Sunday, October 23, 2005

Just A Guy Who Helps Pay For It All

This is exactly right. So much for the classless society. The whole 'key workers' scam is just another excuse for the government to channel bribes to the Turkey Army. Obviously, there's the simple fact that without the tax revenue raised by the productive, the gravy train would grind to a halt, but there's more to it than that. Consider the relationship between one of the most loved groups of public sector workers and one of the most hated groups of private sector workers, namely GPs and drug company reps. On the one hand, saintly healers, on the other, grubby, money-grabbing parasites.

Thing is though that things are a little more complex. Reassuring though it is to think of GPs carefully setting aside a day a week to keep up with the jounals, it doesn't happen like that. In fact, most doctors have the same relationship to drugs that taxi drivers have with their cab. Sure, some of them are the equivalent of folks who know every nut and bolt, but most have only the most superficial knowledge (really - if you want to see a doctor panic, wait until he prescribes something, then ask him how it works). So, they don't have the time to keep up with the literature, and wouldn't understand what they were reading anyway. How do they keep up to date ? Government schemes ? What do you think ? Nope - most doctors learn about new treatments from those despised reps. Sure, those reps have their own interests at heart, but as Adam Smith reminds us, there need not be a conflict between self-interest and social good. All of which is by way of saying that without those almost proverbially non-key reps, the NHS simply couldn't operate as it does. Hence, the absurdity of dividing the country into 'key workers' and other ranks.

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