Monday, 1 August 2011

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR'S: Dentists and dickheads

_richardmcgrathLibertarianz 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…

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
    they do."

    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.
Doc McGrath


  1. Richard McGrath1 Aug 2011, 11:59:00

    @Redbaiter: Do you not think the families of the murdered should be compensated by the perpetrator? If not, why not? To do so would be consistent with the Libz policy of restorative justice for crimes where there is a victim.

    For a start, his assets should be liquidated and distributed to the families of the victims, or to the respective insurance companies who may be about to pay out on life insurance policies for the dead. Or do you think the taxpayer should cover this?

  2. I've not been able to find a way of blogging to your point on Norway about the age of the people at the Labour party camp. I find the thought of 700 teenagers being groomed for politics frightening. On a number of the newscasts I've seen the comment this or that youngster was going to be a future politician. That's just all so wrong.

    If we have to have politicians, and we both know in a free society we don't, I do not wants kids out of bloody high school thinking they can go straight into politics and run my life for me. What a nonsense.

    Go out and get some experience of life first, and preferably run your own business. Then if you've shown good judgement, go and boss us all about. Indeed, no politician younger than mid forties thanks.

    And yes, 13 year olds at political camps must be bordering on brainwashing. Just let them go be kids for goodness sake.

  3. @RB: The concept is not beyond rational discussion as you suggest. People place a dollar value on their lives via life insurance. If they are murdered, the insurance company pays out then sues the murderer for financial compensation. A lot of the time the murderer will be unable to compensate the insurance company. That is built into the insurance premium paid for by the insured. It makes payment to the surviving family much more likely as it would come from a big company rather than an individual. If the liquidated assets of the murderer come to less than the money required by the insurance companies and other creditors, then the money is allocated pro rata.

    It is unlikely that the insurance companies in this rare case of a mass murder would be fully compensated, but if someone was murdered in isolation and had life insurance worth $200k, it is entirely possible the company could recoup the sum paid out to the family of the victim, from the perp.

  4. 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

    No worse than young adolescents going to church youth group camps.

  5. Yes, I can vouch for the Asian dentists. I needed a lot of work done.

    I paid a respected local dentist $200 to examine, make photos and a report of the work needing done. I insisted He hand over the file and photos. He was puzzled and outright annoyed when I told him the work will be done in Asia.

    The NZ quote was for around $10k The cost to have this done in Asia was less than half and included travel, accommodation and 10 days loss of income!

    Very much recommended and easy to organize.

  6. I've got an idea. Why don't the bureaucrats in the health ministry piss off to China/North Korea/Burma (they can take their pick) and the Asian dentists can migrate over here. That would save us the air fees.

    I agree that the Labour Camp was a sham. There's nothing much to learn on an isolated island with a bunch of your peers except how best to conform.

    If teenagers are to think outside the square, we have to stop confining them to their peers. Public schools have entrenched a youth-adult divide that has seen teenagers become increasingly irresponsible and impressionable. They need a diversity of mature adults in their lives.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.