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Table of Contents

Government And The Public Sector Are The Problem

Bear in mind I write this as someone from the 'developed' western world - in my case Britain.

The Myth That Public Sector Workers Contribute Financially To Society

When a public sector worker receives, say, $100,000 from their government per annum for their work, and pays back, say, $20,000 in income tax, and $10,000 towards their government (private sector worker or debt funded) public sector final-salary-based, index-linked (inflation-proofed) pension, which often they can receive much earlier than someone working in the private sector, and they say, “I contribute as much to society in taxes as anyone else, and I've paid for my own pension,” that person presumably does not have a grasp of mathematics (or math, as I believe Americans say).

If you give me $100, and then say I must give you $20 back for A, and $10 back for B, I am not giving you $30. You are giving me $70. I am giving you nothing of my own.

Public sector workers should understand that when they pay taxes and have deductions taken out of their salary, they are not contributing financially to society, they are merely taking less money from productive workers in the private sector than they would be doing if no deductions were made from their salaries or if they paid no taxes.

Public sector workers are funded by productive, private sector workers.

Public Sector Pensions Are Unearned, Unpaid-For, And Are A Burden On Present And Future Private Sector Workers

In the private sector, money has to be earned by a person being part of a 'value adding' system. Having taken part in adding value, a worker may then pay some of their income into a pension fund. If employed rather than self-employed, that worker's employer may also pay money into the worker's pension fund. When the worker retires, the employer, if there is one, has no further liability to make any further payments to the worker. The worker uses the money in their pension fund to buy an annuity from a private financial organization so that they have an income (a pension) until they die.

In the public sector, we see that if a worker supposedly makes a contribution to their eventual pension, it is paid for not with their own money, but with government money, which is obtained from the private sector through the extortion system known as taxation. (A person receiving a tax demand cannot refuse to pay it, and, if they did want voluntarily to pay it, they have no power to decide for themselves what amount they consider it appropriate to pay.) So public sector workers do not make a contribution to the public sector pensions they will eventually receive, they merely agree to reduce slightly their burden on the private sector while they are working in return for eventually getting their private sector-funded public sector pensions.

When a public sector worker retires (as mentioned, often much earlier than a private sector worker), they receive a pension which often is unfunded - and if it is partially or fully funded, by, say, a teachers' pension fund, that money has originally come from the private sector through taxation - and they are then a continuing financial burden on current and future private sector workers because they are continuing to receive money (for not working) from the taxation that is taken from productive private sector workers.

All public sector workers, retired public sector workers, and those who receive any money, directly or indirectly, from government are a financial burden on productive workers in the private sector.

Does This Mean There Should Be No Public Sector Workers

No. There should simply be as few of them as possible, and they should not be a burden on the private sector when they retire.

In Britain it has been pointed out that when we had an empire and controlled quite a significant portion of the world, we had about 4,000 government employees. Now we have about 500,000 civil servants, as they are called, working as part of the government's administrative machinery. Of course there are actually several million public sector workers (something approaching 6 million, I believe - for example in the health service or the education system - and in parts of the country, more than a quarter of the workforce are employed in the public sector, and in one area, over half the workers are in the public sector. Socialism seems to have become so pervasive and widely accepted that it is almost inclining to a form of watered-down communism.

You also have to bear in mind that such figures don't tell the full story, because a lot of government-funded work is outsourced to the private sector, and although such private sector workers in receipt of government money are technically in the private sector, they are in effect public sector employees.

On top of the people who are paid by the government to do some sort of work, there are also course many millions of people in receipt of governments. This might be for not doing any work at all (at least not officially) - such as Jobseeker's Allowance and various disability benefits (the name of the main such benefit keeps changing, by the way, and, in keeping with government's tendency to change the names of things pointlessly, I believe it is now going to be called Personal Independence Allowance) - or it might be as a top-up or a refund made to people who work.

A lot of this is completely unnecessary. The government should be absolutely as small as possible, it should do as little as possible, it should take as little money as possible from its citizens, it should spend as little money as possible, and … it should not borrow money!

How Should Public Sector Workers' Pensions Be Funded?

They should be treated like private sector workers and build up a personal pension fund during their working lives and then use that fund to buy an annuity on retirement. They will then not be a burden in retirement on other productive private sector works.

