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Land Value Taxation and Monetary Reform
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Richard Glover



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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Location: Ealing, London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Land Value Taxation and Monetary Reform Reply with quote

The relevance of land value taxation is often dismissed as being of little consequence compared with the need for monetary reform.

However, many believe that land tenure reform is the most fundamental issue, and I am left with a question:

Is land tenure reform really the single issue that if reformed could lead to all other economic issues being resolved?

If so then credit crunches, excessive debt, and many other common experiences would be natural consequence of this single issue not being resolved. If so, then it should be possible to explain to a convinced and eloquent monetary reformist that there is a more fundamental issue that needs to be tackled.

If not, and there is at least one other fundamental issue such as the money as debt, then how many other fundamental issues are there that need attention.

To begin to tackle this issue it seems very important to be clear about what is meant by land value taxation, land tenure reform etc. I would hold with the standard definition that "land" includes all natural resources. It would also include all community generated resources which are lumped in with what is termed "location".

What I would like to see is:
a) Yes/No on land tenure being the fundamental issue
Then if No:
b) a definitive list of other fundamental issues
Or if Yes:
c) a logical and reasonable argument as to why
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Haydon Bradshaw



Joined: 11 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

javascript:emoticon('Very Happy')

Dear Richard.
It seems to me you have an important point.
The first reaction is to suggest that understanding of land tenure and money reforms need to be taken together, that enthusiasts of both schools who think only one of these viewpoints is sufficient to solve all economic problems, need to widen their view.
See the proposed reform of the two combined under Credit Crunch above.

There is also the understanding of 'Value'.
John Stewart Mill declared that an understanding of value is needed before any understanding of economics begins. Economists seem to have abandoned the serious study of value since Jevons and co ignored quality and qualities and qualitative information to focus on quantitive info in order to exercise their mathematics. As Joan Robinson said some now hide behind a thicket of algebra - out of touch with this world.

Understanding of Value, stretches from the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil; the nature of Will, Qualities and Preference, all the way to Marx's labour theory of value; it includes Property, from the opening words of the Eesha Upanishad, through John Locke to today's claimed land and intellectual property.
William Temple said,
it is vital for the wise to combine the Ideal and the Practical.

Ouspenski said that if you wanted to to know the contents of a room, you could kneel and look through a keyhole; and if there was another door with a keyhole you could get another 'true' but incomplete angle on the subject, and there may be a third keyhole. The reasonable person gets up from their knees, opens the door, and walks in to see the whole.

Since the 1970s I have been studying these two subjects (money & value). Many discoveries have been made; a draft essay on Value, too long to post here - about 90 pages, could be emailed to any interested person offering to correct mistakes and/or improve it.
It is not easy to get good feedback from good people. haydon.bradshaw@zen.co.uk

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Richard Glover



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:35 pm    Post subject: Value Reply with quote

Haydon, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the question. I would very much like to see the document on value that you refer to.

Henry George's discussion on the nature of wealth from "Science of Political Economy" illustrates his ability to clarify through careful definition and supporting analysis.

The relevence of this to your posting is that Henry George's first step was to determine the nature of value, at least its nature as it can be seen through the keyhole of political economy. During his analysis he carefully considered what preceeding writers had to say on the matter, including Locke, JS Mill and Marx. Through this careful analysis he was able to distinguish between creation of value for the community (production of wealth), and reallocation of existing value (as with obligations, including the various modes of private property).

The author of the proposed reform you refer to was one of those who stated that land tenure was of much less importance that monetary reform. Given the firestorm we are currently experiencing, that may well be right. Some commentators such as Andrew MacLaren are passionate that without the land tenure reform there would always be the tendency for monetary crisis.
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Haydon Bradshaw



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard,
I will send the paper on Value.
It is a draft, quite highly finished in parts, roughish and I suspect repetitive in places. The intention is to publish it eventually, so any help would be appreciated - possibilities for misunderstanding etc; language, - it may be too succinct - trying to be brief - I told myself that if the subject was really understood I should not need more than 40 pages - it needs shortening again.

I dont remember how much I picked up from Henry George, have been working on this for more than 10 years, could be useful.

