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Matic Meglic

some additional remarks on the 'gatekeeper' perspective at maticmeglic.blogspot.com

Chris

*even if* we all work together in a collectivist utopia we won't know what to produce, how to produce it, and who should consume it

And the relevance of that particular point is? The NHS is but one buyer in a global market for drugs (albeit a rather large buyer), thus the Misesian conceptual crique of socialism doesn't apply.

But of course incentives do matter.

Right, and an 'incentive' need not be purely self-regarding.

The NHS's response is to deny human nature. To assume that because they are a model of socialist management, we therefore live in a socialist society - one where we put our love of fellow man (or indeed our country) before our individual rights.

How ridiculous. In the first instance, those pushing themselves to the front of the queue are exactly those who are likely to think it's an immediate matter of their 'individual rights' to get the drug in question as soon as possible. On the other hand, if everyone saw their 'love of fellow man' as always trumping their own 'individual rights', then no one would take advantage of collective provision.

His response, incredibly, was to say that: we would request that people only make genuine claims. People shouldn't request tamiflu unless they have the symptoms of swine flu.

It is 'incredible' to report the fact that supplies are not practically limitless, so please find out whether you actually have relevant symptoms? The spokesman wasn't trying to *create* a sense of common decency -- rather, he was *assuming* (and at the very most encouraging) it.

There is nothing immoral with wanting to protect yourself from future illness, and take cautionary action to create a personal stockpile.

Depends on the situation. Most people (libertarians excepted obviously...) *would* think it 'immoral' for a healthy individual to stockpile a needed resource in times of extreme scarcity, even if they would have inclinations to do the same if they had the chance. Morality isn't about just following self-regarding inclinations though.

Prosecution!

Are you suggesting penalising the fraudulent attainment of drugs is now a 'socialist' fallacy too...?

aje

The NHS is but one buyer in a global market for drugs (albeit a rather large buyer), thus the Misesian conceptual crique of socialism doesn't apply.

But they are a buyer, and they have a stockpile, and they need to decide how to allocate it absent a price mechanism. The calculation debate is relevant.

Right, and an 'incentive' need not be purely self-regarding.

Correct.

those pushing themselves to the front of the queue are exactly those who are likely to think it's an immediate matter of their 'individual rights' to get the drug in question as soon as possible. On the other hand, if everyone saw their 'love of fellow man' as always trumping their own 'individual rights', then no one would take advantage of collective provision.

There's nothing in communist literature that suggests people would choose to starve so that others could eat first.

It is 'incredible' to report the fact that supplies are not practically limitless, so please find out whether you actually have relevant symptoms? The spokesman wasn't trying to *create* a sense of common decency -- rather, he was *assuming* (and at the very most encouraging) it.

I don't accept it's about "decency", but my point is that he was assuming away the true state of man.

Most people (libertarians excepted obviously...) *would* think it 'immoral' for a healthy individual to stockpile a needed resource in times of extreme scarcity, even if they would have inclinations to do the same if they had the chance. Morality isn't about just following self-regarding inclinations though.

Heaven forbid someone has the foresight to stockpile! Fortunately the Soviets didn't have the dilemma of how to allocate their medical vaccinations.... they didn't exist!

Are you suggesting penalising the fraudulent attainment of drugs is now a 'socialist' fallacy too...?

I'm claiming that when you incentivise people to become fraudulent in order to engage in a basic economic transaction then you're doing something wrong.

thanks for the comments.

Jim

"There is nothing immoral with wanting to protect yourself from future illness, and take cautionary action to create a personal stockpile."

Yes there is. You're confusing empirical claims and moral ones.

aje

Note the use of the word "wanting". If that wasn't there, you'd be right. But I wasn't saying that creating a personal stockpile was in this instance moral, just that there's nothing immoral about the desire to do so. I think you're misreading me.

Joe Otten

Are any desires immoral, as opposed to the actions that might result from them?

TBH, I think you are missing the point of this phone service. It is to keep infectious people out of doctors' waiting rooms. That's probably worth doing even if 98% of the Tamiflu sent out is not needed.

Quinn

Note the use of the word "wanting". If that wasn't there, you'd be right. But I wasn't saying that creating a personal stockpile was in this instance moral, just that there's nothing immoral about the desire to do so.

I presume the NHS isn't doing anything to prevent people "wanting" a stockpile of Tamiflu, simply trying to ration supply and prevent actual stockpiling. So what's the problem here?

Jim

'Wanting' to rob someone is immoral, isn't it?

Anyway, the NHS may be making it cheaper to be immoral in this case, but that's why it makes sense to try to enforce the moral norm through other means, which is what's happening.

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