Of course this does not take into account the state pension which is paid to all people. (In my case, I will get it when I am 67. Someone, such as a policeman or woman for example, or an army officer) may be able to receive their public sector pension (not state pension) when they are only in their early 50's.)

The state pension is unfunded, being paid out of government's tax receipts (and debt issuance). It would of course be desirable if the state pension could be funded, or if there could be some way of state pensions being derived from annuities bought from the private sector.

Is Taxation Really A Form Of Extortion?

Have you ever met a citizen who has signed a contract with their government which says “I agree to pay you any money you demand of me”?

Of course not.

If someone said to you, “You must give me the money I demand of you,” would you call that person a criminal, or a government? It could of course be either. Of course the justification for government's extortion is that they organize services for their country's citizens in return for the money extorted, but the problem is that citizens have no power to determine the amount of tax that will be demanded of them, nor do they have the power to determine how that money will be spent once it has been taken off them.

Income tax in Britain was created about 200 years ago on the pretext of funding a war. The funny thing was that when there was no longer any war, the government didn't stop levying tax.

Nothing is more addictive than other people's money.

Originally it was only a small percentage of people - the well-off - who paid income tax. Now it is said that the average person has to work for several months of the year to pay the taxes that the government demands of them before they start earning money for themselves.

Our Western Democracies Are Not Really Democracies At All

Have you ever authorized your government to deprive people of their liberty, to take money and possessions from a person without that person's permission, to murder people, to invade other people's counties, or to spy on anyone they choose?

Of course not.

As a sensible person once said, democracy is just being allowed to select from a pre-selected shortlist who will be your next set of dictators.

In a genuine democracy it would be necessary for all people to vote on all decisions. If, for example, I am a government representative and I want to spend billions of dollars invading another country and murdering its citizens, I should first be required to ask all voters if a) they will support my desire, and b) they will give me the money I want to do my invading and murdering.

Society Is Drowning In Masses Of Legislation

Politicians love creating new laws. Indeed an unavoidable consequence of having lots of politicians and lots of people in the public sector is that you will necessarily end up with an ever-expanding body of rules and regulations and laws and taxes and charges and fees for this, and demands for money for that. That's what government employees do. They make life more complicated and burdensome. And yet don't most of us believe that simplicity is best?

Legislation should be simplified and minimized, and the people who cause legislation to be created should be reduced to the absolute minimum necessary to keep society stable and safe.

Big Government And 'Welfarism' Are Unnatural

I use the word 'unnatural' here to mean that it goes against nature, natural selection, and the survival of the fittest.

The reason why we humans are the dominant species on the planet is because of natural selection, the law of 'the survival of the fittest'. Welfarism and big government (high tax, high expenditure, high debt issuance, unnecessary public sector employees, and benefits paid to people who make no contribution to society) are against nature. The whole principle of big government is to take money from successful, honest, hard-working people and give it to people who are physically or mentally of lower ability, or who are lazy, dishonest or of parasitical inclination, or who are doing unnecessary public sector work.

Now of course we long ago gave up any desire to live according to the law of the jungle, although possibly this is because in the west we are still rich enough to afford to be unnaturally tolerant and indulgent - or perhaps more accurately we can behave as if we are still because we are living on credit - but even so, life is meant to be tough, and the genes of inadequate animals are meant to die out so that the species as a whole improves. This doesn't mean that we have to be harsh or brutal to people who have, in some way, undesirable characteristics, but I merely suggest that we are too generous and indulgent towards too many people.

Welfarism turns natural selection on its head and says that the best animals should be handicapped and the worst animals should be supported with resources taken from the best animals.

The Failure To Face Up To The Reality Of Human Nature

All animals, including humans, take advantage of the benefits that are made available to them. In my country we pay government money to women who have children, and if they have no home of their own, we will provide them with a state home, or we will pay for them to rent a property in the private sector. Consequently it is normal for poor teenage girls deliberately to get pregnant so that they can receive free housing and a free income without having to work for it. (In Britain you get the same money and the same standard of living if you work for the minimum wage or if you don't work. Therefore, not surprisingly, millions of people prefer not to work, but rather to get for free the same amount of money they would get from working but to have their time free to do with it what they want.)

