Monday, May 26, 2014

If I had a political party…

Interesting to see how well the new Podemos political party did in the European elections. Reading through its manifesto, I find some of it interesting, some of it a bit naïve…

  • Taxing multinationals based on their global income. In general I’m in favor of this. Allowing related-party transactions between subsidiaries that push profits from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions is one of the dumbest things that the EU permits.
  • Not permitting profitable companies to lay off employees. Not a good idea, in my opinion. I can think of a couple better options:
    • Make social security contributes rate for companies based on how much they make use of the system (either by injuring their employees or firing them too often). If a school fires all its teachers every summer and rehires them in fall, the social security they have to pay for this behavior should be high enough to make it not worth while.
    • Eliminate temporary contracts and remove the finiquito. Replace the finiquito with a much more generous unemployment insurance / retirement saving plan, paid by the employer. There shouldn’t be any downside for employees to switch companies.
  • Minimum income etc
    • Replace minimum wage and long term unemployment payments with a guaranteed job scheme. If you can’t find anything better, the government will pay you to do something useful. The salary will be high enough that you would have no reason to accept a lower paying job, but not high enough so you’d have no incentive to find something else.
  • EU: I would just as well abolish the EU system of government. It is fundamentally anti-democratic (the only thing you can vote for is the EU parliament which essentially has no power). EU as a common market, allowing free movement of people and commerce is great. However, this should be based on treaties between sovereign countries that are each responsible to their own voters.


Anonymous said...

Your view of the EU is clearly very uninformed. You say the EP has no power. Really? Were it not for the EP, the citizens of Europe would be completely voiceless.

santcugat said...

Haha. Next time the EP does anything important, wake me up.

When push came to shove last time around, it was the troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) who called the shots. Not a single directly elected official among them.

If citizens of Europe want their voices back, they should look at their own government first.

Anonymous said...

I really suggest you brush up on your knowledge of the EP. ECB and IMF are only involved in financial or monetary issues. Europe is so much more that that.

santcugat said...

What are you really expecting from Europe that you can't get out of Madrid?