Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Two Democracies

A democratic government asserts sovereignty over the land on behalf of its people. It obligates landowners to serve the needs of the population. A simple mechanism for ensuring democracy in this sense is for the state to collect rent in the form of a land value tax (apportioned according to rental value) and distribute it to the people as a universal basic income (a citizen stipend delivered to all regardless of wealth or income). The challenge for the individual remains to live creatively.

Most modern "democracies" assert sovereignty over the people on behalf the banks. It obligates the citizens to serve the interests of finance. To this end, they deploy a complex apparatus of differentiated income and sales taxes, ramified by exemptions and deductions, with minimal taxes on land, leaving ample opportunities to profit from speculation and to store wealth in "havens" of various kinds, while granting "welfare" only to those who can demonstrate need. The individual's predicament here is to earn a living.