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20 May 2013 | Written by

Fred Harrison a finalist in the People’s Book Prize

Further Reading:

The Traumatised Society
by Fred Harrison

Fred Harrison’s latest book, The Traumatised Society, has been voted into the finals of The Non-fiction section of the People’s Book Prize and so gone through to the next round of voting. Voting to select the winner is open from 21st – 29th May. The Prize will be awarded at a gala dinner in Stationers Hall in the City of London on 29th May with Frederick Forsyth presenting the Prize. To vote again, or for the first time, click here and follow the instructions, noting the additional instruction for finalists. The Traumatised Society is 2nd from the end in the Non-fiction section. You may like to read the comments before voting.

 

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17 Apr 2013 | Written by

The importance of the Law of Ecocide for a healthy planet

Further Reading:


Eradicating Ecocide
by Polly Higgins

Earth is our Business
by Polly Higgins

In an interview with Marcin Gerwin of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia Polly Higgins, author of Eradicating Ecocide and Earth is our Business, explained why it is necessary to have an international law making it a criminal offence to damage or destroy the environment. To read the full interview, click here.

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04 Apr 2013 | Written by

A Principled Approach to Economics

Further Reading:

The Science of Economics
by Raymond Makewell

“To discover of the conditions which allow every individual to find a fulfilling life is the true goal of Economics”

In The Science of Economics Raymond Makewell presents the three-year Economics course prepared by Leon MacLaren for the School of Economic Science in London in the late 1960s. Revised with contemporary, international examples, the core material remains the same.

MacLaren (1910–1994) was a barrister, politician, philosopher and (with the aid of his father, a Member of Parliament) founder of the School of Economic Science in 1937 when the world was struggling to emerge from the Great Depression. In 1939 he was selected to stand against Winston Churchill in the election that was cancelled by the outbreak of war.

Had the election not been cancelled, Churchill would have faced an awkward challenge as to why he had abandoned the principles he had so brilliantly expounded in support of Lloyd George’s People’s Budget in 1909 when he was a Liberal Cabinet Minister. These were the principles the School of Economic Science was founded to teach.

Rather like Adam Smith in his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, MacLaren took his inquiry back to first principles. Instead of making supply and demand the starting point, he begins with the simple observation that all material wealth is ultimately derived from land, and, where goods are exchanged, the first requirement is trust, or a system of credit. The major characteristics of the modern economy are examined in terms of the conditions that govern how and why they evolved and how they operate today. Particular attention is given to the system of land tenure and the concepts of property evolved in the English-speaking world, the role of government in economic affairs, and the degree of economic freedom. This reveals how the current economic situation denies millions access to all that they need to work and produce wealth for themselves. Injustice is the inevitable result and poverty its inseparable companion.

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12 Mar 2013 | Written by

Review of The Traumatised Society

Further Reading:

The Traumatised Society
by Fred Harrison

This thesis is not only a restatement of the social price of inequality (such as Joseph Stiglitz The Price of Inequality, or Richard Wilkinson The Spirit Level).  There is something deeper: humanity has lost touch with its spiritual roots, and with the ‘covenant’ which ancient wisdom saw in the triangle of relationships between humanity, the earth and God.  – Bishop David Atkinson, Church Times

For the full review click here and go to page 23.

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12 Mar 2013 | Written by

2013 People’s Book Prize

Further Reading:

The Traumatised Society
by Fred Harrison

The Traumatised Society by Fred Harrison has been selected for the Non-fiction Spring 2013 People’s Book Prize Collection. Voting will be open until the 20th May. If Fred Harrison gets enough votes,  he will go through to a second vote to determine the winner of the non-fiction prize between 20th and 29th May. To vote go to www.peoplesbookprize.co.uk.

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23 Jan 2013 | Written by

The Power in the Land

Further Reading:

The Power in the Land
by Fred Harrison

George Monbiot began an article in the Guardian ‘You can learn as much about a country from its silences as you can from its obsessions. The issues politicians do not discuss are as telling and decisive as those they do … the loudest silence surrounds the issue of property taxes … the simplest, fairest and least avoidable levy is one that the major parties simply will not contemplate. It’s called land value tax. The term is a misnomer. It’s not really a tax. It’s a return to the public of the benefits we have donated to the landlords. When land rises in value, the government and the people deliver a great unearned gift to those who happen to own it.’ Click here for the full article.

In 1909 Winston Churchill explained the issue in a remarkable speech which pointed out, as Adam Smith and many others have, that those who own the land skim wealth from everyone else, without exertion or enterprise.

The history of the Liberal government’s attempt to introduce the land value tax is described in The People’s Budget and Labour’s later attempt in Standing for Justice.

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05 Jan 2013 | Written by

Are rising house prices a good thing?

Further Reading:

The Traumatised Society
by Fred Harrison

In the Guardian on New Year’s Eve, the economics correspondent, Phillip Inman, wrote:

Why, when the UK economy is in a dreadful state, with its core lending banks strapped for cash, would anyone in their right mind think property prices could rise? But as Fred Harrison, research director of the London-based Land Research Trust, points out in his new book, The Traumatised Society, rent-seeking by a wealthy class of people hooked on accumulating even greater wealth is the cancer that has brought down many more civilisations than the present one.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have in the past couple of years concluded that only an annual tax on land can end the obsession with property. Once landowners face a tax, they will free up land they are sitting on, rather than wait for a rising market to make a killing.

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22 Dec 2012 | Written by

Henry George, The Movie

Further Reading:

Progress and Poverty
by Henry George

BackHome Pictures of Los Angeles are planning  a feature film on the life of Henry George the author of Progress and Poverty.  For more information click here

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16 Dec 2012 | Written by

The Fair Tax review

The new internet magazine Justice carries a review of The Fair Tax stating ‘This slim volume argues for a tax which could do more to bring about social and economic justice than any other step a government could take.’

Unfortunately Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, ignored the advice in his Budget statement last week.  To read the full review click here and turn to page 39.

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05 Dec 2012 | Written by

Site Value Tax Is The Fair Tax

Further Reading:

The Fair Tax
by Emer Ó Siochrú

This message is from the Irish Site Value Tax campaign, which started the petition “Finance Minister, Michael Noonan: Stop the government imposing an unfair residential property tax in the 2013 Budget.”:

The 5th of December is budget day and all the leaks from the government would indicate that the government went against their own best advice and opted for a value based, residential, property tax instead of a Site Value Tax. This petition is an attempt to hold the government to account for their actions or lack there of, on this issue. If we must have some sort of property tax we want the government to know that a Site Value Tax is a much better option for all involved. To find our more about SVT click here.

Send this to as many people as you can by email, facebook and twitter today! If we just get two people each and they get two people each, we will have a couple of thousand signatures by Friday, the 7th of December.

Thank you very much for your support on the important issue of property tax.

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