|Wealth and Want|
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Fred Foldvary: A Geoist Robinson Crusoe Story
Once upon a time, Robinson G. Crusoe was the only survivor of a ship that sunk. He floated on a piece of wood to an unpopulated island. Robinson was an absolute geoist. He believed with his mind, heart, and soul that everyone should have an equal share of land rent.
Since he was the only person on
this island, it was all his. He
surveyed the island and found that the only crop available for
cultivation was alfalfa sprouts. The land was divided into 5 grades
that could grow 8, 6, 4, 2, and zero bushels of alfalfa sprouts per
month. There was one acre each for 8, 6, and 4, and 100 acres of
2-bushel land. For 8 hours per day of labor, he could work 4 acres. So
he could grow, per month, 8+6+4+2 = 20 bushels of alfalfa sprouts, much
more than enough to feed on.
Robinson realized that it did not matter which lands he possessed. He could possess better land, but so long as the rent is split equally, if the wage rate is equal, their income will not be affected. Lawyers say that possession is nine tenths of the law, but the law of rent says, possession does not matter.
If the rent is split equally, those who possess land and want to maximize their income will possess only that amount that maximizes income for all. If they possess too much land, they would drive wages down and rents up, leaving less for the possessors. So it does not matter who owns what land, if the rent is equally split. ... Read the whole piece
Mason Gaffney: 18 Fallacies
4. "If property falls, America falls"
Wrong, at least in my opinion. Property is not an end in itself; it is a means of getting resources put to their best use for the general good.
To secure that end, property rights are instituted among men, deriving their just standing from the consent of the unpropertied.
Whenever any form of property becomes destructive of that end, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new principles most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Consent of the unpropertied?
That means property must work for the benefit of all, not just those who own property.
But abolish property!?
That is a red flag indeed, but note I said alter or abolish, and it is our own Declaration of Independence I am paraphrasing.
Like Jefferson, I generally prefer alter to abolish: 'abolishing' something is nihilistic until we know what we want to replace it with.
The point is, we have many degrees of freedom as citizens; we are not bound body and soul by decisions made, or allegedly made, in the past. ... Read the whole article
Joseph Stiglitz: October, 2002, interview
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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper