We develop our policy principles through discussions at our policy forums and other events and activities. These principles are an evolving document.
Policy Area: Fiscal and Monetary Policy for a Free Society
Policy 1: Mechanisms must be established to prevent further ratcheting up of state’s role in the economy in the name of a crisis. During the Covid pandemic, the governments of the west shut down the economy with one hand and bailed it out with the other, taking over large parts of the private economy. They abused the concept of an emergency to justify their actions. Governments must become more decentralized, and policy actions must be taken that limit the state’s use of emergency powers.
Policy 2: Governmental support of international organizations hostile to freedom must be curtailed. The objectives of the OECD now include establishing a tax cartel. The objectives of the IMF now include urging more government spending. Individual countries should ask whether these institutions in fact serve the needs of the people, and the influence of the World Economic Forum must be scrutinized.
Policy 3: Government policy should restore a culture of work, ensuring that individuals receive the proper incentives for building human capital, entering the labor market, and contributing to the economy. Government safety nets should aim to reduce poverty while focusing on incentives and long-term economic outcomes, stopping cycles of government dependence, and targeting individual success and dignity of beneficiaries.
Policy 4: Mechanisms for government accountability and oversight must be strengthened. Politically independent institutions that tabulate the true costs and evidence-based impacts of public policies are necessary to prevent the wasting of taxpayer resources and governments acting for the benefit of powerful special interests but not the will of the people.
Policy 5: Policies should be promoted that constrain the powers of central banks to finance deficits and restore monetary stability. These policies include placing limits on central bank activities, and also disrupting the central bank money monopoly by opening up to competition from private digital currencies.
Policy 6: Subnational governments should play a larger role, recognizing that competition among jurisdictions within a federalist system disciplines governments. This includes limiting central government interference into state and local government policy, and implementing anti-bailout mechanisms to prevent central governments from bailing out state and local governments that have their own taxing and borrowing powers.
Policy 7: International tax policy should return to a recognition of the sovereign rights of countries to set their own tax policy and engage in tax competition, while also seeking to address double taxation, promote more efficient tax systems, and limit the influence of harmful government bureaucracies on economic growth.
Policy Area: Health Care Autonomy and Privacy
Policy 1: All health emergencies must be managed in concert with constitutions and the system of laws. Government failures to do so represent a historical turning point in the relationship between the state and the individual, and we have not yet seen or fully understood the consequences. The State’s concern for the public as a whole should not overrule all personal liberties and the exercise of fundamental rights in a free society. Personal privacy about health, freedom of movement, and association with others should not be subject to government limitation. And the individual, not the State, holds the sole right to choose injection of experimental drugs and must not have limits set on private activities if one refuses those injections.
Policy 2: Defining a “public health emergency” and its time limits is essential to justify any rules and restrictions on the public, and that emergency state of suspension of rights is always short-term. Any extension beyond an initial short period must always be considered through fully transparent public debate and a legislative process. Even if emergency government mandates and restrictions would be deemed appropriate, only in the most extraordinary circumstances should constitutional rights and freedoms be suspended, and in those rare instances, that restriction of individual rights must always be very short term. If that emergency state is used to impose such actions, it requires clear and compelling evidence, and that justification must be continually demonstrated to the public.
Policy 3: It is vital to ensure diligent oversight and public scrutiny of government action, free and open debate, and an unbiased media as the interface between government and the public for complex and often technical topics, and as the overseeing body to government authority on behalf of the public. This helps assure that government action can be guided by a clear and moral ethical compass and that public trust can be restored.
Policy 4: All broad government policies, including mandates and restrictions, must always consider the diverse impact of those restrictions and must always be determined, to the greatest degree possible, by local populations and representatives. In the pandemic, they were most harmful to society’s most vulnerable groups – the elderly, lower income groups, single-parent families, and children – while relatively sparing the affluent and elite members of society. This helps to ensure that any imposed regulations and policies reflect the diversity of local conditions and populations, and so that such restrictions reflect the will of the people rather than a centralized authority without accountability.
Policy 5: State-imposed mandates and decrees can be counterproductive, and they are not necessarily the correct response to an emergency, even at an emergency’s initial stages. Citizens respond well to recommendations and act sensibly when trusted; on the other hand, top-down decrees and mandates provoke distrust, generate pushback, and can ultimately be counterproductive to the original policy goals.
Policy 6: All government authorities, as elected decision-makers, must maintain perspective on the role of advice from unelected experts and agencies and consider that advice as guidelines, rather than the final word on how to serve the public good. During the management of the pandemic, advising bodies to elected authorities was taken as official rules and regulations. This was a fracture in the trust and expectation of the public in the expected leadership of elected officials, who abrogated their privilege of decision-making by delegating that authority to unelected individuals who were never permitted such authority by the public.