Friday, May 21, 2010

GST / VAT – A Tax On Productivity?

That rhymed, did you notice, wonderful.

I think there's a good argument that a tax on products and services can be considered a tax on productivity. After all, we're taxing the products and services our businesses produce.

So is raising this tax, while lowering personal tax, a good idea?

[I'll give more on this later, feel free to comment]


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UK Alternative Vote (AV)

MPs won't get elected unless they have 50% of the vote? That seems even more destructive of representation than FPP! Proportional representation (PR) enables greater representation of smaller minorities. The AV 50% only allows a majority – that would be the end of the Lib Dems and any other party than the main two. It's majority only rules. This would not be a good idea for representation that reflects the diversity of the public.

I don't like the sound it, I may be wrong (let me know if am), but if it's what it sounds like then it's a bad idea for any member of our society for whom the two main parties aren't representative.

Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems, and everyone who voted for them must get a fair and open referendum on electoral reform THAT INCLUDES PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION! If the Conservatives can't offer this to the general public to decide then they do not deserve to form a government.


The Cover Letter

We need to reword the cover letter to: "I may be able to provide some assistance", which is rewriting it from the angle of collaboration and offering aid, not cooperation and service. It is writing as if empowered, not disempowered, submissive or subservient.

It's a 'do you want to work together?' kind of tone, an 'I can offer…', 'do we compliment', 'can we work together' type of deal. It's about equal respect and equal rights and equal dignity.

Be a human being.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Income Inequality

Who have the largest incomes?

The businessmen CEO's, the financiers and the lawyers. That is, those who hold the purse strings, and the power, pay themselves the most.

How is this ethical? They aren't the most intelligent or the hardest working or the most academically qualified.

It's bullshit.

Why do we let this happen? Because we just ignore it. We don't understand it. And we don't pay attention to it. Or, most usually, we buy into it, we see it as inevitable, so we accept it. In some sense we think that a person at the top can actually do the work of more than two people, but they (or we) can't. Nobody can. And certainly nobody is 'worth' more than two people, no matter what they do, no matter how 'popular' they are.

In the past we accepted the 'chain of being' and God-appointed superiority. But we're wiser now, or should be. This income discrepancy isn't about royal blood or meritocracy, it's about taking advantage, because, according to business philosophy, 'If you can take something (and get away with it) then you should'. While this collective belief prevails it's hard (and disabling) to do otherwise.

It's this atheism of ethics that we need to put a stop to, because it's not right, it's not acceptable to pay yourself more, just because you can. Nor is it acceptable to accept greater pay from those who have already bought into the system. "The market rate for the job", that's a con – the market rate for the job is an average of those who are given the job by those who control it, not a rate relevant to those who could do it but are never given the opportunity to.

And just because your product is more popular than others, does that make you 'worth' more than others? Am I a better, more valuable human because I've sold more than others? Was I worth more before that? Is a person worth more, a 'better person', because their product is worth more? Should the value from our contribution be in the realising of ourselves and our potential, or should it be in the fickleness of popularity and money?

Unfortunately, until we democratically agree to sharing, we are highly unlikely to share, because when it's not done together then those who do share are disadvantaged relative to those who don't.

So we need to make our policy mandate sharing and contribution, not selfishness and profit. Then the incentives and reward are in contributing as we best can where and when we see a need, and opportunity to do so is equal. Rather than the incentives being the fickleness of profit and selfish accumulation, with vastly disparate opportunity. (And moreover, organisation, with sharing, is by collaboration, not by required cooperation with a hierarchy.)


Alcohol & Caffeine

People get pissed, people die, people's live are wrecked. Yes, some wine and beer tastes good (when you get used to the alcohol). But is that enough? What really is the point of alcohol and caffeine at all?

But if we didn't have it, imagine the difference to our high streets… no cafes, no bars, pubs or clubs, no restaurants (well a lot less evening dining I am sure). No vineyards and wineries, no breweries, no liquor shops…, no specialised drinking glasses, bottlers, I'm sure you can imagine more…

With this amount of vested interested it's hard to see alcohol and caffeine going down the road of tobacco (look at the resistance there), but could it happen…?

Coffee in the morning, alcohol at night, this is the cycle for a great many people. Or there's the 'work hard during the week, get blotto at the weekend' crowd.

There's no doubt its not good for us, but it has become such a part of our culture, such a part of being 'social', and 'being social' has become such a driving necessity of our media-based culture.

But if we require alcohol to be social, then perhaps we're not actually social creatures at all (at least not in the 'party' way our media exults).


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lib Dem Supply & Demand

It may be better for Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems to support a Conservative government on supply and demand (rather than in coalition, with ministers), but then again, ministry positions in government may maintain a higher profile for the Lib Dems, so long as they concur with Lib Dem policies (so no Minister of Immigration).

However, whatever agreement with the Tories, if the Lib Dems don't get a referendum on electoral change out of it, then it's a bad deal.

Twenty-three percent of the vote? That's 149 seats the Lib Dems should have got, not 57.

[UK Election Results]


Monday, May 3, 2010

UK Election - Cameron & Clegg

It looks like David Cameron is going to get in, with the help of the Euro crisis (which will no doubt disadvantage Nick Clegg).

I don't see much hope for Gordon Brown (thank goodness – he doesn't come across as a good guy to work with).

Perhaps David could work with Nick. The 'big society' could be both of their aims, only David's isn't done quite as fairly. If only either could see that 'money' needn't be (and often isn't) the primary incentive of people and certainly is not the pre-requisite for a good (or 'big') society. If they realised this, then they might re-structure the tax system for sharing in a base income that enables us all to contribute as we best can.

One day...