Simplicitism

defining article

Contents

Definition

Simplicitism is an economic theory prioritizing basic, simple and transparent solutions to all aspects of society over traditional political goals, such as distribution of wealth, protection of interests and security of rights, through which it claims to secure higher wealth and better living conditions for everyone. It's goal is to make it easy and simple to be citizen, consumer and business in society.


Philosophy

The overall idea of simplicitism is that introducing simple, short, standardized and easy solutions in any aspect of society liberates great resources from all involved parties, provoking positive dynamic effects. And when introduced in many or all aspects of society it produces a shock in the economy with a wave of positive dynamic effects throughout the economy and the society, from which everyone benefits.

It fights complexity of rule, long contracts, special interests, detailed rules, differentiated conditions, slow expedition, ineffective bureaucracy, non-transparent schemes and advantages for specific groups with a set of 10 basic and universal principles:

Ten basic principles

  1. One single rule in each field of interest
  2. Easy, round figures and understandable text
  3. Short contracts, instructions, explanations, etc.
  4. Smart identification with one password, one card, etc.
  5. Immediate response, decisions, action, etc.
  6. Standardized features, properties, etc.
  7. Smooth expedition without obstacles
  8. Clear and transparent rules, administration, decisions, etc.
  9. Small units of administration with user control
  10. Local presence, well-known in the community[1]


Economics

Dynamic effects

The economy of the modern welfare state is hindered by thousands of inefficiencies created by difficult and complicated rules, special arrangements and unnecessary bureaucracy. Each initiative of removing these inefficiencies creates a positive effect of saved money, saved energy and saved time, which will be used for something else, creating value in society and meaning personal gains for the individuals directly involved, spilling over on nearby and related persons and thereby creating an effect trickling down through the economy.

Simplicitism claims these dynamic effects for each initiative on each aspect of society and when initiated simultaneously it creates a wave of dynamic effects throughout society as well as through the economy, increasing private spending enormously, raising demand and thereby production and subsequently creating lots of new jobs within all fields – even within administration, although not with bureaucracy, but with administration of new production, new consumption and new initiatives in the private sector.

Double dip

In recession and crisis simplicitism may be a way to growth and job creation. When government has to cut costs to balance the budget it often leads to further recessions, a phenomenon known as 'double dip', due to layoffs and decreased public spending. If they cut in order to simplify the administration instead of just cutting to save on costs, it will have a two-string effect: On the one hand the double dip effects of further unemployment and less demand – and on the other hand liberated energy, extra time and saved money for both individuals and businesses, creating dynamic effects down through the ec

onomy, leading to growth and increased demand. The second effect is likely to overpower the first one, which makes it an effective tool to create growth while cutting back on public spending.


Social and Political Theory

Simplicitism is not just about economics, but also has great effect on social conditions and quality of life for individuals. With simple, transparent, easy and short rules everyone saves a lot of time and energy – which would have otherwise been lost on waiting and being frustrated – to devote to the family and on a better life in general.

Secondly it liberates people from depending on experts and professionals to interpret and understand the rules and the system for them, by enabling them to understand them easily themselves without much effort. The power of experts, who are the only ones that understand the rules completely, is also a democratic problem, since it creates dependency and effectively divides society into a new kind of classes, where one class depends on the other for certain aspects.


Politics

An example of simplicity, with the principle of a single rule, is the political proposal of introducing one tax only: One tax only means introducing a single gross income tax rate of a round and easy number, e.g. 25% to substitute the entire existing tax system without exception. This means that everyone (rich and poor alike) will be paying an easily calculated tax percentage on their income and nothing else. No VAT, no green taxes, no property taxes, no wealth taxes, etc. It also means no tax deductions, no exceptions, no tax declarations, no special arrangements and no means of cheating or finding ways around the system. The scope of the dynamic effects on such a tax reform is immense and it is very likely to kick off any economy into high growth and job creation right away.


History

The idea of simplicity as a political project was born in the 1990s in Denmark, where the first website on the subject was introduced to the internet in 1999. The first website is no longer active and the contents have unfortunately been lost.

In 2010-2011 The European Movement for Simple Politics published its global website and started spreading throughout the 27 European Union countries. The participants in each country design its local policies themselves based on their 15 principles – the 10 principles of simplicitism plus sustainability, performance, logically, accountable and automatically.

In 2012 the first book about simplicitism, Go Simple!, was written (but not published until 2016) by the anonymous author and economist working under the pseudonym “M” (the capital letter M lifted in the 3rd potency). This book introduces simplicitism as a solution to the problems of the contemporary Western welfare state in a popular format designated for the broad public; the indignant people.

It is the first new fundamental economic theory and political philosophy to see surface in 200 years and with its coherent approach to all aspects of society it has the potential to change the present political landscape significantly. The scope is primarily the developed welfare states on the Western hemisphere, but over time it may develop into the 4th big global political philosophy after conservatism, liberalism and socialism.


Critisism

Almost all political parties claim simplicity as an objective, so simplicitism is acused of being just another one in the choir requiring simple rules and abolishment of unnecessary bureaucracy. On the other hand the philosophy of simplicitism is to prioritize simplicity over everything else, which is not the case with the existing political parties that prioritize another ideology or political agenda first. The reason of this criticism depends on the trustworthiness of the politicians’ claim for simplicity.

With the abolishment of special arrangements, tax exceptions and with the same tax for rich and poor simplicitism is criticized for being socially unequal and for creating more poverty. This is certainly the case in a static economy, as the poor would definitely get a smaller cut of the cake. However in a dynamic economy the initiatives of simpliticism will generate dynamic effects throughout the economy, making the cake much bigger and the cut for the poor will grow. The reason of this criticism depends on the magnitude of the dynamic effects.

Corporate criticism goes primarily towards the proposals for short contracts and one price only. Businesses will have a hard time controlling their clients without the possibility of regulating into detail, and insurance companies will have great difficulties with making insurance policies of a maximum of 500 or 1000 words in total[2]. It will strangle business and lead to lots of cases of unregulated issues they claim. The reason of this criticism depends on the ability of businesses to adapt to new conditions.


Notes

Simplicitism is not connected in any way to simple living or any other existing philosophy on simplicity in life.

It is also not a minimalistic concept or a kind of liberalism. As opposed to minimalism and liberalism simplicitism may very well be about more state interference and less personal liberty if it makes it easier and more simple to be citizen, consumer or business, e.g. by limiting businesses' possibility of setting several prices, thereby disguising the total costs and by limiting businesses’ possibility of making any kind of contract they want.


References

  1. ^ http://simplicitismo.wordpress.com/
  2. ^ M(2016), Go Simple!, M publications, p. 18


Further reading

M(2016), Go Simple!, M publications

M(2017), Democruptcy, M publications


External links