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Why should the rich get to queue-jump?

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, January 26th, 2010 - 140 comments
Categories: capitalism, health - Tags:

Rahui Katene is worried that people who can’t afford stomach staplings here (which supposedly cures diabetes, although the evidence is mixed) are getting unsafe surgeries done overseas. The problem is the private health industry. A private stomach stapling costs $28,000. Well beyond the reach of most. Only the well-off can afford it. The result: allocation on ability to pay, not need.

This is just one example. Think of all the medical resources that go into botox, breast implants, and other cosmetic surgery. Every time you see a scare piece about surgery waiting times and overflowing hospitals or someone says we need to have more stomach staplings remember that rather than fix these issues we, as a society, are putting medical resources into making women’s breasts seem like they’ve been dipped in dry ice.

Private healthcare is inherently immoral. The basis of healthcare is meant to be getting the greatest gain to human wellbeing with the available resources. Private healthcare makes it about money. It means the rich can use their money to queue-jump. It means that Turia, Katene, Tolley, and Burrows can get stomach staplings because they are rich while poor people don’t and lose limbs, then lives, to diabetes.

140 comments on “Why should the rich get to queue-jump?”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    “Private healthcare is inherently immoral” probably one of the more stupid statements from a commentator here.

    Doesn’t it take pressure off the public health system if those who can afford to use private do so, and doubly so if that person is still contributing through general taxation to the public health system? there is only a net benefit to everyone, so therefore is a rather good use of available resources. though greengills zetetic is sick with something the health system would have a hard time fixing.

    • Peter 1.1

      Not certain about it taking pressure off the public system because:

      a) The same doctors work in both systems, and if doctors are tied up performing operations for more profit, they aren’t in public hospitals operating…

      b)Follow up care in private hospitals is nowhere near as comprehensive as the public health system. Failure in the private health system offloads costs and people onto the public system.

      • TightyRighty 1.1.1

        are you a medical professional? do you work in the medical industry? do you use private or public healthcare? while i’m neither of the first two, I am the third and have an inside line into both private and public health providers, and let me tell you peter, private health care certainly lessens the burden on the public health system, especially the amount of funding it free’s up for essential services.

  2. prism 2

    Private health care isn’t immoral. It’s just there because people want it. Having a good public health system that might dip into private facilities provided certain criteria are met, is the important thing.
    State only services are essential but having private options is good provided that the state isn’t greatly subsidising, and their patients need to be adequately treated or they will end up becoming queue jumpers in public hospitals to recover.
    I think that motor accident victims should become special cases in the hospital system. They are great queue jumpers requiring emergency surgery. A lot of it is avoidable, and the result of careless, reckless driving rather than being the result of human error or accident. Let’s do something about these queue jumpers, everyone in a car should have to pay a proportion of their initial hospital care before it goes to ACC, that can be added onto registration.
    I guess this will bring howls of outrage from all. We can charge people fines and costs for doing something illegal in the courts even though they have done nothing that has damaged man or machine, so why don’t we ask for a contribution to care after vehicle accidents also perhaps trail bike accidents.

  3. BLiP 3

    What’s next? Separate car parks, special entrances into upgraded wards featuring a fine dining selection on the menu, first glass of wine free?

    ” ♫ ♪ . . . I’m a high-fidelity, first class travelling shit
    and I think I need a new hip . . . ♪ ♫”

    • prism 3.1

      Blip You’re the new satiric show after the Conchords.
      I have to get some speakers on the second-rated
      computer I use and hear the clip of Busy going nowhere. Looks good. Keep it up – it will be red carpets next.

  4. Chess Player 4

    The need for a private health sector to supplement the public health sector arises from the unwillingness or inability of the public health sector to provide health care for all New Zealanders, to the standard they want.

    There has always been, and will always be, the need for both Public and Private – the issue is one of Balance, a concept sadly lacking from the moronic post above.

    • mcflock 4.1

      Actually, the health sector is constrained in its ability to provide healthcare by finite fiscal resources. Which mostly come from the government.

      The same reason we have a shortage of GPs: after gaining a hefty student loan, doctors are attracted to higher-paying employers overseas. If GPs were paid competitively, we’d have more of them.

      The trouble is that the health sector – like transport, education, industry, etc etc etc – has been royally bollocked over the last 30 years, and Labour’s trace-element incrementalism did little to fix the situation over 9 years. Now the nats are back, and best-case is that they trace-element the other way.

      Damn, it always irritates me when friends link me these right-wing blogs…

  5. Lanthanide 5

    “making women’s breasts seem like they’ve been dipped in dry ice.”

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here, but dry ice is a solid, not a liquid, so you cannot “dip” something into it.

    Perhaps you mean liquid nitrogen, but it still doesn’t make sense. Women that have had breast surgery don’t look like they’ve had their skin horribly burnt, as would happen if you dipped them in liquid nitrogen.

