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Search Results for: land and taxation

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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The State of Freedom and Justice

We all want freedom, we all want justice, yet few have given much thought to how such a state could be organised. The author, an original thinker, has taken a multi-disciplinary approach in seeking an answer, reading widely over 35 years in the realms of Politics and Economics, Sociology and Philosophy, History and Law.

ISBN 9780856835100 | Price: £12.95

Buy: The State of Freedom and Justice

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The case for taxing land

The case for taxing land has been raised in a number of articles recently. For example, The Economist leader (4th April) argued that ‘governments should impose higher taxes on the value of land’, pointing out that ‘land taxes are efficient’ and ‘difficult to dodge’. It also noted the important distinction between property taxes, such as the Council Tax, which values the building and the land on which it stands, whereas a land-value tax values the land only. The former discourages investment because it would push up the tax payable. A land-value tax does not have that negative effect, on the contrary a land-value tax ‘creates an incentive to develop unused sites’. A land-value tax is also a means of automatically recovering for the public purse expenditure on infrastructure through the uplift in land values consequent upon the investment.

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Our Land, Our Rent, Our Jobs

The authors set out a proposal to unleash their country’s potential for growth in a way that benefits investors and the poorest by reforming taxation – a blueprint for other developing countries. The rapid development of Taiwan and South Korea in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to a similar, business-friendly tax reform.

ISBN 9780856835049 | Price: £19.95

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Missing the Land

Further Reading: The Corruption of Economics by Mason Gaffney and Fred Harrison Progress and Poverty by Henry George A New Model of the Economy by Brian Hodgkinson The Science of Economics by Raymond Makewell Public Revenue Without Taxation by Ronald Burgess A recent article (4th April) in The Economist stated that ‘The history of economics has been, among other things, a story of learning to care less about land’. Though not intended as such, this exposes a blind spot among current economists which accounts for the instability and inequitable distribution of income and wealth in the capitalist system. In his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith recognised three factors of production that combined to create wealth: land, labour and capital. At the time of writing, the economy was still largely rural so that the relevance of land was obvious, but with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the provision of capital assumed much greater importance. The area of land required for a factory, office or bank was much smaller in relation to the wealth created than in agriculture. This created the impression that land was no longer such an important aspect of the economy and both Marxist economists and neo-classical economists largely thought in terms of a two factor economy of labour and capital, whose interests seem diametrically opposed, the situation we...

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Can Taxation Be Fair?

Further Reading: Globalisation for the Common Good by Kamran Mofid Public Revenue Without Taxation by Dr Ronald Burgess Following the outcry over tax avoidance schemes Anthony Werner was invited to submit a guest blog to the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) site which was established by Dr Kamran Mofid, author of Globalisation for the Common Good. The Times in London has caused an outcry by publishing a series of articles on the secretive tax avoidance industry, revealing how the rich and famous have resorted to complex schemes. The problem of tax avoidance is nothing new. The problem is that it is only the rich who can afford these schemes. Years ago a retired judge told me that, when he was a top earning QC, his accountant had said to him: ‘Now, Sir Kenneth, you are earning enough not to pay tax’. Is there a fairer way? Some twenty years ago Dr Ronald Burgess published a book entitled Public Revenue without Taxation. Impossible we might say – after all Benjamin Franklin pointed out that there are only two things certain in life: Death and Taxation. Read more...

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Why is so much wealth in the hands of so few?

Further Reading: The Power in the Land by Fred Harrison Progress and Poverty by Henry George The Corruption of Economics by Fred Harrison and Mason Gaffney Land-Value Taxation by Kenneth  Wenzer The Occupy Wall Street protesters have called themselves the 99% to distinguish themselves from the richest 1% who own a disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth. This phenomenon is not limited to the United States, but is a feature of most of the global economy. This begs the question: Why is so much wealth in the hands of so few? Oxfam is one of the major aid agencies striving to end poverty. To signal their appreciation that famine relief is no solution to poverty, they have adopted a Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day Teach him to fish, you feed him for life This acknowledges the importance of teaching skills as a way of enabling people to become self-supporting and avoiding a dependency culture, but ignores the reality on the ground. Before the newly trained fisherman, or farmer, or whoever can ply his trade, he must first acquire access to land. Without a perch, he cannot fish, without a plot he cannot farm, open a shop or build a home. Access to land is a basic fact of economics. The significance of this fact in determining the distribution of wealth is ignored by...

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The Land Question

Further Reading: Eradicating Ecocide by Polly Higgins Stewardship Economy by Julian Pratt The Land Question by Henry George Two recent articles have drawn attention to pioneering efforts by the government of Bolivia to change the way we relate to the earth on which all life and economic activity depend. The Guardian: ‘Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings”and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry’. Read more The Daily Mail: ‘Bolivia is drawing up a draft UN treaty which would give Mother Earth the same rights as humans, including the right to life, to pure water and clean air. The South American country wants the UN to recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to ‘dominate and exploit’. Read more These initiatives are led by Evo Morales, Latin America’s first indigenous president. He is seeking to re-establish the relationship between man and nature held by the pre-colonial peoples of South America. In another initiative before the United Nations, Polly Higgins is seeking to have Ecocide established as the 5th Crime Against Peace. In May she will be teaching at Schumacher College on the theme of Earth Rights, Earth Healing: Applying nature’s laws. A...

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Let’s Abolish Taxes and Collect Rent

Further Reading: Ricardo’s Law by Fred Harrison Land Value Taxation by Kenneth C. Wenzer Progress and Poverty by Henry George Re-Solving the Economic Puzzle by Walter Rybeck Public Revenue Without Taxation by Ronald Burgess Just as Gordon Brown created a storm by his tax raid on pensions, so is George Osborne by his raid on North Sea oil companies. Brown created huge black holes in pension funds, while Osborne looks like halting massive North Sea Oil investment just when the government is urging companies to invest! It matters not whether Conservative or a Labour are in office, because the Chancellor is advised by the Treasury which, in its legitimate concern to raise enough revenue to fund government, is blind to the consequences of how they go about it. Consequently they all too often kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. A blind spot in the Treasury is the Law of Rent, also known as Ricardo’s Law after the economist who provided the first scientific explanation of how it works. As David Ricardo pointed out in the Preface to his Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation ‘… without a knowledge of [the law of rent], it is impossible to understand the effect of the progress of wealth on profits and wages, or to trace satisfactorily the influence of taxation on different classes of the community’. Clearly Gordon Brown and George Osborne,...

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What would a new economics and economy look like?

Further Reading: Globalisation for the common good by Kamran Mofid Dr Kamran Mofid  is the author of Development Planning in Iran, The Economic Consequences of the Gulf War and Promoting the Common Good: Bringing Economics and Theology Together Again. Dr Kamran Mofid, Adjunct Professor, Dalhousie School of Business, was born in Tehran. He received his BA and MA in economics from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in 1980 and 1982 respectively, and was awarded his doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham, UK in 1986. Following the publication of Globalisation for the Common Good in 2002, he founded an annual international conference on the theme of An Inter-faith Perspective on Globalisation for the Common Good. The Inaugural Conference was held in Oxford. As preparations are being made for the 10th Globalisation for the Common Good conference in Alexandria, Egypt on the theme of ‘A Dialogue between Civilizations’, we must recognize that the civilizations of the world are entwined in a global economic system which is incapable of functioning for the common good of humanity, other species, and this planet, which is our home. Now is the time to begin a dialogue between civilizations on how to construct a new economic system and a new economics better designed to meet these ends. The recent global financial crisis has led to questions about whether or not the kind of economics that...

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