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  1. #1

    Smile Am I Nuts? Please Contribute!

    Hello everyone, I registered here today because I had a very interesting debate with a friend of mine which ended in him calling me an extremist - when I really don't think I am. I'd really appreciate some third party input here, so I'm going to post the conversation with a few private details edited out so I can get some unbiased judgments on the matter. Thanks very much for taking the time to read it if you do

    Here's the conversation in full, enjoy!

    Person A: Last week Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary - who in March told Parliament "the bunting police are gone" - ordered Somerset county council to "think again" after it told traders in Burnham-on-Sea they could not hang bunting from lampposts as they had not been "stress tested".

    Person A: God bless england, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ndS-fears.html

    Person B: Thats one of the problems with the uk all health and safety means you can't do ANYTHING

    Person A: Newspaper commentators on the money as usual. One Commentator says: "What a miserable old cow."

    Person B: lol

    Person B: I hate the store cards they keep offering me in France, the French are like flies around **** when it comes to free stuff - i just don't want my details being given to companies

    Person A: they can't distinguish between "free" and "free at the point of use" that's their problem

    Person A: a friend's french girlfriend just cannot get this into her head and they almost came to blows over it, massively frustrating

    Person B: so what do you mean exactly?

    Person A: e.g the National Health Service

    Person B: ah i see

    Person A: it's a bugbear of mine when people prance around saying how great it is to have a free NHS when you are paying for it but in an indirect way, and when - actually - it's bollock achingly expensive. But hey if it didn't work companies wouldn't say "Three hundred FREE MINUTES with your 50 a month iPhone contract"

    Person B: i think per person on average it's cheaper than private health care such as the USA.

    Person A: well that may be the case but how the hell can anyone tell?

    Person B: sure, its all in statistics and they can be fudged easily

    Person A: too right

    Person B: i like the NHS

    Person A: people are prepared to go into savage debates defending the NHS but cannot actually prove it either way which seems bizarre to me.

    Person B: but yeah, it's got to be more efficient

    Person B: The NHS is basically a way, of making it better for poor ppl

    Person A: http//whiskeyandgunpowder.com/healthcare-solution-go-back-to-cash-/

    Person B: poor ppl don't have the intelligence of saving

    Person A: this should explain everything

    Person B: ok, first paragraph

    Person B: "ppl in america go to the doctor and pay a few dollars"

    Person B: sorry that is not the case

    Person A: I think he's talking about people with insurance

    Person B: a mate told me (american) he was drunk and broke his arm once. 500$ for a cast

    Person B: and medicine is so privatized by companies that they pay so many $s for it

    Person B: whereas we pay 9 or whatever a prescription is

    Person A: ok well keep reading, all will become clear.

    Person B: ok, some medicine will be cheaper but the majority will be more expensive, also its not so much about the cost in america its about getting insurance that will cover most of the costs, and these companies will find every whcih way to avoid it and even to get it is hard for poor ppl

    Person A: I think it's about the cost being driven impossibly high because there is no connection between what the consumer pays and the provider, precisely what this guy elaborates on.

    Person A: e.g it's exactly the same with car insurance

    Person A: http//www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/motorinsurance//OFT-refers-dysfunctional-car-insurers-to-Competition-Commission.html

    Person B: sure i understand that "Person A"

    Person A: if you watch the video of the man at the top of the page and swap out the words "car insurance company" with "health insurance company" you have a full and complete explanation of why the system is so poor

    Person B: ok

    Person A: "Something magical would happen to prices they would drop to what people could afford to pay cash." This time a million

    Person B: well if that was the case, are u telling me that the NHS is in profit?

    Person A: More money and taxes are not the answer, cutthroat competition and lower prices is.

    Person A: No the NHS one of the most wasteful organisations the world has ever seen.

    Person B: Sure like train companies, more competition = higher costs and worse service

    Person B: and then the gov has to bail then out when hey go bust

    Person A: you know there's a difference between monopolies pretending to compete and competition right?

    Person B: who is the monopoly for trains?

