Subscription politics.

Brexit won by a margin of 3.8% and although Hilary won the popular vote – it was only by 2.1%. If a government doesn’t win by a landslide is it ethical for it to impose its politics on the population that didn’t vote for it? Since Trump got voted in, everyone’s been saying democracy is dying. In a society of click bait, the definition of democracy has turned from uniting the voices of the people to dividing them. Shocking remarks a politician makes on boarder control, reproductive rights and transgender toilets might make a great headline for Buzzfeed or Vice but what is really being discussed in parliament is budget and tax. That’s what the left vs right is all about. Tax or no tax. Benefits or trickle-down economics. I thought, in a postmodern kinda sense, wouldn’t it be cool if you had both?

I came up with a hypothetical, most likely unrealistic government model. Something straight out of a sci-fi book (I should probably copyright it). What if you could subscribe to different tax bands? The higher the tax band the higher said benefits. Kinda like how you have the different options when you sign up on Netflix. If this model allowed for 3 or more bands of tax then it would end the two party system and stop polarisation. It got me speculating deeper. How would the government allocate benefits to each bracket? Subscription services are volatile, and prices are always changing. What if a ‘freemium’ model is implemented to our hypothetical government? You receive the bare minimum of healthcare and social housing if you choose the lowest band. We all know choosing the basic plan on Netflix sucks if you have a family. The worst off in society realise they cannot survive in the lowest band and are forced to choose the higher ones. But, If you are to choose the highest band, say a 90% band that covers housing, health and education, you would have little money left for yourself to invest in social mobility. What if the rich decide to choose the lower bands? Private health and education companies could cash in on the surplus money, creating corporation’s as powerful as the government.

How would the government even budget? You would have to have mini governments deciding how to budget each tax band. Who elects these leaders? How long would you have to be committed to the band before you get the benefits? How long would you have to work before you receive the option to choose your tax band? What happens to the people who cannot work, the children/dependents in care and work migrants?

I don’t know. None of this is real. Obviously. But it would be a fun idea to explore in an episode of Black Mirror. I doubt the West will ever let go of two-party democracies. Who knows how our government will evolve…

Leave a Comment