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40 Responses to Inflation

  1. Kenny the Scot says:

    I have to say that I recently had a physical examination by an ANP, then a GP, followed by an ultrasound scan at my local hospital, which showed a tumour on my left kidney, which meant a CT scan, which was assessed by a consultant. I then had to go into the main hospital at ARI to see a surgeon, who ended up booking me in for surgery just three weeks later. I was admitted to hospital & had robotic surgery (the machine cost 1.5 mill, apparently) & have seen an ANP twice since then, a GP 4 times, and I’ve seen the surgeon again to talk about the histology, a few weeks after the surgery. I even had a doctor out to visit me at home one evening. Made a phone call & he appeared at my door about an hour later. I shall be going in for another ultrasound & x-ray in Feb, and will have another CT scan six months after that.

    So the NHS has saved my life.

    And I’m walking about today with my bank account exactly as it was in June. There are no billing departments in our hospitals. So I may have had health issues lately, but I have had no money worries about any of this. I have thought to myself a couple of times, I wonder how any of the guys over at Ken’s site would have done, if they’d been in my position. Would they have had a bill? Could they have paid it? What if they couldn’t?

    • Kurt says:

      Who paid for it if you didn’t? TANSTAAFL.

      • Kenny the Scot says:

        Note what I actually said.

        • rick says:

          Still you have yet to answer the question. The closest you got was when you wrote, ‘I wouldn’t know.’ in reply to Aesop. Of course, that is not an answer. So get on with it, let’s have it.

          • Kenny the Scot says:

            Q: “In the mean time, tell us how much fun it is to have 40-45% income tax, then pay 20% VAT on everything you buy on top of that.”

            A: I wouldn’t know.

            That is indeed an answer to Aesop’s request.

            As to what “Kurt” point – that was addressed too.

            Once again: Note what I actually said.

            “I’m walking about today with my bank account exactly as it was in June. There are no billing departments in our hospitals. So I may have had health issues lately, but I have had no money worries about any of this.”

            The obvious logical point here is that the assertion that any medical services, anywhere in the world, would be provided for free was never made.

            How could anyone ever think that? Obviously, hospitals cost money to run. (I think I mentioned that the robotic gear they used on me cost £1.5 million – they didn’t get that out of a lucky bag.)

            Now, moving on:

            “I have thought to myself a couple of times, I wonder how any of the guys over at Ken’s site would have done, if they’d been in my position. Would they have had a bill? Could they have paid it? What if they couldn’t?”

            How can I put this? Still haven’t answered those questions, haven’t even come close. So get on with it, let’s have it.

            • Butch says:

              You mention several times that your health care is free. It is NOT free. You and everyone in the UK is paying for it.

              It is kind of like being a member of a huge health insurance plan with millions of members. Except being run by gov, it probably costing you double of what a good commercial health insurance costs, and you have no choice. You have to pay income taxes through the nose and a stinking VAT on top.

              And we needn’t even mention how much of the tax money earmarked for NHC is misspent or squandered because on gov corruption.

              Free! The Londoners have finally conquered the Scots. Pity

    • Aesop says:

      Write back and tell us how you feel about NHS when you’re 70, and they tell you then “Sod off, mate, you’ve had a good life, but no more for you, so go home and settle your affairs, there’s a good chap.”

      I’ll wait. ;)

      In the mean time, tell us how much fun it is to have 40-45% income tax, then pay 20% VAT on everything you buy on top of that.

      We have the sort of healthcare here you describe.
      It’s called the VA.

      Google the newspaper stories hereabouts on how that works.

      Glad you’re doing well, nonetheless, but you can keep the glories of socialized medicine.

      • Padawan says:

        I have not one damn good thing to say about the VA, especially after the way they’ve treated Warhorse and doubly especially after what they did to his dad.

      • Daz says:

        Try being uninsured and sick in the USA , a 34 year old friend is dying of cancer she cant afford the hospital and no hospital will touch her , painkillers is all they offer .

