12 August, 2009

Stephen Hawking Credits NHS For Survival

Following up on yesterday's centerpiece of stupid, Stephen Hawking has a few things to say about his horrible British health care:

Turns out that the world's best-known and most health-challenged physicist thinks that his single-payer health care system works just fine.

"I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high quality treatment without which I would not have survived." ---Stephen Hawking, August 11, 2009

There you have it. Watch the Freepers spin this as some kind of mind control.

Cujo caught IBD posting a lame "correction," but it's too little, too late - Efrique found out that the original article ended up precisely where it belongs:

The hilarity continues.


Edwin said...

Had Hawking been not so much of an important person would he still be the recipient of the superior quality healthcare from NHS?

I was born in Kerala, India where nationalized healthcare takes care of a lot of our poor people.

But when it comes to loved ones in families who need care for serious health issues, even poor people go shopping at very good private hospitals which hire the best doctors at better salaries than the nationalized ones. Can't blame the good doctors to have gone hunting for a better salary. Even doctors are entitled to the sweat of their brow.

I believe if we steal from the able and give it to the needy, there won't be any ability left anymore in the society because people will choose to be needy when they are not entitled to the sweat of their brows. Human needs are infinite but human abilities are not.

Cujo359 said...

Jeebus Crispies, Edwin, read the quote:

"I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high quality treatment without which I would not have survived." ---Stephen Hawking, August 11, 2009

No, he wouldn't have gotten the fancy computerized wheelchair. The thing was built for him by a bunch of people who had heard about his plight and wanted to help out. It says so on his website, which you may look up for yourself, for crying out loud. But he got considerably more care than someone would have in the U.S. if he hadn't had insurance, and possibly more than someone with insurance would have received if he weren't very fortunate.

Cujo359 said...

P.S., Edwin, your last paragraph doesn't make a damn bit of sense. Canadians live 3 years longer than we do, and spend 2/3 per capita what we do for help by distributing health care dollars based on need.

Do you people never look anything up, for pity's sake?

Edwin said...

You are right, I did not look up the Canadian data.

3 years longer is a good deal if such differences are seen consistently seen in all nations with nationalized healthcare. If however, only a few countries with nationalized healthcare have higher life expectancies then such differences can be attributed to factors other than nationalized healthcare.

2/3 per capita may not be a good deal. This is where I must ask you the popular question: Is a man entitled to his produce?

2/3 per capita is a good deal if everyone earned the same amount per capita. But it is well known that even in primitive agrarian societies some people are better at production than the rest.

If we started forcing such able producers to pay for the needy, then they would think "Hey! I toil so much and my produce is taken away from me! Perhaps I should stop producing so much because the needy have similar quality of lives without toiling so much! Perhaps I should choose to be needy too!".

Nobody will choose to be the best at production in society if their produce is forcibly taken away from them. Soon the able people will cease to be able one by one and the needy will prevail. Once everyone is done stealing from everyone and not producing anything.. there will be nothing left to consume.

Then people will force each other to consume less and they will extol the virtues of suffering and low consumption.

P.S: this is the exaggerated scenario to make you understand the inferiority of your philosophy. However it is not far from the truth.

I hope I have explained my previous last paragraph.

Cujo359 said...

Yes, well, my inferior philosophy is actually backed up by facts, so I think it will do. My inferior philosophy also seems to be better able to notice that when people are really rich or well-connected, as in the case of Prof. Hawking, there will likely be folks there to help him out.

The other thing my inferior philosophy has noted over time is that many folks have an exaggerated view of their productivity. Is a corporation CEO, for instance, worth hundreds of times more than a professional employee of his company? You wouldn't think so, particularly if the CEO in question isn't very good at his job.

Edwin said...

There has been much misunderstanding & ranting about what CEOs & VPs do and the compensation they receive for it.. It is hard to tell people what they do because not everyone had the experience of being one.

They do some of the most productive tasks in a company. Among other things, They take the risk & responsibility of the decisions they make that can affect the lives of everyone in the company, including them.

e.g. Consider a faulty rail traffic light that remains red and delays a railroad traffic. No train driver would want to take the risk/responsibility of moving the train slowly until the next office. But if a CEO/VP/Some management freak is willing to take the blame if something goes wrong, the train driver would cautiously move the train. And this would ensure the quality of service in the railroad.

In world where there is no well paid management, no one would take such risks and the world will stand still. Sure.. things will go wrong and such management people will cursed by the public for being irresponsible bastards.

You could argue that minds don't do any work, it is muscles that do work. But we are increasingly moving towards a world were machines do all work by obeying minds.

[[Hmm.. got to say more things. But I got to go produce and own.. will talk later]]

Cujo359 said...

Corporate CEOs are a great example of overvaluing of one's own productivity because they get to determine their own pay. Yes, the board decides the salary officially, but they are often led by the nose by the CEO.

As for the example, when the train is hit by another one, things aren't so productive. Someone who doesn't know enough to get the signal fixed or get the guys in the control center to set it properly before he risks a collision needs to get into another line of work. Knowing the business is a lot more important than American management seems to think it is. And executives who are overpaid often think they're that much smarter than anyone else.

Doubting Richard said...

What evidence does Hawking present that suggests he would not be alive without the NHS? He is an old leftie, who has never actually had to interface with the real world since he started at Oxford, making an assertion with no basis in reality.

I would not argue with him on theoretical physics or applied mathematics. That doesn't mean he is more likely to be right on any other subject than anyone else with some intelligence.