Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Linklist for Paulie

Paulie has (quite reasonably) asked for proof that I do actually propose positive solutions to things, so I have compiled a brief linklist.

Apologies, Paulie, but Blogger seems to be less and less inclined to search through posts older than about a year; however, since my views have changed over time, that isn't so much of a problem.

The other point is that I tend to think as I write, i.e. I don't plan posts. Because of this, most of them start off by insulting someone, and then move onto solutions later on, or weave the solutions in amongst the insults. As such, I have tried to pick posts that constitute a decent, or at least discrete, chunk of solutions.

  1. In a post excoriating Polly Toynbee, I laid out very general reforms.
    • Introduce the Citizen's Basic Income for everybody. At £5,000 a year, I estimate this to cost roughly £250 billion in pure cash, but with minimal administration costs, since everybody receives it from the age of 16 until they die (we use the National Insurance database). The CBI not only ensures that people do not starve (provided that they are careful with their money) but also redresses the power balance between employer and employee.

    • Introduce a Personal Tax Allowance of £12,000 (including the CBI? Or excluding?).

    • Introduce a Flat Tax of 35% initially, then scaled back as needed.

    • Abolish NICs.

    • Privatise all schools and allow them to operate as independent businesses, and handing parents vouchers to allow them to chose which school they wish their children to go to (the best ones, hopefully).

    • Privitise all hospitals and put in a system of funding through insurance, as detailed in this post. Roughly £58 pcm for decent cover (for a heavy smoker and drinker).

      [UPDATE: I now have health insurance and, as detailed (with the caveats) in this post, it costs £49.26 pcm for the most comprehensive package.]

    • Unemploment benefit to be run through private insurance. Roughly £20 pcm.

    • All pensions to be run through private companies. Roughly £100 a month to pay out the same as the current state pension if retiring at 65.

    • All of the above means that you can sack hundreds of thousands of civil servants, vast swathes of pen-pushing bureaucrats are released into the market. Luckily, you are already paying them their benefits through the CBI, so it doesn't cost anything. Hopefully, they will then start their own companies or join other private companies, thus increasing the country's wealth rather than being parasites on everyone else.

Some of this stuff is necessarily a bit simplistic, so here are a few categorised posts extending reasons and motivations.

I haven't dealt explicitly with this for a while now, mainly because my main ideas haven't changed. However, there are certain areas that I haven't formulated the best way to proceed.
  1. This is quite an old post on general Health Reform. It's a bit US-style, and I am looking more at the Swiss system at present.

  2. Why we should legalise drugs.

  1. General education reform.

  2. What good private schools deliver over and above pure academic performance.

  3. Why Cameron's school reforms are wrong (before he talked about co-ops: I haven't written about those yet).
  4. More on education. However, this post also contains a good deal of general welfare ideas, and also why we should be raising the tax threshold. Which brings us on to...

  1. Charles Murray advocates a CBI in the US.

  2. Polly Toynbee talks shit to the Bow Group; this post is chiefly of interest if you scroll to the update, where I attempt to square the costs of the CBI.

  3. Once again, looking at the costs of the CBI.

  4. During a discussion of libertarianism, I advocate the CBI again. This post also has various other observations on points of my beliefs, including immigration.

Will that do for now, Paulie? There are other areas that I have touched on, but there are still so many things that I want to do a bit more research on.

As I have said, an updated manifesto wilf follow once I have shaken off this current bout of blogging malaise.

UPDATE: some thoughts, at Wanabehuman (i.e. no swearing), on the costs of the EU and some (quite old) ideas (embracing free trade) on our strategy once we have left (also devoid of swearing).


Mark Wadsworth said...

Good manifesto! You missed off the bit about troops out of Iraq and having free trade with everybody.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Well, troops out of Iraq is something I'm ambivalent about. In fact, I spend very little time on defence in general.

However, free trade with everyone just seemed so obvious that it was barely worth stating.


Anonymous said...

