"Unfair" should be a banned word

Didact Sr. sent me an interesting article showing that the Swiss still, for the moment at least, have their heads screwed on right when it comes to the never-ending and frankly pointless debate about who should pay for health care:
Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to ditch the country's all-private health insurance system and create a state-run scheme, exit polls showed. 
Some 64 per cent of the electorate shot down a plan pushed by left-leaning parties which say the current system is busting the budgets of ordinary residents, figures from polling agency gfs.bern showed. 
Going public would have been a seismic shift for a country whose health system is often hailed abroad as a model of efficiency, but is a growing source of frustration at home because of soaring costs. 
"Over the past 20 years in Switzerland, health costs have grown 80 per cent and insurance premiums 125 per cent," ophthalmologist Michel Matter told AFP. 
"This is not possible any more. It has to change," said Dr Matter, who heads the Geneva Physicians Association, which backs calls to scrap the current system. [Didact: Uh... why?]
Campaigners who championed the push for a state-held insurance scheme have said it is the only way to rein in rising premiums and guarantee they are used efficiently and transparently. [Didact: Oh. That's why. Of course, the campaigners for state-run health care very conveniently left out the fact that a state-run system inevitably results in rationing and lines and queues.]
Sunday's referendum came after reformers mustered more than the 100,000 signatures required to hold a popular vote, a regular feature of Switzerland's direct democracy. 
The rejection of the plan by nearly two-thirds of voters is a major blow for pro-reform campaigners, given that recent polls had shown the "no" vote was likely to be 54 per cent. 
In a 2007 referendum, 71 per cent rejected similar reforms. 
The current system, which was used as a model for US President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare reform, requires that every resident in the wealthy nation of eight million hold basic health insurance and offers freedom of choice among the 61 companies competing for customers. 
In a country where the average monthly net salary is 4,950 Swiss francs (S$6,630), health premiums are around 400 francs per adult per month. 
That does not include out-of-pocket spending on treatment such as dental care, not covered by basic insurance. 
Premiums vary by insurer, age and region of residence, and clients can cut them by opting for an annual deductible - a sum they pay from their own pockets - of up to 2,500 francs. 
Critics say the current system is unfair because basic coverage costs a millionaire no more than it does a low-paid worker. [Didact: It's not even 10am and I've already got a headache, just from reading that sentence.]
Studies show that almost one-fifth of those on low incomes have skipped at least one monthly payment in a country where rents and retail prices are among Europe's highest. 
The reformers also allege that insurers have too much political clout, with research showing that 14 per cent of lawmakers have links to health firms or the sector's lobby groups. 
But for Switzerland's cross-party government and its right- and centre-dominated Parliament, the current system has proven its mettle and is debt-free, unlike the health services of France, Italy or Britain. 
"We don't have a deficit in Switzerland. It's a healthy system. Of course, we can criticise a lack of transparency by some insurers, but state control isn't going to solve such problems," said Ivan Slatkine, a senior party official from the rightist Liberal Radicals.
Witness the insidious tactics of the Left when campaigning for ever-greater control over our lives and our choices. Look at their mealy-mouthed use of the term, "UNFAIR". See how they twist the basic meaning of the word to attempt to justify their own warped agendas.

This is why people like me consider Leftism, in all of its many incarnations, to be pure evil. This is why we are so dead set against everything that liberals represent. This is why we take such an uncompromising view toward liberals and their enablers in the media and government, because we recognise them for what they are.

Let us look at the economic arguments presented in this article first, because it is of considerable interest to note that the people over at the AFP who wrote it left out quite a lot of facts in their research.

This is Switzerland's population pyramid in 2014:

Population pyramid of Switzerland
Note the bulge in the middle- classic case of aging population.

And this is what that very same population pyramid looked like in 1990, and then in 2000:

Well would ya lookit that... the bulge grew out over time. Whoodathunkit?!

