Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers for stories and headlines on issues affecting our freedom
This week: Organic bullshit, Dr Gorgon & some fairy-tale romance…
- “Athfield attacks heritage rules” – Well, well. Following on from the story from last week of the assault on John Buck’s property by the Historic Places Trust, a story emerges that the architect who designed Buck House – Ian Athfield – once found his own house under threat of being stolen (a.k.a. “listed for its heritage value”) by the Wellington City Council. He came up with an ingenious, suitably post-modern solution: he told the council the house had “organic heritage,” which meant he could change it as he wished. What better way to deal with council scoundrels but to throw their own namby-pamby weasel words back at them? The council accepted this, and everyone went home to their families.
But hang on. It turns out Mr Athfield is a board member of – what else! – the Historic Places Trust. Yes, you’re reading that right. He is at the top table of an organisation of those same busybodies who collude with city and district councils to effectively seize property owned by other people. All fine and well until it happens to you, Mr Athfield; whereupon your property becomes a special case, and suddenly develops unique “organic heritage.”
Wow. I wonder if Mr Buck can now use this same clause to free himself from the predation of Mr Athfield’s gang of thieves? Surely his property, which closely resembles that of Mr Athfield, must also ooze “organic heritage.”
I think I can see where this is heading: in the not too distant future, for a fee, Mr Athfield and the Historic Places Trust will bestow “organic heritage” on your property in order to keep it safe from the clutches of the Historic Places Trust. Or am I just becoming cynical?
- “Gareth Morgan: Our Approach To Booze Has Been Pathetic” – Frankly, Gareth Morgan’s approach to individual liberty has been worse than pathetic. His solution to the broken-down public health system, for example: more state taxes and bullying. For example:
“Again the solution is simple [says Mareth Gorgon] tax, education and stigma.
Impose excise duties on low nutritional food (use the revenue to subsidise whole foods
if you like), play dramatic ads of grossly obese people stuffing their gobs and scoffing
diet drinks (whose ingredients simply stimulate appetite), and like smokers, have them
go outside to eat.”
Dr Morgan then launches into GPs, in his ignorance not realising that they are no longer paid a subsidy for an open-ended number of patients, but a fixed yearly capitation payment regardless of how many times a patient is seen.
“Taxpayer subsidies to GPs who aim to see as many patients as they can each day is
a totally perverse approach to effective primary healthcare, that conflict of
interest standing in the way of effective prevention. Better to directly pay those most
at risk to improve their self-management than waste the money on pseudo-
entrepreneurial GPs. “
Not only is Dr Gorgon ignorant of how actual doctors work, he’s ignorant of what the govt is already doing to their market. If a patient enrolled with Dr X then sees Dr Y while on holiday in another part of the country, Dr X then has part of his subsidy transferred across to Dr Y. And, to cap it off, if doctors want to increase the fee they charge patients, they have to justify their price increase to a state-appointed board of bean counters! In other words, we already have price fixing in place, worthy of the most despotic and economically backward Third World banana republic we are becoming.
Dr Morgan dances around the concept of rationing health care, without mentioning the only viable and just method of delivering services: a free market. Nowhere in his spiel does he advocate a free market in health care, surely the answer to the mess in which our crumbling public hospitals and disappearing primary care workforce find themselves.
But as the returns of his govt-subsidided Kiwisaver company make clear, Dr Morgan knows nothing about free markets.
- “Patricia Neal: A life of drama on screen and off” – I had occasionally wondered if this actress was still alive, and saw that she had died just this week. Sixty years ago she played a stunning Dominique Francon, opposite the Howard Roark played by Gary Cooper, in a film directed by King Vidor. Based on a novel by a man named Lear (no, wait, a woman named Ayn Rand) it was something called The Fountainhead--as relevant today as it was in 1949.
Rand herself once described the character played by Neal, Domnique Francon, as “herself in a bad mood”—a role Neal played to perfection.
The sexual tension between Roark and Francon in the book was transferred to the screen by the actors, and spilled over into real life…
- To finish, a libertarian fairy tale for the guys:
Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess: “Will you marry me?”
The Princess said “No.”
And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and went fishing and
hunting and played golf and shagged women half his age and drank copious amounts
of beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and just did
whatever he fucking wanted.
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the
government fear the people, there is liberty.”
-attributed to Thomas Jefferson