THE ETHICS OF SPENDING
As a consequence of these "scientific truths" that these so-called "Schools" provide to governments, the outcome is inevitable: public spending goes up. This raises an interesting ethical problem which we loath to tackle, but we must.
Note: in general terms we work very hard not to cross over into the ethics field because we consider that ethics is a personal choice utterly irrelevant to the principles of Libertarianism and Austrian Economics. Basically, you are free to believe anything you want as long as you do not interact with anybody's property without previous agreement.
Then why are we tackling this point? In order to bring the battle to the enemy, so to speak. Look, this is not complicated. If most of these so-called "Schools" depend from the government who pays their salaries, isn't there an ethical conflict of interest here? How so? Because the scientific method is supposed to be ethics-neutral. The scientific method does not bend to political systems or points of view. On the other hand these "Schools" do, while declaring that their methods are "scientific". They can't have it both ways. If their methods are scientific indeed, then they are ethically obligated to present their honest and scientific conclusions to their employers… but they seldom do so. Thus, they are not behaving ethically. On the other hand, they routinely "conclude" in or about the same direction as politicians want them to. Thus, they are not behaving ethically as scientists. See what we mean? But then again, we could be mistaken…
And now, let's go a step further. How can these "Schools" justify the ethics of what they are doing considering that many of their suggestions go against what people actually want and are based on arguably dubious or incomplete science? How many of such "Schools" are there who "conveniently" never seem to research public health care under a true free market? Why is that it is incredibly rare that they will even look into what happened with the human race when "Health" wasn't a "Universal Human Right"? Why is that almost every single time their so-called "research direction" is towards either a socialized health care system (yes, the type that was extensively tried before and worked so well in the USSR) or a public-private "partnership" (i.e. your taxes and your government debt being spent by lobbying corporations). Why? Where are the ethics of so doing? Hell! Where is the "scientific method" in it? If they are soooooo convinced that their way is the "right" way, then they should make their point scientifically! Again, ethically they can't have it both ways. Hell! Scientifically they can't have it both ways either!
Look, again, this is not complicated. We want true scientific truths and not opinions. We want true researchers doing the best they can using the best methods that exist and let the chips fall where they may. But once these scientific truths are revealed, then it is up to us, every single one of us, to make up our mind as to how to spend our money. We don't want any external (and dubiously ethical) organization dictating how our money will be spent without our knowledge nor consent because this is not their right. It is ours. This is not ethical. And if these so-called "Schools" operate within those parameters… well… you draw your own conclusions about their ethical standing.
PUBLIC HEALTH CARE AS A GRASROOTS ORGANIZATION
Yet another aspect of these so-called "Schools" that must be scrutinized is their cozy relationship with so-called "grassroots" movements. These movements are supposedly composed of plain people with a shared interest. Nothing wrong with this. We actually encourage thinking. The problem lies in the fact that they are not; grassroots movements that is. Allow us to put it this way, how many "grassroots" movements do you know that are distributed? This is, that they are not centralized, organized and directed using a hierarchical structure? Not many. Most so-called "grassroots" organizations are just that; organizations… which by so being have stopped being "grassroots movements" and have mutated into… well… organizations! Now, strangely enough, these organizations almost always seem to be biased towards the political left and strangely enough most so-called "Schools" seem to have the same philosophy and strangely enough many of the "leaders" of such organizations have or had relationships with these so-called "Schools".
There is nothing wrong with a true movement because it implies that people are thinking, which is always good. However, we do have a big problem with organizations which are based on a hierarchical structure mandating what people must think. Such organizations typically do so through their policies and goals which are, by definition, immutable and typically originating in a tiny think-tank. See the difference? The wisdom of crowds versus the elitist point of view of a tiny cabal.
If you study how these so-called "Schools" operate, you will find that most of the time they loosely associate with "Grasroots Organizations" but almost never with "Grasroots Momevments"… hummm… we wonder why? Wouldn't it be because their respective think-tanks coincide for the most part? Neeeeee…. That couldn't be it…now… could it?... coincidence…coincidence…nothing more.
If you look at how the politics of health care (the way your tax money is spent) is determined, you will notice that it is almost always organizations that determine the general direction and almost never movements. Interesting huh?
