Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The Libertarian Party of the United Kingdom is set to have its first official meeting some time in March. Regular readers will know that I have supported the idea of a UKLP, though the contest I wrote my support for was won by an article opposing the suggestion. Ah well, Neil Lock doesn't have to get involved!

However, with both my post and the first meeting in mind, here is either a manifesto or a set of policy suggestions.

Economic policy

1: Seek to cut the size of government realtive to GDP by 25%.

2: End compulsory regulation. This idea is kind of lifted from a thought experiment in Charles Murray's What it Means to be Libertarian. In this thought experiment regulation is no longer compulsory. People don't have to submit their goods, their businesses, their manufacturing processes, etc, etc, to governments for inspection and approval. They don't have to prove to the government that they are conforming to statutory standards, etc. If they want to, then they can. If they don't want to, then they have to stamp or market their goods "government unregulated," or put up signs in clear view "government unregulated" in their stores, etc.

3: Abolish the income tax and replace it with a flat tax.

4: Abolish the welfare state, except for support for the physically disabled (eg, paraplegics, people with extreme MS, etc.). Replace it with a negative income tax, on Friedman's line.

5: Abolish the minimum wage that is causing such disemployment amongst our youth.

6: Declare unilateral free trade, and start reducing tariffs and quotas with an aim to their being zero in five year's time.

7: Have an enquiry on the extent of corporate welfare, and end all instances, no subsidies, grants, etc.

Foreign Policy

8: Withdraw from the EU (because 6 would be a waste of time without doing so!

9: Freeze military spending.

10: Start withdrawing troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and reduce troop numbers over seas.

Domestic policy

11: End the War on Drugs, decriminalising drug use, possession, manufacture and sale.

12: Decriminalise prostitution, pimping, and brothels.

13: Decriminalise sadomasochism.

14: Bring to an end blasphemy laws and laws against "incitement of religious hatred" and racial counterparts.

15: Implement the principle of subsidiarity, returning powers to local councils that have been taken by central governments over the last few decades. The simple reason is that it is easier to vote with one's feat against local governments than it is against national governments. Whilst it is still a burden for people to move house if they don't like the way their Council is run, it is less of a burden than emigrating from the entire country is, and so the ability to vote with one's feat is a more effective check on local government power than on national government power.

16: Full tax credits for people using private alternatives to government services, such as private health care and insurance, private schooling or homeschooling, private policing, rubbish collecting, or use of arbitration rather than courts in civil disputes, and for community based schemes providing alternatives or supplements to government services. "Privatisation" usually ends up meaning the government setting up a firm, or firms, then selling it off, even though it shouldn't really own it in the first place, and then regulating the entire new industry, often with disasterous effects, and with a "free enterprise" rhetoric that allows the inevitable failure to smear free markets ever more. A better alternative is to allow markets to evolve from below by simply avoiding forcing those willing to use private alternatives to pay twice for their service. Whilst a scheme of "voluntary taxation would be better," simply refunding the part of people's taxes that would be spent on this service, in a tax credit, is pretty close to doing this, and avoids the problems associated with voucher schemes.


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