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Get Government Out Of Our Lives

Posted on: July 19th 2019
By: Harley Dalton, Area Manager, Greater Manchester.

In Britain today, the state is everywhere; a menacing omnipresence demanding to supervise and control what we do, and tax us whether we do something wrong (like enjoying a sugary snack) or something right (like putting in some overtime at work). Government is now so intertwined in every aspect of our lives that we have become both dependent on authorities to manage our lives for us, and blind to the detrimental effects of the pervasive rules, regulation, levies and taxes affecting our every move.

Government intrusion not only robs us of individual choice and authority over our lives and property, taxes and tolls create market distortions, leading to what in economic terms are labelled deadweight loss: a loss of economic efficiency. Polices that favours one constituency inherently disadvantages another. Picking winners means picking losers. One man's subsidy is another man's tax. Unintended consequences abound.

* Minimum wage legislation locks people in poverty and dependency. In the UK, the £7.50 minimum wage implies that 43.6 hours work (the average British working week) must pay £327. The alternative, jobseekers allowance, is currently £73.10/ week, less than a quarter. Even if other benefits accrue, the benefits cap for a single person outside London caps the amount received at £257.69 per week (in London it is £296.35).

* Government regulation, stipulating a far higher carer/child ration then other countries, makes child care in the UK the 2nd most expensive in the world (after Switzerland).

* Environmental policies such as the Climate Change Levy, the Energy Company Obligation, the Warm Homes Discount and the Carbon Price Floor have increased costs. Today, government imposed environmental costs account for 15-20% of energy prices, versus only 4% just 7 years ago.

* The ubiquitous housing crisis could be alleviated by relaxing the UK's notoriously strict planning system and allowing development of the green belts surrounding major towns and cities (not to mention the role played by the BoE's policies of low interest rates and QE). A recent initiative saw stamp duty lowered for most first-time buyers, but predictably the scheme acted (like the help-to-buy scheme) to increase the price of qualifying properties, amplifying the very problem the policy was designed to alleviate.

* Behaviour altering taxes are not only nanny-state over-reach, but work to increase the cost of living and lower quality of life. Recently the government introduced a sugar tax in a bid to contain the growing obesity epidemic. While justifiable from a fiscal standpoint – one major disadvantage with a public health care system is that it saddles the tax payer with the financial burden of other people's unhealthy lifestyle choices – making sugar more expensive is hardly a boon to the citizenry. In Scotland, customers stocked up on the beloved Irn-Bru soft drink before government forced the hand of the drink's producer, AG Barr's, who responded to the tax by changing the recipe to keep the price down.

Government is everywhere, and so are the effects of the myriad of interventions. The ill effects are intermittently highlighted in the public debate, but the focus is generally only on the obvious benefits a policy is designed to deliver: minimum wages are described as a 'wage hike for the country' planning rules 'protects the environment' sugar taxes 'encourages a healthy life style' unsurprisingly, a gullible public continues to look to government for solutions whenever a problem arises.

Across the world, limited government was abandoned as an ideal many years ago. Today, when government has been granted authority to intrude in all we do, the state has become so intertwined in our daily lives that we have become dependent on it; in its role as guardian, it has quashed our ability to act independently and we now readily accept intrusions in our lives that in times past would have been regarded as unacceptable over-reach. As the remit of the state grows, our individual liberty retreats to make room. It is high time to change course and empower the people to take responsibility for their own lives.

Read more from Creative Deduction

The views expressed represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of UK Liberty Party. UK Liberty Party sometimes publishes articles we may disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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Our Philosophy

We are the only UK party that consistently holds that your Rights are inalienable. We will not accept any violation of your Rights.

We do however have a very different perspective as to what Rights are. Unlike those that claim Rights simply exist or are God given, we take the approach of first asking "What makes you human?"

The answer to that is the basis from which the moral principle of Rights is derived. That is; your mind. You are not born with any innate knowledge. You do not instinctively know how to grow food or hunt, how to make clothes or build a house. Everything that you do begins with your mind. Your mind is your tool for living.

To be able to use your mind you have to be free to think, to reason, to choose, to act. The only way to prevent you from doing this, and thus to stop you living, is force (incl. coercion) from others. Rights are the moral principle of freeing you from force by others.

Of course, this alone cannot stop those that choose to initiate force against you. Some people will do bad things.

This is where the political recognition & protection of your Rights comes in to play. A political system simply says that a society will not tolerate someone violating your Rights and that those that do will face punishment under the Law. This is freedom.

You can live your life knowing that those around you understand the consequences of violating your Rights. Your interactions with others are peaceful and voluntary.

Being able to take the neccessary actions to fulfil your life by exercising your freedom, guaranteed by your Rights, is true Liberty.

EDUCATION

Most people recognise that private schools are cognitively superior to government schools but, taxed to support government institutions, are unable to pay twice for their children's education. With the abolition of the government schools must come the repeal of the income and property taxes that finance them, making it possible for millions of parents to now afford quality private education.

By taking schooling out of the government's hands and placing it where it belongs — in the hands of parents — we respect the right of individuals to choose the school they want for themselves and their children, we definitively terminate governmental initiation of force in the educational field, contributing to freedom of the mind, and we vastly improve the educational levels in this country. A free market of education will deliver superlative levels of literacy in this nation.

