Bryan Kavanagh

Regulatory bodies paid to look like idiots?

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  All the great social philosophers have held that land must be rented, not sold, if communities aren’t to implode. One of them put it into a formula, saying that if we were to capture the social surplus, then labour and profits will receive their full and rightful income—their ‘private property’?—undiminished by arbitrary taxation:- i.e. Production […]

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“Is the Queen a Georgist?”

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  Turns out she is! She pays the rent …. In 2015 the Crown Estate delivered a record £328.8 million to the Exchequer from its thirty wind farms and central London assets. This was up 8.1% on the previous year, taking the total the Estate has returned to the Treasury over the last decade to […]

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Was it ‘debt’ or land price what done us in, Gov?

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Economists are very strange people.  Some of them say private debt doesn’t matter much, because banks simply act as intermediaries between people in the community who lend to each other, so that any private debt cancels out.  More realistically, other economists say that banks, by generating excessive debt, are responsible for the repetitive economic recessions […]

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Changing the world

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What’s the problem? Class struggle? Population? Money? Debt? Banks? Something else? ‘Something else’ is more important than each of the others, but we always say it’s “too hard and will never happen!” And so we continue to plod along in an economic slough of despond, blaming this government or that government, for not taking this […]

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Decentralisation made easy

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As Australian capital cities spill out into their hinterland, our regional cities and towns serviced by good infrastructure are failing worse than ever to attract their share of population growth. Politicians regularly breast-beat about the developmental imbalance, occasionally sending this or that centrally-located administrative department off to the regions in order to redress the lopsidedness […]

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Boom-bust and the Australian banks

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Australia experienced an increasingly gigantic bubble in land prices during the 1880s and the beginning of the 1890s, and the city of Melbourne became bubble-central. Michael Cannon provides an excellent account of the period in The Land Boomers. Henry George’s masterwork Progress and Poverty had hit the streets in the United States in 1879 and […]

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1 + 2 adds up!

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These two interesting quotes assist to make the Georgist case that land prices and taxes are both problematical:- (1) Richard Cobden: “Cheated, Robbed and Bamboozled” “I warn ministers, and I warn landlords and the aristocracy of this country, against forcing on the attention of the middle and industrial classes, the subject of taxation ….. If you […]

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“Poverty is the mother of crime”

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What did Marcus Aurelius mean when he said “Poverty is the mother of crime”? Surely he wasn’t trying to justify crime?  The vast majority of poor people keep on ‘the straight and narrow’ without turning to crime? No, he wasn’t justifying crime; he was simply being realistic. When they see affluence all around them, some of […]

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Why economies are failing

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The Real Excess Burden: an overarching approach By Bryan Kavanagh Disclosures I’m not a fan of economists who are able to equate the rent flowing from land with the returns to manufactured capital without experiencing a frisson of self-reproach. That income from land should be distinguished from that of capital because it has not been […]

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Time to fix economic blight

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Do you see the cat? Read on. THE PROGRESSIVE ERA Americans apparently consider the Progressive Era (1890s to 1920s) belongs to them. The period was driven by the reformist ideas of Henry George as taken up by public officials across the US political spectrum; amongst others, these included Hazen Pingree, Tom L Johnson, Brand Whitlock […]

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