It will be a slow process converting the society and the culture in Scotland to a more people kindly model. We have lived with an increasingly aggressive Anglo-American model for many years. The mantra of the market economy, of capitalism as the the only sure method of running a country has been around for centuries and it has largely seen off its rivals. But its recent direction of travel has turned it into a monster rather than a benign method of government. Linked to a failure of democracy where governments come and go with no more than a passing nod to the hopes and fears of the people they govern, we are beginning to see the “end of era”, not unlike the last days of Rome. Are we all asleep in the so called great Western Democracies?
So what are the changes we need to make in an independent Scotland. One starting point might be the tax system. We should create a system which makes everyone pay a reasonable and fair share of the costs of the country, so the more you have the more you pay. However rather than have the burden of many people living a lifetime on benefits the tax system should encourage more and more people into worthwhile employment. Every bit of earnings no matter how small should be a plus. Earn a shilling, be taxed a penny, earn a pound be taxed ten pence. And lose none of the state benefits until you reach the tipping point when you pay in tax the same as you receive in benefits and after that you continue to pay more and more tax than your benefits. In effect your benefits become your personal allowance.
However the economy needs to provide opportunities for work over a broad front to accommodate as many of the nations talents as possible. It starts with education and then training. it continues with support for business across a wide spectrum. Let’s be creative, make things, trade things, not be frightened of failure, encourage inventiveness within a benign tax system for enterprise and business. Let entrepreneurs flourish and make money but be sure to pay a fair proportion of the tax burden. Let’s have politicians who govern according to the wishes of the voters. Wishful thinking no doubt but that does not mean in a new Scotland we should not aspire to it.