Wednesday, January 26, 2005

More NHS Investment

In his economics text 'Eat The Rich', P.J. O'Rourke distinguishes between the four different ways you can spend money.

1) you spend your own money on yourself. You look for quality and value.

2) you spend your own money on other people. You still look for value, but quality's not so important. That's how I got given Ewan McGregor's 'Long Way Round' for Christmas (£11.99 at Tesco. I don't think my sister-in-law reads this blog. Read Ted Simon's Jupiter's Travels instead).

3) you spend other people's money on yourself. Quality - and don't worry about the cost.

4) you spend other people's money on other people. Any old thing will do - and who cares what it costs.

O'Rourke remarks "Unfortunately, most government spending falls into this last category. This is how the grateful citizens of the Soviet Union got Chernobyl."

And it's how the NHS got this.

(Pity the BBC have updated the page. In a fine example of Dumb Britain, Baluchi was originally described as an 'imminent psychiatrist'. Just about to qualify, perhaps ?)

UPDATE - that spoilsport Anthony at Black Triangle mails me to mug my beautiful post with a gang of brutal facts - chief among them the fact that the BMA, which accepted this taxi-driver as an eminent psychiatrist, is a self-regulating (i.e. private) body.

While I'm presuming that the taxpayer stumped up most of the million-odd pounds the guy made as an expert witness in asylum cases, that's an asylum issue rather than an NHS one.

While I'm in penitential mood, it's only fair to point out that a large amount of the expenditure of large corporations is category 4 cash - people spending other people's (the shareholders') money on other people. Which may be how the citizens of Bhopal got the Union Carbide plant.

Executive pay levels in said corporations are category three expenditure.

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