Friday, March 09, 2007

Jamie Whyte

Here are two unsurprisingly good articles by Jamie Whyte .

The first discusses why rich Brits moan so much about government services:
Nothing satisfies us. Crime rates have fallen consistently since 1993, yet we think law enforcement a shambles. Trains are faster and safer than ever. Still, we consider the railways a disgrace. Waiting lists for surgery are shorter. Third World health service!
The problem
Everyone buys roughly the same things with their first £10,000 of income. Then they start to show some individuality... We may agree on what a service that costs us £500 a year should provide. But what extra should we get when we are spending £2,000? Nicer hospital rooms? Better-paid doctors? Viagra?
It isn't reasonable to expect everybody to agree, and most don't. What's the answer to this conundrum??

There's some moaning about education towards the end.

The second article is about profit seeking in education. The idea strikes most people as deeply immoral, but why?
I blame teachers. Resist as we may, they influence us. They have our little minds at their disposal from the ages of 5 to 18, and they are institutionally socialistic. Most are state employees. And most are women. For evolutionary reasons that I will leave you to gather, women are more risk-averse than men and, hence, congenitally disposed towards the nanny state. In the battle for hearts and minds, what chance have we free-marketeers when 90 per cent of the population is educated by female government employees?
The article closes by pointing out how weird it is that people think Bishops kids should be the recipients of charity
Sir Eric’s sophistry inadvertently provides a reason to remove independent schools’ bogus charitable status. If they were openly commercial enterprises, their headmasters might divert their energy to defending the profit motive. It is more in need of charitable attention than are the children of investment bankers.

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