2013/02/01 Minutes Economics Working Group

2013/02/01 Minutes Economics Working Group

Recapture, recover and share the appropriated “bounty” from the Land

Planners program on TV – access rights in respect of adjacent properties. Making a public statement would hit the obstacle of 65% owner occupation and be doomed before it gained currency. Start by agreeing on the foundation of the premise – land is a unique factor of production (capital is derived from land and labour). Too simplistic – owner occupation is relevant. Need definition of terms – value, unique, wealth; Most of the 65% are mortgage slaves. Land is important; land is one of the commons; ownership promotes care of property; irresponsible tenants in social housing. Ownership is a construct – rent – ecologically unsound; God is present within everything; claim to ownership of land. Aboriginal peoples – no concept of ownership. Barren land is of no value; air; sea; all space is commodified. Can we agree that land value should be shared for the common good?
What should we do? Land taxes are not novel; shared ownership encouraged by differential tax rates to favour communal ownership; sharing value of the land; rental value of land; full open honest land registry required; object to private ownership of land and its use for profit; cooperative and careship model proposed;reintroduce exchange controls – examples: Chile and Malaysia. “Should” creates obstacles; Quilligan’s transitional acceptance of LVT in his proposals for the commons to be restored. Private/common ownership; how to communicate the issue? Need to know how it will affect me? Talking about an idea. Killer arguments against land value tax – NOT: http://kaalvtn.blogspot.co.uk/; it’s a political decision – carries will/weight, moral value. LVT has been suppressed by decades and centuries of landlord promoted propaganda; layers of brainwashing. Henry George – knew about Ricardo and Smith – the acceptance the immutability of private property was already firmly established. Occupy evicted from St Paul’s using property law. Occupy – land; ownership?
Alternatives to LVT to be considered/discussed.
Proposition to be put forward for consensus:
Share the surplus value of the land for the common good
Discussion led to an understanding that it was generally accepted that “surplus value” referred to value arising from land itself by virtue of resources, flora, fauna or location which had in the past been shared for the common good but has been captured for private gain. It was established that this proposition is no more than an agreement in principle ie. it is recognised that there are further steps required to arrive at a policy statement.
With these reservations, the proposition “Share the surplus value of the land for the common good” achieved consensus.
Congratulations and thanks to Mark for navigating the EWG to this position through impartial, sensitive but firm facilitation.

Off topic: Nelio recommended The bubble and beyond by Michael Hudson

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