April 11, 2019 at 12:59 am #329
By popular request, I’m going to attempt to lay down the gist of my theory of a way forward for politics. Ok popular request from one person that is But at least someone’s interested right?
So let me begin by rewinding about 16ish years ago.
I had a light bulb moment.
I was watching telly at the time. Think the news was on. As usual I was thinking away, watching telly but not really taking it in. I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts.
Then it went off. The light bulb! My brain’s neurons seemed to fire away brightly for some seconds. I felt I’d had a breakthrough in my thinking, something dawned something dawned on me. Suddenly I felt like I was smelling the coffee finally!
For years I’d thought of left and right politics. I mean as we know it in this country. Basically Conservatives and Labour.
To my knowledge, neither has ever won a proper majority of the people able to vote. In fact, over the decades, less and less people vote at all in the general elections.
Why are people in such disagreement? Why these two sides of Conservatives Vs Labour? What are they disagreeing about? And, why are such a large chunk not voting at all???
It seems clear that none of the parties have really got it right.
Whoever gets in is a relatively small percentage of the population who are able to vote.
So what’s happening? How come the parties just aren’t really grabbing the votes in their shedloads??
Basically Labour want to tax people more. So some people don’t want to vote them obviously, if they have to pay more. Conservatives want to let the wealthier people off paying tax more, so public services tend to suffer which gets plenty of peoples’ goats since most of us depend on those services.
So there lies the rub. Tax. Labour promises to do lots of things like pay better wages to public services workers and fund services better to provide things like better schooling and healthcare. But they need to tax companies and individuals more to be able to do that. Obviously this isn’t going to be agreeable to everyone. But more than that, many say it’s not good for the economy because taxing more means less investment and people pulling out of the country to set up business where they’re taxed less, or individuals moving overseas, hence the phrase ‘the brain drain’.
So this then has a knock on effect on the economy.
These are the beliefs out there.
Now there may well be an element of truth to all this.
So…. we’ve one side that want’s to share the wealth via taxes. And the other side believes that the more financial incentive for big business to invest in the UK and thereby create jobs etc., and increasing their net profits, will result in the ‘trickle down effect’. i.e. you make some people wealthier then it will trickle down to all parts of society.
Well whatever you believe, this is fundamentally the gist of what we are dealing with. Albeit greatly simplified.
So, I consider myself to be socialist, in that I believe in equality and a fair and just system.
My theory is that the government goes into business. Yes I am talking about publically owned profit making business.
No I am not talking about the services that shouldn’t really be profit making. LIke rail, the utilities, healthcare, mail etc. i.e. all the things that are essentials to us and not really luxuries. These services should ideally be non profit making, which means yes they should probably be publically owned… just to keep costs to the consumer reasonable.
I AM talking about profit making business. What sort of business? Well I’m probably not the best person to decide that on my own. It would be for people who are clever at identifying niches in the market where decent profit can be made.
You see I think it’s terribly unequal that us workers are all working for someone else’s profit, when we could use some of the dosh in the public coffers to make profit that ultimately comes back to US, in the form of lower taxes, better services, much needed new services, all those things that are crying out for funding. Perhaps in order of neediest first: Whatever that may be. Some suggestions: The elderly, children’s services, mental health services, careers advice and guidance for young people, training, further education, green energy. omg the list goes on. And this is the question isn’t it?? who is gonna pay for it??
Well WE will. This nation is good at something. Hard bloomin graft. Mostly we have quite a strong work ethic in this country and I believe that being less dependent on the fat cats to cough up, and being more independent as we are making our own profits for us, the common people, will do morale a huge dose of good and give us a sense of pride.
It doesn’t sit well with me. This being wholly dependent on big business.
It only means they can run circles round us, pull strings and have huge power over governments via powerful lobbying.
I believe that being less dependent will give us more of a sense of integrity.
The beauty of this idea is that it’s not really up to me, or any one government as to if it would work or not.
