Non Negotium which literally means “without business” is the idea that businesses and politics should be separated, at least as separated as they can get and certainly more separated than what they are now.
This idea of creating a wall of separation between business and state is similar to the separation of Church and State that we have in the United States, or at least what we should have. Some of the issues that Non Negotium addresses directly are taxation and subsidies. Some of the indirect issues include lobbying, regulation, contracts, and patents.
This policy will remove the governments ability to subsidize businesses hopefully entirely. This policy will also remove tax deductions and exemptions for businesses including religious establishments, which the separation of church and state should do anyway but isn’t, and including secular non-profits. If businesses want to decrease taxes then they should decrease them for everyone, not just for themselves.
The point of taxation is that the more political influence is held by people who don't pay taxes then they and the government have the incentive to increase taxes on everyone else.
Take the situation where you have ten people who make the same amount of money
and are taxed ten dollars each in order to have a functioning government with a budget of 100 dollars. Each person also has a certain disposable income that can be used to support political campaigns. Then say one of these people makes the argument that since they are religious they shouldn’t have to pay taxes. Now you still have a government with the necessary budget of 100 dollars to work, but you only have 9 people paying taxes
which means the non religious people have to pay more in taxes.
Now, that one person has the incentive to lobby the government with the extra money they have to increase the budget and taxes which they do not pay but do benefit from. In this situation the 9 people would simply out vote the one but sadly real life instead imagine this one person holds the majority of influence over the government and can choose to increase taxes that they do not pay on everyone else. This situation happened many times in the past in many different nations including France during the French Revolution where about ten percent of the population held 2/3rds of the political power in government, the first two estates which were the clergy and the aristocrats, who then used their position to levy higher taxes on the other 90% while decreasing taxes on themselves which was the number one cause of the French Revolution this also happened in Russia during the Communist Revolution, there seems to be a common trend of religious establishments and the wealthy participating in this unequal treatment and so religious establishments and the wealthy should not be able to get away with it in America. Instead, non negotium and other types of political separations, advocate that everyone and every business should pay taxes so that there is no political or economic advantage in favor of one group over the other. Imagine if churches and all non-profits which benefit the wealthy as tax havens and “charity” have to pay taxes just like everyone else equally, there would be more support in favor of decreasing taxes for everyone equally. This increase in the pool of taxpayers will also decrease the tax burden on the working class and would help alleviate any social or economic strife between people.
Non negotium would work on most businesses in ending lobbying since the whole point of lobbying is to receive benefits from the government. Under non negotium the government would not have the authority to help those businesses and so the incentive to lobby in the first place would be removed. Now, I did say most, because there are certain industries that are not entirely economic but instead are also political such as planned parenthood or the NRA since abortion and gun ownership are also political issues. Subsidies and tax deductions would be removed from planned parenthood and the NRA and other political organizations as a part of non negotium, but these organizations would still want to lobby the government in order to keep their industries legal. We could make abortion, guns, etc. non political by ensuring their end or protection but since the country is divided on these issues they will remain politicized. This has happened before where a political issue is no longer political such as with the end of prohibition and ever since alcohol sales and consumption is for the most part no longer politicized.
To reiterate, non negotium removes the power of the government to benefit any business or establishment through subsidies and tax deductions or exemptions.
This idea could also go further in protecting industries or businesses from harsh and unfair regulation since regulation usually benefits the wealthiest businesses or establishments in a particular industry since they can afford the costs of regulations while their smaller competitors can't. And so there should be more of an effort to define the purposes of regulation to make sure that the only regulations that exist are those that directly help or protect consumers, workers, and the environment. All other regulations should be abolished. When it comes to regulations themselves the government should have public servants to make sure that the regulations are enforced and applied to all businesses but also that the inspections should be done in a timely manner so as to not interfere with businesses. One of the main reasons why many business owners, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries, don't like certain regulations is because of the amount of time it takes for inspectors to do their jobs and so the government should invest in more inspectors as public servants to inspect and enforce regulations in a manner that does not hinder economic development the way they do now. Non negotium would not end government contracts. Contracts are very different from subsidies since with a contract the business must provide a specific service or good for the government as opposed to subsidies which are just payments to businesses just to keep the business alive even if that business does no good for the government or people. Although supporters of Non Negotium can and should advocate for less government contracts especially when it comes to the military and specifically mercenaries.
Lastly, there is the question of patents. Patents help inventors by giving them time to market their inventions to make money off of them and patent laws have changed dramatically over the centuries in the United States. Patents can, however, be used to restrict the market and owners, not necessarily the actual inventors, can abuse patents. It would be consistent under the idea of Non Negotium to limit patent protections. For example, any inventions made while using funds or equipment from the government should be made open source and not be patentable. Patent protections should also only last a maximum of 7 years. The original term of patents was 14 years, now it is 20 years and the reason why the term is so long is because that time would be used to market and get investors. However, it hardly makes sense that there would be extensions past the 14 year term since marketability is so much faster and easier than it was when everything was done on paper and delivered by horse. I suggest 7 years with no extensions given the advancements in communication and time for marketing.
Non Negotium- the idea that business and state should be separated from each other as much as possible.