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Tuesday, December 02, 2014 3:09 PM

Incredible Populist Positions in Podemos' "Economic Manifesto"; Populism Explained

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As noted last week, Spain's top-polling political party, Podemos, released an "Economic Manifesto" that called for "Debt Restructuring" and for Spain to "Abandon the Euro Trap".

The manifesto is 600 pages long and I did not dig into the details any further.

Via translation from Libre Mercado, here are some additional details to consider:

  • Public Banking: Credit and finance is an essential public service. Public banks will be subject to strict conditions to ensure their submission to the above principle.
  • Financial Transaction Tax: Transaction Tax on all financial transactions, progressive so as to weigh on shorter transactions.
  • Minimum Wage Rules: Minimum wage increase coupled with rules stipulating the maximum difference between the highest wages and the average wage in companies.
  • Labor Reform: Repeal recent labor reform.
  • Pension Reform: A minimum and maximum contribution base to ensure that the system is progressive and trading for real income in the case of autonomous and self-employed.
  • Higher Business Taxes: Extraordinary increase of corporate social contributions via higher taxes on businesses.
  • Work Rules: 35 hour work-week, retirement at 65, with flexibility in case someone wants to keep working longer.
  • Mortgage Reform: Restructuring household debt to provide the greatest possible stability to the system and repair the damage received by families in previous years.
  • Flat Tax on Everything: Improve income tax collection by having an extensive single rate tax on all types of income, but elimination of joint taxation of marriages.
  • Wealth Tax: Central government taxation of wealth.
  • Budget Rules: Delete Article 135 of the Constitution, the newly inscribed constitutional obligation limiting public deficit.
  • Work Sharing to Protect Women: We must change the pattern of distribution of working time paid by imposing shorter hours but also by regulating the distribution of housework and unpaid care. Unequal distribution is the main source of discrimination against women and one of the major impediments to advancing equality.
  • Cooperative Business Models: They want to democratize business by introducing co-management by employees.
  • Restructure Debt: Europe must adopt debt restructuring, especially in the peripheral countries to achieve sustainable debt levels.
  • Minimum Income: A guaranteed minimum income system as a subjective right of all people, to eradicate child poverty.
  • Universal Right to Nourishment: Recognition in the Constitution of the right to food as a universal human right.

Thanks to reader "Bran" for some of the above translations.

Did Paul Krugman secretly write that manifesto? Regardless, this plan makes the socialist nannycrats in Brussels look like extreme right-wingers.

If Spain abandons the euro and adopts anything close to this platform, expect a complete collapse in the Spanish economy.

Populism Explained

These populist ideas are taking hold for the simple reason the burden of the euro crisis is falling on the average worker, while the banks, the bankers, and the political classes were bailed out.

It should be no wonder that with each passing day, radical left and radical right parties attract voters.

Eventually, there is going to be a revolt in Spain, Greece, or Italy. Podemos is a strong candidate to lead the opening salvo.

For the current setup in Greece, another strong candidate to lead a populist revolt, please see Greece Needs Another €10 Billion Bailout; Syriza Leader Prepares for Power

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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