How do you get rich? This is a question most of us have asked at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, some of us think the answer is to become criminals and then steal the property of others to live off the proceeds. Yes, this only works in the short-term, because if we were all to adopt this cancerous lifestyle choice, there would soon be little worth stealing, as the poor buggers in Zimbabwe are currently finding out. However, if you manage the process carefully and only steal the occasional golden egg from the goose, limit the number of parasites you allow into you hallowed ranks, and get yourself a handy monopoly on force and law, this process of wealth-enhancing theft can become perpetual. And so, lo, your happy band of robbers can settle down to become a respected mafia rather than a hated gang of pirates. And if your mafia can hang on for a couple of hundred years to absorb a few other surrounding mafias in an evolutionary process of power accumulation, it can even become a state.
So the answer to the original question would seem to be that one of the proven ways of becoming rich is to become, in this order; a terrorist, a mafiosi, and then a politician. It needn’t even take several hundred years, as the IRA has patently shown in Northern Ireland.
Obviously in the long-run, the effects of this “wetting my beak” thievery are difficult to detect, though most will admit that the effects create less growth in wealth than would otherwise occur. However, in the short-term of one man’s life, the gains for this criminal lifestyle choice can become immense, if only for just this one man.
Step forward Derek Wanless, the UK government’s favourite useful idiot, and former banker (when he was chief executive of Nat West before it was swallowed by its smaller rival, Royal Bank of Scotland, thus suggesting the nature of the man).
Yes, this Derek Wanless is the same Bozo who suggested that the NHS should have its budget doubled to improve its “service”. Remarkably, this chimed exactly with the thoughts of Gordon Brown, who sponsored the original research. Remarkable!
Obviously, the government completely cocked up the Wanless plan, for instance by paying doctors much more to do much less, with short-term careerists such as Alan Milburn and John Reid doing most of the damage, to help their government-supporting chums in the consultancy club to fill their boots.
Even the most generous of surveys has shown an achieved growth of just 10% in productivity in return for this 100% growth in NHS funding. My uncle’s pet stuffed Aardvark, Brian, could have done better than this. But what do you expect if you get other people to spend other people’s money, especially when those other people are terminally stupid socialists and terminally exploited tax payers? Given the increasing difficulty of getting a doctor’s appointment round my way, I would fail to be surprised if this 10% growth in “service” was actually a 10% cut, with the general mantra proving true that all government services become worse and more expensive over time, until in the end they all resemble the endlessly-subsidised London Underground.
However, given the Soviet nature of the NHS, I wouldn’t believe any figures produced by this grotesquely Kafkaesque “organisation”. Let’s just agree that if anyone had to pay directly for what you got from the NHS, the NHS would run out of paying customers in about 17.97 nano-seconds (and even then I’m being generous, with a spread of about 12 nano-seconds either way).
And so what was the opinion of the hapless Wanless, when asked once again by the socialist morons currently in charge of the train set to analyze these astonishingly poor productivity figures? Yep, that’s right. He said the black hole was hungry, so let’s feed even more wealth into its maw until it can’t stand any more.
But here’s the best bit. This Gordon Brown crony, with his beak in about 27 government pies, is a non-executive director of the Northern Rock building society, you know, the one that’s about to go bankrupt, even under a system of fractional reserve banking and even with the Bank of England lending Northern Rock tons of paper and a sterling printing press to literally make more money.
Simply hilarious. The ‘respectable businessman’ responsible for assigning £100 billion pounds a year of tax payers’ money into the maw of the NHS, and recently telling us it needs even more, is one of the same men responsible for placing into harm’s way a business worth hundreds of billions of pounds and shredding its assets into confetti. Gordon Brown really does know how to pick ‘em.
Mises was always worried that liberty would disappear under the thrall of a self-appointed elite of military officers, government bureaucrats, and fractional reserve bankers. It would appear that once again Von Mises was right, as he usually is. At least in the case of Northern Rock, which is about to disappear right in front of our eyes.
Ready. Steady. Pop!