Search Results for: land and taxation

From Here to Prosperity

Economic inequality has reached historic highs worldwide. Almost half the world’s wealth is now owned by just 1% of the population. Disparities in the distribution of wealth have grown far more extreme than disparities in income – and the gap continues to widen. This is the result of a broken ‘system’ and no amount of business-as-usual will solve it, the author argues.

ISBN 9780856835032 | Price: £14.95

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Another Honour for Polly Higgins

Further Reading: Eradicating Ecocide by Polly Higgins Earth is our Business by Polly Higgins In recognition of her work to create a new body of Earth Law, international environmental lawyer and activist, Polly Higgins, has been appointed to the Arne Naess Chair for Global Justice and the Environment at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), an international research institution at the University of Oslo, which promotes scholarly work on the challenges and dilemmas posed by sustainable development. Previous holders of the Chair include James Lovelock and Stephan Harding. In March 2010 Polly Higgins proposed to the United Nations that Ecocide be made the 5th Crime Against...

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Economic Justice

Further Reading: The Science of Economics by Raymond Makewell Progress and Poverty by Henry George Re-Solving the Economic Puzzle by Walter Rybeck Progress and Poverty by Brian Hodgkinson A reviewer  of The Science of Economics in Network Review, the Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network, wrote ‘The editor of The Science of Economics, Raymond Makewell, has done a wonderful job of making MacLaren’s thinking relevant to our times … MacLaren has important ideas on economic justice that we also need to reflect on in the wake of banking scandals and growing economic inequality. Although MacLaren made his thought independent of its original inspiration in the work of Henry George, there is no doubt that George’s influence runs right through this book … MacLaren, like George, insists that land is the basis of economic activity … George’s vision … is certainly the inspiration for the many groups today arguing for the LVT [land value tax], and, in MacLaren’s reworking of it, deeply thought-provoking. Whether one agrees that MacLaren’s economics is more scientific than any other, or agrees with the arguments for the LVT, is not the point here. What matters is to engage with any thinker who is serious about economic justice. It matters because, although it may seem like a deeply refractory problem, not thinking about it is collectively the most likely cause of the economic mess we...

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Can LVT Save Us?

Further Reading: Progress and Poverty by Henry George The Traumatised Society by Fred Harrison Public Revenue Without Taxation by Ronald Burgess The Land Value Tax (LVT) is a “radical” form of taxation first proposed by Henry George in his 1879 Progress and Poverty (see What If Marx Got it Wrong?). What George proposes is to replace taxes on wages, purchases, and investments with a tax on unimproved land and natural resources. Fred Harrison’s The Traumatised Society: How to Outlaw Cheating and Save Our Civilisation provides an exhaustive update of George’s original work. As Winston Churchill famously observed, “History is written by the victors.” Nearly all history books written in the last 400 years were written by or on behalf of the ruling elite. The Traumatised Society is unique in that it recounts the history of the industrial revolution from the perspective of the 99%. Harrison also presents a simple, but elegant prescription for taking back power from the corporate oligarchy, ending economic inequality and the debt crisis, staving off ecological disaster, and preventing World War III. On the surface these claims appear extravagant and somewhat grandiose. Yet, in my view, Harrison makes his case very convincingly. Adam Smith was the first prominent economist to propose the LVT as the most “moral” and least economically harmful tax in his classic Wealth of Nations. Neoconservative icon Milton Friedman also considered it the “least bad” kind of tax....

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Capitalism for the poor, Socialism for the rich

Further Reading: Lie of the Land by Duncan Pickard Ricardo’s Law by Fred Harrison The Traumatised Society by Fred Harrison In an article in the Guardian George Monbiot posed the question: ‘Why do we ignore the most blatant transfer of money from the poor to the rich?’ He explained that on the very same day that the Chancellor announced cuts in benefits for the very poor in Parliament, another minister in Luxemburg thwarted an EU attempt to cut benefits for the very rich through the Common Agriculture Policy. The Government justifies the latter, saying ‘we must help the farmers’, but it is in fact the big landowners who benefit as the main subsidy is paid on a per hectare basis as Duncan Pickard documents in Lie of the Land. But it is not only in the agricultural sector that the poor taxpayer subsidises the rich. As Fred Harrison points out in Ricardo’s Law wealthier property owners in the South-East enjoy far more benefits from taxpayer funded infrastructure and amenities than those in the North, the unrecognised cause of the ‘north-south divide’. It is the silence about this that puzzles Monbiot. He suggests three possible reasons, the third of which is that ‘after being brutally evicted from the land through centuries of enclosure, we have learnt not to go there, even in our minds’. This is the trauma to which...

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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...

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The Science of Economics

The majority of the author’s professional life has been spent in banking and the computer industry. He had senior roles in the design of new technologies for banks by multinational companies and in the application of these technologies by banks. He discovered the economic teaching of Leon MacLaren in the late 1970s and has run public courses teaching these ideas for many years .