    Person A: what you mention there is not only relevant viz the train companies, it's completely relevant regarding the banking system as well. "Take trains. While our railways are theoretically privatised, the track is actually run by Network Rail, a public monopoly. The Government’s own figures show that this system is up to per cent more costly than its counterparts in Europe – and it’s passengers and commuters who pay for it. Timetables, prices, even the types of trains used are all rigidly controlled from Whitehall, forcing train companies to run near-empty trains at the strangest times a friend caught one running at midnight on New Year’s Eve, whose conductor was stunned to see a passenger. If Network Rail were broken up, and Whitehall’s tight control ended, train companies could be run more like low-cost airlines, with the savings handed back to passengers."

    Person B: i disagree

    Person A: This is rip off britain at it's finest, whenever high prices, low quality services, and indifferent management are to be found - you can guarantee it's because it's a monopoly pretending to be private with government using taxpayers' money to backstop it all when it goes tits up because it removes all incentive to improve and any punishment for failing n like i say this is how banks work too.

    Person B: Low quality and poor management will be found everywhere "Person A" changing the system will not remove these factors.

    Person A: Sure - but not for long, because people would not be obliged to give them money and then they go bankrupt and cry themselves to sleep over all the money they're not getting.

    Person B: Are you saying Ryanair is good quality and good management? *A British airline often accused of unsavoury practices*

    Person A: Ryanair is an interesting example of the kinds of companies that prosper when legislation renders the cost of entry to a business sector is so expensive the only ones that prosper are the ones that are mercilessly profit-minded and mercantile. If british airways were better value for money ryanair would either go out of business or be nicer to its customers.

    Person B: So i'm waiting for an example "Person A" of this other way of life where its low cost good quality service.

    Person A: The fact that the government itself is run in the very same way, where there is no connection between the money you pay and the quality of the service you get out of it, or consequence to abusing your customer base, is the fundamental reason why we have such bad government in the UK. AND there's no threat of bankruptcy, e.g. compulsory taxes.

    Person B: Name me one country that has good government?

    Person A: "Person B" it doesn't happen, there isn't one in the whole world! because government is the very definition of a bad, monopolistic, business model.

    Person B: i think you are a bit disillusional about things can be better, maybe they are as best that they can be.

    Person A: How do you think a business would treat its customers if it could arrest them for not buying its product? would it improve the quality of its product or would it be easier to arrest its customers for non-payment? Obviously i'm talking about taxes here. And i am disillusioned you're right, but that doesn't necessarily mean i'm wrong - and for what it's worth i believe the optimum government expenditure as a proportion of gdp is probably around 20%, not %50+ as we have all across the western hemisphere. The answer is very very simple, run government like John Lewis *(A British chain of up-market stores)*

    Person B: lol but poor ppl have a hard time shopping in john lewis, just like poor ppl will have a hard time in 'your' government.

    Person A: The logical outcome of thinking otherwise is North Korea where everyone has full employment, everyone has a job for life, healthcare is "free", with the caveat that the government must provide all of these things, and anything the government gives you the government also has the power to take away if you fall out of favour with them.

    Person B: i actually like communism.

    Person A: how will poor people have a hard time in 'my' government? poor people would pay only what taxes they wanted to for the services they wanted, the services themselves would be exceptionally affordable, there would be no such thing as a 99% vs 1% rich/poor divide because you'd actually have to be bloody good at making profits to remain filthy rich, rather than just be good at cosying up to Big Government and having friends in the right places. Like most things on the "Left" it sounds nice but in practice its a totalitarian nightmare.

    Person B: Sure

    Person A: It's so simple, I just say that people are a bit confused. Poor people aren't so concerned about "Rich People" paying massive taxes, they would rather pay less taxes and get good service and just be left in peace.

    Person B: which way do you vote "Person A"?

    Person A: I'd be absolutely ashamed to vote for Labour or the Conservatives so i'd vote United Kingdom Independence Party. Labour are a warmongering bloodthirsty walking nightmare and the Conservative party are a bunch of power hungry warmongering spivs, but for all intents and purposes there's no difference between them. Big government is big government is big government, you can have any type of government you like, red or blue, as long as its big. Just like Henry Ford said, "You can have any color as long as it's black."