It’s not up to a few.
It’s up to the public themselves.
If the public choose to buy government produced goods and/or services, then the public coffers will get fuller. If they don’t then it won’t work. But that IS up to the public. The public would be voting for the success of the company with the quids in their pockets.
This is the concept generally.
Very interested to hear others’ thoughts on this.
Thanks for reading.
April 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm #330
Couple of issues with this.
Profit. Profit is what’s left over after tax and other costs have been taken away.
1. In a private company, these profits are the possession of the owners to do as they will. Some may invest in the business, some may simply increase their personal wealth, most will do both.
2. In a public company (one where there are shareholders and stock is floated freely on the market) profits are used to pay dividends to shareholders primarily and some is invested back into the business
3. In a cooperative endeavour, everyone involved in the business is effectively a shareholder although shareholders are under democratic control. So a shareholder cannot simply sell their shares and move on. Decisions regarding the business are on a democratic basis with all interested parties participating
4. In a state owned business, the business can make a profit or loss with the state benefiting from any profit and also suffering any loss.
All of these types of businesses have to compete with each other in the market, and the market may be regulated to favour one or more of these business types. Currently the neoliberal policies pursued by the Tories (and previously by Labour under Blair) strongly favour big business (no 2 in the business types above). Hence large corporations are making massive profits from the labour of their workers who have been educated and have their health maintained by the state. But the big companies making these huge profits but then refuse to pay their way and hide the profits in tax havens. This is not sustainable as eventually the quality of the workforce will diminish as will their ability to pay for the goods and services provided by the big corporations.
Different governments will legislate in favour of various types of business. Corbyn’s Labour favours 4 and 3. Tories favour 2 while making the right noises to 1. Lib Dems favour 1 and 2.
April 24, 2019 at 8:53 pm #343
Rebel, typically, nationalised industries haven’t made huge profits, partly to keep the cost to the consumer reasonable, and rightly so in most cases.
I’m talking about operating on a competitive level with business that is out for profit, rather than keeping things cheaper.
I mean behave like capitalists to a certain degree, but using public money instead of private funds. i.e. make £1 of public money into £10.
This is what capitalism is about, taking a quid and making it into 10 quid.
You could also try to make publicly owned companies that are out to make a fprofit, ethical. eg. keep it natinoally self sufficient where possible and sourcing locally which would be environmentally friendly for example.
it could be a good ethical place to work, but run just like any other corporate in terms of being out to make a profit. a big one.
someone offer Lord Sugar a job with the government, he should be able to help us make dosh. especially if you tell him he pays less tax as a result of the people doin it for themselves.
get my drift? Rebs?
AFTER we have made a mint for ourselves, and the public coffers are bulging at the seams, there’s no end to what we can achieve. there is nothing to say we can’t experiment with other ideas if they could be funded.
April 12, 2019 at 12:33 am #335
Still don’t really get it. In that the hiccup comes via the whole tax issue, I don’t get why anyone other than multi-millionaires (who, by definition, have enough wealth for multiple lifetimes) objects to paying tax. Tax is a good thing, if fairly applied and wisely used. At present we have not just lower public services than ever before in my lifetime, but also lower standards of customer service in actual businesses too (self-checkouts, chronic under-staffing, press 1 for this, 2 for that etc, then wait on hold for an hour before a human speaks to you, branches of everything closing down everywhere) yet top-*** salaries and bonuses keep on increasing. I don’t think business needs a particularly radical shake-up – it just needs to be regulated properly.
April 25, 2019 at 5:34 am #347
Sadly, greed and selfishness gets in the way. I don’t know why anyone needs to gather that much money. You can be wealthy and never have to worry again, without gathering it in the vast quantities some are and then avoiding their tax responsibilities.
Both major nor political parties tax heavily. Those on the left tax directly. In my view, I know it’s gone already, I know where it’s going and I contribute what I can afford.
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