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Burning Your Taxes

TAX - BY ANY OTHER NAME AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES

And so the residents of OKTown found themselves in the strange situation of having insufficient "health services" and at the same time paying taxes at the XXXX level, YYYY level and ZZZZ level (in addition to all the "other" taxes) and on top of that if they wanted an actual, functional hospital, they had to "donate"… "from the goodness of their hearth". Yeah…

And here comes the funny part. Remember Inga? Remember why she was so pissed off? Well, it so happens that this massive new hospital has massive parking lots on its grounds and in a massive building (purposely built as a parking lot) which are not free. Not one of them. If you actually want to go to the hospital, you must park in their parking lot… which is (all of them) ridiculously expensive.

But surely you could park somewhere else, right? Nope. The hospital is so "strategically located" that any parking spot anywhere in the vicinity is at least 500 meter away from the emergency entrance and at least 700 meters away from other facilities. And to make matters even better, there is no "stamping" of parking tickets. Basically, as a resident of OKTown you pay at least three levels of taxes, donate and on top of that, you have to be gauged by parking fees. You have no choice. None whatsoever.

And this is what pissed Inga off. Not the fact that she had to pay parking, but the fact that paying for parking was the last straw that broke the camel's back.

And there is lesson here for all of you, dear readers. Never, ever look at an event in isolation when it comes to governments. You must always look at the entire picture. More of this in our conclusions.

MOVING ON

But the story does not end here. Not a chance. There are a few peculiarities with the new hospital, which should be mentioned.

For example, the fact that it is probably the only government-sponsored and managed hospital in the universe that has only individual rooms. That's right. There are no rooms with shared beds. Sure! Why not. We don't need no stinking efficiency and economy. We don't need no economizing of money… after all… it's only tax money… and donation money… and parking money! Not ours!

The fact that this new-and-improved hospital which was built from the ground up from scratch, has an emergency room that it is smaller than the hospital it replaces! That's right. We don't need no room for sick people in emergency… we will just ask them to stay in the corridor… what the heck!

The fact that this new-and-improved hospital has gigantic monitors throughout its many rooms and waiting areas, constantly displaying visual information using a system which: a) has a GUI (graphic use interface) which even a supermarket would reject and b) displays (allegedly) private information! Here is a tip. If you don't want people to see private information, don't hang it from walls! We have to wonder who the contractor was and why were they using Lego software in the monitors… well… not really. Lego Mindstorms software would have been an improvement over the crap they got.

The fact that this new-and-improved hospital is under-staffed and will be under-staffed from the foreseeable future… because there is not more budget for staff is just another "perk".

The fact that in this new-and-improved hospital staff are usually pissed-off precisely because of understaffing and then patients (you know, people for whom this hospital was actually built) get crappy (very crappy according to some account) services has nothing to do with government "action".

The fact that this new-and-improved hospital has only double the capacity than the old hospital for an area which has already doubled its population and continues to grow at a very accelerated pace is not an issue at all. No sir!

The fact that there are so many people pissed-off with this new-and-improved hospital that there is actually a movement in the town to re-open the old one is not an indication of public opinion. Not at all.

The fact that this new-and-improved hospital will now be a magnet for people coming from other regions and it's on its way to be overrun beyond capacity has nothing to do with faulty apparatchik planning so-called skills. Nope.

The fact that this new-and-improved hospital is so poorly managed that tests for external patients that can be had in private clinics within one week or so, can only be had in this new and improved hospital waiting 2 or more months is "normal". Yes. Sure. Whatever...

And so on. But let's not be hasty here. The new hospital opened just recently. There are years and years in its future to perfect the art of screwing-up. There is no rush… after all Inga and her fellow residents are footing the bill. After all, it's just other people's money. No rush.

AND HERE WE ARE

The new hospital was designed in a much more "natural, healing-like" structure… so that patients can't get to it, get crappy service and must pay through the nose for this so-called "service". Of course!

This is classic government-apparatchik thinking.

"We need a bigger establishment"

"We need better facilities"

"We need more expansion"

Sounds familiar? It should, as this is classic apparatchik mantra. Why? Because to control a bigger structure, to control a larger staff, to control an ever-expanding budget is the wet dream of every bureaucrat.

