Wednesday, 6 May 2009

DOWN TO THE DOCTORS: Chemists and Cockroaches, National’s Knockshop and Rodney’s Folly

An irreverent look at some of the past week’s headlines, from Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath

  1. “Outrage Over Brothel At National MP’s House – National list MP Kanwal Bakshi evicts tenants from a dwelling he owns in Mt Eden after complaints from the neighbours that it was being used as a brothel. Fair enough. It belongs to Mr Bakshi and his business partners, and he can decide who rents it. Ironic that Phil Goff, whose party while in government quite rightly legalized prostitution, had the temerity to complain to John Banks about the goings-on at the brothel, albeit on behalf of one of his constituents. Most of the fuss appears to centre around whether or not the premises in question were licensed. That is, whether the government could regulate, or more importantly, tax it. Heaven forbid people should be permitted to work as free men and women, rather than as semi-slaves to the almighty State. 
  2. “Pharmacy Idea A Hard Pill To Swallow– A thought-provoking editorial in the NZ Herald suggests Health Minister Tony Ryall should think hard before bowing to pressure from members of the Pharmacy Guild whose noses are inching closer to the taxpayer trough. These people are after your money and mine in exchange for acting as informants for Big Brother. In return for “incentives” (read taxpayer money), they will interrogate customers and send the information obtained back to the health bureaucrats in Keynesia (the city formerly known as Helengrad). The Herald rightly points out that such “incentivisation” is a recipe for over-milking the tax cow through excessive “servicing” by pharmacists, which begs the question: would we personally pay for it? To quote the editorial, if there was a genuine need for this standard of care, chemists would not need public funding in order to offer it. Precisely.
  3. “North Shore Supermarket Finally Opens – This disgusting twenty-year saga is an indictment of planning laws and of the ability of petty-minded individuals to sabotage the plans of commercial developers for totally bogus or frivolous reasons and/or anti-competitive motivation. It has reportedly taken two decades and ten million dollars for the Wairau Road Pak’N’Save store to be granted permission to open. Ultimately it will be the customers of this store who will pay the price as they spend the next few years paying a little bit more on each grocery item they purchase. Let’s hope they run the nearby competing supermarket (who, if I understand it correctly, were involved in delaying Pak’N’Save from opening) into the ground.
  4. “Urgency For Super City Bill – For some reason John Key and Rodney Hide want to ram through Parliament under urgency a bill that centralizes power over ratepayers into the hands of a small number of very powerful officials, which may or may not include appointed representatives of a race thought to be so inferior they couldn’t possibly be elected through the normal democratic process. Why the rush? Labour MP Phil Twyford suggests the government is using urgency to bypass the current legal pathways which apparently allow for a referendum on the matter. I agree. Rodney appears to be fixated in making the apparatus of the State more efficient rather than rolling it back.
  5. “O’Connor Back In Parliament – Like a cockroach that hides under the doormat and creeps back inside under the door while you’re asleep, Damien O’Connor re-enters parliament. Rejected by the good people of the West Coast -- rightly offended by Helen Clark’s description of them as “feral” --  another Labour hack sneaks in as a List MP. Two other Labour MPs thrown out by voters have done the same. It ought to be outlawed.

See y’all next week!
Doc McGrath


  1. "...whose noses are inching closer to the taxpayer trough."

    Wrong. Should be "deeper into".

    While pharmacists cannot be held accountable for the state insisting on publicly funding medicines the always-wanting-more attitude is a worry. However, like GPs, they are not ALL of that ilk:-)

  2. "Let’s hope they run the nearby competing supermarket (who, if I understand it correctly, were involved in delaying Pak’N’Sav from opening) into the ground."It's not just one nearby competing supermarket. It's all of them! One at Northcote, one at Sunnynook (recently spruced up and rebranded from Foodtown to Countdown to try to compete), and TWO at Glenfield (a Foodtown and a Countdown)... All of these are owned by Progressive, the Aussie supermarket chain, that has been trying all means to stop competition.

    Suddenly all the Progressive supermarkets have lowered their prices, since the new Pak'NSav opened.

    So, would you have allowed Progressive to own both supermarkets in Glenfield mall?

  3. "So, would you have allowed Progressive to own both supermarkets in Glenfield mall?"

    In short, if it was up to me, yes of course I would allow it, but I would also make it easier for competitors to set up shop.

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  5. Lindsay you are right. A few years ago a GP colleague of mine in Taranaki charged every patient the full fee without any subsidy, and sent 30-40 patients a day over to WINZ to collect their subsidy payment in person. The government's response was to force him to pass on the taxpayer subsidy to his patients, and force GPs to apply for subsidy payments on behalf of their patients. A couple of years later, he gave up general practice altogether and took up appearance medicine where there are no patient subsidies.


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