Wednesday, 16 February 2011

That's another way of putting it.

From The Telegraph:

Lord Warner, who is drafting plans to reform the elderly care system, said it would be unfair to expect the working population to foot the bill for looking after their parents’ ageing generation.

He warned that the “squeezed” middle-classes face potentially the greatest burden, amid concerns that it is already too late to help ease the “catastrophic” costs likely to hit the recently retired... he [also] warned that the independent commission drawing up reforms for the Coalition would have to consider how to exploit the “big chunk of potential” funding currently locked up in housing.

As I said over at HPC:

The whole point of having a "State" is to provide low-cost mass insurance to spread costs and risks and rewards.

When Lord W says he wants to "exploit the “big chunk of potential” funding currently locked up in housing" then how about "the State" offering universal free elderly care for all without means testing and raising the money to pay for it from LVT?

So if you are a member of "the working population" it is your choice how much you want to contribute towards that care by living in a smaller or a larger house. And if you are lucky enough never to need old age care, well that's your good fortune, and the value of remaining healthy until you peg it surely outweighs the cost to you of chipping in for those who don't.


Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

What Lord Warner means is that the Government, having already stolen everything that isn't nailed down, is now to extend its thieving to things that are.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BFOD, it may surprise you to learn that old-age care costs money, so somebody, somewhere has to pay for it.

chefdave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chefdave said...

@ BFOD, The housing market is already being held capitive by a cartel of theives. Removing their monopoly doesn't amount to an increase in net theft, on the contrary, theft would be reduced if the current ragbag of laws of taxes were replced with a simple LVT system.

James Higham said...

I've a post tomorrow morning on this. shall link to this post.

richard said...

Mark, are you being ironic? If so I apologise, but firstly a State has nothing to do with insurance, any more than a Mafia protection racket has to do with protection. Insurance policies are voluntary. Nothing wrong with that. NI "contributions" are compulsory, which proves they are not wanted. Nor are they necessary, nor are they ethical. My NI, if invested in a private scheme, would get me a helicopter ride to a Swiss clinic for an ingrowing toe-nail. Not stuck in a drunk-tank of a waiting room for six hours with a broken arm, or finding your granny starved and sitting in a pool of wee.
Why should anyone be forced to pay for treatiment for other people's diseses?
The value of remaining healthy has nothing to do with anyone else, never mind houses. "He has something, so take it off him and give it to someone else" is no way to run anything. Hence the State.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JH, I look forward to that.

Rich, I am quite serious.

The purpose of the State is to provide low cost mass insurance. It is cheaper for everybody to chip in a little bit for a national police force or national army than for everybody to hire his own security guards and mercenaries, etc.

And I have never supported National Insurance, 'tis truly a shit tax, so don't blame that one on me.

Now, it may be that people on the whole don't want to pay to insure other people, that's fine by me, but the same misery guts can stop bloody whining when it turns out they have to sell their house to pay for care.

But as usual, the Home-Owner-Ists don't want to pay for anybody else, but they want everybody else to pay for them

Anonymous said...

That the only certainties in life are death and taxes presumably still holds good in that period between "getting paid for working" and "death" we call reirement. All this angst about care for the elderly simply adds to and reinforces what I've seen and read recently which makes it plain that what "pensioners" are most guilty of is making that period far too long for some people (including possibly some Nurses) and it is certainly true that the tax burdens on those in work could be very substantially lowered if instead of being given a pension those "too old to work" were given a very nice party on their last day of working, which ended with them being handed a cyanide pill and a glass of the beverage of their choice to wash it down with .... that way the Big Society could soon become the little taxed little society .. and they would be able to progressively lower the um retirement - age ....however, I think on balance most people would prefer to actually get to see what that "retirement" things is actually like and as a quid pro quo pay their fair share of any taxes, including those leveied towards providing them the cost of intensive care if they unfortunately became very ill or infirm.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Anon, agreed, but let those who want there to be insurance pay for it.

They can do it through the tax system (in which case, let's tax their houses, seeing as they don't have incomes); or they can take out private insurance (in which case they will get ripped off); or they can pay it out of their own pockets. I'm not fussed as long as they don't try and dump the bill on young people yet again.

Anonymous said...

Mark - with you all the way on the solution(s) - I just despair, I think despair isn't overstating it, at the bile directed at people who have the temerity to live until they are quite old - which when you consider the amounts of money expended in certainly the last century with solely that aim in view can make you question your sanity when you see some of the bile - and equally, despair at the attitude held by what I have to nowadays refer to as some of my peers about "who should be picking up the tab for looking after "us" - the occasional meeting of minds not blinded by ageism or delusions of privilege through age - from each according to their means and all that shouldn't stop just because you reach 65 (or whatever) - would be a very pleasant change .. and on a related point any idea when the school curriculum will include having lessons on how precious little comes free and what the real cost is of things you might be lead to suppose are free - like being in school for example ...

AntiCitizenOne said...

I'd prefer plain-old risk-based insurance so smokers don't subsidise non-smokers filthy avoidance of enjoyable habits.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AC1, the problem with making smokers pay insurance for whatever modest expenses they cause (ten per cent of street litter, five per cent of house fires or whatever) plus cost of e.g. smoking related diseases is how to collect the money.

And then how do you work out the 'credit' to smokers because of slightly shorter average life expectancy i.e. much less old age pension claimed and overall lower health care costs per lifetime?

It strikes me as simpler to work out a net figure for the cost (quite possible negative) and to just add that to or deduct it from a packet of fags. Even if it is an overall cost 'to society', it would probably work out at a fraction of current duty plus VAT on a packet of fags.

richard said...

Mark, I think what you mean by low cost mass insurance is what I mean by money taken under duress and called tax, then used to produce a hugely expensive travesty of various businesses because there are no shareholders to keep happy and workers are not paid by results. I will be delighted to hear to the contrary, I'm always happy to admit when I'm wrong.
Chipping in for private police force? Why not? A private force could get paid cash for an investigation, or by insurance against crime. Crime is not as common as we're told, so policies would be cheap.
In the USA the fire-brigades are often manned by volunteers, so why (as in Egypt when the police fled the scene) can't the public organise protection of property etc. Anyone can take an oath of a peace officer. And you wouldn't need to hire a security guard if you were allowed to buy a pistol etc; you would BE your security guard!
Cost for a standing army - would a submarine or two plus warheads be deterrent enough against invasion? People contribute to RNLI voluntarily and it runs well enough, so they would likely pay a pound or two for brave navy men in their U-boat.
I won't whine if and when the State makes life difficult for me as a home-owner (eg high food prices caused by using crops and arable land for methanol, high energy prices by relying on - incredibly - windmills). What's the point? I know it can't help destroying others along with itself as it sucks up the last few crumbs and then goes broke. Not long now, either.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Richard, try applying commonsense and attack what I said rather than what you think I said.

I said: "the purpose of a state is to provide low cost mass insurance". The fact that governments and despots around the world have abused this and use it to serve their own ends is a separate issue.

Compare, I might have said "the purpose of a car is to transport people from A to B", you might say that I'm wrong because cars sometimes crash or break down.

We might disagree on what is low cost enough - I think that our pro rata share of the cost of national police and prison service is somewhere in the region of £100 a year each is quite good value, you think that a running a vigilante wild west state is either cheaper OR better, fair enough.