    • Chess Player 5.1

      Don’t worry, the rest of us are confused too.

      I’ve re-read this post a few times, and it still doesn’t seem to make any sense….

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        Yes, I re-read Zet’s post, and the comments here, and I have to say I really agree with the comments more.

  6. Scott 6

    So long as we mantain a good public health system, why not give people a private option? It relieves pressure on the public system, and gives specialists the ability to earn more. If everything was public we’d probably see a large number of our top specialists moving overseas, because they’d suddenly be earning much less.

    And never mind the fact a large number of good people might find your use of the term “immoral” to describe their industry offensive.

    • Lew 6.1

      Scott, the flaw in your logic is that, according to Zet, they’re not “good people” by definition, since they undertake their life-saving and socially critical works in the private sector to take up slack that the under-resourced public sector can’t handle. Because, obviously, it would be better for them not to do it at all.


      • Scott 6.1.1

        Yes, I see your point. Clearly it would be better for those sick people to just suffer if the public system can’t take them. They are rich, after all. Because we all know that only rich people have private medical insurance (who knew there were so many rich people in this country?).

        • PT

          or better for those sick people who are wealthy to have to go overseas to get treatment and pay for it there rather than paying for it in new zealand because our balance of trade should be worse, making the balance of trade worse helps defeat global capitalism

          making our doctors poorer by not allowing them to give private treatment which is immoral will encourage moral doctors to stay in new zealand rather than go overseas to work for immoral private healthcare providers

        • Lew

          And there are no private clinics which undertake contract work for the public system because (for example) there’s no public radiology clinic in the area, either. Hell no.


          • Bright Red

            lew. the medical resoruce could be used by the public sector according to need rather than the private sector according to who can pay the most.

            Honestly, I’m surprised that you of all people are supporting private hospitals spending the country’s limited medical resources on the people who can pay for it while more needy people die on waiting lists.

            I thought you had social values.

            • Lew

              BR, that’s not what I’m doing. I’m pointing out that, when I went with my wife for an ultrasound scan the other week, it was done at a private clinic because the nearest hospital with comparable facilities is forty kilometres away. The procedure was still provided under the public system, but could not have been (here) under a wholly public system which would have been uneconomical.

              That, to me, is a useful and sensible allocation of resources, and an example of how taking the ideologically extreme positions ignore the reality of how the system actually works.


              • snoozer

                The clinic wouldn’t cease to exist without the private owners and the profit motive, Lew. The doctors, the nurses, and equipment wouldn’t be swallowed by a black hole.

                It might be placed somewhere else if the need is greater but that is a good thing. you know – greatest human happiness with the avaialable resources and all that.

                This seems a little bit like your support of Transmission Gully, unfortunately. An ‘I’m alright, Jack’ attitude.

              • Lew

                Hang on, I didn”t support Transmission Gully except as the least-bad alternative to a problem which can’t be solved by public transport. But son’t let the facts get in the way, etc.

                I reckon (though I don’t know) that without the fact that if they were only doing public-subsidised work they probably would go out of business. But anyway, the point is about the principle of cross-subsidisation rather than the specifics of clinic viability.


              • snoozer

                You support TG to solve a ‘problem’ that doesn’t cost as much as the solution because it’s to your personal advantage to have it. You support private healthcare because it has worked to your personal advantage in this case.

                The principle though must be that capability is matched to need, not ability to pay. There is no reason to think that the amount of capability would be reduced by replacing the private system with an enhanced public system. Society is still spending the money to buy the services, just by different means and with the benefits going to those in need.

              • Lew

                snoozer, I’m not going to relitigate TG, but let’s just say that you have my position wrong.

                You also have it wrong when you say I support private healthcare because it’s advantaged me in this instance. It was just an example from the last couple of weeks, and I would have (and have) made the same arguments previously, when I hadn’t used those services.

                It doesn’t help to ascribe personal motives to those who disagree with you on principled grounds. Not everything comes down to personal ‘I got mine’ utility, you know — there’s a very poor correlation between personal material gain and electoral behaviour. I’m just the sort of person who’d do alright under a National-led government in perpetuity. But I didn’t vote for one, because I care about things other than my own immediate material wellbeing. Like having a decent society. This is something the Left needs to understand, rather than trying to deny.


      • snoozer 6.1.2

        “Because, obviously, it would be better for them not to do it at all”

        Don’t be a dork lew.

        The point is clearly that we as a society should allocate resoruces to need not to money

        and “they undertake their life-saving and socially critical works in the private sector to take up slack that the under-resourced public sector can’t handle” is just dumb.

