Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath invites you down to his surgery for an inoculation against this week’s stories and headlines on issues affecting our freedom.
This week: Dentists and dickheads…
- NZ HERALD: “Are dentistry costs out of control in New Zealand?” - A survey suggests there is some dissatisfaction with the cost of dentistry in this country…
THE DOCTOR SAYS: No, dental fees are not out of control. They have settled according to the economic law of supply and demand. High demand + low supply + over-regulation by government = high prices. If you restrict the number of people graduating from the Otago University dental school (as they do), and then you block qualified dentists from setting up shop in New Zealand (as is done), then of course prices will be high.
Look at some of the comments made online at the Herald website however:
"These people who are responsible for our health should not be doing it for personal profit, which
Written by a person who has clearly abdicated responsibility for his own health. Well, I have news for him. Each person is responsible for their own health. Why should anyone else be responsible for my health? It's my body, and I make the decisions that affect my health. The profit motive is what incentivises people to work hard. What dentist is not going to try to make a profit after paying for five years of training and then sitting vulnerable throughout his working career to anyone who cares to make a complaint to the Health & Disability Commissioner?
There were lots of other bleeding hearts evident in the online comments, positing the argument that dental care should be paid for with other people's money, but one comment resonated with me: a woman who had dental work done in Thailand at a fraction of the cost in NZ and recommended that others do the same. From my own personal experience, I can recommend travelling to Bangkok where there are top-notch dentists who can even arrange discounted accommodation at four or five star hotels within walking distance of their office.
I have been over twice and my experience was good.
For any dental work costing more than $4k, I would think a trip to the dentist in Bangkok would be more economical in dollar terms. Needless to say, let the buyer beware: do your homework first!
3 NEWS: “Family mourn loss of 'big-hearted girl' in Norway” - A 14 year old New Zealand born girl was among those apparently killed in Norway….
THE DOCTOR SAYS: This mass murder was tragic, and the murderer should spend the rest of his life compensating the families of his victims in every way possible—if indeed there is any way possible.
There were a couple of other interesting angles to this outrage, though. First, this young lass joined the Labour Party a year ago, aged 13. Thirteen! Isn't it a little unusual to join up children into political parties at such a tender age and take them out on 'camps'? Plenty of potential for brainwashing/indoctrination/child abuse—not sure I'd go as far as Glenn Beck and compare the murdered teenagers to the Hitler Youth movement, but it all seems a little strange to me.
Not that it excuses the actions of her killer.
Like many countries, Norway has strict gun laws. As is the case in many other jurisdictions, a Norwegian's desire to be capable of acting in self defence is not considered a valid reason for him to own an instrument by which he could defend himself. To own a firearm over there, one must be a certified hunter or sports shooter.
But if one—just one—of the people who had the misfortune to encounter the killer had had recourse to a firearm, how very different the outcome might have been. How ironic that the inspiration for many little socialists such as those killed eight days ago, Chairman Mao, once opined that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
And it didn't take long before someone from the misanthropic greenie left, a soulmate of Ted Kaczynski, expressed the opinion that the killings in Norway were trivial compared to the slaughter of animals to provide protein for human nutrition.
What a dickhead.
That’s all for me this week.
See you next Monday.