Andrew Maclaren and Keynes were born at the same time, lived through the same events - 1929 crash, 1931 Snowden's budget for instance, yet Keynes studiously avoided the land question, I think I only found the word land once in his General Theory, and Andrew Maclaren avoided Keynes approach to money, saving etc. He gave a good accounts of the origin of banking, but not much more, and business cycles were discussed in terms of the land market.

The reform suggested under 'Credit Crunch' seems practical and may be acceptable in the desperation of today's situation - it deals with the immediate cause, the collapse of the subprime market - a joint land-money problem.

Have just attended an excellent weekend with the Bromsgrove Money Reform group where several assumed money reform alone is all that is necessary to put things right. Understandable really when you view what goes on, but the same could be said about the land question.

I suppose land is at the bottom of wealth production and its division, and money is at the bottom of trade, and therefore division of labour and the increase in skills, knowledge, art and culture that arise from that.

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Jorge Saenz



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
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Location: Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With due respect and with my limited knowledge, I believe that the problem of economics has to do with the fact that we have forgotten the characteristics of a human being. The difference between an animal and a human is that the human shares the fruit of his labor with others. The animal takes it all for himself, even if other animals help in archiving certain gold’s. The strongest gets the reward. If we can only recognize what we are and act accordingly just maybe can justice prevail?
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Stephen Meintjes



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Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Non-collection of resource rentals at heart of credit crisis Reply with quote

Dear Richard,
As about half of the advances of the four big South African banks (I guess about 80% of the industry) are mortgages it seems fair to conclude that the percentage is much higher in the main Anglo-Saxon countries judging by their consumer debt: GDP ratios which are much higher than ours. In any event there seems little doubt that US mortgages are massive and central to the crisis which has been brewing ever since the Clinton administration appointed Roberta Achterburg as head of HUD in 1992, amongst other measures, with a mandate to pressurise the banks into relaxing their loan criteria so that poor people, especially blacks and Hispanics could be given loans. Albeit reluctant at first, the banks had cottoned on by the end of the century and, as we all know, multiplied the leverage with off balance sheet securitisation embellished by an array of exotic derivatives. Greenspan and Bernanke added fuel to the flames with their comments that "house prices always increase." First there is the need to acknowledge the little matter of fact that it was mainly the land values, not the bricks and mortar, which would rise in real terms to reflect any real gains in the economy. With such eminent leaders of the financial system endorsing this mystical belief in ever rising house prices the bubble got worse. Such was the esteem in which they were held, Greenspan especially, that if they had said the same thing of tulips then that Dutch bubble could just as easily have recurred.
With full collection of rent however there would have been no land values to make a bubble of!
Land enclosures over the centuries have enabled banks to evade their core function of providing credit for production and instead to rely on the somnolent practice of lending on the basis of, mainly, land value collateral. So what's a poor banker to do if this party is over? Well to some extent improvements would still provide collateral but, unlike land, you can always make more bricks and mortar so the party would be much less likely to get out of hand. More importantly, to make up for the huge gap in their lending opportunities, bankers would surely apply their undoubted ingenuity to the more productive business of assessing business plans, doing due diligences, and providing more risk capital to businesses, new and old, large and small. Yes they would require higher capital ratios, but that they are going to be regulated into anyway, and they might have to attract more longer term funding as well. But then, as we have already said, they are blessed with undoubted ingenuity!



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Richard Glover



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Is Money Land? Reply with quote

Stephen's post encourages me that land is the most fundamental issue. If land values enter the marketplace then trouble is brewing. This accords with the thought that our problems arise when the factors of production enter the market; only the fruits of production (incuding service) should be traded.

I would like to present a thought which has been gradually forming in response to the original question; it either needs sharpening or scrapping:
- The economic concept of land includes all natural resources.
- A particular location has added value due to the surrounding community.
- These concepts unite in site-value as all of the natural resources and all of the community resources available to that site or location.
- The availability of money benefits the community (nation) and hence adds value to all sites.
- Money only works if it is supported by the community (eg through sanction of law, or faith held by whole community).
- A license to generate money has considerable value, and should only be passed on to an agent of the community in return for a fee.
- The fee could be related to the amount of money "created" by the agent. This would be similar to central banks being the only soucre of money "creation", other banks having to use it for a fee.