        If the resources weren’t been taken up in the private sector (which does bugger all “life-saving” or even “socially critical” work) then the public sector wouldn’t be so under-resourced. And how would that be apid for you ask? Well, the money is going from the public to the private providers now, it could just to to the public sector instead.

        Say it straight Lew. Should or should not the medicial reosurces of our society be allocated solely on the basis of medicial need?

        • Lew

          snoozer, the only thing that’s clear about healthcare is that a flexible allocation system is needed — not one which is blind to considerations of either need or money. One which is blind to need will result in preventable deaths and social harm, while one which is blind to money will go bankrupt and then we’ll end up with a system which is blind to need. This balancing act is what makes health a political, economic and clinical quagmire.

          The private sector does a lot of elective/non-subsidised work, and a lot of contract work for the public sector, with the former subsidising the latter, providing additional capacity when needed and generally smoothing fluctuations in demand.

          I’m not going into bat for private healthcare — only saying that you can’t demonise them quite as glibly as here.


          • snoozer

            “while one which is blind to money will go bankrupt”


            The money is already been spent by society, it’s just a matter of whether the money travels via insurance levies or taxes. It’s a stupid myth to think that the medical capability and the money to fund it would disappear into thin air without the private system.

            In fact, the public sector doesn’t have to pay anyone’s profits, so it should be cheaper on the whole.

            face it lew. You’re defending a system where a person can get a tummy tuck if they have enough money but might die for the want of simple surgery if they don’t

            • Lew

              snoozer, it’s clear that you actually don’t understand how healthcare works, particularly in the public sector. You’re advocating common access to the most expensive solution (gastric bypass) to a common problem (obesity) under the reasoning that, since a few people choose the procedure now, it could easily be provided to everyone who is obese. Honestly.

              You’d have a much better case if it was a silver-bullet treatment where nothing else worked (such as in the case of some rare cancers), but there are much more economically efficient treatments for obesity than an expensive and risky operation. In any case, As I’ve said: I’m not defending private healthcare as a matter of principle: only saying that if they want to provide services which are uneconomical or impractical under a public system, then they should be permitted to do so, because those services subsidise other services for which the public sector needs them.


              • felix

                You’re advocating common access to the most expensive solution (gastric bypass) to a common problem (obesity) under the reasoning that, since a few people choose the procedure now, it could easily be provided to everyone who is obese.

                Pretty sure he didn’t do that actually.

              • Lew

                Felix, well, lots of people would be saved from premature death by gastric bypass. Why not give it to everyone?

                What’s that? There are better ways? Quite. And the public sector generally funds those, leaving the more expensive and risky procedures to those with more dollars than sense.


              • felix

                Just saying Lew, there’s a word for pretending someone else advocated something and then arguing against it.

              • Lew

                Mm, I see. I assumed the ‘simple surgery’ referred to was the ‘tummy tuck’, but it could as easily have been other procedures not undertaken because the resources were already used. But this doesn’t override the general cross-subsidisation point I’m making.


  7. PT 7

    private supermarkets are inherently immoral, so are private petrol stations and private power companies and private schools and private farms

    so much immorality with private industry, should just nationalise everything that would get rid of immorality

    • BLiP 7.1

      No. The immorality creeps in when the profit motive infests the provision of social services – education is an interesting, recent example.

      • PT 7.1.1

        tell your gp next time you visit her that shes immoral because she works in a private practice, then tell your pharmacist that he’s immoral for working in a private pharmacy, then tell the person taking your blood sample that they’re immoral for working in a priavate blood centre

        • BLiP

          Now you’re just being silly.

          • PT

            sorry for pointing out that primary healtcare in new zealand is private blip, if that makes me silly then i’m a silly person so be it

            • felix

              Privately provided. Largely publicly funded though in your examples.

              • PT

                still have the profit motive f, so if primary healthcare works why not government pay for surgery for people in private hospitals? seems to work well for acc, why not public health?

              • felix

                Not my argument. Just pointing out that what you implied doesn’t flow logically from what you actually said.

                There’s nothing (except religion) to suggest that all those services wouldn’t be better provided without the presence of a profit motive.

            • BLiP

              You *really* don’t get it. See, what you’re doing is applying the immoirality of a concept to the individuals trapped within its confines. Its like saying capitalism is immoral, ergo all capitalists are immoral. But, yeah, my bad; I didn’t think you were that stupid.

  8. Over eating causes diabetes too.

    Im not rich enough to afford private health care, but why the heck should i want to stop someone who is?

    That is sick if you ask me.

    • PT 8.1

      no brett living in a nicer house than a poor person is immoral too, so is eating nicer food and belonging to a nicer gym its all immoral if you work harder and spend your money on nicer things, money is immoral brett and spending it the way you want is immoral too ask z, he’s the authority on morality

      • snoozer 8.1.1

        It’s a matter of degrees, PT. We live in an unequal world but shouldn’t healthcare be a human right?

