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« Go and read this | Main | NHS spending makes no difference....again. »
Wednesday
Feb142007

Tranzis really are socialists

Croydonian has beaten me to a posting on the fatal flaw in today's UNICEF report on child welfare, which ranked British children near the bottom of the scale. The report uses a relative measure of poverty - which as any fule no is essentially building a socialist bias into the report's results before the surveys are even performed. If you are a socialist country you will go straight to GO and collect £200. Anyone else can go straight to jail.

There's lot more wrong with the report, and I strongly urge you to read Croydonian's piece.

This inbuilt bias reminded me of another piece I was going to write; this time one which I actually failed to write at all, on the grounds that fisking Neil Harding was like taking sweeties from a toddler, and was a bit unsporting. But since it's relevant, I'll relay the story here. Neil had a post on public and private sector waste, in which he cited a World Health Organisation report which ranked Britain's healthcare system 18th in the world, and the US one in 37th. Neil invited us to conclude that the NHS gave better outcomes than the US.

However, a cursory look at the report shows exactly the same inbuilt bias as the today's report from UNICEF - it used "fairness of funding" as a measure in the ranking system, and so acheived an artificial boost for socialist systems. If you have a socialist system, it is apparently, by definition, better than the alternatives. We need to remember this next time we are told that the UN is the conscience of the world. It isn't. It's a PR agency for socialism.

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Reader Comments (4)

You are basically saying 'reality has a left wing bias', are you not?
Mar 3, 2007 at 3:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterNei Harding
Have you actually read the posting Neil? Your comment seems to suggest that either you haven't or that you don't understand it.

I'll try to spell it out for you. I am saying that the authors have chosen "how left-wing is the system" as one of the factors they will assess. This clearly has nothing to do with its efficacy, and is clearly designed to make socialist systems score higher.

The fact that you have claimed that the WHO has assessed the NHS as scoring so well means that either you can't see this, or that you can, but you are trying to hide the biased scorecard. The latter would make you a thoroughly dishonest person, so I prefer to assume that it is the former.
Mar 3, 2007 at 7:51 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
Look, the US spends twice per capita what we do on healthcare yet they have much worse infant mortality and over 40m who cannot afford any health insurance at all (with many millions more struggling to make payments of $500 a month minimum for reasonable cover (cover that still finishes at $500k - not enough for cancer treatments).

Go and be poor in the US and then have the misfortune to be ill or have an accident.

A small very wealthy minority have the best healthcare in the world in the US, but this comes at the expense of the rest.

The US system is so bureaucratic and inefficient the government spend almost as much per capita on health as what we do on the NHS, but because this is spent lining the pockets of private health companies who have to spend millions working out individual health premiums and billing accordingly - armies of admin are needed. Then there is the power of the drug companies freely spending millions on advertising and overcharging consumers for drugs they probably don't need (admittedly drug companies are starting to do this over here as well to our NHS (but at least adverting to the public is banned)).

None of this has anything to do with your imaginary bias. These are cold hard facts.
Mar 19, 2007 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterNei Harding
Neil, you always make me laugh. I've pointed you at the unavoidable fact that the UN report has includes as one of its criteria, the "fairness" of the funding mechanism. Yet you persist in telling me that the bias is imaginary, without presenting a single piece of evidence to refute what I've said. This is the equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and yelling "Na na, I can't hear you.

What has the US system got to do with anything we were talking about? You are blustering.
Mar 20, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBishop Hill

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