To sum up: Money is a community resource in a similar way to land. Troubles seem to arise from misappropriation of either natural or community resources. Misappropriation is taking without fair and reasonable compensation as in rent or fees.

Thus: Is money land?
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Leonie Humphreys



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:16 pm    Post subject: Land and monetary reform Reply with quote

Richard, you ask the question: which is more fundamental, land or monetary reform? (presumably related to the aims of justice, equity and sustainability). Rather like the question – which comes first the chicken or the egg? – the answer in my understanding is that both are important, but as you have concluded yourself land is more fundamental. However the relationship between the two is also important and in my understanding there is a third issue and that is sustainability or protection of the environment.

Your question posed here ‘is land money?’ (and argument posed under topic ‘Credit Crunch’ that ‘land is money’), seems to me to be confused. Land and money are very distinct: land is physical and money is mathematical. Land & natural resources form the basis for production which, with labour applied, produce real wealth (goods and services). Money is a means of facilitating exchange of real wealth (goods and services) between people.

These questions cannot be answered very briefly, however I have considered them and attach here a response which addresses your questions at the same time as outlining the need for reform of capitalism, and how this might be implemented in order to meet the goals of justice, equity and sustainability.

I would be most grateful for any comments. Leonie



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Jorge Saenz



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Location: Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1- The theory is written in many books. But my question is how it can be put into action. I am at present, living in the countryside 45 minutes from the city of Medellin. It is a community of aprox 400 families working on the land (farmers).
It is clear how the nature of value works here. The stronger impose on the week the price it is willing to pay for the products. The farmers (the small) have no other alternative but to accept the price set up by the big businessman. This big businessman sales the farmers product at double the price to stores who inter double again the price to the consumer. Most farmers own the land they work. They pay the taxes on the land but receive nothing in return. No road improvements, no social security benefits etc etc. So I see all this injustice and would like some suggestions on how can we start the change. For example: a regular farmer works from 5.30 am to 5 pm. they plant tomatoes, they pluck the land, buy fertilizers, insects repellents, insecticides etc, it takes 6 months for the tomatoes to be pick up, pack and take to the market place. Here a box of 20 kilos of tomatoes a just price is 5 pounds or $7.oo us dollars. But once the farmer has downloaded his merchandise at the market place has to negotiate with 2 or 3 big buyers, who they beforehand decide what price they will pay. Usually it would be half the just price, $3.50 or less. After hours of negotiation the farmer has no alternative but to receive the $3.50. With this money he has to survive for the next 6 months. The big businessman takes all the tomatoes bought cheaply and resale’s them to another person in the city who inter sales them to the shops. I ask you how much is a pound of fresh tomatoes in London? Where is justice? Who is willing to take less so others can have their just payment or salary?
2-In Colombia as in other countries, having different concepts from the ones in government makes that person be considered as terrorists. So liberty of speech is limited here. So no one dares to take a different action.
How can we go from DO (been the theory ) to RE -MI - Fa.........

Jorge Saenz

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Richard Glover



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Tomatoes and choice Reply with quote

Jorge, you pose an interesting situation, but it may be difficult to analyse it.
The farmers have no choice but to accept the $3.50 for 20kg of tomatoes. You imply this is not enough to make a living, suggesting that a more just price would be $7.00.
Perhaps at least one of the following is happening due to some market distortion:
1) input costs for growing tomatoes are too high
2) living costs for the farmer and family are too high
3) market price for tomatoes is too low
The source of market distortion may be the mode of taxation, and it may be the existence of some cartel or another restriction on the "free" market place.
They pay tax on the land, but is this levied on the land area or on land value? That could make a significant difference.
Is it those tomato buyers who are growing rich on the back of farmer's work?
Are low-cost imported tomatoes bringing down the market price?

What does stand out here is that we cannot just say the problem is due to farmers having to pay the rent.

I would be interested in any further information you can supply.

By the way, lowest price for tomatoes in one of our up-market supermarkets is £1.66/kg.
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Richard Glover



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reforming Capitalism Reply with quote

Leonie,

Having read through your useful paper on "Reforming Capitalism: principles & steps for transformation", I find a few questions need some airing. Your responses will certainly help my understanding.

1) I am not certain that the control of money supply through the public agency as proposed by Monetary Reform Party is the only way, or even the sufficient way. Some here express the vie that it is sufficient for the banks to be made to face the risks of their debt-money advances, rather than attempt to evade them through CDO's etc.

2) Until today I had thought that interest (ie compound) would always lead to inflation or necessary money supply growth or both. I am now less sure that this is so. Try this: Imagine a constant level of debt money year on year, and a constant GDP, and a constant repayment of debt at the same rate as taking on new debt. The MRParty argument is that every year has to have an increased money supply (through increased debt) to pay for the interest. However, in this "steady state" condition, interest is also constant year on year. All that is necessary is that some of the rent is diverted to pay interest rather than additional debts raised. This scenario needs careful consideration, but I believe it is true. If it is, then interest does not cause inflation or growth.

3) So I am less than certain that the problem was caused by money supply being "created" through the banks, or that interest is compound. Another mental leap can be attempted. The banks have a monopoly on being able to "create" this debt-money; a punter has no other option, just like a potential tenant has no other option but to approach the landlord monopoly. Remember also that interest is said to be the enemy of rent, and that in the above steady-state model it was rent that had to be diverted to apy the interest. All of this suggests that the interest is substantially rent. It has got to the banks due to their monopoly position as the source of money. Money supply is a community resource, ie increases the rent. Thus my earlier argument about land=money. The bank's monopoly of a community resource commands some of the rent; the rent should be paid to the community. Thus banks should be paying rent at about the rate at which they recieve interest.

4) Now to Daly and Soddy! They claim that wealth is a magnitude with an ireducible physical dimension. This accords with H George's wealth definition. They then go on to state that debt is a purely mathematical or imaginary quantity; after all, how can you have minus 2 pigs? Nice try, ut credit in that case is no more than a purely mathematical or imaginary quantity, but positive rather than the debt's negative. Credit and Ddebt are 2 sides of the same coin in this respect. Neither credit or debt are wealth!

The above are, I find, the working surface as far as my understanding goes. They are tricky areas, but I think important ones.
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Leonie Humphreys



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Money, interest & rent Reply with quote

Richard,

1. The control of the money supply as suggested by the Money Reform Party (MRP) may well not be the only way to change for the better. In my understanding it means that the public agency would issue the supply of legal tender which the banks would have to buy, so that all money/loans would be backed by legal tender (raising some revenue for the government – a kind of community ‘rent’ if you like as you mentioned before – this I would have to check is also the MFP’s idea, it is certainly an idea put forward by other monetary reformists) rather than the current situation in the UK where only 3% is legal tender and the rest is privately created. However I understand the banks themselves would still issue loans based upon their own assessments of capability to repay the loans. Rather as they do now the government would need to regulate and assess the situation, therefore the ebbing and flowing of the money supply would be directed by the community’s needs, the banks discretion and the government as regulator. You suggest that ‘it is sufficient for the banks to be made to face the risks of their debt-money advances, rather than attempt to evade them through CDO’s etc’. The banks would still have to deal with these ‘risks’ as mentioned above but as you point out the evasion of risk has not been successful has it?! And now we are all paying for their greed (see also topic under this Forum: 'US Oversight Committee' where details of bank CEO payments to themselves etc can be found). Hence the desperate need to regulate the banks stringently. Presumably this regulation may include outlawing some of the practices such as CDO’s? But I have not studied this and the realm of high finance is really for experts to deal with. In my opinion the Money Reform Party’s solution could be very useful but more examination and understanding of the process and initial effects it may have is required.

