Universal Basic Landlord Subsidy

There’s quite a bit of chatter about so called “Universal Basic Income” again in some of the circles I frequent. It’s a simplistic policy, easy to understand but difficult to sell to the people who will feel like they are funding something for nothing for others. And it can do more harm than good if not coupled with wholesale reform of the tax system to stop fining people from doing economically beneficial things – such as working or investing to produce goods and services, or trading: things we want to encourage.

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Not costing the earth: funding climate resilience

Not costing the earth: funding climate resilience

This coming weekend I will be once again ensconced with fifty or so other citizens of my beloved Oxford as part of the city council's "Citizens' Assembly" on the climate emergency. Three weekends ago we heard from a range of experts and practitioners in five policy or technology domains that contribute to either increasing or…

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Finally, a real Georgist!

Finally, a real Georgist!

Buried in my previous post I made a pretty shocking, for me at least, admission: after twenty or so years a fan of Henry George's "single tax" - the collection for public use of the rent of land instead of private appropriation and taxing incomes and capital and so on - I have finally managed…

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On falling global “extreme poverty”

On falling global “extreme poverty”

I have, heretofore, generally accepted the idea that free trade, the division of labour, coordinated by what many people call "capitalism" has resulted in recent decades in a precipitous and welcome fall in the number of people on the planet living in what the UN, World Bank and co term "extreme poverty". They define this…

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Truth to power

Truth to power

Okay, so I make no bones about my disdain for the festival of rent-seeking and lobbying that is the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos. The top of the worlds hierarchies, governments, their corporate whores and bastard children the lobbyists meet, and, as Adam Smith wrote nearly 250 years ago now: "People…

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Vote Labour for a liberal, just economy?

Vote Labour for a liberal, just economy?

Could it be that the best way to achieve an economically liberal Britain might be to get a "mad" left government headed by Corbyn and McDonnell elected? Now sure, ALTER has long touted the LVT-supporting credentials of leading Lib Dem MPs: Clegg, Huhne, Cable, Davey and others have been or are presidents or vice-presidents of…

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The Poor Man of Old Europe?

The Poor Man of Old Europe?

I only vaguely remember in the late seventies people referring to Britain as the "Sick Man of Europe" For some reason I found myself needing to lookup British Gross National Income just now, and it struck me just how far down what one might call "old Europe" we are. Of the nine members in the…

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The timeline to trouble

The timeline to trouble

So, a few days into the “LIBOR Scandal” what do we know, when did things start to go wrong and in what way did they breach “best practice”? Here’s a timeline to the current travails of the Treasury-privileged classes: 1690: John Freame, Quaker of Cirencester, and co-religionist Thomas Gould fled persecution in backward English countryside…

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Fees vote leaves students, universities and politicians deep in the Browne stuff

I suppose the only person wringing rubbing their hands with glee over tomorrow's vote is likely to be Lord Mandelson who commissioned the Browne report to avoid Labour having to make a decision on Higher Education funding before a General Election (and they still haven't got a policy so far as I can tell), but this tuition…

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Mutual Banking: William Batchelder Greene

Mutual Banking: William Batchelder Greene

The latest instalment in my tour round the libertarian/anarchist "classics" brings me to a work very appropriate for today's messed up world.  In "Mutual Banking" American Individualist Anarchist William Batchelder Greene explains clearly what is wrong with the current banking system (now, just as much as then) and proposes a non-profit mutual bank as a…

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