If you incentivize people with financial inducements to be lazy and/or corrupt, they will be lazy and/or corrupt.

Politicians, public sector workers, benefit recipients and people who work in the private sector but receive money from the government are no different. For example, lawyers nominally work in the private sector, but they can get paid by the government through the Legal Aid system. So, for example, if someone in prison (who is of course being kept at the expense of taxpayers) wishes to take the prison service to court over some grievance, they go to a law firm to get a lawyer to represent their case, and that lawyer will be paid for by the government. (One part of government pays money so that another part of the government can be sued.) Very odd. But of course lawyers do not turn down the opportunity to earn money, and they are as happy to take public sector money as private sector money.

Is There Any Justification For Having Higher Rates Of Income Tax For High Earners?

Let's say no one has to pay tax on the first $20,000 a year that they earn (this is so that life is not made difficult for low earners) but above this figure everyone pays 10%. A person with an income of $1,020,000 would pay $100,000 in tax. This is a generous contribution to society. Where did the justification come from for saying that such a person should pay, say, 50%? Indeed in my country back in, I think, the 1970's, we had a top rate of tax (on, for example, dividends) of 98%. How can there be any sort of justification for such extortion? Come to that, should there even be any form of income tax at all? We should at least debate such issues. But we have all grown so used to having big tax and spend governments that we just accept it as normal. It isn't, and I hope there will come a time when we see politicians as being, at least to some extent, self-serving, venal, parasitical and positively dangerous to a nation's health and to the true welfare of its citizens.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

In Britain, our welfare state began in 1909 when government - politicians, like all people, feeling inclined to be generous when it is other people's money that they are spending rather than their own - introduced a state pension. The average age for a man to die then was at the age of 48. A small pension could be received by men aged 70 or over.

The government had introduced an income tax in 1799 on the grounds of needing money to defend itself against France. Once introduced, politicians found it so pleasant to be able to demand money of other people that over the decades they extended the tax, they increased it, and they added lots of other new taxes and levies as well. (The funniest one in many ways is our TV license. I can go out and buy a secondhand TV for about $30, but the government then demands that for the privilege of having that TV, I must pay it about $200 a year. I'm waiting for the day to arrive when the government introduces a breathing tax, or a walking tax or a standing still tax. Don't laugh, it may happen, for that is how absurd big governments in the developed nations have become.)

Once people accept something bad as normal, that nation must surely ultimately be doomed. When we consider it normal to have to pay a tax when we buy a house from another person, or to be told that cigarettes and alcohol are bad for us - which they are - and then the government, instead of banning them, uses their harmfulness as an excuse to introduce special ultra-high taxes on them, then something has gone wrong. If we see our government invading other people's countries instead of minding its own business, and if it can deprive people of their liberty without any due process of law, and if it can spy on innocent citizens, and (I like this one!) if when you cease wanting to be a citizen of that nation, the authorities say, “OK, but even when you live abroad and become a citizen of another nation, you've still got to keep on paying us income tax for 10 years,” then we should recognize that something has gone very, very wrong indeed.

Perhaps in some sense we should see our politicians as being, at least to some extent, our enemies. Certainly I think it wrong to assume they always have our best interests at heart. Presumably what politicians most want is to continue being politicians and to have power and influence and to take money off people and spend that money (and then borrow and spend yet more), and all those things may actually not lead them to act in our best interests at all.

Boil The Frog Slowly

People can be manipulated by getting them to do one small thing they don't really want to do (say, in return for an immediate reward or some promise of a distant future benefit) and then getting them to do a little more of what they don't want to do, and then a little more, and a little more, and … you get the picture.

People in the investment world do this by saying that if you give them your money, they may give a little of it back straightaway in the form of some gift, and they promise to make your money more than you could make it grow. (Which of course they don't. Broadly an average fund manager will do as well with your money as the markets as a whole do, but of course they will also take their management fees out of your money, so in fact you tend to end up less well off than if you'd just stuck your money in a random selection of shares and left it there.)

The other way to manipulate people is to threaten them or to tell them that there is a potential threat out there somewhere. This is how Americans have had quite a few of their civil liberties taken away from them since the 9/11 collapsing of the 3 towers in New York. The catch-all notion of 'terrorism' is used to justify all sorts of government malfeasance.

