Wilful ignorance or Big Lie?

Conspiracy theories are dangerous, but, sometimes, things happen that leave you wondering…If it’s not a conspiracy to defeat people from achieving their goals in life, what is it? Where do you draw the line between wilful ignorance and the Big Lie?

These reflections were triggered by a report in a British magazine called Country Life.. In its November 10 issue it carries an analysis of an article on land value taxation which appeared in the New Statesman. That tax is the single most important tool for liberating people, but it rests on a philosophy that would banish privilege from the land. There’s the problem. Land owners don’t want their privileges banished, so they have to keep up the assault on the one tool that would democratise the public’s finances.

In essence, we need to get rid of taxes on people’s wages, replacing the revenue with the rents from land. From Adam Smith through to a battery of Nobel prize winning economists today, acknowledge that this is the fair and efficient way to pay for public services.

So the misinformation industry has to work hard to smear the land value tax, and the exercise in Country Life is one example. The lead author, Kevin Cahill, has no excuse for the rubbish that appeared in his article.

The Big Lie

The description of this policy reverses reality.

Lie 1: bureaucrats would set the value that would be taxed. Wrong. You and I would determine the taxable value by the prices we negotiate in the marketplace for the right to use a site.

Lie 2: each household in Britain would have to pay £12,000 a year, if other taxes were abolished, irrespective of the owner’s income. The scare story. Payment would be proportionate to the value of the land that one chose to occupy.

Lie 3: if domestic properties were exempted, the bulk of the tax would fall on farmland, which would have to pay about £1,200 per acre per year. This is in the realms of fantasy.

Ask yourself: why would a well-informed author like Kevin Cahill disseminate such misinformation unless it was an act of propaganda to preserve the privileges that are at the root of the injustice in all societies around the world today?

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