        And shouldn’t whether or not you get care be determined by your need not your ability to pay?

        • PT

          nice slogan snoozer but it doesnt make a difference that public healthcare is dependent on expenditure by government not availability of private resources snoozer, how much healthcare poor people get comes down to how much government spends, not how much private people pay for private health services. eliminating private healthcare wont get more services to poor people. z has just gone on a big marxist rant, he doesnt make a lot of sense but maybe it makes him feel better

  9. gomango 9

    Thats right, the soviet model of healthcare is clearly the most efficient way to deliver a resource for which there is essentially unlimited demand.

    Zetetic – your post is wrong on so many fundamental economic grounds it’s embarrassing. – think back to 5th form economics please. And I’m not talking about freshwater economics. Even JMK would laugh at your proposal.

  10. burt 10

    The problem is the private health industry. A private stomach stapling costs $28,000. Well beyond the reach of most. Only the well-off can afford it. The result: allocation on ability to pay, not need.

    The problem is over-eating. No surprise some people can’t afford $28,000 – they spent all their money on pies and beer for so many years.

    Get walking, get running, get riding and eat less. Oh, sorry I forgot – that isn’t the easy option….. why work on your own wellness when the tax payer can just get the knife applied to save you sweating.

    • Chess Player 10.1


    • snoozer 10.2

      well burt. How about the waiting list for cancer treatment?

      That could be shortened if so much medical resource wasn’t taken up by private hospitals doing cosmetic surgery.

      Do you think it’s right that people die on cancer waiting lists while medical resources go into tummy tucks and breast implants?

      • burt 10.2.1

        Do you think it’s right that people die on cancer waiting lists while medical resources go into tummy tucks and breast implants?

        No I’m not happy that ideology kills people. And that is all it is – ideology that says it must be public funding and public provision. Better to have a waiting list and an unspent budget than actually allow private practice to profit from doing what the state is incapable of.

  11. burt 11


    Hell no – the state should not be paying for people to have fat reduction operations.

    I would rather pay $28,000 for a PT to kick thier ass for 2 years of boot camp an hour a day than let them just suck money from real illness and precious hospital resources.

    People get fat, and need help from time to time – but this type of medical intervention should be a last resort.

  12. burt 12


    Don’t forget that the people getting cosmetic surgery on their own dime are probably the same people that are funding the public health system for others. Be carful how much you chase them away, there are real sick people who need their contribution to the public system.

    • Bright Red 12.1

      oh yes, burt, what if Atlas were to shurg?

      Maybe we would discover he’s not holding up the world after all.

  13. roger nome 13

    it’s simple really – the rich in this country have grown up with all sorts of privileges that the poor don’t enjoy. Private schools at the age of 5, trips to fiji at the age of 10, motor bikes at the age of 13, and a jet-boat at 17. They’ve become accustomed to special treatment, and it feels natural to them. Like the aristocrats of the middle ages, they feel that the position is naturally theirs’. But it isn’t. it’s only their’s as long as we let it be.

  14. roger nome 14


    “Don’t forget that the people getting cosmetic surgery on their own dime are probably the same people that are funding the public health system for others”

    Don’t forget Burt that those people are mostly people who could have afforded to wipe their arses with $100 bills when they were growing up. Very few of them are there due to their amazing ingenuity and dedication.

    • burt 14.1

      Only poor people who just won a lottery would do such a thing. People born of privelage usually show a lot more fiscal restraint that the images your ideology needs to make up to justify itself.

      • BLiP 14.1.1

        First gays and now poor people. You are really are a disappointment, burt.

        • burt

          Yes I had better be careful, Marty will tell me again how homosexuality is genetically comparable to downs syndrome and you will agree with him – not because you know what your are talkign about but because he said it and I disagreed.

          Anyone here like to advise BLiP the difference between Downs syndrome and genetically inherited traits ? He won’t listen to me.

        • infused

          So are your one liners so often seen here.

  15. roger nome 15

    That just isn’t true burt. There are hundreds of examples of wealthy people wasting their inheritance. If anything, the opposite is true. The harder-won the gains, the more frugal you are with them.

  16. burt 16

    Stomach stapling operations are the exact opposite of primary health care. What sort of message is this sending people?

    Eat up boys and girls, only another 60kg to add then you qualify for a state funded surgery.

    • felix 16.1

      You’d be in favour of limiting the amount of crap kids learn to eat at school then burt?

  17. roger nome 17

    Burt – it’s your outdated 19th century ideology that sends the wrong message. Don’t incentivise good behaviour, and don’t make bad behaviour more difficult to carry out.

    Why not increase the tax on high-calorie, hi-GI, low nutrition food, and abolish tax on fresh fruit and veggies?

    nah – you’d rather put your aging ideology ahead of people’s health.

