Tuesday 15 July 2003

Wrecks in the City: why Glaswegians are so unhealthy

The standard of health of people living in Glasgow is one of the lowest in Britain. Leftists always claim that the cause is poverty. Redistribute the wealth from more "fortunate" parts of the country and all will be well.

Not so. It looks like belief in socialism is itself a cause of bad health!

It seems those who believe the state should take responsibility for most aspects of life also tend to eschew personal responsibility for taking care of themselves. As a result, they are more likely to engage in lifestyles hazardous to their health, including drinking to excess and not exercising.

The just-published research was conducted among Russians, comparing those who longed for a to return to the old-style Soviet system with those who preferred the free-market approach to the economy.

This reminds me so much of Glasgow:
The theory is that Soviet-style socialism eventually induces passivity toward health promotion in the population. After all, previously the state provided for personal needs and the individual in turn gave up personal reliance and freedom. The state was a shelter as it provided free health care and education, old-age pensions, low-cost housing plus food and guaranteed employment.

However, the totalitarian nature and paternalism of such centrally-planned economies has been viewed as responsible for the development and spread of a psychology of passivity and irresponsibility. If they got sick, people knew that the government would take care of them and so this situation was not likely to feature a strong sense of personal responsibility for health

Glasgow has the largest stock of council houses in Europe:
But many of those homes are in a poor condition - damp, cold and in estates blighted by crime, drugs and "third world" poverty - and Glasgow City Council is unable to finance repairs because of its debt burden.
I can understand why Glasgow's politicians tore down old buildings after WWII and built the huge council estates that now blight much of the city. Nevertheless, they were wrong. The provision of subsidised housing on such a scale has turned all too many Glaswegians against entrepreneurship and that in turn has severely damaged the city's economy. Now we can also understand why so many in Glasgow are unhealthy. Down with politically produced "passivity and irresponsibility." Let's get the State out of the way and see a prosperous Glasgow that can once again be the equal of any city in the world.