C. H. Antony
The United States Transhumanist Party seeks any willing individuals to participate in the discussion of a proposal by Mr. C.H. Antony to craft detailed ideas for achieving the implementation of an unconditional Universal Basic Income (UBI) system. To indicate your interest and provide ideas in relation to Mr. Antony’s proposal, please post in the comments below.
Background: The United States Transhumanist Party supports a major streamlining of fiscal policy, combined with a streamlining of the manner in which financial support is provided by government to individuals. Sections XVI, XXXV, and XXXVI of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform address, respectively, UBI, reduction of the U.S. national debt, and dramatic tax simplification. Our goal, therefore, is a government that has as little debt as possible, and whose revenues and transfer payments are as straightforward as possible.
Section XVI [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]: Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.
Section XXXV [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party considers it imperative to achieve reductions of the United States national debt in order to avoid calamitous scenarios of extreme inflation, default, and burdensome future tax increases on individuals. The United States Transhumanist Party supports the following measures to reduce the national debt:
- Elimination of wasteful federal spending on programs, goods, and services where equivalent positive results could be obtained through lower expenditures.
- Cessation of foreign military occupations and the return of American troops to be stationed exclusively on American territory. However, if a mutually appropriate defense treaty with another country requires the United States to station troops in that country, those troops would be allowed to remain there until the treaty obligations are fulfilled or reduced by mutual agreement with the affected country. If the United States continues to station troops in any country due to mutually appropriate defense treaties, the United States Transhumanist Party supports greater reciprocity in allowing military personnel from that country to be stationed in the United States for purposes of training and information exchange.
- Removal of barriers to technological innovation and technologically driven economic growth, in order that a surge in such growth could increase federal revenues so as to generate increasing surpluses, as long as federal spending does not materially rise from current levels.
- Elimination of the current cumbersome system of federal contracting, which favors politically connected incumbent firms whose advantage consists of navigating the system, rather than performing the best possible work. Instead, all federal agencies should be empowered to purchase supplies and equipment and to requisition projects from any entity capable of satisfying an immediate need at a reasonable cost. Exclusive and preferential contracts for particular entities should be prohibited, and all payments by federal agencies for work by non-employees should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Digitization of as many federal services and functions as possible – to eliminate the waste and expense of paperwork, physical queues, and legacy information technology systems.
Section XXXVI [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the elimination of graduated taxation and income taxation more generally. Instead, the United States Transhumanist Party advocates a flat percentage-of-sales tax applicable only to purchases from businesses whose combined nationwide revenues from all affiliates exceed a specified threshold. This tax should be built into the price of goods from such large businesses and should not impede transaction efficiency in any manner. Transactions pertaining to wages, salaries, gifts, donations, barter, employee benefits, and inheritances should remain completely untaxed, as should transactions involving solely individuals and/or small businesses, for whom the establishment of a tax-reporting infrastructure would be onerous. Furthermore, all taxes on land and property should be abolished.
The following proposal is not a final outline of solutions, nor is it, in its present form, a reflection of the positions of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. Rather, it is a set of ideas put forth by Mr. Antony in a desire to elicit the expertise of those who are willing to contribute to a policy paper that the U.S. Transhumanist Party may develop in order to put forward a viable plan for making a Universal Basic Income a reality, beginning from today’s conditions. The specific content of that paper is to be determined based on the contributions and deliberations of any future working group.
Discussion by C.H. Antony: I have a stepped plan based on my own limited knowledge that I think is the ticket, but I need to combine the work of individuals with expertise in the following fields:
- Economics with an understanding of federal spending.
- Corporate law with an understanding of the Constitution’s position on corporations.
- A tax professional who can weigh the benefits/detriments within the previously described fields.
- Someone who can discuss sociological matters pertaining to a UBI and who can show statistical models of the argument.
The following is the essence of my model.
I. Calculate the minimum necessary expense of the GDP necessary to fund a functioning government with regard to the following conditions:
- Fully automated IRS that only employs a handful of programmers and analysts to maintain and upgrade the automated systems and address potential or reported errors. Apply this model elsewhere in government where possible.
- Cancel all social programs with the intent of replacement with UBI (i.e., SSDI, SSI, Food stamps, VA Income, Tax Credits, etc.).
- Consolidate redundant government agencies and eliminate certain specialized enforcement branches. Examples: we don’t need five intelligence agencies when a single well-organized agency could perform all the same functions, BATF can be disbanded, etc.
- A fully funded modern military where no soldier’s family barely makes it above the poverty line.
- No foreign payments without a tangible financial return to the US in the form of goods or services.
- No federal pensions of any kind for any level of service. [Constitutionally, this would only be possible for new hires going forward.]
- Save and invest 18% for our own economic growth and to outpace global inflation.
- Apply AI and automation as liberally as possible where it can replace functionaries at all levels.
II. Eliminate all federal income tax on private individuals and small businesses and also eliminate income taxes at local and state levels. Determine a fair and sustainable Flat Sales Tax paid on all non-essential purchases that is paid directly into the UBI fund. Sales-tax-exempt items would be the following:
- Food stuffs.
- Sewer and waste services.
- Electricity and other domestic use fuels.
- Medical and health-related items.
- Educational items and services.
- Home and land purchases that are the primary residence; no annual property taxes.
III. Further reduce the federal budget by saving on prosecuting victimless crimes (consensual prostitution, recreational narcotic use, etc.) and remove the state as an entity that may be called as a victim in a crime.
IV. Allow free air-time, equally disseminated, for any candidate running for political office. Social media and digital streaming are more than adequate in this era to give every candidate an equal voice for the people to hear and vote on. States should be directed to follow the same model.
V. Create a payment schedule whereby the national debt is paid in full as quickly as possible from the GDP alone.
VI. Restructure corporate taxes to be both competitive with the rest of the world and be useful to the UBI fund. Determine qualifications where a small business may incorporate that does not punish a successful small business, has clear advantages, and encourages growth within a new corporate structure.
VII. Create a fund whereby two years of field-specific education is available to every adult American citizen. Apply a nation-wide school voucher program to grades K-12, allowing schools to compete for students through quality and safety.
VIII. Create a fund that provides unlimited and free healthcare at a fair market value to all US citizens.
IX. Encourage a near-zero human labor manufacturing trend in the US with an eye on converting other nations into customers and partners for products of US companies.
X. Aim for an average of $52,000 per year for each adult American citizen (approximately 250,000,000 adult citizens).
I believe the above, when fleshed out and mathematically modeled, will serve as a succinct and presentable plan that we could, essentially, sell to voters causing representatives to take notice and have to discuss it publically.
This model in no way, I feel, reflects any form of socialism or communism, as it does not take a dime out of the pockets of any one higher-wage earner for the purpose of giving it to a lower-wage earner. It is self-scalable for inflation and deflation without affecting an individual’s quality of life. It in no way precludes anyone from seeking and obtaining opportunity and earning potentials beyond the UBI, thusly not endangering free market capitalism.
Also, I believe the easiest sell will be to corporations that are already having to maneuver the cost of human labor vs. automation. They can help push the reforms by leveraging lobbying power for us.
C. H. Antony is a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. He may be contacted here.