It is for this very reason that the cozy relationship between these organizations and these so-called "Schools" is to be feared; because both influence governments and both reinforce each other. They operate as an ongoing self-fulfilling prophecy. And your opinion about how to spend your money? Thank you very much but we got it covered. You needn't bother.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Most of these so-called "Schools" operate on public budgets to a large degree. They obviously do so because they are incapable of proving their relevance and usefulness to the majority of the population which, consequently, has no reason to fund them. They must therefore use a political backdoor to "obtain" (ejem!) money from you through the expedient process of getting it from the people who stole it in the first place i.e. the government.
But that's just it. If these so-called "Schools" cannot be self-financed, then they should not have the right to exist and much less teach their points of view. By all rights the process through which they exist in unethical because one of the key basis of ethics is informed consent. Have you given your government your informed consent to spend your tax money in funding these so-called "Schools"? Nope, right? And there you have it.
But let's go a step further. If these so-called "Schools" are soooooo critical and their leaders are sooooooo convinced of their opinions, then let them put their own money where their mouth is! Let them get a regular job just like everybody else or become an entrepreneur just like everybody else and earn money to create truly independent and scientific organizations. But no. Not a chance. This is not how it works. The people at the helm are mostly not interested in actually deliver workable solutions within a true scientific methodology. They are there to "foster dialog" and "enhance comprehension" and to deliver "educational structures" to "increase the wider understanding" of such "social issues" within an environment of "scientific methodological research" whose goals are to "study the intricacies and opportunities" of "key issues" in "public health care" and to deliver "viable options" for "policy makers". And let's not forget to throw in "innovative thinking", "respect", "dignity", "environmental stewardship", "social justice" and "sustainability" for good luck. Got it now? Gooooood!
The reason why we insist on such so-called "Schools" being self-sustainable is because money is the ultimate judgement from people. If people don't want something, they don't buy it. Why should it be different with these so-called "Schools"? It isn't. They claim that they provide some sort of mysterious "service" to "society". Well, if that's the case, why is "society" telling them with their wallets to pack and go?
JUSTIFICATION BY CONCLUSION
Pick a so-called "School" and take look at their "achievements" and then take a look at their "Goals". Typically what you will find is a long winded litany of "achievements" justifying their existence. In other words, we, from the School of XYZ were instrumental in the implementation of policy ABC in the Country of MNO; this demonstrates our commitment to the wellbeing of society and the value of the services we provide.
Hold on. Just because the government of the Country MNO implemented what this "School" suggested it does not mean that the suggestion is a scientific truth nor that it makes sense nor that it is mostly correct! It only means that the government of the Country MNO accepted and implemented such recommendation. There is no value attached to it because we don't even know if there is a value! And we will never know because chances are excellent the recommendation is not a scientific truth!
This pattern of justifying their existence through the listing of influences in government actions is typical for many so-called "Schools". Their so-called "value" to society is the "influence" they exercised over governments, not true value provided by scientific truth.
Remember, "influencing" government is called lobbying and its purpose is to benefit so-called Special Interest Groups; not to benefit the majority of the people. Voting is the process of "influencing" governments for the benefit of the majority of the people (allegedly…). If lobbying ends up helping people, that's a bonus, but it is not its primary objective. Same here. Some of the measures that were suggested and implemented may have ended up helping people, but the lobbying done by the so-called "Schools" was done in their behalf first and foremost.
If these so-called "Schools" wish to become believable then they must stop using logical fallacies as the main argument to justify their existence. Again, put your money where your mouth is. Develop scientific truths and make them available to the people at large and then, and only then, we will talk.
And how about their "mission" which is typically defined along the line of creating, disseminating and applying public health knowledge for the education of leaders, supporting social change and providing a service to the broader community? Well… this is all fine and great but where is the proof? Where is the knowledge that they are supposed to disseminate and educate? Well… typically this knowledge is buried deep in academic papers (which you have to pay to access) or delivered through courses (which you have to pay to access) or delivered through contracts (which somebody has to pay to get). Dissemination does not mean free! Which in practice means that if you don't pay for it you are s*it out of luck.
And let's not even mention the "service to the broader community" tidbit. If you actually bother reading the titles of the "papers" they produce, these titles are typically obscure and irrelevant to Public Health Care in general and have no effect on the broader population. Sure, academically speaking they are interesting, but that wasn't the point! The point was to help society at large!
So much for their "mission".
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.