Technological development is advancing rapidly. It creates enormous opportunities but forces us to think along different lines than those of the 18th and 20th centuries.
Technological development is advancing rapidly. It creates enormous opportunities but forces us to think along different lines than those of the 18th and 20th centuries. The focus must be on knowledge and value creation, regardless of whether it takes place as traditional salaried work or non-monetary collaborative work. The tax system needs to be fundamentally changed, and the benefit systems for those who do not work enough or at all simplified, so that everyone is guaranteed a basic livelihood without humiliating hearings or demands.
Overview – The Pirate Party wants to:
Sweden before basic income
The basis of the tax system is being investigated
Gig work is regulated based on the special conditions that platform-mediated work entails
Introduction – Automation
In all ages, man has tried to simplify his life with tools and tools to use for survival and quality of life. From hand tools as a direct extension of the body via the use of the power machines of early industrialism and the broad breakthrough of electrification, which created many qualified professional categories and enabled many forms of advanced self-employment. In the effort to further streamline the material production has recently
advanced automation, computerization and robotization were introduced, which in addition to changing large-scale material production also began to be applied to administrative work and provided us with aids for leisure.
Automation has meant that many paid jobs have disappeared without new ones being added. Others have acquired an increasingly limited character as “machine operators” or cogs in an inflexible computerized system. Future paid work in this development must, in order to be satisfactory, take into account the integrity, empowerment and transparency of the employees in terms of the context they are part of. An excessive focus on “efficiency” can turn a fundamentally satisfactory paid work into a stressful and negative one such.
Very large values have been created and are being created all the time outside of organized wage work. Repairs and maintenance of houses, homes and vehicles, own crops and crafts, social efforts for children and the elderly, efforts in politics, sports and association life, not to mention all creative and informative work that is carried out without compensation on the Internet. With assured material survival as a basis, these businesses could flourish.
1. Basic income – basic security for all
No one should be left out of society and our security systems. With basic income, we give everyone a guaranteed material security, which gives the citizen a greater opportunity to contribute to society based on his own conditions. Then those who are ill can put their energy into getting well, those who are unemployed can focus on finding the right job instead of wasting time at the Employment Agency, and those who have a good idea dare to start a business or further their education.
Security in the future
Labor market policies from the 20th century do not work for tomorrow’s economic reality. Instead of a thicket of grants, support and insurance, we want to see a secure basic income for everyone.
The labor market policy of the future requires flexibility and that we continue to develop throughout our lives. The pirate party doesn’t look left or right — we look forward!
Today’s security systems are often characterized by arbitrariness. Some people are entitled to compensation, while others in the same situation are denied, depending on the individual assessments of a case officer. To get away from arbitrariness, the basic income is universal, with exactly the same conditions for everyone who is entitled to it. No one is discriminated against.
Digitization, smarter AI and the fantastic development we have seen among robots means radically changed conditions for the labor market. Some analysts predict that as much as half of the jobs that exist today could be automated away in the near future, mainly in transportation, commerce and data processing. Even if these jobs are replaced with new ones, this will mean a very big adjustment for many, with extensive unemployment and retraining as a result. In this fragmented and uncertain labor market, basic income can offer basic security that ensures we can transition to the economy of the future without anyone being left behind.
A simpler system
Today’s safety nets are very difficult to overview. This is a problem for several reasons. This makes it difficult for legislators to write laws that are not contradictory or interfere with each other in various ways. It also makes it difficult for people to know what benefits they are actually entitled to. Basic income is a very simple system to overview and understand, for all parties.
One goal with the introduction of basic income is to reduce the bureaucracy that today characterizes our security systems, both for the civil servants and for those who rely on them. The amount of administration and form writing increases every year and more and more people find it difficult to know how they should actually go about using our security systems.
By consolidating parts of today’s social safety net into a basic income, we can reduce the size of a number of authorities — for example Arbetsförmedlingen and CSN — or even close them down. This means savings that we want to use to finance the basic income.
