How to Talk to Your Left-Leaning Mates, Part 3: Health and Education


Ben Richards

Part 1 of this series discussed the economy.  Part 2 discussed immigration and refugees.

In Part 3 of our series, “How to Talk to Your Left-Leaning Mates About …” we’re looking at Health and Education. A reliable, sustainable and high-quality health care and education systems are essential for an individual, community and country to reach its full potential. So what’s the best way to achieve that?

So what is the conservative position on Health and Education?

As with any good or service that the private sector can provide, a free market solution is always preferred. If government does have to step in it should only be as a last resort, to provide for people who cannot provide for themselves. So public hospitals and public schools should be reserved only for those who cannot pay for these services themselves. This is an idea that will pop up a lot in this series as its one of the foundations of conservative thought.

When discussing health and education from a conservative perspective these assumptions will be made about you:
– You are stupid
– You hate children and think only rich children deserve a good education
– You think people who can’t afford medical care should be left to die

As a result, we have to be very careful how we approach discussing these issues if we want to change people’s perceptions of us.

Responding to arguments from the left

Here is a list of common accusations or talking points that will be thrown your way and how to answer them in a constructive way.

“Schools need more funding! Opposing this means you hate children.”

What for, exactly? What, in your mind, is the goal of a school? It should be to to give kids the opportunity to learn about and then have the opportunity to explore things they are passionate about. What are schools not doing now that they could be doing with more money? There is no correlation between higher school funding and better student outcomes. This article from the Australian points out that the extra $10 billion that was spent on education did NOTHING to increase the test scores of the students. All that happens is administrators get richer and students have nicer whiteboards to look at. Just saying they need more money isn’t actually fixing the problem. There are even studies to suggest that sending kids to private school or simply having parents pay more for their child’s education does little to influence their results or future employment prospects. So what do schools need? Well, the most compelling evidence comes from this study that points out that kids from single-parent homes are far out-performed by kids from nuclear families, in both school results and lifetime outcomes. So really it’s not up to schools – it’s up to families to “fix” the schooling system.

We thought this would help make this topic more interesting. Photo by Jaune d’eau

“If we rely on private hospitals, people will die because they don’t have access to health care.”

Nobody wants to see people die because they can’t afford life-saving medical care. However, if you can pay for your life-saving treatment, you should. This isn’t an issue of finance, it’s about attitude. In Australia, too many people have a “can’t someone else pay for it” attitude when it comes to health. Your health is the most important thing in your life, it is your life, and your financial investment should reflect it. If more people prioritized paying for their own medical treatment, then the public system would be left for the people that actually need it, not those that just don’t want to pay for it.

“Uni fees should be abolished. Student debt is out of hand.”

Abolishing Uni fees will make your degrees even more worthless than they already are. The much-maligned US college system where students do have to pay for their higher learning (albeit a lot of this is through private and public loans) produces 5 out of the top 10 ranked universities in the world. So maybe it’s about access, not quality. Anyone should be able to go to uni, but people shouldn’t just go for the fun of it. People should go with the intention of graduating with a qualification that will help them get a job. University should be about investing in yourself to be a more productive member of society. The people that do this will easily pay off their student debts. However, if you go to university to study something that has no value to the outside world, then you’ll have the loan turkey around your neck for quite a while. And no, you can’t sleep on my couch.

“Nurses and Teachers should be paid more.”

Yeah they should, because you should pay them directly for their service. Not just rely on the government or “someone else” to pay for it.


Do you have a left wing argument or talking point you’d like a solid rebuttal for? Leave it in the comments and I’ll answer it in the next column.

In Part 4, we discuss marriage equality and Transgenderism

Photo by Geoff Penaluna