Influence public debate this way

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The enews of Prosper & Earthsharing Australia
February 2016

SLF Festival this weekend

Earthsharing Australia will be spreading the message of earth rights economics at the Sustainable Living Festival (SLF) again this year. The crowd is dominated by progressives who may just inspire you that change really is possible!

Renegade Economist Karl Fitzgerald, will be giving a talk entitled Beyond Peak Oil to Peak Monopoly on Friday 12th February, 2pm. Please attend! The Malthusian diversion will be critiqued as we analyse what undermines  sovereignty. This will dive into how monopoly rights rather than the productivity of the earth is the defining issue of our times. As usual, Karl will bring an economic perspective that cuts straight through the greenwash.

If you’re passionate about true cost economics and you have a couple of hours to spare over the weekend, we need volunteers. SLF is the perfect opportunity to talk about Georgism all day long to thousands of people! The urgency of land and resource rent taxation continues to grow. Please give Emily a call in the Prosper Office on 9328 4792, or email.

Property Interests over Democracy

News that the Property Council has threatened both sides of politics with a marginal seats campaign in the same week as it was revealed that some $2.4m in property related political donations were made is slightly concerning. Our commentary:

The commodification of real estate is reaching new heights and if the PCA is to have their way, only set to increase. A 334% increase in global foreign investment occurred in just the last 6 years reports Savills. Global real estate assets were quantified at $217 trillion, almost a third greater than the combined value of all equities and securitised debt instruments.

 

Event: How to Simplify Government

Presenter: Phil Anderson
Friday March 18th, 6.30pm
Tickets $25
Level 1/ 64 Harcourt St, North Melbourne

Book quickly, this will sell out.

Phil’s yearly Prosper talk has become one of our most popular events. This year he is planning to stretch our thinking with a critical look at the role of government and its impact on the economy. In a blue sky discussion, Phil will discuss how our economic rights can be more closely aligned with democratic interests, in the process streamlining the impact of government on our lives.

Phil Anderson is the author of The Secret Life of Real Estate and Banking and runs the popular Economic Indicator Services.

We need you – Submissions

There is almost an unprecedented level of interest from both state and federal government on the need for Land Value Capture. The access cost to the railway network was summed up nicely by Flatmates.com, the shared accommodation portal. They mapped the average weekly rent for a room to the rail network in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

We know that there is a clear, causal relationship between access to employment opportunities and the cost of housing: housing near public transport is relatively more expensive, and the closer the train station is to an employment hub, the more expensive the housing. Landowners near public transport benefit from taxpayer funded infrastructure and improvements because the benefits are capitalised into the value of their land. Read David Collyer’s commentary on the important distinction Minister Greg Hunt made at the Sydney Business Chamber on the need for ‘beneficiary pays’.

The Federal government has announced an inquiry into the relationship between transport infrastructure and land values. Given that Governments always struggle to fund major capital works – even the most obvious and needed projects, it’s wonderful news the Feds are serious about looking at Value Capture.  ‘Value Capture’ seeks to use part of the rise in land prices prompted by infrastructure investment to finance the improvements. Prosper is working on its submission to the inquiry.

We strongly encourage you to make your own submission, due this Friday Feb 12th. Here are the terms of reference, and some some thought starters from our value capture primer and related works.

That’s the proper way to influence public debate!

Packer’s Plunge

James Packer’s business acumen is somewhat reliant on his capacity to rent-seek, with a particular focus on land grabbing. Let’s put this together. His proposed Sydney Barangaroo Casino makes an artform out of lobbying, turning a public park into a high-roller casino haven with a $40,000 per night hotel. The size of the original application has now virtually doubled, resulting in some of the Sydney Harbour being ‘reclaimed’.

Packers new move to ‘spin off’ the land under his casinos is only being entertained because after decades ‘we have forgotten’ he only paid a peppercorn for immensely valuable sites such as Southbank, Melbourne. This spin-off is another example of how weak our politicians (and journalists) have become. This long article dares only mention the property angle right near the bottom of yet another puff piece ‘Crown, advised by Deutsche Bank, is thought to have considered a potential spin-out of its property assets to a separate vehicle, to cash in on the real estate value of its flagship casinos in Melbourne and Perth.’ This land is now worth billions. We hazard to think what lobbying efforts occurred in Perth, where pokie machines were illegal until recently.

Rounding Off

The year is already speeding ahead with a number of high profile meetings by our team. Comedian Friendly Jordies showed his support by appearing on the Renegade Economists podcast. We have new interns working on some exciting geo-spatial, animation and research projects. Support our work by becoming a member, remembering that any donation over $2 is now tax deductible thanks to the Prosper Australia Research Institute.

good luck with those submissions,

Emily Sims, Office Manager

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