Governments Sometimes Seem Like Semi-Criminal Organizations

Not because there is anything special about politicians. It's just that they're human, and people are inclined to corruption when the opportunity presents itself. Politicians are no worse and no better than anyone else. But if you let people rub up against other people's money, and if you don't prevent them from having physical power over other people, they will grab the money and make use of the power.

You can't change human nature, but you can minimize the opportunities to be corrupt, or dishonest, or behave immorally. (I was going to add 'behave illegally', but of course governments can simply declare that everything they do is legal because they declare it to be so.) You can also minimize the number of people in the public sector, the amount of money swilling around in it, and the powers that it has. The problem there is that people in power like to grant themselves more power, and they try to ensure that the people not in power can't stop them.

No Government Should Be Allowed To Issue Debt

Governments, because they are composed of people, and people are prone to dishonesty, corruption and greed, are inclined to 'misbehave' when it comes to getting and spending other people's money. None of us in normal life can keep borrowing year after year after year. Eventually we have to rein in our spending, live within our incomes, and pay off our debts (or go bankrupt). And yet absurdly we allow our governments to keep issuing debt, which it cannot possible ever pay back, just because it cannot control it's urge to spend.

Somebody once said that if the American government wasn't allowed to issue debt and create new money, but instead had to live within whatever money it could raise in taxes from its people, it wouldn't be able to afford to go charging around the world, invading and interfering in other people's countries. And surely that would be no bad thing.

Even in my country, Britain, we have the same situation on a smaller scale (as befits our lesser size and status). Our politicians talk about implementing 'austerity programs', but each month they issue more government debt and print more money and keep spending more even than they are taking off us, the nation's citizens, through a whole array of often very high, taxes and charges and levies and fees.

Of course America does it on a bigger scale because its currency is still, for the time being, regarded as the world's reserve currency, and so nations everywhere are prepared to buy the government's dollar-based debt. But this will change. As China, India, and various other Asian, South American and African countries blossom, America must decline in financial significance, relatively speaking. Indeed it seems to be the case that America is able to maintain its position as 'top dog' in the world only by borrowing. When the true state of its finances and its massive debts, which will never be paid back, become too obvious to avoid facing up to any more, then things could get pretty grim pretty quickly. Indeed I read somewhere the suggestion that America is trying to turn itself into a police state so that it has the legislation in place and the power and resources to crack down on civil unrest when the country has to start living within its means.

Government bonds should not necessarily be seen as investments, but debt-tokens. They may not get paid back - or at least not in full - or they may get paid back with massively devalued money. For if you keep printing huge amounts of new money and flooding the economy with it, the usual consequence, eventually, is inflation, and perhaps even hyper-inflation, which just sees the value of the each unit of money go down in terms of what goods and services you can buy with it.

At some point people stop lending to someone who is excessively in debt, or if they do lend, they demand to be paid a very high rate of interest on the money they lend.

Few things are as pleasurable in life as other people's money, and spending other people's money is an addictive joy. Governments therefore will take money off people whenever they can, and when they find it too difficult to extort money from their citizens, they will steal it. And of course they will issue debt and get their central banks to print money so that they can keep on spending.

In theory debt is meant to be repaid. Who is supposed to repay all this debt that countries have issued? Future generations of its citizens, of course. Politicians enrich people today by impoverishing people in the future. The problem with our political system is that politicians think short term, not long term. (Perhaps only dynastic families think long term, and though of course if a nation were to be run by a dynasty there would still be as much corruption as there would under any other system, it might perhaps have greater long term stability.)

Human nature will never change, and politicians, and other public sector workers, and all recipients of state money, will have the character flaws that are inherent in all humans, so the only way to minimize malfeasance is to minimize the opportunities for it.

We want small government, not big government. (But you try persuading public sector workers of that, or anyone who depends on getting income from the state!)

We Don't Need Anyone To Represent Us. (OK, Maybe A Few!) We Need A System For Putting Forward Proposals And For Voting On Those Proposals

In my country, our parliament is like a kindergarten, with politicians saying, “You're stupid,” to another politician and then the other politician says, “No, you're stupid.” Currently we pay about $100,000 a year in salaries to these people. In addition we give them about $200,000 a year in expenses to indulge themselves (and their spouses and children) with.