Encouraged risk taking
It is through risk-taking that we develop, both as a society and as individuals. The basic income allows people to take more risks — develop themselves, change careers, start a business, be a creator, develop a new algorithm — because they always have the basic income as a safety net to fall back on.
Innovation requires investment and risk taking. It often takes people a long time to create a revolutionary innovation together, and no one knows in advance if it will lead to large incomes that justify the investments made today. The base income is there for the innovator to ensure that it can continue to invent and survive, even if this particular innovation never leads to new income.
For those who are responsible for the largest part of our cultural life, the income is very unreliable. If you’re an artist, you might be able to sell paintings for many thousands of dollars one month, but none the next. If you are a musician, you cannot count on all your concerts to be well attended. If you write a blog about politics, you don’t know which posts will be shared a lot on social media and lead to traffic, and which ones won’t. Income goes up and down every month. Applying for the cultural support that exists today requires a lot of work and sometimes contacts. The search itself often takes more time and energy than the business you are trying to finance. The basic income is then there to even out the creators’ incomes and make their lives less marked by stress and worry.
Level of basic income
The idea of a basic income is to guarantee basic security in life — no one should have to fear not being able to eat or have a roof over their head. The idea, however, is not that the basic income should give all people the opportunity to live a life of luxury without having to make an effort.
When we discuss basic income, we start from what is defined as the subsistence minimum in Sweden — approximately SEK 8,500 per month. This is what basic income must guarantee for everyone.
Incentive to work
For those who today receive benefits and are offered the opportunity for a job with a lower income, the rational choice is often to turn down the job and the income. This is because the grants often have what is known as a 100% marginal effect, which means that you get rid of the entire grant as soon as you have an income, regardless of how big the income is. One goal of introducing basic income is that it should always be worthwhile for the individual to organize their own income through paid work, even if it is small. We want to achieve this by introducing basic income in the form of negative income tax. The concept is simple: when your income drops low enough, you no longer pay money to the Tax Agency, but the Tax Agency deposits money into your account. It is a reform that works within the framework of the existing tax system and does not require a huge reorganization.
Therefore, we want to:
§1 Sweden introduces basic income in the form of a negative income tax, where the floor is automatically adjusted according to the subsistence minimum;
§2 The negative income tax applies to individuals who are resident in Sweden and are between 19 and 64 years old;
§3 The negative income tax is phased out by 33% per kroner earned.
2. Reform of the tax system
We need to review the tax system in general as well. A large part of tax revenue is based on how many hours a worker is on the job. Not on efficiency or quality, not on how turnover has increased by replacing workers with robots, but presence. Working time becomes a measure of value. It is an outdated view that is left over from an industrial society. Because of automation, we are working for a shorter and shorter part of our lives, a change that has been going on since the 1970s. We need a broad discussion across all party lines to look at what the future tax system should look like in the digital society.
Therefore, we want to:
§3 An unconditional inquiry is added to examine the possibilities of more fundamental tax reforms, where taxes on labor may play a smaller role or be abolished.
3. Small business conditions
Small business owners constitute the innovative power of business and contribute dynamism to the Swedish labor market. However, they are often affected by the fact that the public’s interaction with the business world in different ways rewards the largest actors. Especially in the field of procurement, efforts need to be made to break up the procurements into smaller pieces and to publish the procurements in easily accessible digital registers. When it comes to digital procurement, the Pirate Party’s requirements for free and open source software will make it easier for local small businesses to tender for the operation or further development of modules within systems.
The government bureaucracy relating to small business owners should be further streamlined through system coordination and automation where appropriate.
Patent litigation is a common tool for keeping challenging companies on the rug. Through protracted, expensive litigation with potentially huge damages as the end point, big companies can crush dynamic challengers. Pending a more solid patent reform, efforts need to be made to make it more difficult for large companies to use patent litigation to stop competition. The disputes need to be shortened and simplified.
