10 Point Policy Plan

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #1

If you were to summarise Pirate Party 10 Point Policy Plan onto a poster to try to attract new followers like myself what would they be?

Is there surveys done on what the majority of Pirate members prioritise like this?
Is Pirate Policy made via democratic consensus or by an elite beurecracy?

I’m new here, but if i would list the most attractive points to me, in order, they would probably be:

  • UBI (counteracts automation disruption problem)
  • LVT / Single Tax / Housing (counteracts housing/renting unaffordability problem. houseboats legal).
  • Bill of Rights (counteracts tyranny of majority) + more direct democracy (counteracts tyranny of minority)
  • Pricing Carbon (ETS or Carbon/Pollution tax) (counteracts global warming + climate change).
  • Defensive rather than Offensive military as per NAP.
  • Water Access Guarantee. not sure how or what state its in now. but in principle i think its important. especially contrasted to ancaps who dont think that water access is a natural right and might want to privatise water off and sell it to the highest bidders. Pirates love water. The good thing about water is so long as you have water and sunshine, and affordable housing, you can grow your own food at your own house.
  • Digital Innovation, Freedom & Transparency (Investment, cryptocurrencies, FOI/whistleblowers, Patent/Copyright reform, NBN)
  • Progressive Education funding and reform. I dont know the answers here and havent perused the platform yet on this, but this is really important imo. Increased focus on future innovative technologies and coding. Its amazing that education used to be free in the past, and many neoliberals took advantage of that yet now want to gut the system. With less jobs due to automation, its important that young people have the freedom to study, even if costs can be saved by having courses online or other methods of non-authoritarian incentivisation.
  • Less War More Drugs
    (marijuana + testosterone etc legalisation, drugs less harmful than alcohol). These are harmless crimes that can create new industries if legalised.
  • Aboriginal Treaty with representation on Citizens Jury that vote in senate

More comments

  • I was surprised to see that Greens support UBI too.
  • Greens don’t seem to focus on LVT as primary tax reform, and isnt part of LDP’s platform, therefore this could be a strong focus for Pirates and as i see in the platform a simplified tax system is. I would personally go so far as making Single Tax a core principle since i’m a Georgist which can still include include Pigovian tax on pollution, as Georgists treat pollution as part of land and property rights violation.
  • I also don’t like the history of Greens being less fiscally constrained and more ideologically off centre. Whilst its possible many of these policies are also shared by The Greens, its possible that at least some aren’t and The Greens are thought of as being fiscally reckless with spending and taxing.
  • Another good idea is some sort of treaty with Aboriginal first peoples. Again, Greens and Labor probably support this, but this can win votes in Aboriginal community and is Justice. AFAIK they want more constitutional representation so i think that can be achieved through the Citizens Senate Jury whilst not requiring other minorities to be represented. This can be exceptionally justified from a libertarian perspective based on the original land theft.
  • I know many of these points are in the platform. But perhaps it could benefit from some consolidation to easily market the platform to new people?
  • Housing and renting affordability issue is quite important to young people
  • Im not really sure how UBI and “Right to Work” tie together… By assumption UBI assumes not 100% employment as some will be creating new businesses (unless you tie call that employment that could work). Arts and media can be considered proper activities as employment too.


(twisty) #2

tl;dr (I blame alcohol)

@jsky I like the cut of your jib (nice pirate-art).

(Andrew Downing) #3

I’m wondering whether, as a newcomer, have you noticed the general “anti rent seeking” theme of our economic positions?

We’ve been considering whether we should emphasise that as a basic theme.

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #4

yeh i noticed it, but the point im making is -
a) more of a marketing one
b) key value propositions. what pirates give you, that noone else does.

UBI is great, but Greens have it too. But ours is better because they will spend too much!
I think we need to cut through there to win votes.

The average person doesnt even know what “anti-rent seeking” means.
It almost needs propaganda. Thats what alot of marketing is.
So, if you look at ldp’s website they have campaigns like legalise marijuana.
And so, yeh we can do that too, but what do you get here that you dont get there or anywhere else (as campaigns of 2-4 words)?
They have the guns. We have LVT. We have Bill of Rights. Those things should be the focus of marketing IMO. The bite size chunks of WIN policies. Maybe Treaty is another one, but again Greens might be there too.

i guess i feel like if there is no desperation for the policy and the desperate ones are not focused on, you wont persuade much, even if all the other policies are great. Perhaps a smaller compact number of core issues such as in a single issue party might get the core things achieved easier? For example, a guy in the AYPS group has started an Affordable Housing Party, and that should get a decent following i would think because its such a big issue, its desperate.