2. Under the conditions you describe as ‘steady state’ where ‘rent is diverted to pay interest’, interest may not cause inflation, but the point is that banks should not be claiming interest in principle. Also, that ‘steady state’ could not be a reality, life is dynamic; and how could rent be diverted to pay interest? I remain unconvinced that the notion of rent paying interest would work in theory either, in fact I think that is what is happening now indirectly, but those that earn no rent cannot pay the interest and therefore businesses are constantly going out of production (this is the very basis of the ‘money must grow’ argument). It is well understood now that interest does cause money growth and inflation under the present conditions of capitalism. But it is not suggested that the banks would not charge any fees (in order to earn ‘normal’ profits), only that the ‘return to risk’ is unreasonable in the form of high interest helping the banks to earn ‘super-profits’.

3. Your third point concludes ‘banks should be paying rent at about the rate at which they receive interest’ – good one! OK, but it still doesn’t deal with the principle that banks should not be charging interest, and they should be paying rent anyway to the community if they are receiving it, to ensure a fair playing field. I really do not believe there are any short cuts to the principles about land reform (through tax shift from production to rent) and monetary reform, except to say that if the land/tax issue is dealt with I personally feel that the banks would reduce their rates of interest at least, simply through the effects of a more stable economy leading to less risk and more supply for loans etc.

4. Oh Soddy! ‘Neither credit or debt are wealth’ you say. Quite so. And we can call them what we like, they boil down to the same thing – lending and borrowing money. But the argument itself concerning credit as opposed to debt is important since it establishes the principle that lenders (ie banks) should not assume a claim to interest.

Tricky areas these issues are as you say, and the whole debate on reform from these perspectives has not even got underway in the media yet – even if it ever does. So, many thanks for your questions, I think all this needs to be thought through in a lot more detail before it will be taken seriously by politicians.


Last edited by Leonie Humphreys on Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Leonie Humphreys



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Interest & theft Reply with quote

Michael Shepherd's comments (copied from topic ‘Justice’ in order to keep the relevant discussions flowing under one topic):

Leonie

I've read your paper with admiration, and I hope it elicits comment from the more expert here.

As one almost incapable of an economic thought (in every sense) beyond domestic economy -- may I ask two very naive questions ?

1) What would actually happen, immediately and in the foreseeable future, if charging and receiving interest were made illegal overnight ?

2) Accepting that we are all thieves, in respect of our claim on land as private property... and until legislation is passed to right the situation justly -- how, in a spiritual sense, might we behave better, individually, to prepare for that move -- beyond 'spreading the word' ? How might we redeem ourselves individually in the use of our 'stolen property' ?

I hope you can make some sense of this second question !

Michael

MY RESPONSE:

Michael,

Great questions! I will try to be fairly brief but there is a great deal to be clear about in these issues.

1. I wouldn’t advocate any sudden moves such as making interest charges illegal in one swoop and land/tax reforms are required at the same time (indeed initially if a choice had to be made) anyway in my view since they are more fundamental in the economy. The importance of the need for these suggested reforms to capitalism to go hand in hand (ie. land reform - through taxation - and monetary reform) cannot be overstated. In fact in the first instance it is not so much the interest charges but the shift from privately created debt based money that needs addressing as indicated in my paper under ‘three steps to transformation’ (and I have elaborated on a little in response to Richard's question above). This solution has been put forward and explained in depth by others, such as the Money Reform Party (www.moneyreformparty.org.uk, ‘The Solution to the Economics & Environmental Crises of the 21st Century’), which is that bank loans would have to be backed by legal tender, and this is what most people believe to be the case (at least until recently!) anyway. One of the issues that would have to be addressed however would be the question you ask, ‘what would happen if...’, in this case the banks having to back all their loans with legal tender. This is a question for experts in that area but in theory in the longer term it would lead to stability and therefore confidence for both those lending and those borrowing money, whilst bringing in revenue for the public purse. I will try to engage Anne Belsey who set up the Money Reform Party in answering this question.

