COVID-19 Profiteering

Discussions about serious topics, for serious people
User avatar
Pucksoppet
Snowbonk
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:13 pm
Location: Girdling the Earth

COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Pucksoppet » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:14 pm

It's big business too. In the UK, cardiologist Dr <name witheld> made a £1.7 million (~$ 1.98 million) profit at his private clinic in London by selling £2.5 million (~$ 2.91 million) worth of COVID-19 tests in less than a week.
I'm really not sure what to think about this.

On the one hand, IF the cardiologist in question was not preventing testing capacity being used by the NHS, where's the harm in extracting money from rich people who can afford it (although some may have been desperately anxious not-so-rich people).

On the other hand, making what appears to me to be excessive amounts of profit from people's anxieties seems unethical (which is one of my beefs about woo in general).

User avatar
lpm
Catbabel
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: IMPEACH AND EXTERMINATE

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by lpm » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:44 pm

Huh? He squandered a scarce national resource.
I'll miss him after he's died in the pandemic

Millennie Al
Navel Tan
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:37 am

He sold 6600 test kits - a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed nationally. If this results in a few celebrities going public to say they have been infected, that's probably a big win for the public interest as it will make more people believe that they and their relatives can catch it.

User avatar
Pucksoppet
Snowbonk
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:13 pm
Location: Girdling the Earth

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Pucksoppet » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:44 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:37 am
He sold 6600 test kits - a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed nationally. If this results in a few celebrities going public to say they have been infected, that's probably a big win for the public interest as it will make more people believe that they and their relatives can catch it.
Welcome Millenie Al, nice first post. I hope you stick around and carry on participating in this forum.

User avatar
Woodchopper
Catbabel
Posts: 827
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:08 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:37 am
He sold 6600 test kits - a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed nationally. If this results in a few celebrities going public to say they have been infected, that's probably a big win for the public interest as it will make more people believe that they and their relatives can catch it.
Also, did he sell tests that would otherwise have been used by the NHS, or did he increase the total amount of tests in the U.K. (eg by independently sourcing the tests from another supplier). If the former then bad, if the latter then meh.

User avatar
lpm
Catbabel
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: IMPEACH AND EXTERMINATE

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by lpm » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:29 am

We had all these sorts of arguments from WW2 black marketeers. The judges banged 'em up in Wandsworth jail nonetheless.

Fundamentally, private healthcare does not exist in a public contagion world.
I'll miss him after he's died in the pandemic

User avatar
Pucksoppet
Snowbonk
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:13 pm
Location: Girdling the Earth

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Pucksoppet » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:13 pm

Perhaps a 'windfall tax' is in order?

raven
Sindis Poop
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:58 pm

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by raven » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:50 pm

Nah, as they've obviously got contacts who can get stuff outside official channels, I say make 'em source a load of PPE and donate it to the NHS.

Millennie Al
Navel Tan
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am

lpm wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:29 am
Fundamentally, private healthcare does not exist in a public contagion world.
That is very dangerous. With a central command (as lefties love), those in charge are convinced they're right and often pursue policies which cannot be proved wrong because there is no alternative. In the case of Covid-19, we have seen people in various parts of the world claim that the number of cases is much smaller than it really is, and it's private testing like this which shows when this is wrong. If all tests must go through the NHS, that means that when the NHS wrongly claims that someone does not need to be tested, then there is no way to prove that wrong than to wait for that person, or those they have infected, to appear at a hospital seriously ill. With private testing, even in very small numbers, errors of this type are much more visible and can be corrected much earlier.

It's like how having two eyes gives a better picture of the world than one. It's a form of diversity.

secret squirrel
Clardic Fug
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:42 pm

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by secret squirrel » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:41 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am
lpm wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:29 am
Fundamentally, private healthcare does not exist in a public contagion world.
...With a central command (as lefties love)..
A very broad brush that. 'The Left' includes Kropotkin as well as Lenin.

