This blog is political. It will address political subjects and problems at all levels. It will be critical towards to the present reality and the politics that have created it and are still controlling it; but it will also put forward a different kind of politics – an alternative way.
What are the greatest political problems?
Two subjects are serious contestants to this title, in the minds of most people:
The climate issue with increasing temperatures, increasing frequency of weather extremes, and accelerating melt off of the glaciers ice sheets of the world, threatening with increasing sea-levels, etc.
The other is the pressure of migrants on the rich part of the world. The asylum pressure, combined with a labour market under pressure from wages and a lack of workforce, plus extensive social hardship and crime rates. Islamification and international terror is the overpowering ghost in that debate.
Others could be mentioned: population growth, loss of biodiversity, extensive poverty…….
They are all huge problems: the climate issue threaten the very existence of our livelihood, and the migration pressure threaten the socio-economic fabric of every society, either loosing people or gaining to many.
BUT: They are not isolated problems: They cannot be solved separately. They are part of an overall fabric of problems with a common denominator. They need to be solved together.
The loss of biodiversity is a part of the climate problem through deforestation, thawing of the permafrost, overheating of the poles, and increased desertification; another aspect and general cause of biodiversity-loss and climate change is the immense consumption of resources, especially by the rich majority. This is also the main cause of extreme socio-economic inequality, leading to poverty.
Migration is to a great extent caused by this poverty, which is both an effect and a cause of population growth: poor families can only increase their joint income by having more children, put to work at an early age.
Climate and migration are just aspects of the same overall fabric of problems.
It is my assertion that the common denominator to this fabric of problems is socio-economic inequality, caused by the unequal right and access to the prosperity created by the development of society – the fruits of our joint effort. This prosperity is NOT allocated equally to all members of society, even though every member contribute equally to its creation. A small minority use this prosperity to line their own pockets, to the long-term detriment of all of us.
The main purpose of this blog:
Is to pinpoint problems facing the existing political system and the political-economic ideologies behind them, and to put forward alternative ways to think and to act politically: A political ideology that can become the foundation for rebuilding of local, national and supranational societies, where the rights of the individual member of society to our common livelihood is the main focus, instead of short-term growth, profit and power for the few.
This ideology is called Rights-and-Democracy. Its main purpose is to allocate the prosperity created by the joint effort of society as a whole, equally to all members of a certain society, by means of certain principles of taxation. Tax is often regarded as a very technical and boring issue. But that is not the case: taxation should be about obtaining socio-economic justice and decency, by reallocating prosperity.
All economic activity is based on land: no economic profit can be obtained without the use of land. Land is a place to live on, a place to build and run your company, and land is all the natural resources needed to live and produce goods.
That means that land is the most important economic factor. The prosperity created by society shows itself as an increase in land values far beyond what can be obtained by effort of all the individuals put together; as a society develops the conditions for human economic activity improves, thereby increasing land values, because it is unequivocally necessary to have access to land. Land values are capitalized when land is bought and sold, generation after generation.
This long-term increase of land values brought about by capitalization should be redistributed to all members of society, not just to those controlling or owing land. This has lead to the idea of using taxation for this redistribution.
There are two basic principles: these principles have been inexistence for hundreds of years:
- To tax land values to an extent where the capitalization gain is removed from the land value, thereby avoiding that landowners can obtain workfree profits from the control of land ownership – a Land Value Taxation.
- To use the revenue from land value taxation to replace all taxation on wages and capital gain from production. Income tax and tax on profit obtained by companies as a result of their work effort should be removed completely.
In other words: We should not tax the profits obtained by human activity. These profits are the cogwheels of our economy, and they should not be put under pressure from income-taxation. Instead we should tax the prerequisite of any human activity: the capitalization of land values. And we should redistribute any surplus revenue from this land value tax as a citizens salary, after the revenue has been used to finance public expenditure.
How will these principles of taxation contribute to solving the fabric of problems facing the human race?
As long as the capitalization gain of land ownership is NOT controlled strictly by taxation of this capital gain, those few people gaining this revenue will always want more. This is the reason why so few own so much. And they don’t just own so much, they also consume so much and stimulate all members of rich societies to consume way out of proportion as well. It is this consumption together with workfree profit due to landownership and trade that creates the distortions in the economy, and is the main reason for environmental problems facing mand kind.
When taxing this capital gain so that workfree profits cannot be obtained, these few will not be able to rake in these enormous riches, and we will not be stimulated to consume way more than we need. Land Value Taxation is a resource taxation: land itself and the resources extracted from land will all be taxed to prevent workfree profits.
This does not mean that by taxing land values all environmental pressure is prevented. But land taxation creates a fabric on which to build policies that can keep human consumption of resources, including fossil energy, at check, thereby minimizing pressure on ecological systems. It will also stimulate development of new technologies that will minimize the consumption of natural resources and stimulate recycling.
Land taxation will redistribute wealth so that poverty will be averted in the long-term, and will improve economic livelihood in every country in the world.
Rights-and-Democracy is not just about Land Value Taxation and equal rights. It is also about how to attain a political system adhering much stringently to the basic principle of democracy.
Money is power, so the unequal distribution of wealth is equal to an unequal distribution of political power. Rights-and-Democracy is also about how to build a society so that the highest possible degree of equal political power can be attained.
Equal right economically is but one aspect. Another basic principle is that only individuals can accept responsibility and can be held responsible. Therefore only individuals should be electable as members of parliament. Only individuals should be allowed on the ballot, not private clubs calling themselves political parties.
But this is but the most basic principles of democracy. Another is the division of power and how to safeguard that this is the actual case. That is far from being true, not even in my home country of Denmark. This blog entry argues the details.
So far my focus has been on the national level in politics. Rights-and-Democracy has a lot to say about the supranational level – globalization. The blog treats global issues critically: like the EU and its nation-destructive principles; international trade and its many socio-economic distortions; the almost complete lack of international prevention and solving of crises and conflicts. Social inequality at the global level and the many conflicts arounds the world are the main reasons for the flow of refugees; a topic that is dominant in most European countries and the USA. The debate in these countries are lacking any long-term ideas for solving the causes for people becoming refugees.
The blog will not only criticize. It will also point to solutions: how to restructure globalization so that it does not undermine international economy and social justice.