Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Miriam English (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 23:09:50 MDT

At 07:27 PM 16/07/2001 -0700, Technotranscendence wrote:
> > > Your medical system is heavily privatised and the most
> > > expensive on the planet.
>On Miriam English's point above: the US system is NOT privatized. It's
>heavily regulated. In fact, I bet it's the most regulated part of the
>economy -- unless banking is more regulated than it...

My point above (even though it is really only a side issue to my main
point) still stands. You are simply arguing that it is not as privatised as
it could be. Undoubtedly that is true. What I said was that the US health
market is probably the most privatised in the world. It is also the most
expensive. To get a broken leg fixed in US is way more expensive than in
Australia. (Forget drugs -- just basic health care: x-ray, cast,
physiotherapy.) Australia has mostly had a publicly funded health system in
the past. In recent years politicians who have been mesmerised by the
economic rationalist religion have been dismantling that and the costs for
health have been rising as a result. One of our states, Queensland, has
always had the most public hospital system in Australia. Health care in
that state is cheap and universal, and the same high quality elsewhere in Oz.

Health is just one of the things that I believe the capitalist system
manages very badly. It is great for many other things, and in fact it is
even good at certain aspects of medicine. But take balance and control out
of the health system and it is like cutting the brake lines on a car: it
may get you somewhere very fast but do you really want to be on board when
it gets there?

Please understand: I am not anti-capitalist. I'm not socialist, communist,
capitalist, marxist... The thing that most closely describes my position is
anarchist, but I am not really even that. I don't think any one system has
all the answers. Human society is way too complex and humans too
unpredictable and too prone to do irrational things. It is very attractive
to look for a simple answer to complicated questions, but maybe some
complex questions just don't have simple, clean answers.

I actually think capitalism is a very cool way to accomplish many things,
but I also recognise it is bad at some things. To ignore its failures and
excesses is risky. I think an economy should be seen as an ecology where
many systems fill particular niches and work as controls on each other.
Remember that when one highly efficient plant dominates an ecology we call
it a weed. :-)

Best wishes,

         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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