Can’t afford to buy a home? Can’t afford to start a family? Can’t afford to live in the community of your birth? It was all designed into the social system between the 16th and 18th centuries. Designed to fail. Not failure for everyone, of course. The people who shaped our social system were the noblemen […]
The two greatest challenges facing the world in 2021 — climate change and growing inequality — could be addressed by the application of a fundamental remedy: Henry George’s misnamed, misunderstood, and much-maligned single tax. Taxes are burdens, charges levied on activities and commerce that very often discourage the very kinds of productivity that the taxing body […]
Destitution has been endemic in Europe for 500 years. Despite repeated attempts to eliminate poverty, governments have failed to empower everyone to work for a decent living. Now Scotland wants to go-it-alone, through independence, and the Scottish National Party proposes a universal basic income. Is the idea of a universal income realistic? It all depends […]
The crises that disgrace western democracies are not meant to be solved. They are embedded into the structure of the capitalist order. So political rhetoric about addressing problems like low wages and unaffordable homes is futile. Why? Because we have been collectively indoctrinated (the safe technical term is “socialised”) into a state of ignorance about […]
Governments around the world plan to encumber their societies with further twists to the failed tax policies that constrain their economies. Outcome: exit from the Corvid-19 pandemic will further reduce productivity. The land-driven boom is on course for the bust when house prices peak in 2026. Post-pandemic reactions in the markets will aggravate the trend. Investors will minimise risk by placing money in rent-generating assets rather than job-creating enterprises. People who suffered most from the virus will endure downward pressure on incomes. And the global trading system enters a hazardous future.
JOHN LOCKE said it first. In 1691, he wrote a letter to a Member of Parliament in which he warned that it was futile to tax workers’ wages. His insight was published in Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money. Such taxes would reduce take-home pay below what people needed to live on. So taxpayers would defend their living standards by reducing the Rent that they paid for the use of land. In other words – ATCOR: All Taxes Come Out of Rent.
Middle-class, middle-aged professionals in Britain are being excluded from the ownership of homes at increasing rates. But instead of diagnosing the cause of their plight, they settle for complaining that renting their homes is “money down the drain”. When educated people are successfully socialised into believing such false mantras, we know that society is in terminal trouble.
The Experts are almost unanimous is asserting that Britain will suffer once the Brexit deal has been struck with the European Union. Fear is the overriding emotion of those who want to reverse the 2016 referendum, in which people exercised their democratic right to redefine the future of their country. The psychology which frames the Brexit negotiations is calculated to deliver a bad outcome for both the UK and the EU. To transform the new relationship into one that delivers mutual benefits, Britain needs to scope out a plan that would guarantee prosperity for the UK, including an open economy that welcomes European engagement.
AS CANADA’S Minister of International Trade, Chrystia Freeland devoted two years to negotiating the terms of global commerce. She is now Canada’s Foreign Minister. Anticipating the political turbulence called “populism”, she firmly declared:
Globalization and the technology revolution aren’t going away – and thank goodness for that.
But she was sympathetic to the plight of millions of people who were excluded from a share of the riches being bequeathed by the digital revolution. The solution was not less robotic power, but better public policies.
On 4 November, 1997, I wrote two letters to 10 Downing Street. One was to Prime Minister Tony Blair. The other was to his media guru, Alastair Campbell. I explained that their New Labour government had exactly 10 years to save Britain from a global housing crisis that would end in a depression. They took no notice. Ten years later, on 9 August, 2007, a French bank froze withdrawals from some of its money market funds. A month later Northern Rock was humiliated by the first run on a British bank since the 19th century.