    Person B: but "Person A" i think less tax and better service is a myth

    Person A: better service provided by the government? hell yeah that's as mythical as Zeus

    Person B: every government tries to improve efficiency - they are trying, give them credit for that. You can't just demolish the system and build it up again

    Person A: Big Government is the most incompetent, bureaucratic, clumsy, expensive, nightmarish invention human beings have ever come up with. I'm not going to give them credit for that because it's government that causes all these problems, e.g like the advertising industry, they make imaginary problems and sell you expensive solutions.

    Person B: the world has been set up over hundreds of years and an inefficient and unfair institutionbut we have to live with it, and improve it gradually.

    Person A: How many people per year get killed by governments being totally out of control? and how many people die per year of cancer? There's plenty of campaigns about the latter, but i'd bet the roof over my head more people die from government than cancer.

    Person B: Let me ask you, a sensible government in my mind would label alcohol and tobacco as class A drugs it would save lives but do you think they could ever do that?

    Person A: Government and monopolies and bad lawmaking are a cancer on the face of humanity.

    Person A: yes and what's the unintended consequence? (http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unintended_consequences) a population that - slice by slice - becomes ever more dependant on the state to become the moral arbiter and caretaker of their lives, because it's a self-perpetuating pattern where there's progressively less and less need to think independently because there's always someone out there to do it for you. Then when the consequences roll round e.g. a childish, infantile, whingeing, incompetent populace, what do we do then? Well we make more laws of course, as if it wasn't the poor lawmaking in the first place that caused people to be incapable of governing their own destiny.

    Person B: here are some books *transfers books*

    Person A: You cannot have a system where you protect people 100% of the time from the consequences of their own behaviour, just like with some economic theory where malinvestment occurs because people can no longer distinguish what is a good investment and what is a bad investment because the market price signals have been distorted or removed, we see exactly the same thing happening with human behaviour because there are no consequences to people's actions. In short if there is no cost to bad behaviour, if we subsidise behaviour free of any cost or consequences, then guess what? You will get more behaviour that is borderline psychotic in how little common sense or thought contained within it and this is the fundamental mistake at the core of the welfare state as well.

    Person B: so you want to bring back capital punishment?

    Person A: absolutely not, why should the government have the power to kill people when i don't think they should have the power to tax people let alone kill them. Not to get too philosophical here but bad behaviour is its own punishment, in an economic sense, why would anyone trade with/cooperate with/help someone who has a proven track record of being dishonest or cruel? They would starve. And we subsidise stupidity as well, then wonder why people get progressively stupider as the decades go by. How the hell would someone with a proven track record of being a complete feckless halfwit get the resources together to create a brood of children? They couldn't, but in our brave new world government permits it - or even encourages it.

    Person B: sounds like you want to live like a cave man in a mad max world.

    Person A: hey if people want equality nothin's more egalitarian than mad max - but I jest. Do you get any part of what i'm saying there?

    Person B: basically you are anti-government and thing that everybody should control themselves.

    Person A: yeah that's a fair summary

    Person B: you would put the world back into the stone age

    Person A: you dont have much faith in people eh?

    Person B: No. Would there be scientists? How would they get money to discover stuff?

    Person A: Investors would find them because investors want to make a profit. And scientists - good ones - would get it.

    Person B: We would just back into cavemen with the hardest of ppl will steal the money from others.

    Person A: But don't ask me, the whole point of what i'm saying here is that there wouldnt BE a central authority trying frantically to reallocate resources from Mr and Mrs A to Mr and Mrs B. I'm saying the resources would find their way to the people who had the greatest capacity to use them efficiently and effectively instead of squandering them and killing people via government.

    Person B: they won't, for sure.

    Person A: you seem to think i want to live under anarchy - http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-watchman_state - here is what I would like to live under, " A night watchman state, or a minimal state, is variously defined by sources. In the strictest sense, it is a form of government in political philosophy where the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud, and the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police, and courts. In the broadest sense, it also includes fire departments, prisons, the executive, and legislatures as legitimate government functions."

