Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Teddy Party

So the CBC did an article on this "Economist Party" joke that's been running on twitter for some time now. A better platform of the party can be found here.

I agree with many of their proposals.

However, I decided that I'd outline things the Teddy Party would do.

Top Priorities:
These are things that would be done first. That means start to finish, these things are done prior to moving on to other items on the list, unless otherwise noted.

1 - Abolish "Payroll Taxes"
To be specific, any income tax that has a maximum. These are regressive taxes that only hurt the poor, and need to be done away with ASAP. Either replace them with general taxation, or keep them but eliminate the cap.

2 - Abolish stealth payroll taxes in crown corporations
This would also apply to non-crown corporations; in short it would ban things like the equal-per-house delivery fee for electricity. These again are regressive taxes that only hurt the poor, and again, need to be done away with ASAP.

3 - Stick social support and other indexes to inflation
You can use another measure, like CPI, or a basket of goods, but social support (IE welfare) needs to be stuck to inflation. Ideally this is done with a basket of goods, and those goods must include things that poor people actually buy and use; things like transit fares, and apartment rents. Welfare must rise with these costs, not below them. Also stuck to these indexes should be fees, taxes, and all sorts of other things, to ensure that the value of these things remains the same over time.

Next Priorities:
After all three of the above are 100% done, we can move on to a few other important items

1 - Basic Income
This will need to be done properly. The first step would be to increase all social supports to the same level of the highest. AFAIK the most any social program gives to single people is AISH which gives $1,588 to albertans with disabilities. This means that all welfare, all other provincial disability programs, and all pensions, will rise to $1,588 a month. Next is catching more people in the system. The best way to do this is to simply lower the bar for welfare entry to those making less than $1,588 a month, after taxes. Finally, you need a clawback that is not 100%. 1/3rd seems fair to me, this means for every dollar you make over $1,588, the government would give you 1/3rd of a dollar less in social support. The final step is merging all these programs into one. Should the government decide that $1,588 is too much, it can hold the rate steady for a while; but in general, the poverty line (which is $1,734.25 a month) should be used.

After a basic income is in place, and only after a basic income is in place, we can do the following,

1 - Flat taxes, and/or no income taxes
Taxes should ideally start with a 0 bracket up to the level of the basic income, with any income above this subject to the same flat rate. Alternatively, eliminate income taxes. If not, then you must do one very important thing: eliminate all tax credits.

2 - Carbon Taxes
Ideally introduced at the same time as the reduction or elimination of the income tax.

3 - Introduce a european-style sales tax
And no, I don't mean switch to a VAT. I mean make it law that all stores must have the after-tax price on the price tag, like Gas stations or Taxicabs do. No more "sticker shock" at the till.

4 - Tolls
In particular, roads and highways that are overcrowded, where alternatives exist (transit, other roads/highways) should be tolled. Importantly, these tolls are only to be put in place after the alternative is up and running.

5 - Corporate Registration and Taxation.
Make it easier and cheaper to register a corporation. Also, corporate taxes should be simplified and reduced. Currently, corporate taxes can be as low as 11% on small businesses, but that's only after a series of complex reductions and paperwork. Taxes can be as high as 54%, but are not that high in reality due to the said complex paperwork. A revenue neutral combined federal and provincial flat tax would have to be 30%. This can be reduced to 28% though a BC style carbon tax. 28% also happens to be the federal corporate tax rate after all the paperwork. While we could go with this as both the personal flat income tax rate, and the corporate flat income tax rate, it would be ideal to lower this as much as possible. Increasing the sales tax, highly recommended by economists, to a total of 18% would mean we can reduce income taxes to 22% or more, while an increase to 25% sales taxes, standard in europe, could provide for a combined provincial-federal income tax as low as 15%, on both corporate and personal income, without any complex paperwork.

Other Objectives:
After all of the above are done, all of them, start to finish, I propose the following, in no particular order:

Legalize pot

Legalize euthanasia

Re-write copyright law to comply with modern expectations

Reform the Senate

Change the voting system

Examine the benefits and drawbacks of unicameral and tricameral systems VS our current system

Reform the entire prison system from the ground up

Fixing the problems with the police

Writing laws for eventual AIs

And a bunch of other stuff I can't think of right now.


  1. The other ideas:

    funds to convert public washrooms to genderless washrooms

    NOTA ballot options, and mandatory voting without any penalty for failure to do so

    Looking at age limits - drinking age, driving age, age of consent, age of majority, etc etc, and seeing if they are set properly or should be changed

    Infrastructure campaign; to always be building new subways, internet lines, hydro connections, etc.

  2. One thing I don't think I made clear, is that I'd like to "equalize" taxes as much as possible; so that, for example, we could have a 20% sales tax, a 20% income tax, a 20% corporate tax, etc. I'd like to keep that "20%" the same for each thing as much as possible to keep the system as simple as possible to follow and understand, and thus, harder to cheat.