ISBN 9780856832918 | Price: £14.95

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The Fair Tax

The Fair Tax explains how a second massive transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1% can happen again due to the ignorance of politicians, the hubris of the Department of Finance, and the continuing backroom influence of the developers and bankers. The authors clearly explain the real advantages of a Site Value Tax over a conventional property tax and convincingly show how easy it is to assess and implement.

ISBN 9780856832901 | Price: £11.95

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Rio+20 Earth Summit

Further Reading: Earth is Our Business by Polly Higgins Eradicating Ecocide by Polly Higgins Many of us have great hope riding on the result of the Rio+20 Earth Summit. We’re not sure what the outcome will be, but we know that the Eradicating Ecocide team have done everything possible to put Ecocide on the map before the summit even began. Two of the Eradicating Ecocide team are out in Rio as you read this. Louise, who heads up their Legal Outreach, was invited to speak at the Conference of Youth for Rio+20.  This was a great success: 2000 youth have called for making Ecocide a crime and included it as one of their 20 Solutions for a Sustainable Future at the 6th World Youth Congress in Rio last week. Their other team member, Sarah, spoke at the People’s Summit and will be reporting back from both inside the official conference and outside amongst the people to tell us what is being discussed by people from both ends of the spectrum. You can read what Sarah and Louise have to say about Rio in ChinaDialogue. The press have also picked up on the campaign; the BBC has written “Ecocide: a Legal Green High?” and The Independent has written “The Earth’s Advocate: Defending our Environment”. has published the thought-piece: “Why Outlawing Ecocide is Essential for the Economy”. Side events at the Rio+20 Earth Summit have discussed Earth Rights and Ecocide....

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Finalists in the 2012 People’s Book Prize

Further Reading: Re-solving the Economic Puzzle by Walter Rybeck   Three Shepheard-Walwyn authors have been voted through as finalists for the 2012 People’s Book Prize for non-fiction. This includes one of the titles from our Ethical Economics list: congratulations to Walter Rybeck, author of Re-solving the Economic Puzzle . Click here for more information on this book. The other two titles are Hoodwinking Churchill: Titio’s Great Confidence Trick by Peter Batty and This Life of Grace by John Symons. Voting to determine the winner opens on 21st May and closes on 30th May. Anyone who so wishes may add their vote by clicking here but you may only vote for the finalists between 21st and 30th May. The winner will be announced at a gala award dinner at the Stationers’ Hall in the City of London on 30th May. The prizes will be awarded by Frederick Forsyth.    ...

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Dialogue of Civilizations at the World Public Forum

Further Reading: Globalisation for the Common Good by Kamran Mofid Promoting the Common Good by Kamran Mofid When Philosophers Rule by Arthur Farndell Anthony Werner, the Managing Director of Shepheard-Walwyn was invited to attend the Dialogue of Civilizations at the World Public Forum held on the island of Rhodes last October. Here is an excerpt from his paper, which has now been published in the Journal of Globalisation for the Common Good: ‘Give us a guide,” cry men to the philosopher. “We would escape from these miseries in which we are entangled. A better state is ever present in our imaginations, and we yearn after it; but all our efforts to realize it are fruitless. We are weary of perpetual failures; tell us by what rule we may attain our desire.’ Witnessing the misery and poverty of mid 19th century Britain, Herbert Spencer, began his Social Statics with the above words. He had in mind, perhaps, Plato’s Republic on the role of the philosopher in educating a political elite – the guardians, as he called them. One of the best known passages from that work is that the human race ‘will never have rest from its evils until philosophers are kings, or kings have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one’. In view of the present state of the world, I think we can agree that humanity...

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St Paul’s Cathedral Protesters: the Dilemma facing the Church

Further Reading: Promoting the Common Good by Kamran Mofid and Marcus Braybrooke Christianity and Social Order by William Temple As the protest camp on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral drags on into another week, the dilemma facing the church authorities intensifies, so much so that now three servants of the cathedral have resigned, including the Dean. The protest is not against the Church as such but just happens to be located on its doorstep so that it cannot avoid taking sides to some degree in the confrontation between the protestors and the City. The protest is forcing an uncomfortable re-examination of the Church’s social conscience. Finding answers to this dilemma will require both wisdom and courage. In seeking a solution they might like to consider the dialogue between a theologian and an economist in Promoting the Common Good. Recommending it, the Bishop of Oxford wrote ‘I very much welcome this book and believe that its themes are of crucial importance to the world today’. They might also like to turn to Archbishop William Temple’s classic, Christianity and Social Order, which poses challenging questions on the relationship between Christianity and the social order. Known as the ‘People’s Archbishop’ for having championed economic justice in the 1920s and 30s he wrote: ‘The art of government in fact is the art of so ordering life that self-interest prompts  what justice demands.’ Can our government and churchmen...

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