March 19, 2019 - The History of New Zealand through a Libertarian Anarchist lens. Please enjoy the ideas and let me know what you think.

1947: Socialised Dentistry for Kids

March 6, 2019


From Feb 1 1947, Labour 1.0 socialised dentistry for everyone up to the age of 16. Called the Adolescent Dental Service then, I think it’s now termed the General Dental Benefits Scheme. Later the age was shifted to 18yo.

I assume this was a socialist election promise to help Labour 1.0 stay in power beyond the 1946 General Election. “Thousands of applications for enrolment..poured into the District Offices as soon as the inauguration of the service was announced..”¹ within 60 days some 18,000 applications had been received.

Well no kidding, Mabel Howard? Drop the price to nothing and demand goes up! Basic demand and supply economics. Without price signals nobody knows the value of anything. Every Mother wants to sign up their kid and send them along to the dentist even if there’s no need or urgency. Why not? Costs nothing. Incentive to look after you kid or teach them self-care also drops (Offsetting Behaviour) because, after all, there’s a big free State dental safety net to catch you- all expenses paid!

The quality of the profession drops down too as the dental professionals orient themselves to the environment of cashing in these government vouchers for irresponsible tooth-owners. People enter the profession, perhaps more than we even need. Who knows? To answer the call of taxpayer subsided jobs instead of real ones, of course. And since the customer is The State not the patient there’s no reason to please anyone but bureaucratic accountants.

So this week Mr Gower is saying that after more than 70 years of state dental care and personal advice for our entire youth we’re still not healthy? This system has failed to set up adults for healthy dental outcomes? But rather than less of it he wants more: Wants to expand it to EVERYONE for LIFE. Guess he thinks the problem is it wasn’t real socialism. We didn’t go hard enough on the socialism. Need to step-up the socialisation, Paddy!

New Zealand history is hilarious.

Image ref. Howard saving the children; FAIRFAX NZ
Ref. Te Ara

1 Minister Mable Howard; Dep Health Annual Report 1947; AJHR

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