As people try to place Give & Take Economics into a familiar category they typically first ask whether it is left or right leaning. On one hand it seems very right leaning, due to a focus on free interaction, both in markets and in political participation. On the other hand it seems very left leaning, with a strong focus on obligation of the individual to society and the will of the majority. It is both—not a passive moderate position—but an assertive balancing of both ends of the spectrum. Like most effective solutions in life, Give & Take Economics is yin and yang. It leverages the best of capitalist democracy and socialist democracy.
The best way to illustrate is to highlight by example where the theory falls on major economic, political and generally social issues. Here are a few summarized. They’re analyzed in other posts.
- Balanced government budgets and nothing else.
- Balanced international trade. If not balanced, don’t trade.
- Benefits-driven versus revenue-driven taxes. Taxes aren’t tied to income or consumption, but levied as flat taxes and user fees across citizens that benefit toward a certain purpose.
- Direct democracy by citizens with electronic issue-by-issue voting. No professional politicians and very few career bureaucrats exist.
- Free markets and libertarian rights for individuals are vital and must be protected against significant breaches.
- Tough legal sanctions tied to crime, including white-collar crime. Today’s approach of punishing only a few scapegoat ‘fall guys’ must end. It hides underlying systematic manipulation of social institutions – and that’s on purpose!
- A significant social safety net such as employment insurance, social security and health care is mandatory and vital.
- Completely stop printing money and eliminate monetary and fiscal policy.
- Those unable to pay flat taxes and who need social support can contribute time and labour within the civil service. Workfare replaces welfare and many government careers.
- Asset inflation ‘bubblation’ is as bad as consumer price inflation, being a tax on the poor and middle-class and significantly increasing the risk levels they face through volatility.
- Every citizen bears an equal allocated share of social obligations, including direct costs of programs as well as a prorated share of risk-sharing schemes.
- Citizens should simply not be allowed to profit from any activity that hurts society.
- The will of the democratic majority must take overall precedence in the functioning of society.
- Oligopoly industries significantly hurt overall societal welfare.