User avatar
lpm
Catbabel
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: IMPEACH AND EXTERMINATE

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by lpm » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:48 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am
lpm wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:29 am
Fundamentally, private healthcare does not exist in a public contagion world.
That is very dangerous. With a central command (as lefties love), those in charge are convinced they're right and often pursue policies which cannot be proved wrong because there is no alternative. In the case of Covid-19, we have seen people in various parts of the world claim that the number of cases is much smaller than it really is, and it's private testing like this which shows when this is wrong. If all tests must go through the NHS, that means that when the NHS wrongly claims that someone does not need to be tested, then there is no way to prove that wrong than to wait for that person, or those they have infected, to appear at a hospital seriously ill. With private testing, even in very small numbers, errors of this type are much more visible and can be corrected much earlier.

It's like how having two eyes gives a better picture of the world than one. It's a form of diversity.
That's an argument for something. But it's not an argument for this.

With 6,600 tests there could have been an experiment to double check the NHS. University researchers testing 6,600 people for example, collating results properly.
I'll miss him after he's died in the pandemic

User avatar
Gentleman Jim
Snowbonk
Posts: 435
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:38 pm

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Gentleman Jim » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:04 pm

My local'ist :P pharmacy is selling toilet paper at 40p a roll
True friends stab you in the front

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Dorkwood
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: with the birds

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:38 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:48 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am
lpm wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:29 am
Fundamentally, private healthcare does not exist in a public contagion world.
That is very dangerous. With a central command (as lefties love), those in charge are convinced they're right and often pursue policies which cannot be proved wrong because there is no alternative. In the case of Covid-19, we have seen people in various parts of the world claim that the number of cases is much smaller than it really is, and it's private testing like this which shows when this is wrong. If all tests must go through the NHS, that means that when the NHS wrongly claims that someone does not need to be tested, then there is no way to prove that wrong than to wait for that person, or those they have infected, to appear at a hospital seriously ill. With private testing, even in very small numbers, errors of this type are much more visible and can be corrected much earlier.

It's like how having two eyes gives a better picture of the world than one. It's a form of diversity.
That's an argument for something. But it's not an argument for this.

With 6,600 tests there could have been an experiment to double check the NHS. University researchers testing 6,600 people for example, collating results properly.
Yes. Independent testing may well be a good thing, and may even be more important than insuring sufficient tests are available for front-line workers and vulnerable people.

But I disagree where Millennie Al says "private testing like this" - private testing, maybe. But like this? No. Flogging tests to the highest bidder is not a sensible method for a confirmatory study of NHS testing protocols. It's naked profiteering and deeply unpleasant.
"Ecology without socialism is just gardening" - Chico Mendes

EACLucifer
Stargoon
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:49 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:17 pm

It appears Owen Paterson is among the profiteers

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Dorkwood
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: with the birds

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:24 pm

I always knew that there were a lot of people who would happily condemn thousands of other, more vulnerable people to suffering and death in order to make money.

But this pandemic has certainly made it more obvious, more public, and more viscerally repugnant.
"Ecology without socialism is just gardening" - Chico Mendes

Lew Dolby
Sindis Poop
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:59 pm
Location: Shropshire - Welsh Borders

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Lew Dolby » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:43 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:17 pm
It appears Owen Paterson is among the profiteers
As a constituent, I'm not in the least bit surprised.

Millennie Al
Navel Tan
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:51 am

secret squirrel wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:41 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am
lpm wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:29 am
Fundamentally, private healthcare does not exist in a public contagion world.
...With a central command (as lefties love)..
A very broad brush that. 'The Left' includes Kropotkin as well as Lenin.
Kropotkin was an anarchist, not a leftie. Once your philosophy is sufficently remote from reality, it does not matter what it contains because it's nothing more than fantasy anyway.

Millennie Al
Navel Tan
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:38 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:48 am

With 6,600 tests there could have been an experiment to double check the NHS. University researchers testing 6,600 people for example, collating results properly.
Yes. Independent testing may well be a good thing, and may even be more important than insuring sufficient tests are available for front-line workers and vulnerable people.

But I disagree where Millennie Al says "private testing like this" - private testing, maybe. But like this? No. Flogging tests to the highest bidder is not a sensible method for a confirmatory study of NHS testing protocols. It's naked profiteering and deeply unpleasant.
There could have been such an experiment, but only in an alternate reality. The tests were available and I'm sure there would have been no shortage of donors willing to finance such an experiment, if only someone had proposed it, but it still didn't happen. Private testing is either like this or not at all. It does no good wishing that things were better.

