party platform

tsoon (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 16:41:10 +1100

>We will repeal five times as many laws as we pass. We need to simplify and
>clarify the rules of the game. We will do a better job of enforcing and
>a few reasonable rules than thousands upon thousands of incomprehensible

I'll vote for that

I should lay my cards on the table. I'm more of a Milton Friedmanite than a David Friedmanite. If we could start from scratch I would be a libertarian anarchist. However, while I find D. Friedman's utilitarian arguments for libertarian anarchism convincing, I also heed Popper's warnings that we minimise avoidable suffering and slowly 'test the waters' with gradualistic reform. Given that the State has already crowded out most voluntary institutions, simply abolishing it won't bring these institutions back overnight. It is also unjust to talk about abolishing a welfare safety net when as a result of regulation and taxation there are less jobs than there could be in the economy. The poor were not the ones who lobbied for the growth of the present regulatory state.

Given that any wholesale move to anarchism is politically impossible anyway, I am a classical liberal in terms of my views on immediate reform possibilities. I favour gradual devolution, privatisation and deregulation but also would like to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable are appropriately compensated for the losses they might suffer in the transition to a freer society. Greater globalisation and interjurisdictional competition is the only evolutionarily stable and the least disruptive means towards legal polycentrism.

>No Federal Personal Income Taxes for individuals with incomes of less than
>$100,000. Encourage states and counties to also end taxation of
>middle-class and
>poor individuals. Institute a flat tax on income over $100,000.

I don't see how this is going to be practical. I'm in favour of a low, flat rate of tax (income or sales or a combination of both given the politically possible) with as few deductions as possible combined with a negative income tax to replace present social welfare arrangements. Also, more reliance on land tax and the institution of a carbon tax

>Legalize most pleasure drugs, prostitution, and gambling. Institute a 'sin
>taxing these activities at 100% to make up for some of the funds lost as
>result of #3. Use part of this tax income to make counseling and
>easily available in all locales.

Except I don't see any need for a 100% rate if we reform the health care system so that only the indigent are subsidised while the rest must take up a minimum amount of compulsory coverage.

>Close down the prison/industrial complex. Pardon all prisoners who are in
>non-violent crimes involving sums involving $25,000 or less, provided they
>no known history of violent activities. Pardon all prisoners listed with

Yes, nonviolent drug offenders should not be in jail for starters. I also favour restitution for minor property crimes. However I think there is still a place for a deterrence-based penal system for more serious crimes (rape and murder).

>Close down the National Security State. Since the end of World War II,
>representative democracy has been hostage to the National Security State.
>Release all secret documents (excluding only those recent ones that present
>very clear and present danger), fire the CIA, and reform the federal
>intelligence apparatus.

Being in Australia, I'd like to see the US butt out too. Everytime they provoke lunatics, other western countries get their embassies firebombed too.

>Put environmental concerns before profits and jobs. On the other hand, put
>scientific consensus and reason ahead of emotion-based environmentalism.

By all means, let's have a carbon tax to internalise environmental externalities. And let's have an emissions trading scheme. But I see no reason why this is mutually exclusive with profits and jobs. All the measures I mentioned promote economic efficiency.

>Open federally-funded birth control clinics all across the country,
>women in every locale reasonable access to her legal right to abortion and
>other forms of birth control.

Abortion should be completely legal. To the extent that we have a more market-oriented health care system, the politically inflammatory issue of whether Christians should subsidise abortions becomes less important. As I said before I favour a policy of a minimum compulsory coverage through a medical savings account, with the poor topped up to this minimum. How people choose to spend above this level is their own business.

>Allow 'autonomous zones.' Offer ways in which localities and even
>households can
>-- with a very few limits -- opt out of the system.

Devolve more functions to State and local governments (giving them the requisite taxing and spending powers), yes.

>Re-establish social services at pre-Reagan levels, for starters. Study the
>possibility of a 'workfare' state that would create an ultimately
>self-sustaining 'generic' maintenance economy that would involve those who
>don't receive income independently, or through employment, in the
>distribution, and receivership of life's essentials. Ultimately, an
>high tech society will need to end the employment/make money ethic entirely
>risk a total psychotic break from the social/environmental pollution
wreaked by
>billions of desperate people on a hustle.

Given the comments above I obviously favour attempts to ameliorate conditions in the transition to a freer society such as education and training vouchers.

Also, question the oligarchic power of
>those who control the money system, such as the Federal Reserve, the IMF,
>the World Bank, reforming or possibly eliminating those organizations.

As Keynes almost recognised in Ch 17 of his General Theory, business cycles have a lot to do with the peculiar properties of monopoly money. The growth of electronic money on the Net will lead to de facto privatisation of the money supply and eliminate this problem.

Jason Soon