Monday, 11 August 2008

Basic Income and Sin Taxes

Many people think that politics is just whatever politicians do, but I define politics to be a system of organizing large groups of people. Hence, politics exists in all places where there are large numbers of people, e.g. in families and companies. Politics is the study of the way that groups of people organize and end up deciding what to do. Unless you live in the country by yourself, chances are you are to some degree a politician and you are involved in politics.

One political concept I want to talk about today is the Basic Income. I think that Government should give everyone $10,000 per year regardless of whether you are rich or poor. This money is a Basic Income necessary for living. It provides a safety net just in case you run into some trouble. Some people believe that such a plan would be expensive but if all other benefits were taken out, e.g. Medicare, Family Tax Benefits, Baby Bonus, various subsidies to farmers, and so on, I'm sure enough money could be found. There is also the problem of inflation, that is prices of goods go up, and so the cost of living increases over time. This is easily fixed with a Basic Income Commission meeting up every so often to increase the Basic Income in line with cost of living. The Basic Income concerns how money should be spent by Government. What about how money is raised?

To get taxation, I believe that Government should tax bad things rather than good things. Currently in Australia (as well as in America) the more you earn, the higher you are taxed. I believe that income taxes should be abolished completely. Taxes should then be applied on goods and services that are genuinely bad, e.g. tobacco, alcohol, saturated fats, and energy consumption. These things are genuinely bad. Tobacco, alcohol, and saturated fats are bad for your health and energy is bad for the environment.

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