However the question on the effects of any moves in the direction of interest free money loans in the longer term still requires investigation and explanation because shocks to the system could make things worse. Furthermore, anticipation of such a change would undoubtedly cause the banks (and investors) to respond in ways that may not be useful. However, since the leaders of these enterprises have been paying themselves vast fortunes even as they fail, it would seem appropriate that they are taken in hand through regulation, in any case. So, bearing in mind the principle of ‘interest free’ money loans, that does not mean no charges at all, some form of service charge would be required for the banks themselves to break even and make a normal profit. ‘Normal’ profits of firms (including banks) are sufficient to maintain a business and make a living. The banks currently earn ‘super-profits’ due to the fact that new businesses almost always require money loans in order to set up and the interest charges are high (usurious even). The economic system itself through privatisation of ‘rent’ also places the banks in an optimum position since it is almost impossible to ‘save’ some income from wages in order to set up in business, unless you already own land or natural resources that have increased in value for no work of your own. So, the suggestion is really only one of restraint, which has to be implemented at the same time as the other reforms, in order to be useful. Savings may be appropriate at a rate that covers inflation, but again inflation is another symptom of the current capitalist model, which under a reformed capitalism should not be a problem.

Land/tax reform, which is more fundamental in my opinion than monetary reform, would in any case most likely lead to a ‘free-market’ response from the banks simply based on supply and demand since in a more stable economy with less so-called ‘risk’ to firms, a reduction in interest rates should result since the lower risk means that banks would be more confident and also more would be willing to lend introducing more competition into the market place. At the same time those seeking to establish new enterprises would have a better opportunity to obtain funding from savings from their own income (and other sources) leading to less demand as supply increases and to competition therefore between banks for customers. Those that seek investments with a return would have to seek other ways to manage their money and could invest in production (less risky under the reformed capitalism) which would be much more healthy than simply money in the bank. However, some form of regulation regarding bank interest/fees would still be required in my opinion since the banks have shown just how ruthlessly they will seek to maximise profits (especially recently – see other topics on the Economics Forum: The Credit Crunch and US Oversight Committee hearings).

2. Your second question can be answered both simply and more fully! In simple terms there is nothing you need to redeem yourself of! Anyone benefitting from the current system is ‘innocent’ in my understanding, unless of course they are criminals and arguably the current mess with the banks has some criminal elements in it and no doubt that will become apparent as time goes on and some may be prosecuted. What I mean is that unless someone has become very rich on the back of ownership of land and natural resources and other ways of benefitting unfairly from the current system, the current system has already forced them to pay more than they would have in ‘rent’ (if the system were ‘corrected’) since they will have paid employment taxes their whole life (which under reformed capitalism would be reduced/eradicated as rent is captured in its place for public revenue). If they have a mortgage as many people do they will also have been paying a huge price in interest to private banks who are the real beneficiaries. For those that have/do benefit extraordinarily from such ownership my personal suggestion would be to give to some worthy charities dealing with issues of poverty. So, if you have that problem to worry about you are a very lucky man, since most of us are still in debt! Seriously, that is why it is the system that we have to change as communities and the point of my paper is to attempt to make clear the principles that could make the difference, although the practical measures may be very different depending on the time and place – my paper is aimed at the UK.

I hope this helps.

Leonie
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Michael Shepherd



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Let no man imagine that he has no influence...' Henry George; as quoted in the index to this Forum.

Leonie, thanks for your response, which returned me to this statement, which I suspect prompted my questions in the first place...

You make it clear to that before any change, must come general understanding of the truth that underlies that need for change. And with this understanding comes much else, such as respect, the sense of community -- even gratitude ! Which I think everyone who reads Henry George experiences.

So the sooner the Economics Forum helps to spread that awareness of the principles -- even before offering the solutions -- the more we should support it and wish it a wider hearing. All good wishes to you; and from the Poetry Forum and our 'unacknowledged legislators of mankind'...

Michael
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Leonie Humphreys



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

Thank you for your well wishes. I think that's right the principles need to be understood. It is only in the present time that change can ever occur so I would not put aside solutions entirely but they do have to be politically acceptible (even if campaigning is necessary of some type in order to promote understanding). Suggesting reforms for the present time does also have the benefit of getting the conversation started! I don't think we should underestimate the usefulness of that. Poetry of course has a lot to offer economics in my view, I have some favourites that touch the heart and describe some of the problems beautifully such as William Wordsorth's: 'Lines written in early spring', Thomas Hardy's: 'The mother mourns' and my personal favourite again by Hardy 'A commonplace day', which echoes in a way your quote from Henry George.

I wish you continued success with the poetry Forum too.

Leonie
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