Now consider what a free market would do. Would the free market ditch a strategically-located and fully functional hospital for an exorbitantly expensive monster far, far away from most populated areas (i.e. customers)? Of course not. The free market would have found a distributed solution. It would have created smaller clinics throughout the town in easy-to-reach locations. How do we know this? Because the free market is already doing so. Throughout the town there are many private clinics (i.e private ownership where services are paid by the state) which provide effective and efficient solutions to most of the population at a lower cost to the state than the hospital. Unfortunately, due to state's takeover of the "health care" sector, these private clinics can only exist within a small number of niches.  

And yes, we know the counter argument; that a hospital is a high-tech area which requires specialized equipment and highly skilled personnel. True. But then again, if this would be a valid reason not to have smaller hospitals, then such smaller hospitals or clinics would not exist all throughout the world! Take a look at the statistics, India, Brazil, South Africa, and so on. Every country that does not have monster "socialized medicine" has distributed healthcare that works effectively and efficiently. Actually, it works so well that the concept of "medical tourism" is now something of a common practice. Sure, we do acknowledge that in poorer countries wages are lower and we must factor this in, but at the same time, quality is oftentimes higher! Better services for far, far less cost! Just try this with "socialized medicine" and then come back and talk to us.

CONCLUSION

In a way, this story is a classic description of a government and people's thinking. Inga was totally incapable of seeing that her parking issue was related to something much, much bigger that happened decades ago. She couldn't see that her problem was directly related to the fact that tax money belongs to nobody and that it can be spent at the whim of politicians and they do so. Their tax money (and your's and our's) are always mis-spent without exception because even though sometimes governments get it right, most of the time they do not. Allow us to put it this way. Would you consider a company successful if they have one product that produces profits and other 99 that produce losses to the point that the company survives only due to loans? Not a chance, right? Well, the exact same principle applies to governments. Let's be clear, governments are not, repeat, not sustainable. This is so not because they can't operate but because they are not profit-driven. As such, they do not have the absolute need to be effective and efficient. Anything that can be put on a piece of paper goes. Bureaucracy supports anything. And this is how OKTown ended up with a new hospital that is horrifically expensive, ineffective and inefficient. A white elephant.

CONCLUSION II

But in order to understand what happened in OKTown, we need to go at back in history at least 200 years. At that point, governments discovered Central Banking and subsequently they implemented the "fractional reserve" system (in one way or another). Once this was done, they "managed" the economy "for the greater good" by manipulating interest rates. The most successful country in the world to do so was (and still is) the USA. This is so because they can print and export as much USD as they pretty much may want and never suffer the consequences (more or less) thanks to the Bretton-Woods II agreement. The last time that this printing was done at a massive scale (with Greenspan) so much money was created that it had to find other investment location and this location was (and still is) assets; i.e. housing. This asset inflation spilled over the entire world. Because of this effect the MonsterMunicipality had an unmanageable construction boom (and construction bubble - sounds familiar?) which politicians tried to "manage" by re-directing it towards the lands surrounding OKTown. This in term triggered the insufficiency of the local hospital which triggered the ambitions of apparatchiks to develop a larger (and more expensive) hospital (at more than four times the re-development costs of the old one)… which now OKTown residents are stuck with paying for…even when the services they receive are not what they want nor need. And for this reason is that Inga is stuck with paying for parking.

This chain of events can hardly be said to be secret or mysterious. It is all there, in the open… alongside with a ton of active and dynamic (i.e. ever-changing) political dis-information. If to these facts we add the overwhelming desire of politicians to retain their jobs through brainwashing people using "public education", the end result is stupid people. It is for this reason that we called our article "Your Tax Money At Resting". Because it is. Resting that is. It is not working for you. It is being wasted for you, in your name, for your inconvenience. This chain of events that started 200+ years ago will eventually come to an end. We know so because of historical facts, not fiction. All political systems eventually come to an end. And this is it. We are doing our job by letting you know and if you do yours, eventually, everybody will know. And when that happens, Inga will, most likely, be able to park for free because private hospitals (this time not paid for by the state) will be desperate to serve customers better… which will be capable of affording ever better services at ever lower prices. And this is how we solve Inga's problem. And yours. And ours.

But, then again, perhaps you like "free" health care. That's OK. It's your right to have it. Just one thing, as governments continue to fail and parking rates go up and "user" fees are implemented and keep going up and up and up and less and less and less people will be able to afford lower and lower quality health services, don't look at us. We told you so. In advance. When there was still time. We did our part, our job, but did you do yours?

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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