Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The UK Coalition Spiel

"Prosperity for all."

When the UK coalition says, "Everyone incentivised to work", they mean everyone compelled to work in a job.

But what we need to do, to maximise human fulfilment, is to incentivise contribution. This requires freedom. This requires a non-compelled income so we can choose what we do, where, how and when. What we do is how we contribute. The more we do in a particular way, the more we specialise, the better we get at it, and the more effective our contribution is.


Gareth Morgan & A Tax On Capital

If a completely comprehensive capital tax was put in place on assets (especially without a guaranteed basic income) it would be deplorable. As anyone who was secure in their freehold ownership of anything would have to pay an ongoing cost of ownership. No-one could rest or make a contribution that wasn't immediately financially rewarding.

With her poll tax (on people) Margaret Thatcher was trying to make everyone into 'rational capitalists' ('Homo economicus') by compelling all people to make financial gain the purpose and result of what they do. People aren't that way naturally. First and foremost, fulfilment is our primary motivation, whether this attracts a financial income or not.

I think Morgan also stands within the economic conception that the primary motivation of people must be financial for economies to work. I don't prescribe to that. I believe that the primary motivation of people is to fulfil themselves and realise their potential in what they do, and thus we need to create a system, including an economic system, that enables people to do this. I think if we put the incentive of fulfilment by contribution first, above financial incentive, then we can create a system where every one is fulfilled in contributing to a system that enables everyones fulfilment.


The Media (& Prisons)

Thank God the media doesn't run the country: scandal, gossip, exaggeration, hyperbole, excitation, knee jerk response, aggravation, big man syndrome, cynicism, win-lose psychology, … all symptomatic of the general media pathology.

Apparently the media in Norway's a little different, see below (although I doubt "subscriptions" is the real answer), and the prisons are certainly different (quote below is from an interesting article on Norway's prison system, link follows):

"The national media's portrayal of crime also helps foster tolerance for Norway's prison system. Newspapers rely on subscriptions rather than newsstand sales, so they don't depend on sensational headlines. And the writing style is less emotional, more pragmatic, than in other countries. In his book When Children Kill Children: Penal Populism and Political Culture, American criminologist David Green compares the British media's reaction to a murder case in which children tortured and killed a child with a similar case in Norway. The British newspapers, he writes, portrayed the murder as "alarmingly symptomatic of deep-seated moral decline in Britain." The Norwegian papers, however, presented their case as "a tragic one-off, requiring expert intervention to facilitate the speedy reintegration of the boys responsible." In Norway, acts of extreme violence are seen as aberrant events, not symptoms of national decay. "
Sentenced to Serving The Good Life, 12 July 2010, TIME (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2000920-1,00.html)


Big Business Revenge

Quote from AAAS Policy Alert newsletter for 8 July 2010 (AAAS is the 'American Association for the Advance of Science', publishers of the journal 'SCIENCE'):

More on Cell Phones and Health. As previously reported (Policy Alert, 6/21/10), San Francisco adopted an ordinance requiring retailers to display the amount of radiation emitted by each cell phone they sell. Now it is reported that immediately following its passage, CTIA (the cell phone industry association) issued a statement saying that "after 2010, it would relocate its annual three-day fall exhibition, with 68,000 exhibitors and attendees and ‘$80 million' in business, away from San Francisco."

Who rules America? Its elected representatives or the organising bodies of corporate non-persons? Are their actions in the interests of people or in the interests of profit? I'm not saying the two can't go together, but that one should have the obvious priority.