OK, well, but,

We already have a system to deal with this:

In some cases it may be that prices will need to rise. I cannot dispute this. Some aspects of our consumer society will no longer be viable. This is inevitable, and given the need to reduce our consumption to meet net zero carbon requirements, it may also be appropriate. But the need for dentistry will not go away. It is socially desirable, and necessary. And I suspect that many who work in the profession are already not well paid: most people in most parctices are not dentists, after all. Wages cannot, therefore, bear much of the cost change without real issues arising.

So, what do we do? Do we increase the price of dentistry? Do we increase the state subsidy? Or do we require an across-the-board rent cut from landlords and interest waivers from the providers of finance so that they take the hit of this crisis, as they inevitably will in the longer term as it becomes apparent that the capacity to pay rent and interest costs will, whatever happens, eventually be significantly reduced if vast numbers of businesses fail, as they will if rents are not cut.

That system being called “the market”.

Long and hard experience having tutored us into the realisation that all the other ways – including the use of a Fat Controller – are worse.

25 thoughts on “OK, well, but,”

  1. “And I suspect that many who work in the profession are already not well paid???”

    Is he crazy?

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    But the need for dentistry will not go away. It is socially desirable, and necessary.

    It is good to see someone considering these problems. I have a solution. Every time someone talks to me about Natural Childbirth I heartily endorse their proposals – after all men can give birth too so I am entitled to do so – and point out my other solution – Natural Dentistry.

    We could definitely bring prices down if we get rid of all that expensive equipment and the drugs. All they really need is a hammer and a chisel. Stone of course. Perhaps the dentist doesn’t even need quite so many hours of class room time. All they really need to learn is some basic hand-eye co-ordination and to say “Now this won’t hurt a bit”.

  3. What’s with his sudden interest in dentistry? What does he know about pay-levels for dental hygienists and receptionists etc? Does he need an urgent filling? We know that, in his mind, everything revolves around him, so he must have a bit of a tooth problem. Just as the Greek said, Spud is the measure of all things

  4. Dennis, A Septic To His Very Bones

    But the need for dentistry will not go away. It is socially desirable, and necessary.

    The British are familiar with dentistry? Who knew?

  5. He said the only problem for dentists is PPE cost so give them free PPE. Utter nonsense. Mrs J is a dentist, and the PPE aspect is a small part of it. Clearly he’s read some thing somewhere and recycled it with his own bollocks angle. Wanker

  6. Just had the forms that are needed to sign and read before my appointment for a cracked tooth, believed on Friday.
    The forms are worse than those needed to move house, unbelievable, 11 pages in all in three letters, two to bee initialed at various points and signed, I should be charging them not them charging me an extra £40 pounds for the PPE.

  7. You can always tell when it’s just become a health and safety exercise that’s waste of time when it’s reduced to waivers and forms.
    As an ex-paramedic I know says they save nobody and best to assume the worst from an infection perspective as truthful people won’t even turn up to sign a waiver which leaves only the ignorant (wilfully or otherwise)

  8. “Does he need an urgent filling?”

    Yes, but the issue is whether it’s to be straw (given his arguments) or molten lead, or Rocco’s donkey.

  9. . . . the realisation that all the other ways are worse.

    That’s what these people never get. We’ve tried this before. Lot’s of times. Sure, *on* paper, you can create a theoretical model where central control outperforms a market. But not in the real world.

    Hell, read Ken MacLeod – even he has to openly handwave a solution to the calculation problem in order to get to his desired utopia. They all do.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset


    Sort of.

    If you can find a dentist that does NHS work you can get some good treatment, but you still have to contribute. Otherwise it’s off to the licensed bandits in the private sector*.

    * I jest, I know they have very high overheads and I was more than willing to pay for prompt service whereas as NHS dentistry is rationed in the usual way.

  11. And I suspect that many who work in the profession are already not well paid: most people in most parctices are not dentists, after all

    So, what do we do? Do we

    1 He ‘suspects”? Practise: Receptionist and hygienist plus ~1.4 nurses per dentist. All earn less than dentist, have little responsibility and didn’t spend 4-5 years at Uni. Well paid? Compared to shop assistant – yes

    2 Do? None of his ideas. We roll back overbearing regulations. A start would be allowing them to resume AGP treatments


    Yes, PPE cost minimal. Other increased regulation mandating so much single use ‘tools’, central cleaning stations, new equipment, lead lining etc is expensive

    A good mouthful of high mercury amalgam most appropriate

  12. The benefits of remaining a Hong Kong “resident”, I received my free facemasks in the post a couple of days ago. 🙂 Now I’m scrambling around trying to find my bank passbook to register for the Pandemic Windfall.

  13. I received my free facemasks in the post a couple of days ago.

    Really!? Can you apply for the HK$10,000 too?

  14. off topic…The George Floyd funeral

    Al Green, the local Democratic congressman, said “His crime was that he was born black.”

    Also, aggravated robbery with possession of a deadly weapon during a home invasion in which he threatened a pregnant woman with a gun, possession of cocaine with intent to deal, criminal trespass, theft, theft with a firearm. In all 9 convictions and 5 stints in jail.

  15. “The UK’s most senior black and minority ethnic (BAME) police officer has urged forces to “stand up to racists…”

    But not, apparently, to rioters.

  16. My dentist was wearing PPE before any of this Covid nonsense came along, and I suspect this has been the case across the board for a long time.

  17. On the one side we have this nice consideration from Cafe Hayek:

    It is simply impossible for human beings to use coercion to grab an arbitrarily large chunk of property rights over resources and then to allocate those resources in ways that will in the long-run result in a higher standard of living than would have been generated by leaving those resources in private hands to be allocated according to the rules of private property, contract, and tort, and by the resulting market prices that arise from economic exchange. Markets use more knowledge than can possibly be processed consciously by the human mind or by a committee of genius human minds aided by 31st-century information-processing techniques.

    …and on the other we have Ritchie’s childish if-I-were-king pontifications.

  18. @KevinS

    Yep. PPE – masks and eye protection post Aids scare
    Single use, then bin tools: BSE/CJD scare
    – both and more compulsory during the 1997-2010 Blair period which BBC pretends didn’t occur “the missing years”

    Neither necessary, but Gov’t never admits wrong and rescinds

    Pre IndRev wood dentures I hope

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