Finally, here is a look at Switzerland's birth rate through time, taken from Google Analytics:

In the extremely unlikely event that you are a visitor to this pokey little blog, have stuck around, and yet somehow possess subnormal intelligence, allow me to explain this to you in simple English:
There are more people today in the age brackets that consume health care than there were in the past. Demand for health care goes up. Supply of of doctors and health care providers stays roughly constant or even declines, largely due to the fact that Switzerland's birth rate is far below replacement level. Demand is MANDATED by government decree stating that ALL residents of Switzerland must have health insurance. Hence, prices go up as demand goes up.
I do hope I don't have to draw any fancy supply-demand graphs to illustrate the point, seeing as I haven't yet had my first cup of tea for the day. This isn't a difficult concept to understand, it's basic economics- which is probably why the "journalists" who wrote this article left it out, come to think of it.

Having thus summarily dispensed with the economic rationale for rising health care costs, which should be rather obvious by now, let us turn to the truly irritating aspect of the argument presented by the campaign for government-run health care:
Critics say the current system is unfair because basic coverage costs a millionaire no more than it does a low-paid worker.
Things like this make me lose hope for humanity.

To illustrate why this argument makes so little sense, let's take two men- an average joe and a millionaire, of the same age, weight, height, family history of illness, etc., with the only distinction between the two being their respective incomes. In a marketplace where both men are able to shop for the lowest-priced policies that suit their needs, let us assume that they both happen to pick the same health insurance policy.

Now, insurance comes down to one very simple but profound concept: estimation of risk. No one in his right mind would ever insure a single person based only on that one person's history, because there would be absolutely no way to properly estimate the actual risk of having to pay out on the insurance policy. But, if you take a large pool of roughly similar individuals and then measure the probabilities of specific events taking place in that population, you can come up with a reasonably good guess of the probability that you will end up paying out on an insurance policy.

In our hypothetical example, because both men have identical risks, they will be charged identical amounts for their policies.

That is all it comes down to- correct estimation of risk. Such estimations use the fairest method ever devised to judge people- mathematics. There is nothing inherently unfair at all about taking an average earner's family history and medical risks, comparing them with a millionaire's, and concluding that the two men have the same risks and therefore should be charged the same premiums.

(I realise, of course, that this is a gross oversimplification. Among other things, wealthy folk have their own risk factors, which is why income is a statistically significant determinant of insurance prices.)

Ultimately, what we're dealing with here is a group that simply cannot understand mathematics. The best argument that these nitwits can come up with is that it's unfaaaaaiirr that those eeeeeevil rich people don't have to spend more of their money than someone who isn't rich. Because FAIRNESS.

Lose. Hope.

It's like listening to a bunch of screaming children whining about not having nicer toys than their friends, and the reason this is so grating is because it comes back to a very ugly human emotion: jealousy.

There are times when jealousy is not necessarily evil in and of itself. Sometimes, envy spurs us on to work harder and do better, so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labours and have nicer things. At those times, jealousy and envy can become productive spurs to doing good and great things.

Most of the time, however, jealousy simply turns inward and spurs on bitterness and hatred, and is used by the weak and the indigent to justify taking from those who have, and giving to those who have not.

Now, if those who have, were to give to those who have not, entirely out of their own voluntary choices, then there would be no need for discussion. What you do with your possessions and your hard-earned money is your own damn business; if for some unfathomable reason you were to give some of your money to me, entirely out of charity and Christian kindness, then I would gratefully thank you for it and we could both get on with our lives.

But the moment I start claiming that you have a car while I do not, and therefore I deserve to have an equal share of your car, I am in the wrong. I am arguing that it is right and proper that I take from you what I have not earned. This is covetousness, and it is nothing less than a sin.

And covetousness, ultimately, is the core philosophy of the entire doctrine of Leftism.

It is rooted in covetousness and as such is a violation of both natural and Scriptural law- which, since they both derive from the same divine source, amount essentially to the same thing.

So here's to the Swiss, who- for the moment anyway- have managed to retain at least some semblance of a grip on reality, and have rejected this naked attempt to ram a statist solution down their throats. There is still at least one thing left to like about Switzerland.

Here's another one. You're welcome.


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