Freedom, system thinking, politics, science, education, economics, pirates

Sunday, 31 May 2009

I joined the Libertarian Party today

I met Chris of the Devil's Kitchen yesterday and had a good chat about political parties and he convinced me to join LPUK. Henry North London was there too and he had a very persuasive T-Shirt on.


  1. Best of luck with that. They don't take kindly to people who support LVT or CBI, though. They want to have a state that magically funds itself without any taxes at all.

    The rest of their program is spot on, of course.

  2. Mark,

    As you know, CBI has yet to have a workable funding proposal if it is to be SENSIBLE and deal with housing. It also ignores the issues around motivation and a basic Libertarian rejection of forced redistribution of wealth.

    LVT has many sincere promoters, but I do see it as a stalking horse for Communism.

  3. You fell under the spell of the silver tongued Devil then Mark? I'm glad you've found a party you are comfortable with and wish you good luck. See you at the next get-together.

    p.s. I've also added you to my blogroll.

  4. Ah I see you now have the button


  5. Congratulations and welcome!

  6. @MW, if they throw me out because I am a CBIer, then so be it. As you say the rest of the program is spot-on. It's not like there is a varied choice of pro-CBI parties I can join.

  7. Hi Andrew, thanks. Can you enable your blogger profile so I can see your blog?

  8. Welcome aboard. We have a long road ahead and older guys like me can't realistically hope for anything else than to be remembered one day as a pioneer! It's amazing that our democracy can be so old without ever having had such a party before. I guess the once-fabled yeoman spirit that kept government in line (and the ungovernability of parliaments composed of independent-minded "characters") meant it was not necessary until recently. I hope to live long enough to see us worth sneering at and unfairly bracketing with unsavoury parties. Maybe the young enthusiasts will live to see a substantial and influential bloc of MPs. Anyway, you are doing your bit. Well done.

  9. @ Roger,

    As to the funding proposal for CBI, the easy answer is to take existing welfare spending and the cost of various tax reliefs and divvy it out as a Citizen's Income (£30 per child, £60 per adult, £120 per pensioner), all fiscally neutral as the Citizen's Income Trust showed. (which is the immediately obvious answer, as to funding, it helps if you understand economics, which I will spell out below)

    Why on earth should a CBI deal with 'housing'? The main reason that housing is so expensive is because of rigid planning laws - further, if you accept the elegance of LVT as the Least Bad Tax, then collecting LVT (a tax on private land ownership) to subsidise rents (a subsidy for private land ownership) is just nuts.

    As to 'motivation', reducing means testing and income tax (preferably to nil%, of course) deals with that. Just imagine, a kindly elderly relative leaves your children a trust fund that pays than £60 a week unconditionally for life, regardless of their other income. How demotivating is that? Not much, methinks.

    Now, 'forced redistribution of wealth'. Let's imagine a waiter working and living in Monaco (no income tax and as a quid pro quo, sky high rents and property prices). Is he that much wealthier or happier than a waiter living and working a few miles down the road in Nice? Nope, of course not, because all the income tax he saves goes in higher rents.

    So, the waiter living in Nice has income 'forcibly' taken away by The State in income tax, and the waiter living in Monaco has income 'forcibly' taken away by his landlord, who of course has the full power of The State to back him up.

    So, while scrapping the worst taxes on income and production and wealth creation generally is a worthy aim, all we end up with is 'meet the new boss'.

    If by some miracle LPUK won a landslide at the next General Election (and scrapped VAT, National Insurance, income tax, corporation tax etc) existing home-owners and landlords would be laughing all the way to the bank, but tenants would not benefit very much at all.

    So, how 'liberating' is it for everybody for future generations to cast of the yoke of income tax and be saddled with higher rents or mortgage debts instead?

    Getting to the point, LVT would prevent windfall gains arising to existing home-owners and landlords. Whatever is left over after paying for the 'core functions' of The State (possibly as little as 5% of GDP) can simply be dished out as a Citizen's Dividend. Whether that is more or less than current welfare levels is not that important (I'm guessing it would be about the same).

    As it happens, it was Tom Paine himself who first came up with this plan about two centuries ago, I am surprised that he's forgotten that.

    Simply deriding this as 'Communism' is rather missing the point. Whether the tyrannising class is existing home-owners and landlords or party appartchicks makes little difference to the wealth creators being exploited.