    • peteremcc 17.1

      pretty sure we’ve been through this before nome.

      because those adjustments would cost far more to implement than the benefits they would bring.

      however, i’m glad to hear you now support incentivising good behavior – using financial incentives no less!

      presumably you’ll now support removing the current existing incentive to have bad health (ie: the taxpayer picks up the bill) and introducing an incentive to have good health (ie: private insurance that costs more/less depending on your lifestyle)?


  18. roger nome 18


    “New Federal Reserve data from its Survey of Consumer Finances found that the share of net worth held by the nation’s wealthiest 1% rose slightly after inflation between 2001 and 2004, and that this 1% controls 33.4% of the nation’s net worth. In 2004, 715 families in the top1% owned 70% of bonds, 51% of stocks, and 62.3% of all business assets.”

    This is the world that your ideology has created. It’s not about hard work, ingenuity and dedication as the founding fathers intended – it’s about the family that you’re born into. Tell me, where is the justice in all of this? Or do you think that people deserve all of this wealth and power simply due to accident of birth?

    • gitmo 18.1

      Perhaps if you spent more time working and less time trolling you’d be accumulating more wealth ?

    • TightyRighty 18.2

      The great thing about capitalism is that you can amass that kind of wealth even if you aren’t born in to it. it takes a huge amount of work to amass and just as much to maintain. so if you don’t like the fact you weren’t born into it, with a dint of hard work you can become one. the mobility of wealth is extreme in this day and age. wealth can be amassed should you work hard enough for it. where does it say that you cannot become wealthy if your parents are not?

      • pollywog 18.2.1

        ayo tighty righty

        try telling that to those haitians cos the reality is not everyone can amass wealth and the playing field for non whites has only been levelled in the last generation..ie racism only becoming de institutionalised, even then there are stilla lot of rednecks gatekeeping resources

        for us polynesians, it’s gonna take maybe a generation or 2 of selling out to ‘the man’ before we see the hereditary privilege of wealth as fruits of capitalist labour. but the whole idea of personal wealth is culturally counter intuitive for us.

        i just dont think we as a people are that greedy to want more than our fair share.

        • TightyRighty

          really? I would have thought that the playing field in New Zealand at least is very level, as long as you don’t skew it by being a crook. As for rednecks gatekeeping resources, how about the local tangata whenua? plenty of NZ’s natural resources aer in control of the indigenous population. but anyway, if you take the view that taking risks to earn the rewards is “working for the man” then you probably won’t get far. hereditary privilege of wealth…. pffft why don’t you have a crack yourself rather than moaning? those families have not always been wealthy.

          • snoozer

            “I would have thought that the playing field in New Zealand at least is very level”
            the level playing field: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/is-this-as-good-as-it-gets/

            • TightyRighty

              muppet, that’s what you are, a muppet. If you want to get rich in NZ all you have to do is reach out, take some risks and make your own way. just because you feel that income distribution is skewed, doesn’t mean that you can’t get wealthy if your hard-working, brave and smart enough to accomplish it. though of course, i wouldn’t expect you snoozer to understand that the only barrier to wealth is yourself. wealth doesn’t have to be concentrated, it’s just your own apathy that prevents you from dispersing it. graeme hart, didn’t he start out with one tow truck?

              • TightyRighty

                No, he started out being a panel beater, saved to by a tow truck and it snowballed.


                so unequal playing field huh snoozer? or are you just so shit you’ve given up and expect “the state” to make you wealthy and punish the harder, smarter workers than you? muppet

              • pollywog

                so do you think it still would have been possible for a graeme hart to be all that if he were brown skinned from birth ?

                • lprent

                  polywog: Graeme Hart was a couple of years after me in the Otago MBA. But when I met him once (to fix his computer), he impressed me as someone that would have done well whoever he was.

                  • pollywog

                    yeah, in all ethnicities some have it and some don’t (the x factor). all power to him for using his talents/skills to amass a fortune. some of us though just lack the ambition/drive or are unwilling to make the sacrifices needed to be successful/wealthy 🙂

              • TightyRighty

                unlike you, the colour of a persons skin holds no fascination for me. if your smart, entreprenurial and bold, of course you can succeed.

                on a side note, isn’t Chris Liddell, ex CFO of microsoft, and potential future head of GM, Maori?

              • pollywog

                smart bold entrepreneurial white and male and your odds for “success” increase substantially…to use your graeme hart example

                bet he wouldn’t be half that if he were brown back in the day.

