Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath takes an irreverent look at some of the past week’s headlines.
- “Keeper leaves his pride for the last time” – Dalu Mncube, the wildlife park attendant mauled to death last week, was yesterday farewelled by fellow workers, family and friends. A picture depicts a lion standing “as if at attention.” Oh, please!! We are talking wild animals here. Animals are incapable of conceptual thinking. The quarter-ton tiger that ended Mr Mncube’s life has no regrets and probably little memory of the event. The lion pictured in the news item was quite possibly sizing up his next meal from among the mourners. This episode is a stark reminder that, firstly, animals have no respect for the individual rights of humans and, secondly, that humans have a distinct physical disadvantage when it comes to competing with the lesser forms of life on this planet – but we can usually out-think them.
- “GPs get approval to raise fees by 6.5pc” – A news story near and dear to me, as one of those GPs. The government in its infinite wisdom, has recommended the District Health Boards allow doctors to raise their fees by 6.5% this year, which they regard as a “reasonable increase” (which is not to say the DHBs will allow it). Doctors should be grateful to their political masters, though. In 2004/5, they were allowed a 2.4% increase. The over-riding assumption is that medical services are a “public good”, that people are entitled to subsidized health care – that health care is a right. If you believe this, then you sanction slavery. For if there is a right to health care, the state must provide it. And if the state can’t find anyone willing to provide health care on their terms – for instance under conditions of price controls – then they will have to force people to provide it, by force. That is, as slaves. As a director of a company whose business is providing health services to 18,000 clients, I will be advocating for our prices to rise by far more than 6.5% on July 1. Watch this space.
- “Murder accused dies of liver cancer” – Gee, I can’t remember the last time a liquor store owner, dairy proprietor or pharmacist shot one of his competitors and buried the corpse with a digger. Perhaps that’s because the products they sell, which can all be abused and which can all kill in overdose (even bottled water), are legal. Whereas Brett Ashby and Grant Adams were dealing in illegal recreational substances, a situation that guarantees high prices, criminal involvement and therefore violence. Had the substances in question been legal, Messrs Ashby and Adams (or some other entrepreneurs) may very well have had adjoining shops competing peacefully for clientele.
- “Why peaceful NZ leads the world” – We are apparently the most peaceful nation in the world (despite having more more gun homicides than the UK per capita). Hmm, wonder who came to this conclusion? None other than the Institute for Economics and Peace. And who are they? A group focused on “global peace.” A group who believe: “It is impossible to accurately portray the devastating effects that global challenges such as climate change, lack of fresh water, ever decreasing bio-diversity and overpopulation, will have on all nations unless global unified action is taken.” World government, and action to ensure survival of centipedes, cockroaches, poisonous spiders, snakes, malaria parasites, loaloa worms and other species that cause suffering and death to humankind. What nice peaceful people the IEP turn out to be.
See y’all next week!