        • WoodBurner says:

          There are hospitals that will treat her. Try OSU for starters, great staff and compassionate care. Best of luck to your friend.

        • Kenny the Scot says:

          There it is.

      • Kenny the Scot says:

        “Write back and tell us how you feel about NHS when you’re 70, and they tell you then “Sod off, mate, you’ve had a good life, but no more for you, so go home and settle your affairs, there’s a good chap.””

        Don’t know how you managed to create that straw man, but that’s what it is. My uncle has had so many serious health problems I don’t know where to begin. He’s taken very good care of. My mother (his younger sister) is in her late seventies – same story.

        “In the mean time, tell us how much fun it is to have 40-45% income tax, then pay 20% VAT on everything you buy on top of that.”

        I wouldn’t know.

        On the other hand, tell us how much fun it is to become ill and on top of your health worries, to face a massive bill which you cannot pay, and which will send you into bankruptcy. That sounds like great fun!

        “Glad you’re doing well, nonetheless, but you can keep the glories of socialized medicine.”

        “Socialized” medicine? It’s a question of freedom. In a civilised country, one of the things a State can do for the people who live there is provide health care. In fact, this is one of the few things that a State can legitimately do for its people. Keep law and order, preserve our freedom so we can live our own lives as we see fit, and other than that, politicians can generally fuck off, so far as I’m concerned.

        So, the freedom of an individual – what Isaiah Berlin described as your “negative” freedom. This is the range of action open to you – the number of doors open & unlocked before you in this life. The more “doors” the more “negative” freedom. (As it is called.)

        Under the NHS the patients’ negative freedom is preserved – you come out of hospital with your previous live intact, and with no financial burden to meet whatsoever. You can resume your life as it was before. Whereas, if you have a gigantic bill running into five figures, how on earth are guys like you or me ever going to pay that & not have it affect our lives? We’d be financially screwed, which would definitely slam shut a few doors … so I see it as a question of preserving your life and with it your freedom to act.

        The NHS is far from being a perfect system, but we fought the war for something, and it sure wasn’t to defend Poland! The working people of Britain wanted to get something out of the war, which is why we voted Churchill out in 1945, and guys like Nye Bevin – who tore into Neville Chamberlain when he made his unsolicited war guarantee to Poland in March 1939 btw – managed to get us something. It’s called the NHS.

        Tell me something, just out of interest – if you, personally had to go through what I just went through – exactly the same scenario – would you have had to pay a bill? How much? Would you have been able to afford it?

        • Aesop says:

          So your idea of “freedom” includes the government, gun in hand, picking your neighbors’ pockets to cover your personal problems? How does that help their freedom?

          Interesting concept.

          Hereabouts, we call thinking you have a reasonable claim on other people’s resources and the fruit of their labors a sense of entitlement. It is not a compliment.

          It appears public schooling works about as well as socialized medicine.

          If I had to go through what you went through, the insurance I carry personally would cover it. I would have had to pay a deductible, per mutually contracted obligation. And I could afford that out of what I keep available for such emergencies.

          Oh, and I wouldn’t have to pick my neighbors’ pockets to pay for any of that.

          So I guess it just depends on whether one has any moral scruples about sanctioning legislative robbery of strangers rather than taking personal responsibility.

          You’ve illustrated the point beautifully.

          Thank you.

          • Kenny the Scot says:

            What a pile of shit. Typical half-educated, brainwashed Yank who thinks they have the whole world figured out, but who doesn’t know their arse from their elbow.

            You’re “picking the pockets” of all the other people who pay medical insurance to cover the costs of your personal treatment, rather than “taking personal responsibility” for all of your own medical expenses, and simply paying your own way – same diff, pal.

            You think any insurance company is going to send you a cheque that’s worth way, way more than any contributions you’ve ever made , just out of the goodness of their hearts? That money they’re paying out to pay your medical bills doesn’t grow on trees – it comes out of other people’s pockets. The “fruits of their labors” – that’s some “sense of entitlement” you have there.