We do not need these people. If you believe democracy is a good idea - and personally I'm not sure, because it gives equal weight to the votes of everyone regardless of whether they are stupid or clever, knowledgeable or ignorant, etc - then we should have true democracy where all people vote on all decisions (or at least all decisions that will have some significant impact on a nation's citizenry)

In the internet age, it should be possible to arrange this.

When Politics Is A Career-Option, You Attract People Into It From The Wrong Motives

Serving the public should be seen as something in addition to your normal life. When I was young, people served on my local council, serving the local community, because they felt a compulsion to do something good for other people. They earned sufficient money in their daytime jobs or businesses to cover the physical needs of themselves and their families, and, because personally they had no other material needs, they wished to do something further with their lives, so they decided to make a contribution to society.

Professional politicians, who financially live off private sector profit-generators, are a class of 'taker', not 'giver'. Of course some are worse than others, some are better. But when you turn politics into a career, it shouldn't come as any surprise that such people go into politics because they want an income, expenses and a pension. They are there to serve themselves principally, not others. Salaried political posts attract corrupt, self-interested people. This is not unnatural behavior, but it can be minimized by keeping to a minimum the number of politicians, and indeed the number of all public sector workers, and minimizing the amount of money they are given access to.

The State Benefits System Debilitates People As Much As It Helps Them

I have already said that I believe welfarism is against nature. The opposite of survival of the fittest is to create a system that encourages people to degrade in some way. This may be very pleasant and enjoyable in the short term, but in the long term it produces terrible consequences in terms of people's moral and physical condition.

The benefits system encourages people not to work, but to expect to be given money 'for free'. But of course there is no such thing as free money. It has to come from someone, and those people are workers in the productive private sector. They are made to suffer so that other people can be lazy and dishonest. (I'm talking here about people who deliberately 'game' the benefits system, knowing full well that they could work, but choosing instead not to. I'm not talking about people who are mentally or physically incapable of working, which is another issue altogether.)

This is patently unfair, but the problem is that the benefits system has been made easy to 'game', and it can provide quite a pleasant leisurely life (particularly if you do in fact have a job or a business that can provide you with extra income).

We've already seen the occurrence of poor girls deliberately getting pregnant because it enables them to get accommodation and income which they could not get by working. The welfare system incentivizes undesirable behavior. If we are going to have a welfare system, it should not be so attractive as to offer itself up as essentially a career choice. Of course none of us would want to make other people's lives unpleasant (except perhaps those of prisoners) but we need state benefits to be seen as a not particularly attractive short term option for someone who is currently unable to support themselves financially.

As an aside, I've just read article about how our National Health Service is trying to save money. What they are doing is making managers redundant with generous pay-offs (that's taxpayers' money, of course), and then a short time later re-employing then back in the National Health Service but in a different section of it and probably with a different job title. This is the absurdity of socialist big government gone mad. Give people access to other people's money and they will grab as much of it as they can. Often a lot of high level public sector managerial jobs are given by people to their friends. The system is as corrupt as any in the so-called third world.

Society should not be made up of so many politicians, public sector workers, benefit recipients, and people who only notionally work in the private sector while actually getting public money.

Are these people bad? No. They are normal. They are just looking after their own best interests, and grabbing the opportunities that they see available.

Let's get rid of as many of those opportunities as we can. Let people make their own way in life, not at public expense, but by finding something they can do for other people in the private economy in return for money and accommodation.

A sensible person will not work if you tell them you will give them the same amount of money regardless of whether they work or not. In my country, we have millions of people who make a lifetime career out of not working. And why should they work? These people are not fools. If they don't work, they may receive, say, the equivalent of $400 a week in welfare payments. If they work, they may receive exactly the same amount of money. When you take money from workers and give it to non-workers, you incentivize people not to work, so we shouldn't be surprised when people choose not to work.

We are producing lazy people, selfish people, corrupt people, and we are encouraging the continued existence, and indeed expansion, of a class of person whose genes would die out over time, but who instead are accommodated and paid (and financially induced to have children) at the expense of people who in all honesty must surely be seen as better and certainly as hardworking. This debilitation and worsening of society over many generations can only produce increasingly undesirable consequences.

