If I should desire to spend $5 million buying a nice house with a swimming pool and sauna on the lakefront, is anybody going to complain?
What about the homeless or those who have to rent sub-standard basement suites?
Why should I be able to spend so much money on a house when others can't afford to do so?
Could it be something to do with the fact that building my house supplied people with work and helped the local economy? The servicing of my needs to maintain the house; from gardener to cleaner to painter, etc., all help the local economy in one way or another.
Perhaps my old beater does not quite match my home. I want to buy a new car, not just any car. I think I would like a Rolls.
Any complaints yet? Envy perhaps, but no complaints. The fact that many people can't afford to drive anything other than their old beater does not rear its ugly head. Nor does the fact that many people cannot afford any vehicle and have to walk or use public transit.
The fact that I have to buy gas, pay to wash my car and have it serviced, all help the economy.
Both of the above are just socially acceptable signs that I am making enough money to pay for the things that I want to buy.
Now, I need an operation. My doctor has referred me to a specialist, who tells me my hip needs replacing. But the wait list is long and it will take time before I can get it done. I have to join the lineup and wait.
There is not enough money in the health system to pay to keep operating rooms working full time. Each doctor is only allocated a certain amount of time in the operating room each week. This naturally limits the number of operations that can be performed. The wait list is slow and long.
How do we get more money? Increase taxes? No!
An easier way would be to charge me for my operation (and anyone else who wants to pay to have theirs done). A portion of the cost of my operation would go to hiring of the operating theatre, any special nursing required and other hospital-supplied services, the rest to the surgeon for performing the operation. The operation wouldn't cost the system any money; it would help put money into the kitty.
The more patients who pay for their treatment, the shorter the wait lists will become. In effect, those who cannot afford to pay for treatment will be treated more quickly because there is more money in the system to cover more operating room time and fewer patients on the wait list.
Sadly, skewed thinking suddenly takes place. If I get to pay for my operation, I am taking somebody else's place in line. Not everyone can afford to pay to be operated on quickly, so I can't be unfair and get treatment sooner. That's not Canadian! We don't believe in that sort of thing; it's just not done.
So I will just have to hobble out to my Rolls Royce, go home to my mansion on the lake and suffer while I wait.
But I do have another option. I could take my Canadian-earned money and book a hospital holiday in a foreign land to have a hip replacement there - immediately. I could spend my money outside Canada and return with my new hip in time for the start of the golf season.
I believe the sooner we allow private health care in Canada (under certain controls, naturally), the sooner we can fix our ailing health system and give a little boost to the local economy.
Tell me again, what is wrong with me being able to buy a new hip?