  • And the wiki of good solutions here wont go anywhere fast unless it is really shined up and sold really well with core marketable campaigns on the front page (the Our Vision ones).
    You shouldn’t have to click to find that. it should be immediately obvious like the core tenants on the landing page.

  • And it needs the faces/people clearly on the front page too, the people that will be running for election.
    Our People like LDP does. Of course Lleydonhjelm is a star personality now, but you need to have someone even if he/she isn’t big yet. It cant be like guess the secret pirate.
    That Lleydonhelm guy. That pirate guy/girl Make a scandal to get him/her into the news.

  • Perhaps the party might do with a rebrand if your really serious about getting significantly more votes.

I would look to LDP and see how theyre trying to market their voice really well.
Maybe its just the website landing that has an impression of bespokedness and not intention…
I hope im not being too blunt just my opinion.

(Andrew Downing) #5

Julias, the things you say make sense to me.

Did you read the “Swarm as Strategy” thread?
If not, do so now, then come back here.
If you want these things to happen, then start it.

Work with people from the “Pirate Bureau”. The leader of that group already “likes the cut off your jib”. There are release approval processes, but they are light weight. There is nothing to stop you planning a campaign or creating and sharing content in here.

Want to be a candidate?
If you’re a member, then you can be. There may be voting involved to be approved.

If you want to get pre-approved long before elections candidates to be a thing, propose it to the National Council. They may go for it.

(Jesse Hermans) #6

In principle all members get a democratic say in every aspect of the party and can exercise that power at all times, which is made very accessible. In practice low member participation results in a lot of decisions, policy etc being done by a core of more active members which you could argue form an “elite bureaucracy”. That’s not to say other pirates aren’t doing things which advance the cause of the party and contributing… but in terms of who’s actually steering the ship, from what I’ve observed in the year I’ve been here there is a dedicated inner core who generally run things and get shit done, while an outer core do ad hoc what they can in the time they have and when it peaks their interest, and then on the margins there are inactive members who appear to be phantoms.
To basically sum up AndrewD, results, influence, and power (as with most things in life) comes with/from doing shit most people won’t or don’t want to do. It’s a basic component of leadership.

The average person doesn’t understand or know what single tax means either.
I generally don’t like this term because it has a history of being confusing and misstating the principle - rents go beyond site values, and in a legal/legislative sense we seek to impose multiple taxes to collect multiple sources of rent. The average layperson is subsequently confused by this terminology and would be prone to dismissing us as crackpots.
From what we’ve been working on we will likely produce an Anti-Rent Seeking Position Statement (ARSPS) under Declaration_of_platform_and_principles in coming months, which will explain the concept of economic rent and the theme in the platform. You are welcome to help, discuss and contribute towards this. The next Policy Development Committee meeting is Tuesday 10/10/17 8:30PM AEDT on irc:

The Right2Work stuff will hopefully make more sense when I’ve finished hammering out the policy. Until then all I can do is recommend you read through the lengthy thread on the matter, and watch my presentation at the last congress to get the full context. The purpose is end involuntary unemployment/underemployment in the labour market which occurs due to systemic demand deficiency resulting from trade deficits and private domestic sector net saving desire. I don’t expect you to understand any of that jargon, but there is a huge wealth of academic backing which supports this concept should you be interested.

I’m uncertain here if this is referring the size of government or the size of the federal deficit or both. On the one hand I agree that I find the Greens too wedded to expanding government, although on the other I’ve come to the conclusion after reading Game of Mates that trying to keep government small for ideological reasons when it actually results in more rent-seeking and private rent extraction is stupid. There are many very good cases where the government should be involved in a sector rather than no public sector involvement. It depends on the situation and context.
This is why George supported public control of utilities, railways and other certain sectors of the economy where monopoly rents were inherent in the market and no real competition could be had. A good example of this now would be the LNG sector in Australia, which has turned into an absolute rentier rape fest with a cartel of 3 big gas companies controlling the cheapest gas reserves and over 80% of the market, all the while running off with the resource rents, exporting all the cheap gas overseas, extorting the domestic market and price gouging on monopoly pipeline networks, and even retail. Not to mention trying to get out of their dud frothy investments they made on Curtis Island (they want to socialise those losses). The ACCC and the federal government are only now getting their shit together, but it’s too little and too late. At this point in time Santos should have been nationalised, and use it or lose it laws imposed on gas reserves to ensure they’re not left in the ground to be drip feed to the more profitable export market, which needs to be restricted with a much stronger gas reservation.

