Wednesday, May 21, 2014

For a Socialist Economy and an End to Austerity Economics

Towards a Socialist Economy
The Socialist Party of Ontario believes that the labour power and natural resources of a society should be used in an ecologically compatible, equitable and sustainable manner for the benefit of all, including future generations. 
The economy of a truly democratic society should also be cooperative and democratically managed so that citizens can be active in the running of their workplaces as well as planning the direction of economic development. 
Such an equitable, cooperative and democratic economy that planned for the future and took full account of the needs of both people and the planet would be less wasteful, more inclusive and would help to solve many of the pressing problems facing the world.
Yet the private accumulation of vast sums of capital, an inevitable result of the capitalist system, prevents equitable distribution of wealth and real democratic participation.
And the capitalist system, which has profit as its only consideration, promotes and relies on unsustainable growth in population, expansion and consumption and does not take the needs of people or the planet into account. 
This private accumulation of wealth and power has created a situation where CEOs may make in a few hours what workers make in a year, where global warming advances rapidly, pollution and chemicals poison our air and water, species are becoming extinct and natural habitats are under threat, where it is increasingly difficult to find decent employment and retire at a reasonable age with security and dignity, and where many people suffer needlessly from poverty 
The Socialist Party of Ontario will work actively, through government and social movements, for the social ownership of natural resources, large manufacturing, electricity, high-tech, large agro-corporations, and other important industries. Socially owned companies must form the core of the economy, thus enabling planning and democratic management of the economy. 
Towards a Socialist Taxation Policy
The 30% cut in personal income taxes was the centerpiece of the Common Sense Revolution, depleting the revenue base significantly (about $11.6 billion to the treasury per year) and making it impossible to return to pre-1995 government spending levels.
Corporate and personal income tax cuts have cost the Ontario treasury well over $100 billion since 2003.
The main beneficiaries of personal tax cuts are upper income earners and there is little evidence to suggest that corporate tax cuts create jobs.
Therefore an SPO government would restore provincial income tax rates to their 1995 levels, adjusting for inflation and would create additional tax brackets for very high incomes.
The increase in incomes of the top 1% of income earners has been the main force driving income inequality in Canada and other advanced capitalist countries.
The Socialist Party of Ontario, therefore, strongly supports increases on the very highest income earners and the creation of new tax brackets. The Socialist Party of Ontario will ensure that the combined federal/provincial income tax rate for incomes between $250,000 and $500,000 shall be 60%, for incomes between $500,000 and $1 million shall be 70%, and for incomes over $1 million shall be 90%.
Further, the Socialist Party of Ontario supports taxing income from capital at the same rate as wages and salaries, and will raise the provincial portion of taxes on capital to match the combined federal/provincial rates on wages and salaries.
Towards an End to Austerity Economics
The Socialist Party of Ontario opposes the austerity agenda of all of the three major capitalist parties.  We oppose the fixation on deficit reduction and pandering to corporate greed. We believe that if a corporate bailout was possible, a human bailout is possible. 
The priority of a Socialist government would be human equality and economic justice, not unnecessary deficit reduction targets or destructive and inhuman austerity targets and viciousness. 
If the purpose of our economy is not to create  justice and freedom for all, then there is something fundamentally wrong with our economy.
Austerity is a proven failure. Capitalism is a proven failure.
It is time for a truly different course. 

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