Sunday, August 21, 2005

Overriding Principles

Roger's Manifesto aims to achieve simplicity and elegance in all functions of Government and society.

Roger’s Manifesto proposes a move towards small Government and personal control and responsibility for allocating resources, where each person decides how they contribute to society and what they contribute to.

Currently the state is large and ever-growing. Government spending is highly undemocratic, with decisions being made every 4 or 5 years in an all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it mechanism, with many contentious decisions being made in the interim over which the people have little control.

Over the last 8 years Government largesse to the private sector has grown. Private companies court the Government for revenue allocation and this is unhealthy, bad for democracy, transparency and the National good.

This has to be reversed.

Government should aim to be running and funding border control, defence, police, prisons, courts, fire brigade and Accident & Emergency provision. This should be considered as a star to guide policy by, not a final destination of the first term in office.

Individuals must face up to their own obligations to society and not blame governments for lack of spending or overspending on individual issues. Individuals should know and decide for themselves and be responsible to themselves and society on how they contribute. They must not abdicate this to Government as they do now, from whom they both happily receive while complaining about excess and misdirection of resources. It is a manifestation of society’s current mental illness – a form of self-denial and delusion that tax must be low, obligations zero and rewards, rights and benefits at a maximum.

Government spending and thus taxation will be significantly reduced while private spending shall increase to compensate. This private spending will need to be more than just personal. It will need to include an element of charity to those who are less fortunate. Each person will be in control of where they allocate their philanthropic resources. This can be time, money, effort or imagination.

Right now the honest shun handouts out of pride and suffer while the ‘undeserving poor’ live a life of state-funded indolence. The current state mechanism rewards laziness and dysfunction while punishing thrift and dignity.

This can be reversed naturally, organically and automatically.

Therefore, as far as possible, provision should be via independent organizations funded directly from the people via private contributions. Government should aim to be levying taxes only for the core services such as defence, A&E, police, fire and border control, as previously mentioned.

If the population wishes to have free housing for pregnant teenagers, for example, they will fund charitable organizations that provide it. The amount allocated will be democratically and automatically controlled, as each person shall decide how much is allocated from his or her own disposable income. This disposable income shall be significantly higher under this mechanism as forced taxation will be significantly lower.

The power of the internet will enable all manner of causes and special interests to be discovered and funded in proportion to what the population wants, not down to the ability of causes and individuals to lobby politicians in private. It will be open, honest and directly related to the willingness of people to fund it.

Very rapidly the socially destructive funding streams will dry up, while provision for genuine causes will thrive.

The danger of the rich controlling the funding allocation greatly underestimates how much that occurs currently via indirect lobbying to politicians, ignores the vastness of the middle class voice that is currently unheard and ignores the role of the less well off who could equally promote their causes not by the facelessness money but direct, physical charitable action and fundraising. The currently unemployed and, more importantly, underemployed can find a role and purpose working for a cause they believe in. Everyone can contribute in his or her own way and to the best of their abilities.

If everyone decides to be selfish, this will become immediately apparent in society and society will have to stare at it and admit it to itself, face up to its responsibilities and rectify it.

People will have to become responsible for their own selfishness, not hide behind accountants and the elected government of the day. With little and flat tax levied there will not be much to avoid, but people will have no escape from their own conscience.

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