          • pollywog

            sure, the playing field has less of a tilt in favour of whitey righty now but go back one or two generations and it truly was an uphill struggle to land a decent job, get a decent education and forget venture capital for polynesian businesses.

            we dont have a culture of success in that area to breed from and you’d be hard pressed to find a lending institution to take the risk back then.

            by my reckoning, it takes one generation to identify/challenge the cultural bias (my parents as baby boomers), the second to level the playing field ( my x generation) and the third (my kids) to capitalise on the hard won freedom to really choose any given field as a vehicle for amassing wealth.

            then maybe a couple generations after that we’d get into the next stage of hereditary privilege as many of those wealthy families you advocate for. somehow i dont think you’ll find many polynesians in the top end of any wealth stats and its not cos we’re lazy or stupid.

            as for gatekeeping resources in indigenous hands. i think it makes good sense, as checks and balances against the natural greed of successful capitalists to have it all their own way and totally fuck over the natives so they couldn’t even start to get ahead.

            just look at how inter-generational wealth/privilege and colonial exploitation has led to the atrocity that is Haiti ?

            • TightyRighty

              Just lazy aren’t you? or it’s always someone elses fault isn’t it? poor you. indiana below has pointed out it has nothing to do with race or with post-colonialism. it’s about doing it your self.

              love the hate speech though, makes your cause seem just, whitey, rednecks, colonial exploitation. no, being poor couldn’t possibly be your fault when you have those forces ranged against you. even though others have managed very well in the face of such adversity.

              • BLiP

                Can you point to one, single example where, after colonisation, the indigenous people have been as successful as the colonisers? Otherwise – shut the fuck up.

              • pollywog

                it’s no ones fault but my own i’m not wealthy. sure i could have exploited many opportunities to amass wealth, still can, but i choose not to.

                i made/make my choices and i’m happy with them and who it’s made me. it’s made me rich in so many other ways.

                theres no hate speech going on i just call a spade a spade and if the shoe fits then i’ll try walking a mile in it before i judge.

                how about you try putting the shoe on the other foot and see how it fits before making wild assumptions ?

              • indiana

                I think the Tainui (forgive my spelling) are doing very well…but agree the wrongs had to be righted first.

              • TightyRighty

                blip – fuck off. you’re a complete waste of space. my point remains. if your smart, entreprenurial and bold enough to take some risks you can succeed. regardless.

                • lprent

                  TR: I think you have an idealized view of entrepreneurs.

                  In my experience of entrepreneurs (and being in the industries I’ve been in, I’ve seen a lot). About 80% of the smart ones crap out on at least one of their setups – typically the first or second one.

                  Invariably what gets them is their own sense of hubris. They take a couple of risks too far without good fallback positions, usually by starting another business or sideline too early.

                  As far as I can tell, the only entrepreneurs that reliably succeed are those who have an anchor – ie someone who they trust and will listen to who does the legwork of making the organization work, minimizing the risk, and in complete control of the treasury. Basically the person that can make an entrepreneur focus on making a business work rather than spinning off into new ideas all of the time. The one that says No.

                  Basically true entrepreneurs are essentially nuts, and only work well when they are only allowed to run around with a keeper and a chain. They are useful though…

                  • TightyRighty

                    Lprent, I couldn’t agree more as to the problems of many entrepreneurs. If more professionals were hired when needed then the companies they found could potentially last longer. Idealism is a funny thing though, it enables these people to get the motivation to start. and if they don’t learn from the early mistakes they make then they will go bust again and again. but when people like that tosser blip bring them down for being brave enough to start something, i let my idealism roam free. better than being a poppy cutter.

              • BLiP

                Yesssir massa big buwana you be big daddy in these parts and thats no lie, no lie at all massa

              • PT

                blip shows his racist colors

              • BLiP

                Good to see the trolls are all stomping their little hairy feet but when do the schools go back, haven’t they got “what I did in the holidays” assignments to write? Maybe they’ve used all their crayons up already.

              • TightyRighty

                Blip, why are you such a tosser? are you jealous these people were brave enough to taste success?

              • Eddie

                tighty. get this through your head. We are not jealous of the well-off. Many of us are well-off ourselves, and we’re happy to acknowledge that and happy to pay tax to support a decent society.

                That’s the difference between us and you, we acknowledge we are privileged and we don’t have a problem with the privileged paying more to make society fairer and more decent.

              • TightyRighty

                It’s not the paying more part i mind so much, it’s the arguments from wankers like Blip that success is only earned by the colour of your skin, hereditary positions or illegality. I’m trying to find some reason why Blip continues to act like a fucking retard. And all i can come up with is that blip is jealous of successful people.

                your contribution has not helped at all, as blip or pollywog really weren’t saying anything that you are supporting in this thread.

        • indiana

          Pollywog, ever spoken to a migrant Indian that came here in the 1940’s to sweep the factory floors, then eventually buy a dairy, work 7 days a week, becoming wealthy. In the mean time Mr and Mrs Average New Zealander joked about how all the Indians own all the dairys, but bitched about how come they had all this money to spend buying up property and going on regular trips overseas. None of those people were born into wealth, just like polynesians.

