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Further Reading:

From Here to Prosperity
by Tom Burgess

By Tom Burgess

The British people want change, we voted for change. And we will continue to vote for change until we get it.

Theresa May paid no heed to how the perceived arrogance and sense of entitlement of Hillary Clinton affected her votes in the US election. Luckily Jeremy Corbyn did learn something from the authentic and popular approach of Bernie Sanders. It is my opinion that the Conservatives deserved to lose.

Theresa May said on her first day as Prime Minister that she wanted a government that works for all the people not just the privileged few and then proceeded to do nothing about it. She then said at the Conservative conference that she was outlining her plan but the speech contained no proposals, only rhetoric and platitudes. So for a party that shows good intentions and then does nothing, this is what happens. The people want change.

OK, what change do we want? The fundamental problem of our time is the extreme economic inequality that exists in society which in turn causes incessant financial hardship suffered by millions every day and prevents good people from leading a full and purposeful life. Unless a government addresses this head on then we will not make progress. There are some very practical answers but successive governments do very little. This election result clearly shows an appetite for a more equitable distribution of wealth.

While Labour did well, it still showed no strategic plan to tackle this fundamental problem. It offered a wide variety of policies, a few of which would make a difference, like a stronger stance on a living wage, more funds for the NHS and education and replacing council tax with a more equitable Land Value Tax. Labour also proposed an ill-informed move in the direction of higher tax on income instead of wealth. Yes, Labour talked of ending austerity but did not outline exactly how we could then move from here to prosperity.

In my book From Here to Prosperity I outline a political agenda that proposes just five key polices that would achieve this, a very clear vision and strategic plan. The people of the UK have created and continue to create enough wealth to ensure that everyone in the country has the opportunity of a good life. The problem is that it’s accumulated in the hands of the few. So we need to stop taxing those on low incomes and by that I mean the 80% of people who earn under £32,000 per year and ask the super wealthy to return more of their accumulated wealth we’ve all helped create. Not only will it cause no hardship, it will increase demand, boost jobs and move us all from here to prosperity.

Tom Burgess is the author of From Here to Prosperity, available from the Shepheard-Walwyn website.

Image credit: Peter Damian

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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“You can become wealthy by creating wealth or by appropriating the wealth created by other people. When the appropriation of the wealth is illegal it is called theft or fraud. When it is legal economists call it rent-seeking”

John Kay, Financial Times 27th Dec 2009

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, they cannot save the few who are rich.”

John F Kennedy, Inaugural Speech, Jan 1961

“If science is defined by its ability to forecast the future, the failure of much of the economics profession to see the crisis coming should be a cause for great concern”

Joseph Stiglitz

“Today we live in a world that is divided. A world in which we have made great progress and advances in science and technology. But it is also a world where millions of children die because they have no access to medicines… It is a world of great promise and hope. It is also a world of despair, disease and hunger”

Nelson Mandela

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