Don’t expect to get your present on time this year!
Don’t expect to get your present on time this year!
People always say to me “You can’t be interested in politics, you’re not even old enough to have lived through any!” all the time. This is one of the problems with our society at the moment. People think that you cannot have your own political view unless you have either studied a politics course at university or are actively involved in the political system.
This problem intensifies when your views are not mainstream (Where mainstream means that you do not support one of the parties currently in government). I for one am an anarchist, and people often think that an anarchist is someone like Guy Fawkes who wants to blow up government. This could not be further from the truth. The definition is simply this:
Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful.
Now obviously there can be people who take this philosophy into their own hands and become extremists. But this happens with any philosophy, for example take the recent Greenpeace activists who proved they were terrorists when stupidly trying to board a russian oil rig illegally.
Holding the state to its actions is a key view of mine, and which I think should be second nature to everyone. Yet in this modern democratic world, nobody seems to even want to think this way. In fact, when things go wrong the only ‘right’ solution, people say, is for there to be more government, and more government spending. Yet government is bureaucratic, not value for money, makes many decisions without public consent (Because they think they know what is best for us) and takes money from people by holding a gun in their face.
A government can be compared to the NHS, which is also all of the things I stated above. Yet whenever I list problems with the health service in the UK, people always shout back at me “…but the solution is simple, the NHS should increase its budget and expand”. Once I try to explain that the opposite is true, and that it would perform more efficiently and effectively with decentralised bodies (possibly county level) which can compete against each other and that GP services should be privatised people look at me as though I hate the NHS and all the hard work its employees do on a daily basis (Dan Hannan has also noticed this phenomenon). IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NHS EMPLOYEES; it has everything to do with how the NHS is great at wasting money, not being accountable and being overly bureaucratic (and here).
However, things are looking up for my point of view. Here is what a recent YouGov report had to say:
YouGov’s 2013 ‘Healthcare Choices: NHS versus Private report’ shows the public would welcome the private sector taking a greater role in the provision of their health services. Also, (62%),believe the private sector has a role to play in reducing NHS waiting lists, with just over one in eight (13%) thinking it should not.
Hallelujah!! Now people just need to apply this way of thinking to government itself. As I have mentioned previously in this blog, socialism is the philosophy of failure and is the natural course of all governments around the world. People need to wake up and realise that less is more in terms of government.
Government intervention and regulation in any industry can cause massive problems for companies. In fact, if an industry is over regulated, the companies simply leave the country. Even christmas movies can help explain this phenomenon! Just watch the clip below from Fred Claus the movie about a bureaucrat cancelling christmas.
If you go back 100years ago, everybody was actively engaged in, and interested in politics. In present times, it is the complete opposite. I know that when I go home to spend christmas with my family they will take pity that I engage myself in current affairs. I’m sure other people who involve themselves will also experience the same thing. Nobody is interested anymore.
But to not be interested in politics itself is a dangerous thing. This is because democracy relies on all of the people and their individual views.
Anyone who says they are not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water
Yet people are understandably bored by politicians, who in modern times act like robots, trained to spew the same rhetoric over and over. But how do these politicians get away with doing this? The answer is simple, its because of the lack of interest in politics by the majority. If everyone was actively involved and engaged, politicians would be made to answer questions with real answers or face real public revolt.
In the current situation, not only does a lack of interest bode well for those in power, but it also fuels bigger government. This is not good from a libertarian perspective!
What is the difference between a government run service and a community run service? One is run by bureaucrats, the other run by the people for the people. A community run service would be more value for money compared to government intervention and the people who run the service will be directly accountable for their actions. Furthermore, the community can decide what the service should entail to provide the best service for their community, whereas the government service may be part of a national service, thus, the concerns of the local people are bound to be ignored.
People always confuse me when they oppose government cuts during times of austerity. Would they not rather run some things themselves? The amount of waste and corruption that happens when the government is involved is obvious.
I know setting up a community service is not strait forward but it can be achieved if everyone works together.
Similarly, some people may not want the service altogether. By having a community service in place, this means that they are not forced to pay for that service by the government. If the money supplied to run the service directly depends upon its actions, then it will seek to achieve the best service for the people. Alternatively, a government service always knows that it will receive funding, therefore targets are, most of the time, lower than what they should be.
I have always thought that Iceland, Switzerland and Norway were the countries with the most common sense in Europe. However, I found out today that Estonia is probably the best and here is why:
What an incredible country. This is an example of what can be achieved with the right policies after breaking away from the soviet union (Ukraine should take note!).
Furthermore, Estonia was hit very hard during the recession, unemployment reached 18%! Since then, Estonia now has the lowest ratio of government debt to GDP and the lowest budget deficit in the EU.
