01 July 2011

Penalising the middle class is ‘fair’

Daily Mail, June 27, ‘Middle classes must find £50,000 for care.’ State can't afford more, of course. It could not wish, for example, to cut its expenditure in ways that would discourage the least functional members of society from having the largest possible families, many of whom are likely to need ‘care’ throughout their lives.

It is only fair (the argument goes) that the so-called middle classes on the other hand should have their assets reduced, ideally to zero, which they are able to leave to their children by inheritance. Their children are quite likely to have above-average IQs, and it is only fair that they should be handicapped, rather than having their advantages in life increased still further by inheritance.

State pensions are now means-tested so that anyone who has more than the barest subsistence on retirement will find it difficult not to be brought ever closer to that level. Those who live the longest are likely to have the highest average IQs, and are thus most likely to have their savings eroded to zero before they die. Which is only fair, and redresses an injustice.

Formerly those over a certain age were dependent on their own resources to provide housekeepers, full or part-time, or on the voluntary help provided by friends or relatives. The reduction of the state pension greatly increased the number who were unable to provide even a necessary minimum of paid help for themselves, and the probability of people’s assets being reduced to zero has made it much less likely that it would seem worthwhile to friends or relatives to help them protect their independence in the hope of an increased inheritance.

On another page of the Daily Mail there is an article on why the elderly suffer ‘needless’ fractures. ‘Thousands of elderly people are needlessly suffering excruciating fractures because doctors are failing to spot osteoporosis.’

The National Osteoporosis Society's report says many patients are diagnosed only after they have broken several bones, causing them agonising pain and restricting their movements. Campaigners believe doctors fail to carry out simple checks when elderly people suffer fractures to establish whether they have the disease. More than three million people in Britain suffer from osteoporosis, which causes thinning of the bones, and it is most common among elderly women. ...

The report says 26 per cent of those with osteoporosis suffered multiple fractures before being diagnosed. A survey of 700 sufferers found 35 per cent waited more than a year after first breaking a bone to be diagnosed, while 22 per cent waited five years. (Daily Mail, 27 June 2011)

Well, what do you think doctors are for? Surely you don't imagine they are there to prevent people with above-average IQs from suffering?

As has been pointed out before, a person who survives to an above-average age is likely to have an above-average IQ, also above-average forethought, conscientiousness, and so on. Becoming a doctor never required too much in the way of IQ and it is very likely that the average IQ of doctors has fallen. People from the ‘poorest’ backgrounds are encouraged to qualify as doctors, while the ‘middle class’ are discriminated against, in this as in other areas.

It used to be said, over a decade ago, that doctors regarded 55 as the cut-off age for women, after which it was not worth diagnosing anything serious.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age UK, said: ‘Funding for social care is already inadequate. We are fearful that even more vulnerable older people will be left to struggle alone and in some cases lives will be put at risk’. (Daily Mail, 27 June 2011)

Actually, funding for ‘social care’ is not inadequate but excessive. There should be no such thing as ‘social care’.

Associations such as Age UK, Age Concern, Saga etc. should encourage their members to contact us via our website and, if it is not already too late, come for holidays in Cuddesdon as a preliminary. Then they should come to live as close as possible to us, and if they do some voluntary work for us, we will help them in setting up cooperative operations to make themselves independent of state help – i.e. to keep the Welfare Wolf from the door. And, maybe, even work towards greater prosperity by cooperating in business ventures.