Sunday, May 29, 2005

Michael Would or Hood

Unlike Robin Hood, Michael does not steal from the rich and give to the poor. He mostly takes from the middle classes and gives to the middle classes. Well, not quite. He actually gives back a lot less than he takes. The rest pays the cost of collection and delivery. Robin Hood made the poor better off. but Michael makes the middle classes worse off.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Michael says there is a good reason why he should make decisions about health care. If I cannot afford the hip replacement that I need, he can take some money from Bob (not a millionaire) and George to pay for it.

Are they happy to pay for my operation. I do not know, because Michael did not ask them. He just took the money from them.

Who gave Michael the right to take money off them to spend on something that I cannot afford?

I usually do not expect to get things that I cannot afford. When I needed another car, I did not bother looking for a Lexus or a Ferrari, because I knew I could not afford them. I was happy with a Honda, because I could afford it.

Would Michael make Bob and Bill buy me a Ferrari, if I needed one?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Who Knows Best?

When I buy fruit, I usually buy oranges. I do not find it hard this to decide, because I like oranges better.

I have not trouble deciding what to do with most of my money, best I know what I need. Well actually, most of my money, because Michael (not Jackson) takes a third of what I earn. He thinks that that he knows what to do with it better than I can.

When it comes to healthcare, I dont need to decide what to spend, because Michael decides for me. I do not know how he knows what I need, because he has never met me. Michael is clever. He has a Ph D in history. But you have to wonder?

I hope Michael does not take over the supply of food. He might make me eat apples.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Blind Politicians, Blind People

Michael (not Jackson) is the Finance Minister in the nation where I live. Michael has announced that next months budget will vote $17 million dollars for cataract surgery. Michael has just discovered that several thousand people urgently need relief from cataracts.

In third world countries, the Fred Hollows Foundation does a cataract operation for a few hundred dollars, but in New Zealand decisions about cataract surgery are made by politicians. The problem with this is that when access to a service comes under political control, shortages, queues and rationing always follow. In the Soviet Union, politicians managed the supply of bread, so people had to queue for bread in the country that had been Europe's bread basket.

Some people have already waited a long time for surgery. Many will have to wait even longer, as health boards ration a limit number of operations. If these people needed a new television they could go and buy one. They would not have to stand in a queue. If thy needed a new car, they would face an amazing range of models and prices. They would not have to plead with Michael. Yet, when they want their cataracts removed, they have to lobby Michael to release some funds.

I cannot understand why something so basic as cataract surgery has to be a political issue.

Groceries are really important for life. I hope that Michael does not take control of the supply of groceries. We might have to start queueing for cabbages.