            And if you’re sick, then you’ll get a bill too, into the bargain – well, shit, you’re lucky that you think you could afford it. As one of the other people from the good old US of A has already said on this thread – other people can’t. I guess all those other people just have to die then. Obviously, that’s a fantastic system.

            Care to read the original response again – if you have a few attempts, maybe you’ll understand it.

            What a fucking dumbass, LOL

            • Aesop says:

              No, genius, your point was well-understrood the first time, by everyone but you.

              And I don’t think I could pay my bills, I know I can. Saving money for life’s emergencies isn’t that difficult a concept, at least for most people.

              And nobody’s pocket would be picked, because none of them were compelled at gunpoint to pay premiums, nor was the company compelled to offer me a policy at a given premium rate. In fact, they’re generally looking for people to take them up on that offer, and spend millions of dollars of the annual profits to advertise to find people to do just that. Maybe you’ve heard of the concept.

              This is the difference between voluntary business arrangements between free men, versus socialist coercion by the state at gunpoint.

              I’m guessing they didn’t cover the finer points f that where you are, or perhaps you were sick that day.

              And if I make a claim, and it’s covered by the policy, the payments are a contract between me and the company, out of their assets. They acquire those every month everyone pays them for coverage, and nothing happens. Curiously, owing to the mad profits if you do the job well, none of them seem to whine about that arrangement.

              Maybe in your consummate wisdom, you could look up the operating principles for, say, Lloyd’s of London, and get back to us.

              No one’s pocket is picked when I pay for a service, and they fulfill their obligations by disbursing a check to cover their obligations. That’s how a business contract like insurance works.

              So you don’t even know what you don’t know, about life, business, insurance, the blanket of socialism you live under every waking moment, or how free markets and contracts work.


              And if you wouldn’t know about a 40-45% tax rate, and a 20% VAT, you’re either barely employed, or else unemployed, a tax cheat, or both. Color me shocked. We have welfare queens and tax dodgers here too, but I shouldn’t be surprised to find out it works the same way there. Over here, they don’t generally flaunt it on the internet, but hey, whatever works for you.

              If I was writing a poster-child under-educated self-entitled twaddle-spewer as a fictional character, I couldn’t have done a more spot- on job than you have without any further assistance.

              I’d suggest you get a refund on any diploma you might have earned, but as you wouldn’t have paid for that directly either, it’d be pointless.

              Cheers, and best wishes when NHS falls on its face. Like it will:


          • Kenny the Scot says:

            It goes back to the fundamental question of political philosophy – what is a “State” for? What is its proper function?

            Interesting question, & there are some good answers out there. One approach usually is to imagine what life would be like in the “state of nature” – Hobbes is usually quoted here.


            If one imagines a “state of nature” where every individual puts their own interests first, then it is difficult to see past Hobbes’ vision of a war of all against all. Of course we don’t live in a world like that, and one of the reasons why is that each of us has found ourselves living in a nation state.

            (Crispin Sartwell is good on the whole anarchist thing, the whole anti-State line of thought btw. (aka Professor Crispy))

            So in the nation states we find ourselves living in, people accept group arrangements in order to avoid having to pay, as individuals, the catastrophic costs of medical treatment for serious illnesses.

            In some nation states the group arrangements consist of people who pay money every month to insurance companies, and who then rely on the insurance companies to use other people’s money to bail them out if they are ever ill. In other nation states, all the citizens pay into the same fund, and everyone has access to the same medical safety net. In both cases, other people’s money is used to provide medical treatment for any individual person who becomes seriously ill.

            In both cases, a particular individual could go their whole lives paying into the group arrangement without ever becoming ill and making a claim. In which case, all they have done is provide the “fruits of their labours” to help pay other people’s expenses.

            On the other hand, in both cases, an individual could become seriously ill and end up claiming far more funds than they had ever, or will ever, pay in.