If you are implying an opposition to fiscal deficits, then I would have to state I disagree. Fiscal policy (which includes deficits) is a means to an end and not an end in of itself. The size of the deficit for a currency issuing government is not important, what is important is price stability, full employment, unencumbered (productive) private investment, good public infrastructure, education, health etc. - real outcomes. This is called functional finance, and at some point I will raise the debate within the Pirate Party on the matter.

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #7

Hmm well i don’t know about all of that but it sounds very interesting.
I did watch the pirate presentation (it was probably yourself) about Right To Work.
What i immediately fear is that it is just branded by the right as a typical socialist policy, and maybe even by the ALP as utopian dreaming.
Whereas the legitimacy of the UBI funded by Single Tax LVT is founded on winning enough supporters in the middle from both sides, and thus positions like the single tax are simple, easy to market, appealing to both sides…even potentially to some of the other libertarians.
Of course i do believe in discincentivising pollution too (ETS or Carbon Tax) but Georgists often say that is part of land anyways. I think it might be possible there to have the cake and eat it too.
My difference in opinion here may be because i’m closer to the centre.
But I will try to digest some of the other material you’ve linked.

(Jesse Hermans) #8

There is a great irony in this, because the Right to Work was a de facto policy introduced by the ALP after the second world war by Ben Chiefly, and then continued by the Liberals under Menzies - the policy was bipartisan, and it worked. It wasn’t abandoned until the (predominately big business community, landowners, wealthy etc) launched a political counter attack in 1974 under the cover of the OPEC oil crisis. It had to be undone by changing the rhetoric to blaming the unemployed for being unemployed etc. and using the oil shock as a scape goat for rising unemployment.Unemployment Australia

There is nothing particular new in what I am proposing, aside from specifics of how it is managed/implemented in practice. The policy would be instead be embedded into a new single institution, rather than done through a plethora of public utilities (now privatised) and government bodies (e.g. Metropolitan Board of Works).
The program I am proposing has been developed by academics and tested to varying degrees over the last 3 decades. It would be far more streamlined than what we had between 1945-1974, and made a de jure institution (rather than de facto implied) policy, as well as made more economically sound by anchoring price stability (inflation) to the (now de facto) minimum wage paid under the program. This would make it far harder to politically undo once in place, since the population would know that it is that specific institution which ensures there are enough jobs for those who want to work, and not some sort of magic economics voodoo.

I also have it on good authority there are people within the ALP who support this, and there would be no doubt a lot of Nationals voters and even Liberal voters who would support a policy which provides jobs for all, and exposes the “true bludgers” who don’t actually want jobs.

(Jesse Hermans) #9

There are issues here which are not obvious at face value. There are reasons organisations such as Prosper Australia (originally the Henry George League) have been around for 125 years and still have not achieved their objectives. If it were that easy it would have been accomplished long ago.

Firstly “Single Tax” is not an easily marketable position. There are plenty of people (mainly middle income home-owners, pensioners, but even people my age with some economics education) I have encountered who are horrified and openly hostile to the idea of “taxing the family (land) home”. It’s not an easy idea to get across because many people are intimately wedded to and breastfed on the idea that they are entitled to capital growth in their home. Even to the idea they are entitled to pass on unearned income from economic rents to their children.

Secondly it might appeal to many across the spectrum once they understand the bigger picture, but will inherently find opposition in supposed “capitalists” (rentiers) who are currently getting a free ride, like this guy:

We’re up against some very powerful people, some with alleged connections to organised crime. You should not underestimate your opposition. If you start actually posing a threat they will throw all their resources at you. The mining tax is a perfect example of this. Billions of dollars are on the line for these people, so they will spend billions to defend it.

Thirdly BI comes with its own can of worms one has to deal with separately to “The Single Tax”. These are worms the Pirate Party wants to confront, however rapping up the idea as a land rent dividend for the sake of a rent dividend will lead some on the right to attack some sort of socialist redistribution policy (which to some extent it is). As it stands each policy needs to stand on its own two feet and be argued and justified on its merits in isolation. We aren’t just taxing land and handing out a BI because of some obscure ideology. We tax land because its “the least bad tax” and provide a negative income tax because it lowers the Effective Marginal Tax Rates, slashes overheads and abolishes punitive measures compared to the existing system.