          • pollywog

            owning a fucking dairy is not my idea of being rich/wealthy but if your indian mate could leverage his dairy into a chain like the warehouse…then i’d be impressed:)

            • indiana

              Nope, owning a dairy is too much hard work for you…want to move your goal post again?

              In the mean time you can continue to, as you put it “sell out to ‘the man'”

              • pollywog

                hah…theres easier ways to becoming rich than working to own a dairy. fuck that for a living .

                and fuck selling out to the man too, never have, never will 🙂

      • Lanthanide 18.2.2

        Two other things are required to make lots of money:
        1. Luck. Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right idea. Or alternatively, not having bad luck like your shop being burgled repeatedly. You might scoff, but there are lots of stories of products or businesses becoming famous and successful overnight for some random occurrence, like an endorsement from a celebrity who just happened to like the product and publicised it.

        2. Access to capital. It takes money to make money. Someone with rich parents knows where to go to get an easy loan. Sure they might have to pay it back (or not, even), but you can’t just go to a bank and get the same access to money that someone with wealthy parents can.

      • Pascal's bookie 18.2.3

        “the mobility of wealth is extreme in this day and age. ”


  19. Monty 19

    Quite simple – they have choice because they have money – much like buying a car, buying a house, choosing what school to send children to or even super-market shopping. Those who have accumulated money have got themselves into a position of being able to choose. Health care is no different to any other purchase in life. The more money you have the more options that are available.

    Just because it is healthcare why should someone who can afford it not have choice? The simple fact is that money buys one choice in life. The less money the less option a person may have.

    Of course the fat buggers could do what Rodney Hide did and eat a proper diet, exercise more and change the lifestyle. That is another choice fatties can make – rather than the easy “taxpayer owes me” mentality that seems to prevail through the Labour voting classes.

    • peteremcc 19.1

      exactly, and the solution is to give the poor the same choices, not removing the choice of the rich.

      • roger nome 19.1.1


        “and the solution is to give the poor the same choices”

        but you’re not connecting the dots. To fund those choices we need to tax the aristocrats more. That will mean removing some extravagant choices from them.

        • PT

          percent of “aristocrats” 0.001%

          amount raised by taxing them more: 0000 pa

          percent of people who can afford their own homes and leverage to invest in own business: 80%

  20. roger nome 20


    “Those who have accumulated money have got themselves into a position of being able to choose.”

    That’s just fallacy though. In most cases their parents and ancestors, plus the unjust capitalists legal system put these modern day aristocrats in that position, not themselves.

    • Scott 20.1

      roger nome, I hate to interrupt your tirade against the rich, but most people who have private health insurance and who use the private system are not rich.

      As you were.

      • roger nome 20.1.1

        in which country scott?

        • Scott

          In this one. Southern Cross Healthcare alone has 850,000 odd members.

          Still, it depends on what you define as “rich”. But I doubt all of those members were privately schooled or got given jetboats when they were 17.

          • roger nome

            aha – what evidence to you have to support the idea that all of these people have policies that would pay for a $30,000 surgery?

            • Scott

              None whatsoever. But then your attacks on the “rich” in this thread didn’t appear to be directed specifically at those with $30,000 surgery policies.

              I could also ask what evidence you have that only the rich can afford policies for $30,000 surgery.

    • indiana 20.2

      “In most cases their parents and ancestors, plus the unjust capitalists legal system put these modern day aristocrats in that position, not themselves.”

      Delusions of grandeur?

  21. roger nome 21

    further, it’s about affordability. I’m a hard-working small business man, and i can barely afford to eat the way i choose. i eat fish, nuts, rice, veggies and fruit. I have intelligence and motivation, but in this society that’s barely enough. If my parents had throw $100,000 at me, i would be a millionaire by now. But our system isn’t geared toward justice. It’s geared toward the preservation of wealth that was gotten without effort.

    • SHG 21.1

      Hard-working small business man? So, [deleted. see the rules of behaviour shg and don’t start outing games]

  22. Joshua 22

    Private healthcare = immoral? what a load of b/s. And as for the arguments that it is only the rich and/or aristocrats who have access to it then that is b/s as well. I am 24, 2 years out of university and I have comprehensive health insurance up to about $250,000 per year if needed. Am I rich? No. Is my family rich? No. In fact, I am a Maori/Pakeha farmer’s child – and not the corporate farmers we have now but a 1980s farmer screwed over by the fourth labour Government.

    So why should I not have access to private healthcare? I pay my taxes like most people, to the tune of $15,000 per year, and when needed I go outside the public health system so that others more deserving than me can have access to it. The point is, we have a universal health care system paid for by our taxes. You would struggle to find someone whose name isn’t Roger who would advocate removing this. So why stop those of us who can afford the $45 per month premium from accessing the private system? (that is what I pay so I always wonder why people complain about the cost of healthcare – and before you say I am young etc, I have both mental and physical conditions which increases my premium).