            The one thing which one can say about the group arrangement which exists in the nation state I happen to live in, is that it preserves the negative freedom of its citizens, by providing all necessary medical treatment without ever issuing an invoice to a patient. Sure you pay your taxes every month, just as people in other nation states pay insurance premiums every month. But you never get any big bills! Whereas, in other nation states, patients are issued with sizeable invoices which can be financially ruinous (think Walter White in “Breaking Bad” – that story only makes sense in an American context).

            There are bound to be pros and cons to both group arrangements, but one real advantage to the British system is that anyone who becomes seriously ill can receive all the treatment they need, and not get a bill at the end. One can walk out of hospital with one’s bank account just the same as it was on the day they went in.

            So what is the function of a state? To keep some sort of law and order, so that people can go about their business, however they see fit. And that’s about all. I’m all for minimal governmental interference in people’s personal lives. But setting up an institution which can preserve the negative liberty of its citizens, by providing medical care without ever hitting anyone with a giant bloody bill, can be seen as part of the legitimate function of a state.

            As noted earlier, the British working class people wanted to get something out of the war, because that war certainly wasn’t fought to defend Poland, and the working class does not now, and did not then, give a flying fuck about the British Empire. So all of Churchill’s yammering on that subject fell on deaf ears, I can assure you. No – the working class in Britain voted Churchill out of office in 1945 because they wanted something tangible out of the war, something that would improve the quality of their lives – and people like the great Nye Bevin set up the NHS. And it’s a good job he did, or who knows how many working men and women up and down the country would have popped their clogs due to lack of funds.

            So do me a favour and take all of your half-baked American soundbites, which you have been brainwashed into believing in, and stick them all right up your fucking poop-chute.

            In the alternative, read a fucking book. It’d do you good.

      • Kenny the Scot says:

        “Write back and tell us how you feel about NHS when you’re 70, and they tell you then “Sod off, mate, you’ve had a good life, but no more for you, so go home and settle your affairs, there’s a good chap.”” – Aesop.

        “Try being uninsured and sick in the USA , a 34 year old friend is dying of cancer she cant afford the hospital and no hospital will touch her , painkillers is all they offer.” – Daz.

        Guess you don’t have to wait till you’re 70 to be told to fuck off and die in the good ol’ US of A, eh?

    • Handy Deplorable says:

      How many of those procedures did you have to go to the US for?

      • Kenny the Scot says:

        I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. I’ve had a doctor come right to the house to see me, an hour after I phoned the call in. That is normal where I live – through the night, too. You’re ill at 3 o’clock in the morning – phone in & you’ll be attended to just as if it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. As for distances: I attend the local health centre, which is 6 minutes away from where I live. The main hospital, where I had the CT scan and eventually the surgery, is under an hour’s drive away. I know someone who was in my class at school who recently had a heart attack, and they were helicoptered into the main hospital, got there in minutes.

        The system is far from perfect, but one thing you can say is there are no invoices handed out as you’re leaving the hospital. No, you’re as free to live your life, financially speaking, as the day you became ill. Which is kind of important, if you want to have a life after a serious illness.

    • J- says:

      At my income level, the best estimate I get from the internet is that I would pay 55% of my income in taxes in the UK. I pay 32% in the USA. That’s a difference of $20,000. I had kidney cancer too. My bill by the time I was done (no Chemo) was about $10,000. So all things being equal, I’d pay a lot more in taxes to get no bill from the NHS than I would to have insurance and a get a bill for my treatment. And that is only one year. In the UK I’d pay that tax rate every year even if I don’t have cancer.

  2. bobby vee says:

    1979 daughter born carswell afb ft worth tx $8.
    1981 son born port royal naval hospital beaufort sc $10
    1983 son born naval hospital/clinic iwakuni japan $14
    1986 daughter born naval hospital cherry point nc $18
    enlist in the marines,see the world, and have your kids born all over the place…

  3. fjord says:

    7 days in the hospital???

    They’d have to commit me to another kind of hospital after that confinement.

  4. Tim in AK says:

    And then the gubmint and the lawyers got involved and “fixed” our healthcare system….

  5. rob says:


    When my daughter was born in Austin in 1965 the bill was $125, doctor hospital and all.

