The State is an interloper in the economy, its presence a massive burden which does nothing but harm. All the great economic catastrophes in history have been caused, not by ‘market failure’, but by State interference. The crash of 2008, for instance, was caused initially by US government interference in the mortgage market.
An economy runs itself, it does NOT need management or regulation from outside. The Confederation & Reform Party is dedicated to creating a truly free market economy in the British Isles, a market which is just that, free.
To this end , the following measures would be taken:
Insider trading laws would be repealed, and all other laws of that ilk. We managed without them for centuries, until very recently in fact. The motivations behind such laws are uniformly disreputable; including such factors as ignorance of economics, arrogant paternalism, power lust, games of political football, jealousy, ‘jobs for the boys’ or, through fines and fees, outright looting. Those who impose and enforce them don’t understand how markets work and don’t like other people getting rich. As soon as any enterprise succeeds it immediately becomes a target for politicians and others bent on pandering to envy, “the most anti-social and evil of all passions” (John Stuart Mill).
All regulatory agencies would be would be wound up, such as the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, the Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Commission, the Advertising Standards Authority, etc., etc., etc., plus all agencies devoted to regulating particular businesses or professions, such as Ofwat, Ofgen, Ofcom, Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, etc., etc., etc. Ordinary laws against theft and fraud could easily take care of most matters controlled by these unnecessary and pernicious agencies with their myriads of imaginary ‘crimes’ or illegalities.
The Treasury would be stripped of any regulatory functions and drastically slimmed down, becoming a simple collection agency: receiving tax money from those who collect it, investing it for maximum return, and paying out when requested to do so by Parliament.
As long as Income Tax exists, taxpayers would be urged to register with a reputable local firm of accountants who would submit a simple, single page, annual statement to the Treasury to the effect that “Citizen A’s income from all sources was X amount, tax owing Y, cheque enclosed”. Tax evasion would become a civil, not a criminal offence, naming and shaming in local papers being the sole penalty.
The long term goal of the Confederation & Reform Party is to dispense with Income Tax entirely. We survived for centuries without it, there is no reason why we should not do so again.
The Bank of England would no longer have any regulatory powers, such as setting a base rate, and would cease to control the money supply. It would become an ordinary bank and would be privatised by free share distribution.
The base rate is typical State hypocrisy. It blithely fixes rates itself, but if private institutions do the same, government officials puff themselves up in jealous outrage and start screeching about ‘crimes’.
The Banking Act would be repealed. The Bank of England would lose its monopoly on the issuance of banknotes in England. All banks would be free to issue their own notes backed by deposits of gold or other precious commodities. The Industrial Revolution occurred under just such a monetary system. There is every reason to expect that taking the State out of the economy and returning to gold money will bring about a similar explosion of wealth creation.
The Royal Mint would be instructed to begin producing sufficient gold coinage for a modern economy. Embedded electronic coding could record ownership of new gold coins – if thought necessary – while acrylic or other such coatings could protect against wear, shaving or clipping. Private minting companies would be free to compete with the Royal Mint which would be privatised, or be included in the aforementioned general services corporation.
Royal Mail would lose its monopoly on first class mail. In return, any universal obligations re delivery and price would also be cancelled. Any other monopoly created by the State would be abolished: e.g., the BT monopoly on telephone landlines. This should never have been granted, but since the monopoly was created by the State, it is perfectly acceptable for the problem to be resolved by the State. The monopoly would be ended, landlines being briefly renationalised then broken up into a number of companies and given to the citizens via free share distribution.
Numerous new shares in private hands can be expected to lead to new stock markets emerging all over Britain. Job Centres would be privatised.
Trademark, Patent, and Copyright laws would be examined to make sure they are actually necessary and do not inhibit innovation. If necessary, they would be overhauled or reduced in scope.
With the cooperation of neighbouring countries, the waters surrounding the British Isles would be divided up into privately-owned fisheries. As economist Leon Loew has observed, the seabed is merely a continuation of the land. If one can have ownership of land one can have ownership of the sea.
The new fisheries would police their own waters and could be relied on not to overfish – in order to remain in business. Ownership would come about via free share distribution to the general population.
Waters close to shore, say up to a mile from land, would be open without charge to individuals (local fishmongers and sport fishers) for small catches for local sale or private consumption, or for lobster and crab catching, a right written into the articles of the new fishing companies.
All roads would be organised into private companies on a city and county basis and privatised by free share distribution. Motorways would be privatised in a similar fashion.
The new road companies would obtain their income from annual fees, mileage charges and tolls. Motorists paying an annual fee in any one company’s area would be free to travel in all. The companies would be allowed to widen and straighten roads and build bypasses and tunnels without planning permission, the only proviso being that they must obtain the agreement of, or compensate, all those affected by any improvements.
The companies would police their own roads and would be empowered to ban dangerous, drugged or drunken drivers, and those who throw litter from moving vehicles. The roadsides of most British highways are disgusting.
In urban settings, the companies would be empowered to ban people for suitable periods who allowed dog-fouling, threw litter (including cigarette butts), urinated in the street, spat gum on pavements, sprayed graffiti, etc. The prospect of being unable to leave their own homes would be an effective cure for all such anti-social behaviour. The ban might be enforced by spraying the faces of those found guilty with a short-lived dye.
The road companies – using as much force as necessary but no more – would also be empowered to clear obstacles to the free flow of traffic created by protestors, parked cars or crowds. Since roads would no longer be ‘public’, being rather privately owned by the citizens, persons who blocked roads or pavements would be committing trespass and would be dealt with accordingly. People wishing to hold fairs, markets, political demonstrations, etc., would require prior permission from road companies.
The DVLA would become a joint endeavour run by insurance companies. However, these might prefer to examine drivers and vehicles and issue licences themselves since they bear the brunt of the cost of motor accidents.
The vastly expensive and virtually pointless HS2 project would be cancelled in favour of upgrading existing railway tracks. Network Rail would be given piecemeal to existing franchised railway companies. They have already paid enough in fees to cover the purchase price.
Former shareholders of Railtrack would be compensated by a CORE government for any losses occasioned by the creation of Network Rail.
The Thames Estuary airport would be given the go-ahead, but would be a purely private enterprise.
The Highway Code would be further amended to protect pedestrians, especially country walkers, from cyclists. Cycling has become increasingly popular but modern cyclists often seem to lack the decency and common sense of yesteryear, they either do not have bells or fail to use them.
Bicycles are very silent and in olden days cyclists always warned pedestrians of their approach. No longer. Modern bicycles easily reach 30 or 40mph and are capable of inflicting serious injury. Road companies would be empowered to ban riders who failed to use their bells or caused accidents. The law would also be amended to make cyclists financially responsible for any injuries inflicted on pedestrians.
Road companies would be empowered to close country lanes to motor traffic at certain times, say Sunday afternoons, so that walkers – who pay as much for the roads as motorists – could enjoy the countryside without danger.
Once these programmes had been carried out, the Ministry of Transport would be wound up, any remaining functions being privatised or shut down.