Moreover, a marketplace fully open to competition, teems with diverse options; for example, the restaurant industry offers a wide array of choices — from dozens of popular fast food chains to diners, sandwich shops, family restaurants, ethnic restaurants, and all variations up to and including establishments offering five star cuisine. (And supermarkets are a cornucopia of diverse foodstuffs to be purchased and prepared at home.) Similarly, when the monolithic government school system is abolished and education is privatised, a vast array of options will emerge to meet parental demand: More children will be home-schooled; tutors will offer academic services in a wealth of subjects; teachers will open tiny individualised schools; education corporations will be founded and open large-scale school systems across the country; and on-line education will proliferate.

HEALTH CARE [NHS]

The provision of universal medical care has become prodigiously more and more expensive. At the same time, not coincidentally, we recognise that the United Kingdom is not a free market system, it is, and has long been, a mixed economy — an unstable amalgam of capitalism and socialism, of freedom and government controls, of individual rights and statism.

We maintain that a National Health Service, backed and enabled by government intervention in the health care field, has immensely boosted demand for medical services without generating a corresponding increase in supply. The market feedback mechanism of supply and demand is broken and thus costs of provision precipitously escalate.

A free medical marketplace will enable the next wave of bio-medical advances, including ever more effective pharmaceuticals, pioneering surgical techniques, disease-detecting technology, as well as other life-saving developments.

We support a gradual but full phasing out of National Insurance and the National Health Service, over a period of several years, giving responsible individuals sufficient time to make alternative arrangements to pay medical costs, and for private medical charity organisations to form.

ENVIRONMENT

The earth is roughly 4.65 billion years old, possessing therefore a vast history in which climate change occurs naturally and ceaselessly. For example, millions of years ago, long before human beings existed, much less industrialised, huge naturally - driven temperature swings — significantly larger than the 1.5 degree Fahrenheit rise of the past 150 years — caused the onset and, in time, the cessation of ice ages.

We recognise that the best opportunity for human life to flourish during such periods is provided by electric power, indoor heat, thermal clothing, advances in medical science, air conditioning, sun screen, and the like — all products of applied science, technology, and industrialisation. Whether or not human industrial activity contributed to the slight warming of the past 150 years, two truths are certain: This mild warming, despite decades of alarmism, poses no immediate catastrophic threat to human life — and government's restricting of the economic activity required to attain flourishing life across all climates, is the exact opposite of a proper course of action.

The human environment is kept clean and safe primarily by advances in science, technology, and industrialisation. For example: development of steel and concrete enables construction of reservoirs, water mains, indoor plumbing, and sewer mains that keep sewage out of the drinking water; advanced technology enables men to drain swamps that are breeding grounds for malaria - carrying mosquitoes; heating and central air conditioning permit human beings to live comfortably in extreme climate conditions, without breathing smoke from indoor fires; and so forth.

Eliminating all subsidies to both fossil fuel companies and "alternative" or "green/renewable" energy companies, and a definitive end to government incentives/penalties for energy producers will encourage free thinking entrepreneurs to develop and cultivate earth's resources in service of human life.

ECONOMY

Centuries of free(ish) markets and statism demonstrate two practical conclusions: When the individual's rights are protected to freely engage in production and trade, immense advances result in innovations, in creation of both material and intellectual wealth, in living standards, and in human life expectancies — but when the individual's rights to voluntarily produce and trade are curtailed by government interference, when statism in any form is rampant, then progress stagnates, the creation of wealth plummets, living standards diminish, and life expectancies decline.

We therefore advocate for a strict legal separation of state and economy in the UK, just as, and for the same reason, there exists a legal separation of state and church. Just as religious belief and practice is — properly — a matter of private choice and initiative, so are men's economic choices and activities.

If business persons, like religious persons or clergy, initiate force or fraud, they should be properly prosecuted under the laws of the criminal justice system that protect individual Rights. But if they initiate neither force nor fraud, then the government must be constitutionally debarred from interfering with their activities.

It is time that the 'free' in free market actually meant something.

COVID vs RIGHTS

Back in March 2020 we were warning the British public and wider world about the dangers of our political classes' obsession and hubris with lockdowns and similar draconian measures. While the government were issuing slogans and reassurance about "2 weeks to save the NHS" and "seeing out the spring", we were predicting many months, perhaps years of stubborn policy failure, u-turns and flip-flops and, in the meanwhile, economic and social decay as a result of an obviously flawed and morally dubious policy approach. Likewise, while we were promoting sense, reason, proportion and hope, using widely available public data about the nature of the virus, governments and media conspired to conduct a deliberate campaign of fear to justify greater and lasting use of state power to curtail, abuse and violate your Rights, Freedom adnd Liberties.

The Government and Opposition in cahoots and a compliant media conspired to sacrifice the many under the arrogant delusion they could play heroes to the few; the result of this has indeed been the sacrifice of the many - many livelihoods and businesses, as well as the education, financial stability, social fabric and personal lives and happiness of millions. Despite all this, however, the government has not succeeded in solving a health crisis; rather, it has sparked one in the soaring numbers of untreated afflictions, notably cancers, cardiovascular problems and mental health. Tens or hundreds of thousands of people will die as a result of the government's policy. The government had the information to avoid this. They chose to do it anyway. To them your Rights are by permission. This must never happen again.










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