How are we going to pay for it? By raising taxes and rents on corporations and the wealthy, not by asking them to lend us money.
The BC Ecosocialists understand that our global financial system is not merely a capitalist one but one based on crony capitalism, constantly rigged, adjusted, and re-rigged by powerful, unaccountable entities. Some of these entities, like the World Bank, are instruments of specific states with specific agendas and are structured to serve those states primarily. Others like Standard and Poors and other major bond-rating firms exist wholly in the private sector and are based on parasitic relationships with states.
Consequently, we understand that when a state borrows money through schemes that make it vulnerable to the forces of international finance, it grants power over it to hostile or parasitic forces. Contrary to the views of many of the putative left, we in the BC Ecosocialists believe that organizations like Standard and Poors are not simply dispassionate, profit-seeking actors but groups of people comprising the investor class who collude to achieve financial, social, and, most importantly, ideological objectives.
For this reason, the BC Ecosocialists will:
- Finance all government programs and operating spending using taxes on the income of the province’s residents and rent from renewable resources.
- Finance all government capital and infrastructure spending using taxes on the capital of the province’s residents and rent from non-renewable resources.
- Not enter into any financial arrangement that increases the province’s vulnerability to international bond-raters and financiers.
- Restructure the tax code to be more progressive, relying less on income taxes and sales taxes which disproportionately harm the working class.
Beginning in 1975, a succession of provincial governments has seized public assets owned by all BC residents and sold or given them away to private interests. It is our priority to recover those assets using a variety of strategies depending on how the asset was alienated. In office, the BC Ecosocialists will:
- Pass legislation to void the sale of all public assets whose sale was associated with a crime, such as BC Rail.
- Expropriate with just compensation, public corporations inappropriately but not criminally sold, such as BC Ferries.
- Expropriate with just compensation, public land sold to private interests.
- Pursue not only expanded criminal charges and renewed criminal investigation but also filing in civil court to recover costs from corporations and individuals involved in illicit and unethical asset sales, such as Rich Coleman.
Much land in British Columbia remains in the category of “alienated crown land” on which forestry and mining companies are permitted to operate as owners without having purchased the land. Upon taking office, the BC Ecosocialists will:
- Void all public land alienation contracts in the form of licenses, leases, and claims.
BC Ecosocialists agree with the emerging global consensus that billionaires are a thing that should not exist. For the super-rich, taxes on income mean virtually nothing because individuals and lineages monopolize a larger and larger portion of the world’s wealth. This wealth is often inaccessible through income taxes and can only be accessed through taxes on capital, inheritance, and wealth. In government, we would:
- Abolish billionaires on the first day of our mandate by seizing all wealth exceeding $999,999,999.99 from any person living or doing business in our province.
- Institute rates of marginal inheritance taxation from 0% at amounts under $100,000 to 100% at amounts exceeding $10 million.
- Create a special, well-resourced tax investigation and enforcement unit including experts in enforcement, mathematics, economics, and the law with a specific focus on collecting taxes from the hyper-wealthy.
- Levy an annual capital tax not just on earnings from capital gains but on capital itself that is invested in securities or other instruments by BC residents, irrespective of the location of the securities, again at marginal rates that begin at 0% for $100,000 to 5% over $10 million. This tax plan will produce a massive windfall in its first year, greatly exceeding the cost of any expanded tax breaks directed at working class residents of BC.