Thoughts on Politics

Unlike many in the Western world, I do not hold Democracy, be it representative or otherwise, to be the best form of government.

Like many in the Western world, I do not hold Communism, be it of the Russian, Chinese, or any other form, as the best form of government.

The only form of government that can truly offer the best governance of a state is that of a benign dictator.

And of course, I should be that benign dictator :-)

However, all (or very nearly all) countries of the Western world, and many of the developing world are run, to some degree, by some form of democracy, so I shall restrict my political discussion to such forms of government.

It is my belief that a good democracy should offer the following to its citizens:

  • Free, or highly subsidised, medicine to ensure good health (to be defined) to all. However, non-necessary medicine (to be defined) should not be subsidised. Euthanasia should be legal.
  • Free primary and secondary education to ensure the necessary knowledge to get to tertiary education is provided. Teachers who prove incapable of teaching should be removed. Private schools should be available to those who are prepared to pay money for a higher quality of education, but such schools should never receive funding from the state.
  • Tertiary education should be priced commensurate with the nature and quality of the course. Some form of support should be available for students with acceptable grades but insufficient finances. Examples include loans and grants.
  • Freedom of speech, movement, congregation, religion, sexuality
  • Punishment should fit the crime and be in line with UN human rights agreements. There should be no capital punishment. Drug laws (where they exist) should target producers and distributors, not users.
  • Maintenance of sufficient armed forces for defensive purposes only.
  • Taxation should be limited to that requried to provide the minimum functions of government, as defined above

Religion has no place in government.

The economy should be run as a responsible capitalism. The basic tenets of free trade should be adhered to. Government intervention should be minimal, supplying only those laws that describe the boundaries of 'responsible' capitalism.

  • No tarriffs or quotas on trade. No subsidies. No price fixing. No wage fixing.
  • A minimum wage that ensures a basic quality of living (to be defined).
  • A simple tax structure, possibly consisting of:
    • a flat sales tax
    • a (low) flat income tax
    • corporate taxes
  • The use of exemptions and deductions and tax breaks should be minimal at best. The penalties for tax fraud should be severe.
  • Limited but sufficient regulation on natural resources to ensure sustainability. This is to be defined.
  • Very limited social welfare. Individuals should be personally responsible for preparing for old age or unemployment.

Social Welfare should be minimal. Individuals should be responsible for ensuring that they prepare appropriately for retirement.

Of course, I still approach this from the view of a citizen of a nation-state rather than that of a federation of states (such as where I live), and so I need to consider the division of responsibility between federal and state governments. That is a tricky issue.

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