The Welfare State Encourages The Break-Up Of Families

We have a huge problem in Britain with single parent families. Amongst the middle classes, divorce and family break-up may be encouraged by our divorce laws, which offer a financial incentive to the poorer partner in a marriage to divorce because the divorce court usually orders the richer partner in the marriage to transfer a significant portion of their wealth, income and pension to the poorer partner.

Amongst poorer people, the inducement to divorce comes from the benefits system, which offers them free accommodation and money (including Child Benefit and an allowance for single parents) if they leave a marriage or relationship and cannot afford to live off their own resources. The end result of all this is a massive increase in recent decades of single parent families, with all the ensuing harm that that does to children who are likely not to see their missing parent, and may have the unpleasant experience of seeing the parent who looks after them go with a new partner or partners. The socially destructive force of this deliberate offering of inducements by broadly socialist big governments is catastrophic, and the full consequences of it have yet to be seen.

What Would Happen If There Was No Welfare System

Certainly life would be a lot harsher for many people than it is now. I think three things would happen. People who were unable to find work that enabled them to earn enough to house themselves would end up becoming servants. (People do not realize that even within the past 100 years it was normal to have a servant class. It was even considered normal, going further back, to have a slave class.)

The second thing that could happen with people who are mentally or physically incapable of being productive members of society and supporting themselves financially is that they would become recipients of charity. Charity was the way that fortunate members of society used their excess wealth to benefit those members of society who had inadequate resources, abilities or opportunities.

The third thing that could happen is sheer brutality and cruelty, as happens in the animal kingdom. I suspect brutally will increase in society in the west as it decays economically, morally and socially.

Does this mean I advocate not having welfarism? No. But it shouldn't be made too attractive, it should be kept to the minimum reasonable in terms of scale and cost, and the social consequences of it and its effects should be taken into account.

Debt Is Wrong, Profit Is Right

Democracy often seems to be the system of buying the votes of the populace by offering them what they want. This is like asking your seven-year-old kid how it feels the household should be run, and then running it in that way. Politicians make promises they should not make and that they do not keep anyway, and because nothing is more stimulating than spending other people's money, to buy people off, they have put their nations into massive, un-repayable debt.

To prevent this, debt-created money should not be able to be produced by governments. If the nation wants more money, let its people go out and work for it and engage in profitable trade. If the nation can't afford something (like invading someone else's country), let it go without.

Future Generations Will Have To Pay For The Easy Ride That Recent Generations Have Had

Socialism seems to be what arises when a society temporarily has more money - earned or borrowed - than is usual or than it even deserves. It seems to be a passing phases that lasts for a few decades until the society has to face up to economic reality, and life becomes harsher and more meritocratic again, with the people getting the standard of living that they deserve and can earn for themselves.

In my country we have one generation - possibly two generations - of people born or growing up around the time of the second World War and in the two or three decades afterwards who were really given an easy ride through life, with jobs in both the private and public sectors being easy to get, and with generous pension provisions, and adequate state benefits for those who couldn't, or didn't want to work. Public sector pensions were - indeed still are - notoriously generous. Often all this was funded by heavy taxation, and then heavy borrowing. In other words, people in recent decades have been able to have the standard of living they had, and have, because they were essentially borrowing from the standard of living of future generations.

Debt Based Money Creation Is What Allows Politicians To Do All Those Things They Shouldn't Do

Sometimes it pays to have less money rather than more, and almost always it is best to live within your income. Politicians need to be deprived of money, not allowed to create more of it to indulge their often silly and even downright harmful ideas.

Elimination, Not Tinkering, Is The Way Forward

We British are terrible for fiddling with situations rather than tackling them head on. The best way to solve a problem is not to tinker with it here and there, but to get rid of it altogether. I would say that anything that is connected with the public sector in any way and that can be got rid of advantageously should be got rid of entirely. This applies to legislation, it applies to taxes, and it applies to whole departments of public sector workers.

Small is beautiful. That should be our motto with regards to the public sector. Why not just have 2 taxes - an income tax and a sales tax? Say, 10% each? It would make everything utterly clear and transparent. No other money could be raised by government. That is what it gets, and that is what it can spend.