(Jesse Hermans) #10

Rent dividends are easier to explain to the public if they are resource rents, like in Alaska’s case.

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #11

I think we have to be the ones to come to terms with the big elephant in the room of automation.
Other countries will choose robots over people digging holes in the ground. They will be more competitive.
I understand that only a minority of people are entrepreneurs so we still need some job creation from the state.

Fundamentally I think we should be more centrist positioned to attract voters who are disaffected by both ALP and LNP.

The other big vote winner will be affordable housing which LVT helps achieve.
I think we need to focus on UBI and Land.

ALP gets the jobs policy votes.
Right to Work is a ALP-Corbynite policy.

52 PM

I’m skeptical that many libs would get involved with Right to Work.
Perhaps some of the conservative-right might, strangely enough, it does seem to wrap around there.
But i’m skeptical that there is many liberals that aren’t drunk on the neoliberalism privatise and cuts and survival of the fittest and game of mates cool-aid.

They wont touch a ALP-socialist-esque branded policy.

I do think there’d be some labor support for this proposal, but a some of labor is neoliberal now too.

I think there might be a better case for free tuition for the tech/future/science class of students than for Right to Work.

That is, even if you cant find work or be entrepreneurial, then you can keep studying in these classes.

those classes being
a) tech oriented engineers, designers, business
b) trades: house-builders to increase supply, chefs etc

Basically ones resistant or dependant on automation and discluding ones not in any demand to be cut.

so these can get free tuition whilst other “less useful careers” could have cuts to help pay for these (these people could study them at home on UBI themselves).

There must be some synthesis, there must be some middle ground.
I think those on UBI who aren’t studying to become in the class of robot engineers, or tradies, can move into some of these jobs created by state programs, but as a policy it sounds of ALP policy (not a good UVP/differentiatior).

I do agree with the point you made in the discussion about psychology of jobs and that they are still necessary as society becomes more and more automated. But i am yet convinced about the policy position.

I have encountered who are horrified and openly hostile to the idea of “taxing the family (land) home”. It’s not an easy idea to get across because many people are intimately wedded to and breastfed on the idea that they are entitled to capital growth in their home. Even to the idea they are entitled to pass on unearned income from economic rents to their children.

One potential here is to reduce the tax rate on the principal residence.
But i think if people are informed about the benefits, a large amount in the centre would get onboard.

(Jesse Hermans) #12

Firstly that’s a very prerogative statement. No one here is advocating a make work scheme of “digging holes” and automation is not mutually exclusive with providing people with useful community jobs.
Secondly this is not the case. Japan is doing both.

The other big elephant in the room is an ageing population. Policy makers in Canberra are more concerned with that for good reason. They know that the issue will be trying to offset the ageing population with automation, and so far we don’t seem to be managing because we keep having to raise the retirement age to delay rising dependency ratios.

What you are effectively suggesting is provide welfare (free tuition) for the people who will have the highest labour incomes in future and abandon those on the bottom, with little hope of entering the labour market and condemning them to the fringes of society - leaving them nothing more than a paltry BI to maintain subsistence. There are not many things I can think of which are as grossly inequitable (aside from how we manage monopoly property rights).
As I’ve also provided there is plenty of literature which demonstrates useful work people can do providing public goods and services, while earning a dignified living. Automation is coming, but it’s still got a significant way to go when you look at actual productivity data. In the mean time we need to manage the transition and broaden the concept of work.

Really? I could’ve sworn I heard something about “Jobs and Growth” the last federal election…

This is an old furphy which keep rearing its ugly head. Churn the unemployed/underemployed through the education system for jobs which aren’t there, in the hope jobs materialise. It’s called “Full Employability”, and it blames the unemployed for joblessness (due to a lack of skills) when in reality there are not enough vacancies, and vacancies are purely a demand issue. You don’t need an export boom to stimulate demand when you have a currency issuing government. It’s also far more efficient and effective to target that needed demand to the bottom of the labour market so you don’t interfere with the private sector wage structure - by hiring people off the bottom you get a bottom up recovery rather than a trickle down in the hope some jobs appear.
More to the point, private sector skill shortages didn’t exist until the 80s after all the public sector job providers (which were doing all the training and skilling of workers) were privatised. By incorporating training into an employment program you kill a flock of birds with a single stone.

It doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to be a Sanders/Corbynite to think offering people a job doing something somewhat beneficial to the community is better than having them search for jobs which aren’t there, or give up in total despair and suffer mental health problems. More to the point, the Pirate Party doesn’t exist to appease the masses for the sake of winning votes. We’re in the business of providing real cutting edge solutions to serious problems and informing the population of those solutions - we exist to provide a real alternative. If we need to convince people of this better alternative (be it land tax, BI, Job Guarantees etc.) then so be it.
The Right to Work is a straight forward solution to a straight forward problem, with a multitude of academic underpinning, past precedence and historical broad based support. Menzies almost lost government because unemployment went above 3%. The population refused to budge on the issue once they realised unemployment was a political choice and not some sort of mystical phenomenon. We’ve done it once and we can do it again.
Highly recommend this as a historical background.

Personally I think this issue is going to become increasingly relevant to all Australians including young people, who are being pushed into insecure and casualised work without the benefits of full time employment. Land affordability is very bad, but then so to is insecure work. When a young person can’t enter the labour market and start accumulating experience and practical training, you are putting a massive drag on the future productivity growth you need to support an ageing population.

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #13

ok i will just reply in defence to these two accusations, and I will think about the rest tomorrow.

What you are effectively suggesting is provide welfare (free tuition) for the people who will have the highest labour incomes in future and abandon those on the bottom, with little hope of entering the labour market and condemning them to the fringes of society - leaving them nothing more than a paltry BI to maintain subsistence.

Thats a misrepresentation because i clearly outlined the case for the trades too.
It was quickly done so i didn’t think of nurses off the cuff, but that is another great trade example.
I also said there is clearly a need for state jobs, so i am with you there. I just dont think Right to Work (100%) ought be a campaign focus as that hasnt been the case for some time (all my life) and that would attract much ridicule (rightly or wrongly so)… It is also inherently “fight the machines” sounding, when i think we should embrace the machines. UBI/LVT is in the zeitgeist and is a bridge over a divide.

the Pirate Party doesn’t exist to appease the masses for the sake of winning votes. We’re in the business of providing real cutting edge solutions to serious problems and informing the population of those solutions - we exist to provide a real alternative. If we need to convince people of this better alternative (be it land tax, BI, Job Guarantees etc.) then so be it.

Im not suggesting appeasing voters with policies that arent solutions, im suggesting solutions that will also win votes in order to be solutions.

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #14

So i convinced my dad that Georgism single LVT is the best system.
I told him that single home owners can defer their tax onto their estate.
And i estimated the revenue we can raise from LVT;
based on some stats that estimated the total capital land value of the market being 145% of the GDP.

Using that figure if we require 25% of GDP for spending (last year was about 25%)
then we need about (145 x 17.5%) = 25.4% of GDP.

It might require abit more cos that was the total capital value and not the total of unimproved land values.
Lets say it requires tax rate of 30% of land value
(145 x 30%) = 43.5% of GDP.

Lets say the unimproved values is 0.5 x 43.5% = 21.75%
If the total unimproved value is less that 0.5 then the rate of tax can go up more.

Thus we can get rid of all other taxes and just tax unimproved land values at about 25-30%.
This would create jobs, leave more money in peoples take home pay, and make housing and rents affordable.
This estimate is an old one and im sure there are better ones around.

This system is based on a flat land tax though and not land value increase.
But it was a back of envelope calculation that convinced him after i convinced him of the social goods, and that when people are forced to swallow the lack of progress and injustice which neoliberalism demands then they start turning to populist movements.

Maybe we can have a 10 year plan starting at 2.5% and moving up every year?
1- 2.5%
2 - 5%
3 - 7.5%
4 - 10%
5 - 12.5%
6 - 15%
7 - 17.5%
8 - 20%
9 - 22.5%
10 - 25%

The leftovers can fund the citizen dividends/NIT/UBI.
Of course such a system is still producing debt.
But i think the government will probably need to borrow less over time.
And the numbers can perhaps be done to pay back debt, especially if there is an accompanying pollution tax, since pollution of massive particles violates property rights.

[edit: ok i figured out a hack to convert to land value increase]
if we go on historical figures of basically 15% property market growth year on year, then the market cap for land value increases is 145% * 15% = 21.75% of GDP.
Again might be a bit less for unimproved land.
So, that would require all of the total land value increase market cap to be taxed instead of 0.5 or less of the total land value market cap, and maybe to retain some level of other taxation.