Dear DK,

A flat ten% tax(no exeptions) coupled with a ten% corporation tax(no exeptions)and a ten% sales tax(no exeptions)coupled to a free trade system with NAFTA may be the better way to go? After all, this would be an engine for unprecedented economic growth and prosperity. Our true national gift is not warfare(as good as we are at that)but TRADE! A simple flat rate tax system would be very easy to administer but the onus would be on the government to cut its financial cloth to suit its income, it would also concentrate the governments collective mind to encourage economic growth as a means for increasing government revenue! A legal cap on tax rates would mean that if the government wants to increase spending levels they would either have to use a referendum/change of law OR promote economic growth through better economic performance! As the system stands at the moment, IF the government wish to inrease spending, all they have to do is raise taxes, this is the lazy and easy way and it means that the government doesnt have to be careful with their extravagant spending policies?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

DK - maybe you could add:
1. a law to prosecute politicians for lying
2. no state funding of politicians/parties
3. scrap all English regional governments/quangos
4. transferable income tax allowances between spouses/partners
5. income tax allowance for children, transferable to their parents
6. local and national referendums, triggered by petitions of a set number (say 3% of electorate or 1 million for nationals), started by members of the public
7. scrap VAT and replace with a local sales tax for retail (business would not be troubled by VAT musical chairs)
8. not least and not last - leave the damn EU
9. etc (just to amuse Paulie and all the other Lenin/Trotsky/Pol Pot sycophants)

Anonymous said...

Only yesterday I was looking at a list of benefits and, in moment of teeth-grinding righteous fury, I came up with a post-it note manifesto remarkably similar to yours!

I find the Citizen’s Income thing a bit iffy, though. Should we encourage the notion of a bountiful state? Better, I think, to taper it off at, say, 50%, so that at £10k, it hits 0. Which could also be the personal allowance for Income Tax. I’d also add, say, £2000 for the first child and £1000 for subsequent children to that ‘minimum income’. We could call it the “Low Income Maintenance Benefit”, or “LIMB”.

Also, and more importantly, we should increase the Personal Allowance for children. Perhaps by £4000 for the first child, and £2000 per subsequent child. If the reason for having a Personal Allowance in the first place is because we find it somewhat immoral to take money from people whose means are so limited, then surely it is just as immoral to take from children of immodest means (by way of their parents)!

Otherwise, all sterling stuff!

Roger Thornhill said...

"We could call it the “Low Income Maintenance Benefit”, or “LIMB”."

It would still cost an arm and a leg.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rory, exactly, if you choose a sensible weekly amount (say £60, like current income support) and a sensible flat tax rate (say 30% for the time being) and deny people on benefits a personal allowance, then at income of £10,000 per annum (my suggested personal allownce), the benefits received and the tax paid net of to nil.

Roger, of course it would be affordable (or else I would not be advocating it), it's a question of mucking about with the precise amounts and so on. £60 a week seems fair enough to me.

Anonymous said...

I’d argue for a higher rate, of approximately £100/pw or £5k pa. That’s because my Limbs would be replacing not just Income Support and JSA, but also Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, social housing and a host of other benefits. I’d imagine a separate regime for pensions and disability benefits.

There are two separate motives here. First, to simplify the system and improve the value of spending to the recipients. Second, to reduce the amount spent and marginal taxation/benefit withdrawal rates. In order to get to a flatter, simpler system you’d probably have to set the amount at a rate higher than would be ideal and then hope it’d be squeezed later which, perhaps, is why my arguing over the levels is a bit pointless.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rory, sure, if you bung Housing Benefit and Child benefit in to the mix, you end up with a higher figure than £60 per week.

I would replace Housing/Council Tax Benefit with a 'workfare' scheme that pays people £90 per week (the average per claimant household). FFS, if the taxpayer can afford to pay people £90 per week to sit at home, at least they could be out picking up litter or something.

Roger Thornhill said...

Next, realise that housing costs vary. Do you have a flat national rate or per-area? Per town? Per what? Then look at the costs again.

Anonymous said...

Housing costs do indeed vary, Roger. They are higher in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for example, than in, say, Wigan. Or even Barking. But just because some areas are considered more desirable addresses than others (and are therefore more expensive), does that mean third parties should have more money forcibly taken from them to fund those who'd rather live in a more desirable address without paying for it themselves? No! If living in unfashionable Wigan isn’t good enough for you, go and pay for your fancy postcode yourself!

Roger Thornhill said...

Rory, yes, that is the point. Messy indeed.

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