  6. Rob in Katy says:

    Yep, when you subsidize it or over insure it, inflation happens.

  7. Cederq says:

    I was born in 1958 in Michigan and I am a twin and my dad said the combined bill was $350.00 for 3 days for me and my sister for another two days in Intensive Neo Natal. If we get the damn fed and state governments out of medicine and rain in insurance companies you would see that today.

  8. doubletrouble says:

    It’s worse than inflation- that bill would be less than $1300 today if inflation was the only cause.

    • Joe says:

      Exactly what I thought…. Inflation? Horse doo-doo.
      Add corrupt government manipulations skewing the market, and greedy corporations working with corrupt government-types.
      Same model in education.

  9. Andy says:

    Fuck me.

  10. beefnguns says:

    My bud’s heart attack billed him over a Million.

  11. Aesop says:

    Okay, so $119.80 in 1933 is $6911.43, now.
    That’s the actual inflation from then to now, based on an ounce of gold.
    $26/oz then, +/-$1500/oz today.

    • Phssthpok says:

      Point of order: Current gold valuation in FRN’s is roughly 1200

      Correct adjusted for ‘inflation’ cost is more like $5530-ish (Which kinda makes things even worse in a way!)

      • Aesop says:

        Point of order:
        You’re looking at the spot price. Nice but irrelevant.
        The actual price has been as high as $1800/oz and as low as $1100/oz in the last seven years.
        I roughly averaged that.

        Put another way, your current dollar is worth about $0.03.
        Just from inflation.

        And the medical arts have improved in all respects just a wee bit since 1933, which may account for just a tad of difference in billing as well.
        Including the sunset of amputation as a reasonable practice for infection, for openers, a practice in 1933 unchanged from civil war surgery, or medieval times, when I imagine the doctor’s bill was a good bit lower as well, if you didn’t mind “paying” an arm or a leg.
        Penicillin was an accidental discovery in 1928, and not understood to be a medical advance by the discoverer for over a decade after that.

        In 1933, antibiotics as such were essentially non-existent.
        Just saying.

        Now look at the economy in 1933:

        And then look at that $118.50 bill again:
        It’s about 9 weeks’ pay.
        It’s 10 months’ rent.
        It’s 1/4 of the price of a new car.

        That’s if, at the height of the Great Depression in 1933, you even had a job.
        True anywhere on the planet that year.

        And in February, you still couldn’t get a legal drink of alcohol, anywhere in the U.S.
        Prohibition wasn’t repealed until December that year.

        The infant mortality rate in 1933 in the U.S. was 57.1 (deaths per 1000 births). That’s 1 out of 20.
        It’s currently 5.8. That’s 1 out of 200.
        Flu, measles, and diphtheria were rampant, and killed more people than guns, every year.

        Life is more than just dollars and cents. And nostalgia, as a general rule of thumb, is generally a half-thought glow around a much worse time period.

    • Butch says:

      Today’s spot Gold price closed at $1212.30. Just a couple of bux off the $1500.

  12. Padawan says:

    I recently saw an “estimate” from the lady who drives my afternoon bus from her OB’s office for the baby she’s going to have next year. Just for the labor, delivery and 48 hour hospital stay is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000. Add in all of the monthly appointments and it comes to around $34,000.

    That’s as long as she has a healthy and “normal” pregnancy. She told me today she’s considering parking her bus, popping the kid out on the side of the road then going right back to work.

  13. Daryl says:

    Dad used to say I cost him 85 dollars. Twenty seven years later my first was about two grand and five hundred more two years later for the second.

  14. Don in Oregon says:

    I remember when my youngest sister was born, Dad stopped by the bank to get some cash, showed me the first $100 bill I’d ever seen, and said, “Having children is expensive.”

  15. Antibubba says:

    All health care is rationed. ALL OF IT.

    So the two choices come down to whether a faceless government “death panel” says it’s your time to die, or a faceless corporate peon tells you that they won’t cover your procedures anymore, which cost $5,000 each out of pocket (but costs $23 in Canada).

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