Bob Kerslake (Lord Kerslake) has almost hit a nail on the head in comments to the Guardian this morning when suggesting that if the NHS is to survive than an extra 3p on the basic rate of income tax is needed.
So let me pick up the hammer and finish the job. The question is a simple one. It is, for the economy as a whole, do we want more stuff (including useless savings for some) or do we want to be have decent healthcare?
You could add education, a social safety net, housing, security and defence into that last issue, but they’re just elaboration.
We’ve reached the point where three things are obvious. The first is that a few in the UK have far too much.
The second is that most in the UK could have all they need and a fair bit of what they want (you can never do better than that).
And some, of course, both here and elsewhere (where we do have obligations) do not have enough. But we could certainly tackle this domestically and to some degree internationally if we so wished.
To put it another way, we could all have sufficient or more in the UK.
And yet we don’t have that; not by a long way. And that’s because the market delivery mechanism we use, backed by a politics based on personal greed, deny us that chance.
You cannot be indifferent to this choice. This is the issue at the heart of 21st century political economics.