In Britain at the moment we are talking about privatizing the postal delivery service. There is no reason why our government should own this service. Government isn't a business enterprise. It should leave business to business people. People should own as little as possible to enable it to do its core functions. Get out of what doesn't connect with its core political and social welfare functions, and keep out.

It would be nice to see politicians - at both national and local level - being unsalaried. But of course the problem is, who gets to choose whether they are paid or unpaid? They do, and they are hardly likely to vote to deprive themselves of salaries, expenses and pensions. The wrong people these days get to make the decision. Perhaps the populace as a whole never really had any say in matters of significant, but we should be voting on whether we want politicians to be paid or not, or whether we want an indiscriminate open-door policy for immigration, or whether we want to invade another country, or whether we want to give millions in foreign aid to politicians in other countries, where they are quite likely just to steal the money for themselves anyway.

Let's have some real democracy.

If We Are Going To Have A Democracy, Should All Mature Citizens Be Allowed A Vote?

As mentioned, I'd prefer a real democracy all people vote on matters of significance, rather than a representative democracy, where we vote for who will represent us and take decisions supposedly on our behalf. But should all adults in a democracy be able to vote, or should we have selective criteria that have to be met for people to become voters?

In ancient Greece, democracy declined because philosophers argued that it gave power to the mob and the low born because of the sheer weight of their numbers. We might say that democracy tends to bring things down to the level of the lowest common denominator. Also, just because a majority of the adult population supports a particular course of action, does that make it right? When we choose people to do certain jobs, we like to choose the people with the best ability and experience. Shouldn't democracy be the same, with voting only open to those who meet certain social and financial standards, and who show suitable mental competence and ability?

Of course the problem with restricting who can vote in a democracy is that it is seen giving power to a particular type of person, or people who have vested interests. But then all people have some sort of vested interests. Public sector workers will want to vote for someone who is in favor of the public sector. A benefits scrounger will want to vote for whoever seems likely to allow them to continue living on benefits, and who will perhaps even pay them more money in benefits. Perhaps (and I say this only half seriously) anyone who receives public sector money in any way should not be allowed to vote. The problem there is that it would leave hardly anyone eligible to vote. But it would seem to make sense. Why allow people to vote on issues such as whether they should continue to get public sector money? Of course they're going to say yes.

Democracy has a lot of flaws, a lot of failings and shortcomings, but perhaps it is (when open to all a nation's adults), as Winston Churchill said, the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.

A Retired Public Sector Worker In America Or The European Union Can Often Get More Money In Pension Than A Person Doing A Job In The Private Sector Can Earn

I just thought I'd throw that in to anger people who are working hard but still struggling to make a living in the private sector, and who might not be going to get any work-related pension at all. With the West's eventual, and seemingly inevitable, economic and social decline, you might not want to admit that you work, or used to work, in the public sector.

Conclusion

It isn't government as such that is bad, it's big government that is bad. It needs scaling back drastically. The public sector could be pruned to, say, a tenth of its current size, relinquishing much of what it does and letting the private sector do it, and I suspect the country would still be safe and secure and continue to function in a perfectly efficient and stable fashion. Let's cut down on this addiction to spending money, and doing things that really don't need to be done. Let's stop trying to show off on the world stage (it has been suggested that our Prime Minister only continues to allow hundreds of millions of pounds to be given away each year in foreign aid because it boosts the impression he makes, and that our country makes, abroad) and let's focus on domestic matters. Have a defense force, yes, but cut back on invading other people's countries and interfering in their domestic. And certainly there should be no government borrowing.

We should have low taxation, little regulation, a small public sector, tiny public sector expenditure, the minimum amount of welfarism, and rules that tell government to keep its nose out of people's lives unless some harm or loss is being caused. It should neither penalize people unnecessarily, nor incentivize them financially to do things that are socially and economically undesirable.

Socially we should encourage people to be self-supporting, to stand on their own two feet, and to take responsibility for their own lives. Whilst looking after inadequate and disadvantaged members of society, we should praise, advance and reward those who show exceptional ability or who make great efforts or achieve great things. Meritocracy would be no bad thing.

I think if we did those things, society be a lot better. If we don't, the decadence resulting from big government and welfarism might just be the death of us (both individually, and as nations and societies).

Social Sciences


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