De-regulation: my choice - my risk - my cost
Governments have constructed a complex system of regulation for individuals and businesses, but given the super wealthy and large corporates carte blanche to do much as they like. We all get regulated; they get de-regulated under the neo-liberal schema, or have the resources to heir way through. To get back to a village-like future the whole regulatory edifice has to be replaced by a system of checks, incentives and disincentives on a ‘my choice - my risk - my cost’ basis. Subject to minimum set standards and statements of principle, choice must be restored to individuals in all areas currently heavily regulated – from house building, food preparation, environmentally related decisions and risk taking, to education. This freedom would come with responsibility. Freedom of choice has to carry a burden of risk, resting on those making decisions affecting others. Standards and laws would still exist to guide risk taking decisions. The lynch-pin in a deregulated world has to be the system of immediate and near costless, locally managed, peer-centred justice (people’s courts), described in the previous section. It would enable any actions negatively impacting others, before or after the fact, to be quickly challenged. This system could sanction actions, put a moratorium on intended actions and penalise those who would put others at risk on a case by case basis. An over-arching regulatory system would be reduced in power.
The third element – cost, puts any individual under the likely burden of high fines, or more expensive insurance premiums, if the choice is made to do something likely to harm the person, property or interests of others - or exposes insurance companies to higher level risk. Anyone should have the right to waive risk to themselves if they freely choose to do so. This approach, coupled with other recommendations in Part Four, would restore individual liberty of action, restore private property rights, re-build organic local (People’s Court) accountability, reinforce the need for social responsibility and remove the cost, bureaucracy, time-wastage and stressful controls imposed by the state-ist regulatory apparatus. The existential intent is to maximise the people’s ability to make the most of their lives, by respecting the seven essential principles for real democracy while enlarging a communities ability to self-police the actions of others through the people’s courts, based on set minimum standards.
The my choice - my risk - my cost model must not stop at regulatory controls. Its application must also extend into education, welfare and health. It would prove to be an effective mechanism for reducing state control and emphasising individual social responsibility. In each of these critical outcome areas individual problems can be invariably traced back to choices, decisions and family-related influences. Village life rested heavily on individuals making choices that benefitted both them and their community. If you did not develop the skills, or education needed for a trade or other occupation (choice), becoming a burden on a community and disadvantaging one’s family was inevitable (risk). The solution lay in revisiting previous poor decisions and making things right (cost), not a default recourse to support by others, on an anonymous state-run basis that removes the social dynamics needed to get one’s life in order.
My choice-my risk-my cost dictates that a fairly informed individual must bear the risk and costs of their decisions, whether they are a provider, builder of something , or a recipient of some product or service. Others should not be made to shoulder that burden, except on a voluntary basis. This is village life. Families should be expected to take care of their own and individuals should grow up knowing from an early age that the quality of their life rests on them. Conversely, communities have a responsibility to look after people who find themselves in hard times, but they must do so on a voluntary and local basis. Again, the Judeo-Christian tradition puts a heavy emphasis on looking after the poor, but it does not pander to poor decision-making and irresponsibility, nor does it insist that caring for others must be forced upon people not directly involved. The whole system being sketched here ties back to the altruism that usually follows a free-people’s right and responsibility to take care of their local community, according to the resources they have to do so. There is, by extension, the need to ensure available resources are not taxed or ‘de-incentivised’ away from people by government.