    Person B: that is what it will be

    Person A: voila, this is i believe there should be in paragraph, no more no less.
    Person B: ok

    Person B: still stone age stuff

    Person A: give it 10 years and you'll be sympathetic

    Person A: it's a bit unfair if you've never read anything about it to judge it though, a bit prejudiced if I may say. A big state that takes care of everyone is a utopian dream. And it'll kill a lot of people.

    Person B: Your vision will kill a lot more ppl

    Person A: Libertarianism hasn't killed anyone, we've never had it. We have had big government though and the victims number in the hundreds of millions.

    Person B: billions would die in your world

    *Person A sends person B a few e-books*

    Person A: Books are dangerous. We'll probably have Kindle burnings in the future, it just won't be the same.

    Person B: Sure i understand all this, but common sense says it won't work. We will all die from the fumes.

    Person A: Very fahrenheit 451. "If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none." The quote comes to mind.

    Person B: lol

    Person A: I'm not annoyed though, it's not as if it's undemocratic, which so many people get really irate about. People voted for this, they've voted for it for 50 years now.

    Person B: There is nothing else to vote for, that's the system we have been given.

    Person A: No one has the right to complain when the health & safety police tell them to take the bunting for the Queen's jubilee down.

    Person B: Embrace it *insults Person A*

    Person A: Well i think you're falling into the trap of thinking that anyone who disagrees with how things are run right now is an extremist.

    Person B: no Person A: , you have some fairly *censored* views, even if i understand 'how you got there', but they are clearly flawed, and i think you don't see how badly it would work.

    Person A: There's a very narrow concensus on how things should be run in the West and if you don't like the colour black or very very slightly lighter black then you're an extremist.

    Person B: "Person A" you are bright pink

    Person A: I'm saying you can't logically and sensibly disagree with someone if you don't really know anything about what they're referring to or discussing

    Person B: You've just been telling me your view of the world, and i think it would be the end of modern civilization.

    Person A: hahaha! But hey when has the majority been right about anything? Concensus politics is not a good thing.

    Person B: Yeah you are probably right there.

    Person A: And it's not like i don't understand where people are coming from on these topics, i really do, i'm just fed up of watching people vote for governments that tell everyone what to do, and then they complain about being told what to do. Or how people vote for the Conservatives or Labour on the basis of their "social policies" and then complain about "social engineering". Well hey you voted for it, i mean you can't have it both ways.

    Person B: Sure but i'm not complaining

    Person A: No of course not, as long as ur happy with the way things are then you're fine.

    Person B: Yep


    *The End*

    Now, dear debaters of the internet, can someone tell me - am I nuts or is the guy I'm talking to just very unimaginative?

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    ODN Community Regular

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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Am I Nuts? Please Contribute!

    Moved to the Current Events forum for not conforming to the rules of the Formal Debate forum. Please read the rules for posting in the Formal Debate forum here.

  3. #3
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    San Diego, CA
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    Re: Am I Nuts? Please Contribute!

    Too long, didn't read.

    You should just state your argument if you want feedback on it.
    Senior Administrator

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
    Rusty Panda

    Re: Am I Nuts? Please Contribute!

    Skipped the first half or so.

    *places tongue firmly in cheek, mimes looking at thermometer* hmm...my diagnosis isn't good...I'm afraid you're a libertarian. But don't worry, it's a very common condition and only fatal for poor people around you.

    Seriously though, you're fine, wanting a minimal state is a classic American right-wing position I believe. It is rather more extreme in Europe (are you British?) but not what I'd describe as extremist.

  5. #5
    Banned Indefinitely

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    Oct 2010
    Southern California, USA
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    Re: Am I Nuts? Please Contribute!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris1479 View Post

    Now, dear debaters of the internet, can someone tell me - am I nuts or is the guy I'm talking to just very unimaginative?

    Thanks for reading!
    In my oh so unprofessional opinion:

    1.) You're narcissistic; perhaps only annoyingly so, rather than pathologically so.

    2.) Either the world's fastest typist, or I've underestimated the depth of your narcissism.

    3.) Clearly retired, and all caught up on your chores, or a shirker.

    4.) A free market capitalist lacking the good sense not to engage a liberal loon on the economic potential in abandoning the UK's NHS program.

    Thanks for asking, and let me be the first to warmly welcome you to ODN.



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