Sunday, 11 January 2009

In the best interests of our patients

A while ago, I read a book called “More Sex Is Safer Sex” by Steven Landsburg. The book is not actually as exciting as its title suggests, as its main thrust (pardon the pun) is about economics and the cost of externalities, a subject I was particularly interested in at the time. The book itself isn’t particularly good, there's lots of sloppy thinking and Mr Landsburg has an annoying habit of presenting opinion and speculation as hard fact, but there is something in that book that I’ve really taken on board.

It’s basically that, with every political decision that’s made, there are winners and losers and it’s often not about the money at all. If a council approves the building of a new road, who really gains from that decision? Who loses out? It’s important to bear this in mind when you hear about a particular decision being made by politicians, or by anybody else in power.

I’ve taken this to heart and I always try to work out who really benefits from various political decisions.

Have a read of this and decide for yourselves. Who is really benefiting from this? Who is really losing out?

1 comment:

Jo said...

You can do similarly good analysis to do on any bit of information you are given (it is what I got trained to do as part of my History degree - the only useful thing that I carried forward into my working life!), particularly if you are taking in news - why am I being told this? What benefit is there in me knowing this? Why has the language been used the way it has? What am I not being told?