Millennie Al
Navel Tan
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:02 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:17 pm
It appears Owen Paterson is among the profiteers
In what way is he?

secret squirrel
Clardic Fug
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:42 pm

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by secret squirrel » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:29 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:51 am
Kropotkin was an anarchist, not a leftie. Once your philosophy is sufficently remote from reality, it does not matter what it contains because it's nothing more than fantasy anyway.
Anarchism is part of leftism though.

User avatar
JQH
Snowbonk
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:30 pm
Location: Sar Flandan

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by JQH » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:06 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:51 am
secret squirrel wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:41 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am


...With a central command (as lefties love)..
A very broad brush that. 'The Left' includes Kropotkin as well as Lenin.
Kropotkin was an anarchist, not a leftie. Once your philosophy is sufficently remote from reality, it does not matter what it contains because it's nothing more than fantasy anyway.
True. Look at Ayn Rand.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

Fintan O'Toole

EACLucifer
Stargoon
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:49 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:25 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:02 am
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:17 pm
It appears Owen Paterson is among the profiteers
In what way is he?
Getting a fucktonne of money from a firm hoarding tests and selling them to those with money, rather than those we urgently need to test, eg frontline NHS workers.

For the hard of thinking who think profiteering is clever and acceptable, it's roughly akin to keeping private car manufacturing open during the second world war, when resources and facilities were urgently needed for the war effort.

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Dorkwood
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: with the birds

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:16 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:01 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:38 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:48 am

With 6,600 tests there could have been an experiment to double check the NHS. University researchers testing 6,600 people for example, collating results properly.
Yes. Independent testing may well be a good thing, and may even be more important than insuring sufficient tests are available for front-line workers and vulnerable people.

But I disagree where Millennie Al says "private testing like this" - private testing, maybe. But like this? No. Flogging tests to the highest bidder is not a sensible method for a confirmatory study of NHS testing protocols. It's naked profiteering and deeply unpleasant.
There could have been such an experiment, but only in an alternate reality. The tests were available and I'm sure there would have been no shortage of donors willing to finance such an experiment, if only someone had proposed it, but it still didn't happen. Private testing is either like this or not at all. It does no good wishing that things were better.
Well, given the choice between selling scarce life-saving resources based on money rather than need or "not at all", I think "not at all" is the clear winner.

This isn't China. The media and internet are full of political dissent. If they NHS were not testing people who should be (for reasons other than the shortage of tests and staff) there are plenty of people who'd blow the whistle and be heard. Spaffing thousands of tests up the wall to make a quick buck doesn't help.
"Ecology without socialism is just gardening" - Chico Mendes

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Dorkwood
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: with the birds

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:21 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:51 am
secret squirrel wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:41 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:12 am


...With a central command (as lefties love)..
A very broad brush that. 'The Left' includes Kropotkin as well as Lenin.
Kropotkin was an anarchist, not a leftie. Once your philosophy is sufficently remote from reality, it does not matter what it contains because it's nothing more than fantasy anyway.
Kropotkin was definitely a leftie. He was imprisoned for distributing communist literature, and is still widely regarded amongst various flavours of leftists (and evolutionary biologists, for that matter).

And it seems odd to call his work "remote from reality" at a time when a distributed network of grassroots community organisations, that literally has 'Mutual Aid' in its name, has stepped in to help people survive the pandemic in the absence of anything organised by the government.
"Ecology without socialism is just gardening" - Chico Mendes

User avatar
Aitch
Stargoon
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 am

Re: COVID-19 Profiteering

Post by Aitch » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:36 pm

My corner shop normally sells cheap loo-rolls at 4 for 90p (approx. He's currently selling 4 for £1.69, but I don't think he's profiteering...
30801ces.jpg
30801ces.jpg (141.47 KiB) Viewed 82 times
...these are Professional toilet rolls! Whatever THAT means...


Right, you can all go back to being serious now.
Some people call me strange.
I prefer unconventional.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept eccentric
.

Post Reply