Estonia ranks high in the Human Development Index, press freedom (third in the world in 2012), economic freedom, civil liberties and education. It is often described as one of the most wired countries in Europe (Internet), and is recognised as a leader in e-government.
This is an example of how public sector workers are generally better off in the UK due to wasteful government spending.
A recent report has concluded:
A private sector employee working full time on around the median hourly wage, would be around £1,400 a year worse off than their equivalents in the public sector. In parts of the country where premiums are highest this rises to as much as £3,200 a year.
This premium exists even before the substantially more generous public sector pensions arrangements and other factors are added to the analysis.
With a humongous healthcare expenditure in the UK, the pay differences between the private and public sector employees hurt all taxpayers.
With government spending increasing year on year, how can we seriously expect to get to grips with our debt?
Dan Mitchell has come up with simple but effective rules which should be adhered to by every single nation on this planet.
Firstly, his golden rule:
Good fiscal policy exists when the private sector grows faster than the public sector, while fiscal ruin is inevitable if government spending grows faster than the productive part of the economy.
Secondly, Mitchell’s law:
This term, which I am modestly calling Mitchell’s Law, describes what happens when government intervention (Fannie and Freddie, for example, or Medicare and Medicaid) causes problems in a particular market (a housing bubble or a third-party payer crisis), which leads the politicians to impose more misguided intervention (bailouts or Obamacare).
UK debt reached £1,377bn in Q1 2013. Just think about that number for a second. Actually, its difficult to imagine a number like this in our heads because it is simply too large to compute. With debt forecast to reach 99% GDP by 2014, when will labour, conservatives and liberal democrats admit that government spending has not been cut by enough.
Here is UK debt in euros:
As you can see we are catching up with France and Germany on total debt. What about debt as a percentage of GDP?
As you can see our debt is spiraling out of control like it is for many of the eurozone countries.
Which countries are the best when it comes down to these factors?:
Well thats easy: Hong Kong, singapore and switzerland
These values have helped Hong Kong and Singapore grow faster than the US which was 4 times richer than both in 1950:
Gross national income is also higher than the US:
Where do all the millionaires flock to to provide more prosperity and jobs? You guessed it!
And here is why switzerland is so good (small government burden):
News today also suggests they are now the best nations for education:
Is there anything a small government can’t achieve?
I have been reading updates of David Cameron’s visit to China over the past few days and I can’t help thinking that the whole trip should never have happened in the first place.
Firstly, what is the point in the prime minister visiting a country that we can’t sign a free trade deal with (Our ties to the EU mean we are no longer able to control critical and important things such as this). Instead he has to ask them to hurry up their planned free trade deal with the EU instead which has caused unrest among EU officials here and here.
Secondly, on his trip he wanted to prove that the UK is still part of the global race. To take part in the global race you have to structure your economy to ensure that it doesn’t have a trade deficit, and that it is competitive on tax rates to attract people and businesses over to the UK. Yet he is another prime minister on a long list of backbone-less politicians. This is what the telegraph had to say about the current government:
If anyone is to make the case for difficult supply side reform, it ought to be Mr Cameron, with responsibility delegated to individual departments, rather than dictated by the Treasury as part of some Soviet-style five-year plan. In any case, beyond lip service, we’ve so far seen precious little of it. The Coalition has dabbled in education, planning, welfare and tax reform, but none of it has been transformational, while on energy policy, the Government seems to have steamed off in the other direction entirely.
What about red tape?
Any exploration of supply-side reform starts with the well-tested notion that the best thing government can do for business and the economy is simply to stay out of the way. Michael Fallon, minister for business and enterprise, has been heroically leading the unglamorous charge against red tape, but new obligations keep mounting, most recently with the start of pension auto enrolment, adding a further 3pc to labour costs.
Sure enough, public spending is slowly – very slowly – being brought back into line with revenues, but too much of the burden of this adjustment has been put on to rising taxes and not enough on a smaller state. Forging ahead with HS2 in the belief this will expand the economy’s potential flies in the face of the basic principle, backed by much economic research, that money ploughed back into the economy through tax cuts is likely to be far more helpful to growth than tax-funded government investment. Examples of public policy that promote self-reliance, as opposed to further discouraging it, remain all too thin on the ground.
The UK’s attitude for growth after world war two was “export or die” and “We must sell the things we like to buy the things we need”. Now it is “cut little bits here and there until growth resumes, then spend more”.
Nothing is solved by government spending, full stop.
As Dan Mitchell rightly puts it:
Featherbedding in Greece has exploded over the last 35years.
It has one of the most wasteful governments of our generation.
The graph above doesn’t even cover the bureaucrats bloated pay and pensions either.
It also hates business:
However, politicians never quite seem to learn their lesson:
To find out more about why Greece is special (In a bad way) check out this blog: http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/almost-all-nations-are-heading-for-collapse-but-greece-is-special-in-a-bad-way/