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OTHER ITA SITES:
Gossip In Politics May Deceive You
Before people start to think that I am waging some sort of vendetta against the great Iain Dale, please be assured that I am not! I really like Iain's blog (and comment there far too regularly) and I have more than an ounce of respect for him as a commentator, but I think he is occasionally not quite spot on. I am talking about his criticism of DK/the Libertarian party's policy to abolish income tax. Personally, this wouldn't be my first policy were I to be elected PM but I don't see any reason why a political party shouldn't have it as a policy. A political party is surely free to set its own policies and be judged on them. Unfortunately, small parties are really hamstrung under our system but more on that in another post.
One of the main criticisms of the welfare system is that it manages to prevent many people from re-entering the workforce once they have fallen out of it. It does this by providing certain benefits which are removed upon a recipient finding work, making it not worthwhile or even financially harmful to take a job. We hear about this a lot but we don't often hear of potential solutions. Gordon Brown's big idea was Tax Credits which boost low-income workers' pay packet. My dad used to call this "negative income tax" which was one of his favourite policy dreams - and it came as quite a surprise when the solidly left-wing Mr Brown came to introduce it. Unfortunately, Mr Brown has managed to introduce a system which seems to cause nearly as much harm as good. Oh yes, and is ridiculously bureaucratic.
Many people propose a Citizens' Basic Income (CBI). Under this scheme everyone British Citizen over the age of 16 would be entitled to receive a certain stipend from the government (children would be treated differently, perhaps with a reformed Child Benefit scheme). I rather like this idea, even though I can foresee complications.
Iím interested in politics this year, but it seems to be for different reasons then four years ago. Iím still quite skeptical of the political parties, Democrats and Republicans specifically, Iím more of a third party guy. But, itís exciting to me that for the first time in this countries history we could have a president who isnít an old white guy. Iím trying to avoid any bandwagons, but that is exciting.
Local politics. Not that Iím interested in running, but for a variety of different reasons, Iíve been thinking about the impact of local political power. One of the council members for our neighborhood is Don Samuels, from what Iíve read and heard heís a pretty awesome guy, and he happens to go to the same church as us.
Politics and Protest. Iíve attend my share of protests, not an insane amount, We donít make cross-country road trips to break windows and get tear-gassed, but I have taken the opportunity to raise my voice (and sign) in solidarity with others to make our message known. The more Iíve done it the more Iíve realized how much creativity is lacking in the protest movements of the day. We need some inspiration from old school activist. Which reminds me of this awesome book I read a few years ago called Rules for Radicals.
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Travel Part B