My Problem With “Health Care”

By sirjohnston ~ April 19th, 2016 @ 9:23 pm No Comments »

My Problem With “Health Care”

There has been much virtual and real ink spilt discussing our ‘Health Care’ system in the last twenty years. Most of these discussions are about issues which centre around the problem of our system not having enough money.

I have a fundamental problem with our socialized health care system based on two facts. The first is that there is a direct connection between one’s health and what one eats, drinks and thinks. The second fact is that it is more expensive to medically care for people who live longer whether in a socialist or a capitalist system. But in a socialist system, people dying early reduces costs, while in a capitalist system it is more profitable to keep people living as long as possible.

What unnerves me is that the same people who run the education monopoly, which has decided not to teach our society how to take proper care of themselves so that they may enjoy a long healthy life, also run the medical services monopoly. There appears to be a conflict of interest between the goal of our government and our health.

Scott I. R. Johnston

Supreme Court of Canada Gives Rights to Metis

By sirjohnston ~ April 19th, 2016 @ 9:14 pm No Comments »

Supreme Court of Canada Gives Rights to Metis

What would happen if everyone achieved special status bestowed on them by our courts and made law by our government? If that were to happen, how would our parliaments and our courts consider making and enforcing laws so as not to make any one or any one group more special than another and so give an unfair advantage over his or her fellow special citizen? To manage we might then, dare I suggest, be regressive and favor the Rule of Law again?

Scott I. R. Johnston

Toronto

Sidewalks in Toronto

By sirjohnston ~ September 29th, 2015 @ 3:02 pm No Comments »

To whom it may concern:

Since I witnessed the arrival of the first sidewalk tractors operated by city workers for winter snow clearing in my neighborhood several years ago, I have witnessed a rapid deterioration in our community’s ability to keep the sidewalks clean, while at the same time I have watched the rapid physical deterioration of the sidewalks themselves due the type of equipment used along with over salting. What galls me is that I have to pay for this terrible and expensive service whether or not I want it.

Would you please fix the problem.

Scott I. R. Johnston

If you are interested to know how I came feel this way:

I have been shoveling sidewalks since before people feared global cooling. Back when neighbours helped a sick neighbor shovel and if he was too old, a city crew did the work without charge. As for the homeowners who didn’t care to do their civic duty, the city did the clearing for them as well but the laggard paid later on his tax bill. The snow clearing market worked quite well with the competition being the city – as always the most expensive –  the gas station guy with a plow, the kid with the shovel and the homeowner. Competition worked out a price for quality and service which kept everyone happy except the laggards and the sidewalks were kept clear enough so that most people could get around on foot.

Today, however, the government has established a monopoly on sidewalk clearing, at least in my neighborhood here in Toronto. Why did this happen when what had been common practice and common law in a free market, had worked so well? Was ‘now everyone will get the same equal service’ the best ‘political’ solution for angry laggards being told what to do and fined for not? Or perhaps it was progressive political thinking that convinced enough lazy and naïve homeowners that adding this service, besides creating more jobs and helping the economy grow, wouldn’t cost any more?

When the first tractor appeared one winter afternoon several years ago, I had finished shoveling hours before. The tractor, which left a trail of snow across my driveway and down my sidewalk would have turned into ice so I cleaned up again for both me and fellow pedestrians. This “new ‘service’, with an anytime schedule for clearing meant dangerous walking would happen on some streets for most of the day. Furthermore, small snowfalls meant no tractor, so pedestrian’s boots with winter sun turned the light snow into ice which fewer homeowners bothered to clear because it was now someone else’s job. This treacherous, potentially litigious condition was solved by having the city crews salt preemptively, often so much the pulverized salt from pedestrian fills the air, punishing the lawns, trees and pets as well.

The “new service” also causes movement of the individual slabs making up the sidewalks. As the tractor bounces and jostles it’s way down the street, the tractor’s weight pushes the individual slabs down unevenly because the slab’s foundation wasn’t designed to handle this dynamic load. Little by little corners of slabs have popped up or down, sometimes entire slabs cracking into pieces from the tractor’s weight. Furthermore the blade pushed in front chips away at the newly raised corners and scraps away the thin layer of cement which otherwise protects the concrete below from salt amply provided by a hopper at the rear of the tractor. All of this prematurely destroys our sidewalks. And when the blade wanders off the sidewalk, more damage happens when the tractor’s blade takes slices out of peoples lawns.

When our government oversaw a mostly free market there was competition for quality, service and price. Sidewalk clearing as a government controlled monopoly, like any monopoly, always ends up with ever worsening service and terrible quality with ever higher prices. What unnerves me the most is that I have to pay for this service whether I want it or not.

Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau and all the ship of state

By sirjohnston ~ June 23rd, 2015 @ 1:33 pm No Comments »

The sameness that I see in all of our “leaders” is that they all are, more or less, populists, which makes them in fact followers of the will of the people which is, for better or worse, socialist.

From my deck chair, I see our ship of state like the Titanic, but on our ship there are many people on the bow who are waving and some screaming at Captain Harper, trying to alert him to the danger ahead. I become hopeful when I see that the Captain has at least slowed the ship down in a world of stormy economic waters. However, as a paying passenger, I would like him to tell me where he is planing to take the ship.

From where I can see about the ship, Mr. Mulcair is rearranging  the deck chairs and Mr. Trudeau is busy with the designers  to make the ship go faster. I can tell, our ship is still flying a Canadian flag from her stern but I am troubled to see the arrangement of the signal flags flying from her starboard spreader. The flag of Socialism is at the top, the “free markets” flag is too far down as are the small “c” and small “l” flags. It is time to rearrange the flags, and to declare a destination.

Scott I. R. Johnston

Further Reading

My Problem With “Health Care”

Supreme Court of Canada Gives Rights to Metis

Sidewalks in Toronto

Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau and all the ship of state

The Age of Insanity

The hidden costs of always trying to be in the centre

Protesting for fairness and equaility in the Western World

How to Fix a Problem

How the Toronto Maple Leafs can save Greece

Why do we call it “Health Care?”

2017 Scott's Thoughts