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The People’s Budget

Further Reading: The People's Budget by Geoffrey Lee Rent Unmasked by Fred Harrison Public Revenue Without Taxation by Ronald Burgess In his first budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer had the opportunity to set a course for Britain’s prosperity post Brexit and to...

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A History of Land-Value Taxation in New Zealand

Further Reading: Ricardo’s Law by Fred Harrison (ed.) New Zealand holds a rather special status in that it was notably the first country to introduce a system of land-value taxation for raising revenue. This essay, by Ian Hopton, traces the fortunes of Land-Value...

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Rent Unmasked – A book for the people?

Further Reading: Rent Unmasked by Fred Harrison (ed.) Rent Unmasked has been chosen for the Winter 2016/17 heat of The People's Book Prize for Non-Fiction. This competition is based purely on public votes - so we need your help. Successful books from the heats are...

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BREXIT a gift to the peoples of Europe

BREXIT was a gift to the peoples of Europe by those in Britain who voted to leave the European Union, argue the authors of Beyond Brexit: The Blueprint. As a consequence of the referendum decision, the EU is undertaking a review of the crises facing Europe. At their meeting in Rome in March 2017, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, governments from 27 countries – with the UK absent – will receive a plan from Brussels on how to address the problems which, in large measure, were due to fundamental flaws in the way the European project evolved.

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Boosting the Economy Post-Brexit

There were almost daily warnings following the shock Brexit result that Britain would be heading for a recession. Responding to this the Bank of England cut interest rates to a historic low of 0.25%. So fixated are economists on monetary policy to boost economic activity that little attention has been given to how tax reform could deliver better results. Two of our recent releases contain answers to the problem of the shrinking economy.

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South African Land Reform

According to Meintjes, the land reform in South Africa has largely been regarded as unsuccessful. 90% of the commercial land which was redistributed has now been left unproductive according to government records. The country has high taxes on labour and VAT which cripples industry. There is a large variation in land values and productivity within the country so rural towns are becoming derelict due to high levels of taxation on industrial activity.

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It’s taxation, stupid

After the divisions of the referendum, it is time to pull together to make a success of the people’s choice. The future is not without hope, but it does mean appreciating why so many ordinary working people voted Leave and showing that in a United Kingdom there is a way forward where conditions can be improved for everybody.

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Review of A New Model of the Economy, Brian Hodgkinson

Much of mainstream economic thought is sadly an insult not only to logic and scientific thinking but also to humanity overall due to its utter disregard of treating land—nature—as a separate “factor of production”; instead, the so-called “neoclassical” economic school treats land as a capital good to be exploited for private gain, no different from objects like cars or computers. Most economic models based on this lack of distinction incur flaws that lead to incorrect economic forecasts and faulty economic applications in addressing social issues such as wealth inequality or ecocide.

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The Agenda for Progressive Policy: Social Offsetting can make Capitalism more socially responsible

Businesses bring together land, capital and labour to generate profits, so building wealth. Currently after retention for investment and cashflow, this profit is generally allocated to shareholders, but not all the stakeholders. The wealth that we have jointly created could be shared more equitably through encouraging greater corporate responsibility. This can be achieved by changing the way public revenue is raised from business, so that the wealth created can benefit all, not just the few.

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The Agenda for Progressive Prosperity: Making Wealth Fair

There is plenty of rhetoric about the wealthy paying their fair share of taxes, but there is very little about what is fair and the details of how we could make this happen. The way to be fair is to shift the tax base away from income and more to wealth. I outline here one approach as to how such reforms could be implemented.

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The Agenda For Progressive Prosperity: A five-step process

Tom Burgess is the author of our latest book, From Here to Prosperity. Like many of us, Tom is angered and frustrated by the high level of inequality in our society and would like to bring about greater social justice. His book is written in a common sense style and is based around what he calls “An Agenda for Progressive Prosperity”. Rather than write a lengthy book identifying and explaining the problems, Tom focuses on the solutions and does so by laying out five easy to understand policies.

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The Law of Rent: The Concept

In the five or six years the Ethical Economics blog site has been in existence, the most regularly visited blog has been ‘The Law of Rent – the concept’. Hardly a month has gone by without at least six visits, but in May this year there were an astonishing 112 visits.

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Authors warn of coming financial crisis

It is no secret to many of our readers that an economy which ignores the vital contribution that a land value tax has to offer is subject to the peaks and troughs in the property market. Fred Harrison, the author of Boom Bust and other books predicted the crash of 2008 in 2005. He has recently being speaking to Joshua Philipp, a journalist for the International publication the Epoch Times. You can read the full article here. Some highlights from the piece are outlined below.

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The tragedy of poverty

You have to be pretty desperate to set yourself alight, as a young vegetable seller in Tunisia did in 2010, sparking the Arab Spring which has brought so much hardship in the Arab world, and now onto the shores of Europe. Tunisia itself seemed to offer a glimmer of hope that it had not all been in vain, but the Sunday Times reported (28/02/2016) that already this year there have been 17 self-immolations and 120 last year in protest at corruption and poverty.

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South Africa belongs to all who live in it

There is no excuse for this failure. As the authors of the recently published book Our Land, Our Rent, Our Jobs note, until 2004 most of the municipalities raised revenue by a direct charge on the imputed rent of land. This model, if generalised by central government, would have made it possible to abolish the treadmill taxes that deprive people of jobs and the decent living standards that they would otherwise provide for themselves.

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Is a better tax system possible?

This question was posed in a review of Our Land, Our Rent, Our Jobs in Moneyweb, on a Johannesburg-based website. The reviewer, Ciaran Ryan, acknowledges the difficulty: ‘There is so much invested in the current tax system that it is hard to imagine an alternative. The cost of administering SA revenue systems is about R10 billion a year, and there are an estimated 2 000 registered tax professionals lumping another R1 billion on top of that as fees. A far greater cost is the combined hours and expense incurred by companies, executives, lawyers and the courts dealing with tax matters. That’s a stubborn oak to cut down.’

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