The pirate party wants to prioritize supporting small businesses in urban environments instead of spending money on the construction of shopping centers and arenas, or other
flog bragging rights where the potential for corruption is high. In addition to support for local businesses, it also provides more vibrant city centres.
Therefore, we want to:
§4 An investigation is made of how we can simplify and speed up patent litigation for small businesses;
§5 Procurements to a greater extent are broken up into smaller pieces;
§6 Subsidies in the form of e.g. establishment support should only be given to small and medium-sized enterprises;
§7 Municipal support should primarily go to support small business operations in urban environments instead of boasting buildings in the form of arenas or shopping centers;
§8 Bureaucracy for small business owners is made easier through the coordination and automation of e-services.
4. Monitoring at the workplace
We live in a time of expanding surveillance, a development that also takes place in the workplace. Both physical and digital surveillance are becoming increasingly common, along with various control systems. As digital work tools have become more common, surveillance has sometimes also made its way into the home.
Surveillance enables detailed control, dismantling of freedom and limited autonomy. The monitoring’s information flow thereby creates a group that plans and a group that is planned. This division is clearly visible in how digitization has changed work, where many workers previously enjoyed relative freedom during the working day and predictability in their working hours, while today they have uncertain hours and are under constant surveillance. Relative freedom and autonomy are replaced by constant surveillance and control.
The monitoring also creates a false sense that work performance is measurable, which leads to skewed management of operations – a major problem in the public sector.
Today, the Privacy Protection Authority already has generally good rules for which monitoring and control may be carried out by employees, but these are poorly implemented in reality.
Therefore, we want to:
§9 The Privacy Protection Authority is given a special task to exercise proactive supervision regarding work-related monitoring, and is provided with a mandate and resources sufficient for this task;
§10 Gig workers are subject to the same data protection rules as regular employees, and that the above assignments also cover their working conditions.
5. The gig economy
We need to separate the “platform economy” from the “sharing economy”. Where the former is often characterized by exploitation, monopoly and surveillance, the latter is characterized by cooperation, openness and mutual gains.
To separate platforms from the sharing economy in general, we need to understand the relationship between the platform owner and the platform’s users. When the owner has unilateral control over the infrastructure between consumers and workers and over algorithms that make decisions with material consequences for consumers and workers; when the owner also controls all intellectual property and data related to the mediation of work, then we are dealing with a platform.
Platforms are legitimate businesses, but should not be treated as if they were expressions of genuine sharing economy. We need to place different demands on them than on truly open systems where buyers can meet sellers without an intermediary controlling the interaction. Platforms’ lock-in effects and control mechanisms require different regulation than sharing between individuals.
Therefore, we want to:
§11 Gig worker is defined as a person whose main employment is through a platform.;
§12 Four conditions are set for systems to be counted as platforms in the context of gig work: (1) that one party owns all copyright and collected data; (2) that one party has control over algorithms that make decisions with material consequences for consumers and workers; (3) that one party has unilateral control over the communications infrastructure underlying the Platform; (4) the workers actively compete with each other;
§13 Monitoring systems used to make decisions concerning gig workers must be transparent to the gig workers;
§14 Targeted surveillance against and information gathering of gig workers outside systems owned by the platform company in question shall be prohibited;
§15 Algorithmic work management regarding, for example, payments or tasks must be transparent for gig workers;
§16 Risk analysis metrics that attempt to calculate, for example, fraud risk in gig workers must be transparent;
§17 Algorithmically based decisions to terminate a gig worker or suspend them from access to a platform must be transparent and clearly delineated from such decisions based on the performance of the gig worker;
§18 Automated performance monitoring systems must be transparent to gig workers;
§19 Gig workers who are subject to algorithmic decisions on a platform must be able to appeal these decisions to a responsible human;
§20 Platforms must be able to offer reasonably accurate information about expected time consumption and pay for individually assumed tasks;
§21 Gig workers at a platform shall have the right to form a trade union etc
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