Reform should be implemented across the board, not excluding the military, which is in urgent need for reform. The military should be split up into multiple pieces, each of which is to compete in all areas without collusion, offering services more directly to customers.
Direct Democracy means more power by the people. Power and control should be exercized more directly by people, instead of by dictatorial bureaucracies. Three instruments will achieve more Direct Democracy, i.e. tax deductions (or rebates), vouchers and competition policy.
- tax deductions or rebates
There should be a shift away from government committees deciding who gets funding. Instead of allocating research grants to specific organizations, tax deductions should be granted to those who invest in worthwhile research projects, which could be any organization, company or individual. Government should only specify the areas where tax deducations or rebates are applicable, instead of privileging one organization over another, such as on the basis of a charitable or non-profit status. More generally, tax deductions or rebates should be granted when money is spent on worthwhile causes. As an example, tax deductions should be granted when parents spend money on education, health and safety of the children in their care.
Currently, many people receive welfare in the form of a deposit on their bank account. Sometimes, that money is spent on gambling, smoking, drugs or other addictions. Vouchers are more effective in that regard, especially if they are personalised to avoid transfers and if they are specific, so that they can only be spent only on, say, food or housing, or telephone calls or whatever is deemed to be part of a social welfare package. Vouchers allow the recipient to select a supplier to provide the services they need.
In health care, there should be a shift away from direct funding by government of suppliers of medical services. Instead, government should give vouchers to the poor, so that they can get insurance that will cover their needs. Where people are unable to make good choices, such vouchers should pay for counsellors to assist them. If some people somehow don't get the necessary medical care, their counsellors and insurance companies should be held accountible for negligence.
Where there is little choice, competition law should be strengthened to order such structural separation, so that large organizations such as insurance companies, hospitals, state schools and airports will be broken up into multiple pieces. Competition law should also be strengthened to avoid collusion, exclusive contracts and other practices that deminish competition.
In education, there should be less discrimination by government in regard to the various types of education. Families should have more direct choice, not only for a particular school, but also for homeschooling, correspondence methods or online tutoring, without government giving one of them financial or regulatory privileges.
Families should be able to choose the education they want for their children more directly. To achieve this, large public schools should be split up into multiple smaller ones and poor families should receive vouchers to allow them to make that choice more directly.
Such reform will and should affect the way universities, specifically scientific research, is linked to the military-industrial complex. Many people call for reform in various sectors of society. Many talk about basic services that should be available for the poor. Yet, security is pretty basic. How can we get better security services? Few people even think about reforming the military. But given the crucial role of the military in security, it is vital to have a closer look at the way the military is organized.
Curently, around the world, the military is organized on a monopoly basis. In fact, the military are part of a larger monopoly, in which the military focus on foreign events, while police operates domestically, with coast guards and custom officers operating on the border. But a monopoly is not the best way to provide security services. There are some strong arguments against organizing things on a monopoly basis:
- Experience in economics shows that a monopoly is inefficient and wasteful. A competitive environment will result in more innovation, dynamics and accountability;
- A monopoly is prone to dictate its terms, not only to customers, but also to government itself. This is why most governments have anti-trust and cartel legislation;
- A monopoly is less responsive to customer demand and has less respect for our rights. A more competitive situation inherently reflects our rights better, as it gives people more direct choice.
In line with these arguments, reform of the military should embrace structural separation. The military should be split up into numerous pieces, so that each of these pieces competes without collusion for customers who select their preferred security services more directly.
Competition policy can establish such a split-up of the military into a number of structurally separate organizations. To facilitate that security services will be selected more directly by customers, instead of determined by a wasteful and bureaucratic monopoly, tax deductions should be granted to those who spend money on security. Furthermore, the poor should get vouchers to enable them to get the security they need.
To make service providers more accountible, indemnity provisions against liability and litigation will need to be removed. Service providers should take insurance coverage where they are unable to pay possible claims for negligence.
In conclusion, the same three instruments can and should be implemented in each sector to facilitate more direct democracy: competition policy, tax deductions and vouchers for the poor. Over time, the implementation of these policies will make it ever less necessary for government to control things, while instead, we will have more Direct Democracy.
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