    Yes there are issues of concern in our public healthcare system – attacking the rich (again) is not going to solve them.

    • felix 22.1

      The point is, we have a universal health care system paid for by our taxes. You would struggle to find someone whose name isn’t Roger who would advocate removing this.

      Stick around. There are plenty commenting here who want to do just that.

  23. tc 23

    All of the above just shows how selfish and uncaring Turei is about the outcome for wider NZ…..as long as her whanau can roll up for a free stapling she couldn’t give a toss.

    More complete dribble from the associate health minister who endorsed the removal of anti-smoking initiatives along with endorsing other NACT legislation that disadvantages NZ but chucks some freebees her way…….roll on 2011 and her overdue departure.

  24. tc 24

    oopppss, sorry

  25. If someone rich was dying, I have no problem in them paying to have a operation privately.

  26. felix 26

    Hey burt is it just me or are all the replies out of sequence tonight?

  27. May as well replace the last paragraph with:

    “Private economic gain is inherently immoral. The basis of the economy is meant to be getting the greatest gain to human wellbeing with the available resources. Private property makes it about money”

    On this logic, money should be abolished. Doctors and nurses (and indeed everyone) should receive payment in kind for what they do through state provision of housing, food, clothing, leisure and education. If people didn’t have means to strive for material satisfaction then everyone would be better off.

    Works a treat that.

    If the basis for healthcare is the “greatest gain for the available resources” (who decides what is a gain? who decides the “available resources”? Ahh politicians, of course, the wise and accountable ones) then all healthcare for the retired and terminally ill would cease, most would go into children and indeed a fortune should go to developing countries to end preventable diseases among the young.

    I’d argue it is far more immoral to force people to pay tax for years and find out that instead of getting the healthcare “promised” by generations of politicians, that someone finds herself on a lengthy waiting list because they don’t generate the “greatest gain”. Where did all the tax go? Who can be held accountable? No one – so you suffer, and some die.

    If my parents (who by the way were skint working class migrants originally) hadn’t paid for health insurance when I was young, I wouldn’t have had surgery for a chronically painful condition when I was 17 that the state system would have put me on a 6 month waiting list for. A condition that effectively would render me incapable of attending university. If I hadn’t had health insurance at 31 I wouldn’t have had surgery on inherited varicose veins that were causing me agony, as it was an 18 month waiting list at the time.

    If people can afford to pay for private health care it is none of anyone else’s business. It’s just envy. Next it will be immoral to have a bigger house, a bigger car, to buy “too many CDs”, have contact lenses instead of glasses, “too many clothes” “too many books”, “too many holidays”.

    It would be a bit easier to simply admit you believe in communism and you want to control what people spend their own money on.

  28. ben 28

    A tragically useless analysis.

    Private healthcare does not suck resources out of public. The reason public health care is short of resources is because they underpay staff and set prices at a price (zero) that necessarily produces overuse. Furthermore, without proper accounting systems, abandoned as “the tools of business” under the Labour government in 2002, hospitals do not know what things cost. The result: massive resource misallocation. And finally, there is competition for resources within the health system that is proportional to the amount of funding: under a political funding system, which prevails in hospitals, that competition is manifested as lobbying. And who must do the lobbying? The most senior doctors.

    A family friend is one of the most qualified people in the country and spends upwards of half his time not seeing patients but lobbying to keep his unit open and to attract more funding, funding which must be taken from someone else and who lobbies hard for that not to happen.

    This is an important reason why health care spending doubled in the 2000s and the number of elective operations actually declined. Productivity plummeted. See Bronwyn Howell’s studies of NZ health care.

    By the way: before the idiots scream idealogue, in health care I do not give a toss about anything except the system’s ability to make sick people well and in a timely fashion. The current system does not do that. That is the objection.

  29. burt 29


    Accepting I’m banned I resist making topical comment. However you will notice the tree structure in this page is stuffed. I had a comment posted around 6:57 that was entirely deleted, which SHG replied to (as a reply) at 7:29 and then my reply to SHG @ 7:35 received a warning.

    I re-posted the completely deleted comment and received the :’you were warned ‘ response. I have a copy of the page prior to the random deletion of my comments that appears to have buggered the page comment ordering, I can forward this too you later if you are interested from a debug the tree structure perspective.

    I accept I’m banned, but I don’t actually understand why. The comment that was deleted twice was in my opinion inoffensive but I accept it made a mockery of Marty G’s assertion that genetically homosexuality had any similarity to Down’s syndrome or that Down’s syndrome was anything to do with recessive genes. Something I’m sure you can appreciate from a scientific perspective.

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