The Great Divide.

The Independent’s headline ‘This is a battle of ideologies’: Divided Delhi goes to polls in penultimate phase of Indian election.

Time Magazine’s cover says, “India’s divider in Chief.

I just want to ask my British friends if when the British go to vote during the next election, the Independent will say “Divided Britain goes to vote. After all Britain today is divided by Brexiters, No Brexiters, No Deal Brexiters and others with other point of view as well as having many political parties with different points of view.

I also want to ask my American friends, if when they next vote, the Time magazine will say, “Divided USA goes to vote.” After all, they too have the Republican and Democratic parties plus various shades within like the Tea Partiers, The Socialists in each party as well.

What kind of arrogant journalism is this?

Healthcare – A Right Or A Privilege?

This Friday’s 2 on 1 blog post’s topic has been chosen by Shackman. I am sure that the recent spurt of anti Obama Care developments in the USA must have weighed heavily on his mind when he chose the topic. Being an Indian, I am concerned with what happens in India where we have a long way to go to extend full health care benefits and I use every platform to propagate my views which are not original but, practical any way.

Regular readers of my blog posts know that one of the credos by which I communicate is “Why reinvent the wheel?” My politics and economics is conditioned by A F Hayek. I would simply quote him from two sources to buttress my view that Health Care Is A Right that should be given to every human being.

“All modern governments have made provision for the indigent, unfortunate, and disabled and have concerned themselves with questions of health and the dissemination of knowledge. … There are common needs that can be satisfied only by collective action and which can be thus provided for without restricting individual liberty. It can hardly be denied that, as we grow richer, that minimum of sustenance which the community has always provided for those not able to look after themselves, and which can be provided outside the market, will gradually rise, or that government may, usefully and without doing any harm, assist or even lead in such endeavours. There is little reason why the government should not also play some role, or even take the initiative, in such areas as social insurance and education, or temporarily subsidise certain experimental developments.”
(The Constitution of Liberty of 1960 Pages 257 and 258.)

“There is no reason why in a society which has reached the general level of wealth which ours has attained [NW note: Hayek was writing not in prosperous post-war America, but in war-torn, austerity-ridden Britain in 1943] the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom. …. [T]here can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody. … Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individual in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision.
“Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. There are many points of detail where those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to super-cede it by something different will disagree on the details of such schemes; and it is possible under the name of social insurance to introduce measures which tend to make competition more or less ineffective. But there is no incompatability in principle between the state’s providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom.
“To the same category belongs also the increase of security through the state’s rendering assistance to the victims of such ‘acts of God’ as earthquakes and floods. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.
“There is, finally, the supremely important problem of combating general fluctuations of economic activity and the recurrent waves of large-scale unemployment which accompany them. This is, of course, one of the gravest and most pressing problems of our time. But, though its solution will require much planning in the good sense, it does not — or at least need not — require that special kind of planning which according to its advocates is to replace the market.

“Many economists hope, indeed, that the ultimate remedy may be found in the field of monetary policy, which would involve nothing incompatible even with nineteenth-century liberalism. Others, it is true, believe that real success can be expected only from the skillful timing of public works undertaken on a very large scale. This might lead to much more serious restrictions of the competitive sphere, and, in experimenting in this direction, we shall have to carefully watch our step if we are to avoid making all economic activity progressively more dependent on the direction and volume of government expenditure. But this is neither the only nor, in my opinion, the most promising way of meeting the gravest threat to economic security.

“In any case, the very necessary effort to secure protection against these fluctuations do not lead to the kind of planning which constitutes such a threat to our freedom.”
(The Road to Serfdom, Pages 148-149)

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the subject. Thank you.

Seven Books That I love.

My friend Ekoshapu has thrown this challenge to me. I have to post just the image of the cover of the book every day for the next seven days to share with my readers my top seven favourite books.

I have begged off for tomorrow being already committed to the weekly 2 on 1 Friday post where Shackman and I write on the same topic.

This is my first.

What Do You Do?

A friendly exchange between a dentist friend who came back into my life yesterday after twenty years and me. He was away in the Middle East all these years.

Friend: So, what do you do nowadays?

I: Meditate.

Friend: Be serious.

I: Ok, I am a cruciverbalist.

Friend: What is that?

I: Please ask Google.

Friend: Be serious.

I: I solve crossword puzzles.

Friend: Meditating and solving crossword puzzles is not doing something. Those things just take a couple of hours every day.

I: What are you doing nowadays?

Friend: I have opened my clinic and established my practice.

I: So, how many hours do you actually attend to teeth?

Friend: May be two three hours every day.

I: So, you can be a dentist with three hours of what you do and I cannot be a cruciverbalist or a meditator when I spend three hours on the former and an hour and a half on the latter everyday?

Friend: Okay, let us change the subject.

BS In A Travelogue.

I came across  this article in the BBC news letter by accident. The lead to it had no reference to any numbers.

This pointer is what lead me to the article.

I cannot understand why the author is dumbing herself down. Does she seriously believe that it is difficult to remember a series of ten digit number code?

If I ask her for her mobile phone number, will she find it difficult to tell me the number? And from her name, she appears to be either Indian or of Indian, my part of the country, origin, all the more reason to disbelieve her self doubt.

Can you not remember your ten digit mobile telephone number, or for that matter, your landline phone number with country and area code numbers?

Who Or What Is The “Big Bad” In The Current World Order??

This is a googly or, if you are an American, a curve ball of a topic suggested by Shackman for this week’s 2 on 1 Blog Post.

I am not Buffy and do not have big bads in my life except for those that I keep reading about in our news papers or WhatsApp messages. I had to think hard and long to come up with an answer and after that too, I am not fully satisfied that it is the correct answer to this question.

I would choose Vladimir Putin for two reasons. You can read all about the first reason here and the second, here.

I have given enough reading material in the two links to support my conclusion and I have nothing more to add.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the question that he has raised. I will be very surprised if he and I agree on the answer.