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Pred and breakfast - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Pred and breakfast
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nja From: nja Date: January 10th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Obviously there's a libertarian argument that if not wearing a helmet's only going to harm yourself (a big if, but let's assume it's true), you shouldn't be forced to wear one. But given that the law says you have to wear one, as you say it ought to be up to Sikhs to make choices about what's important in their lives, obeying the law, riding a motorcycle, or wearing a turban.
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
One potential answer (though not exactly counter) to the libertarian argument is that if you smash your head open and spew grey matter everywhere, you're going to use up vast amounts more NHS money than if you were wearing a helmet, using up doctors, consultants, surgeons and nurses who could be dealing with something else - on average, at least.

Of course, if the person making the argument is a libertarian who doesn't believe the state should take any taxes at all and certainly not for medicine, that's not going to fly. That attitude is generally less prevalent in Britain than in (for example) America, though.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
you're going to use up vast amounts more NHS money than if you were wearing a helmet

True. So, do we stop people doing things that might make them need medical treatment, or do we refuse to treat people who could have avoided their illness/injury?
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
This sort of thing has come into the news recently, such as "Should people who take up smoking get lung cancer treatment?" or "Should fat people all just die?"

There aren't any exact answers, and I don't pretend to have them.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
There aren't any exact answers, and I don't pretend to have them.

Me either -- just interested in the questions. Though I feel that the answer should often involve a reminder that the existence of grey areas in the middle does not necessarily prevent people being able to come to some kind of majority consensus on the really-quite-distinct colours at the two ends of the scale. (It's sort of the opposite of the excluded middle, and I wish I knew a word for it.)

Not arguing with you in particular, just arguing, really.
olithered From: olithered Date: January 10th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
A smoker once told me that the tax they pay on tobacco is vastly more than their cost to the NHS.

I wonder if you could tax everything in accordance with the probable cost to society (or the environment) rather than its value?
lnr From: lnr Date: January 10th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, bunny.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if you could tax everything in accordance with the probable cost to society (or the environment) rather than its value?

I like that idea. Is there a word for it?

For bonus points (this may have been implicit in your suggestion -- if so, my apologies for unnecessary subtitling!) it should be taxed according to the probable net cost to society (most things have some benefit to somebody as well).
olithered From: olithered Date: January 10th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
If there is a word I'm not aware of it. Do you have any suggestions?

I like your extension (and had not thought of it), but I fear benefit is much harder to quantify than cost.
aldabra From: aldabra Date: January 10th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
> Is there a word for it?

Internalising externalities?
matgb From: matgb Date: January 11th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tax raised from smoking per annum, approx = £7.5bn Cost to NHS of smoking related illnesses (some of which are caused by, for example, car fumes anyway) approx = £2.5bn.

Ergo, as a non-smoker, I thank smokers the country over for keeping the taxes I have to pay down, and think they can have whatever they need.

A sort of tax to cover what you mean is, I think, a Pigouvian tax, but you'd need to ask someone like chris_dillow_fd for a real answer, I just read what they say...

(blame caramel_betty for my presence...)
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
it ought to be up to Sikhs to make choices about what's important in their lives, obeying the law, riding a motorcycle, or wearing a turban

It is, isn't it? Did I really miss a law that says Sikhs don't have to wear a helmet?
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php?title=UK_Legislation_connected_with_turban

Why it, apparently, only exempts Sikhs wearing turbans is another matter.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh.

Blimey.

How bizarre.

(Thanks!)
nja From: nja Date: January 10th, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the relevant law may predate your birth.
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