A guide to building a rich democracy.A tongue-in-cheek but nevertheless effective and tested guide to building a rich democracy.
Step 1: Grab all resources
Step 1a. Nationalize the land of the country.
Do not do this all at once. That will make your democracy look too communistic. Nationalize land as and when required. Pay land owners the minimum compensation possible, so that nationalization does not look like nationalization. Make laws to make all these legal. Invent good causes for the nationalization. Economic development, social development, infrastructure planning, etc.
Through selective and correctly timed nationalization, you can quietly favor yourselves and your supporters. Remember you are building a democracy. So support from some quarters is essential.
Step 1b. Nationalize other resources in the country.
Target important resources, such as water and electricity. Don't forget transportation systems and telecommunications.
Step 2: Convert resources to a never ending torrent of cash
Step 2a. Distribute the land that you have nationalized.
No. Don't follow the communists who distributed freely to the proletariat and the political commissars. That was Karl Marx's terrible mistake.
Distribute through economic pricing. Auction land parcels to the highest bidder. Build apartments and sell to citizens at near market prices. It helps to gather voter support if you call that subsidized prices.
You need good economists to help you maximize income. Control supply. If you distribute all at once, you won't get much income. You must control or create demand.
Make sure distributions are not permanent, so that when a suitable time arises, you can nationalize them back.
Step 2b. Distribute other resources in similar ways.
For example, provide water at highly marked up prices. As a monopoly and a government, you can propagandize high sounding justifications to cover profit maximization. For example, water is scarce and must be priced correctly to reflect its importance so as to protect our citizens.
Step 3: Treat your population as a resource
Step 3a. Tax everyone, even the penniless can cough up a few pennies. No matter if they are poor maids or poor workers, tax them. Service tax, tax on tax, levies, fees, stamps, fines, late payment fees, lawyer fees, whatever. If China taxes just one more dollar from each person, that is $1,300,000,000 more in the state fund.
Step 3b. Reduce tax for the very rich. You need some support, and you don't want to harm yourself and your good friends. Don't follow France's President François Hollande who dared to try 75% tax for the rich. Tell your population that money will trickle down from the billionaires to the millionaires to the poor. Even when this trickle down stuff has been disproved, your rich democracy is always an exception to the rule.
Step 4: Your population is your captive market. Learn from the marketing people.
Step 4a. Create services that the population must use. Create road use tax and water use tax. Create air use tax. Charge according to lung capacity and breathing rate.
Step 4b. Learn from the marketing people. Segment your market, and price your services and products at the "affordable" rates. For example, rich people should not be allowed to buy 100 sq m apartment, they are restricted to apartments above 300 sq m. If they can afford it, they should pay up. No scrooge allowed. This will maximize your profit. But your news media can put that as a caring and responsive government catering to their different needs.
Step 5: Create a propaganda machinery
Step 5a. You can't do all these and expect zero resistance, even if the people are daft. You need a propaganda machinery. If you do this well, the cost does not have to come from you or your party. It could even be a very profitable organization.
Step 5b. Shut down other's misinformation publications.
Step 6: Denigrate welfare seekers
Welfare is a dirty word. It is the antithesis of a rich democracy. Do everything you can to stop welfare. Any countries that had gone bankrupt, blame it on welfare. Start some slogans. No free lunch. Asian values. Self-sufficiency. Family support. Community support. None of the charity money should come from the state. At the same time, the propaganda machine must show that the government is helping the poor.
(More coming ...)