understanding and knowledge. By the way, some things are best centralised if they affect a whole country and one can hardly complain of centralisation at the same time as others talk of post code lottery. Anyway it is not true.

The notable thing is that, the more countries use the private sector for basic services, the more expensive those services become. In Britain this is particularly clear, whether the rising cost of health or the insane cost and inefficiency of privatised rail. This is not surprising: if one privatises, say, the supply of towels to a hospital, the staff and facilities to wash the towels still expect salaries, sometimes higher than in the state sector. Their private managers expect salaries and bonuses and the firm as a whole requires profits. Meanwhile, the hospital requires administrators to manage the supplier and staff to handle the towels on their way in and out, check the standard, manage the budget. So, all you have saved, possibly, is having your own washing machines and laundry rooms (though towels still need storage and dirty towels must be kept somewhere), while still requiring a hefty admin. layer and having to pay enough for the service, including the profits made by that service. Meanwhile, you've lost proper control and the annual tendering process is open to corruption and itself costs time and money.

The USA is said to have the most expensive health service in the world, with still 45% not covered and the famous medicaid being rather limited - hence Obamacare. Switzerland has a pretty good system. But, as it is mainly dependant on private insurers, it is the second most expensive system. But at least everyone is covered.

The sad thing is that ignorant, British politicians think the American way is good - so now we have profit-making companies and trusts running schools and some hospital services badly, treatment driven by saving and not need yet costing more; food banks! I grew up in Britain - food banks was not even in the language. But the great success of modern government is to make charitable food banks and shop left-overs a necessary part of life even for some working people,

We have neo-liberals who think that letting employers pay less than the minimum needed to live and then subsidising them with income related benefits is clever. Why not just mandate a minimum wage that is genuinely enough to live, stop all the subsidies in the form of tax credits, then do away with the need for ever more complex computer software and hardware, civil servants to run it all, private consultants to exploit it all and so on. If a business is so bad it can not afford proper wages, then goodbye to it and good riddance, or tell it to cut the senior bonuses and use the money sensibly.

Any country that does not feed, educate and look after the health of all its people, good or bad, is a failed state in this day and age. It is no surprise that home grown terrorism or susceptibility to radicalisation is a worry in such a country.

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