GETTING OUR BEARINGS

MAPPING THE TRUTH

I’ve always been amazed that early map makers were able to make such accurate charts. Sure there were errors. Amongst several other things, in his 1570 map of the world Abraham Ortlelius had attached the great south land of Australia to Antarctica.

But cartographers sought the truth, always progressing their science with the passing of the years.

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we like to believe we are at the leading edge in all fields of study, but it aint so.

We’ve particularly retrogressed in the study of economics, because the plutocracy wants it that way. Some will say there are parallels in the areas of pharmacology, civics and government, but we’re patently in the throes of seeing modern economics exposed for the fraud it is.

In 1879 Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty” spelled out in detail the deceit undertaken by privileged interests in siphoning off the economic rent arising from the existence of the populace at large.

Although rent is as a surplus generated in the production process from nature, after deduction of costs and normal profits, the plutocrats didn’t want people to see things as shown in “Progress and Poverty”.  So, in a state of apoplexy at the favourable reception capital and the working classes gave to George’s exposition, the plutocracy bribed top economists to turn the science of economics into an arcane art form that would take people off the scent.

Mason Gaffney documented this chicanery in Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem against Henry George in “The Corruption of Economics” (with Fred Harrison, Shepheard-Walwyn Ltd., London, 1994). It describes how the perpetrators airbrushed land in with capital, and classical economics morphed into the faux mathematics of neo-classical economics. There was no longer a clear distinction between nature (‘land’ in the lexicon of economics) and those articles fashioned from nature by workers into capital.

It’s unsurprising, then, that the Georgist School was over-represented amongst heterodox economists who were able to forecast the financial collapse.

Those who forecast the global financial collapse who weren’t Georgist by inclination were influenced either by study of the credit or property markets, both of which are proxies for the land price and tax pathologies of which Henry George wrote.

Since the GFC, formerly fainthearted economists, the likes of Joseph Stiglitz and James K Galbraith, have started to speak out about the manner in which economics has been doctored by removal of the land market from all studies. That’s a heartening development, because we need to discover and map the quantum of natural resource rent and its potential to remove the damage wrought by taxation on production and employment.

Unless we wish to remain in a limbo of financial collapse, Australians should take a peep at the map produced by Ken Henry’s panel for “Australia’s Future Tax System”.

Like Abraham Ortelius’ map of the world, the Henry review isn’t perfect, it can be improved upon, but it’s not founded upon the grand lie regarding land and resources upon which modern economics is now based.