IRELAND, QUEENSLAND & JIM

IRELAND IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO US!

Tim Colebatch’s warning for Australians in today’s AGE “Irish nightmare: Prepare” is timely but, even though he does mention Ireland’s land boom, he and BIS Shrapnel director Frank Gelber are more concerned about what the correction in our mining boom and our terms of trade are going to do to Australia rather than the $805 billion that’s about to disappear when our incredible land price bubble bursts.

It will rival anything the world has seen.

It’s clear that modern economists can’t get their heads around the devastation excessive privatisation of land rent does to economies. They haven’t distinguished land from capital nor assessed surface land rents at 30 per cent of the economy – capable of replacing all forms of destructive taxes.

The very first frame of Prosper Australia’s new documentary Real Estate 4 Ransom should disabuse those who believe that such secondary considerations as governments, money, credit, interest rates or terms of trade are at the root of our problems:

“If you had all the money in the world and I owned all the land, what would I charge you for your first night’s rent?”

We need to get rid of the most fundamental culprits: land ownership, land price, land monopoly and land speculation – and the taxing of labour and capital that perpetuates them.

For centuries the Bible has vainly endeavoured to make the point that we are merely stewards: we can’t OWN land nor sell it for a capital sum. It must be rented.  (Levitucus 25:23)  Unfortunately, we pay the penalty every 18 years for the prestidigitation of economists which makes land invisible to us.

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LEARNING OUR LESSONS?

The public mutinied on Queensland Premier Anna Bligh last Saturday–and how!–just as surely as did his crew on her illustrious forbear, Captain William Bligh.

Many are the reasons, but two are most basic:

  1. She sold off the Port of Brisbane and freight division of Queensland Rail for $15 billion and still left Queensland in a financial mess.
  2. Queenslanders’ “hip pocket nerve” was feeling the pinch.

Hopefully, Premier Ted Baillieu will learn a lesson and come to see that selling off the family silver is not the way to proceed with Victoria’s financial problems either. The Henry Review has shone a light on the positive potentialities of far greater land value capture and the abolition of damaging taxes.

Secondly, The Barometer of the Economy chart in “Unlocking the Riches of Oz” shows convincingly, I hope, that Australians will throw any government out on its ear once they are feeling financially compromised.

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MELBOURNE FAREWELLS JIM STYNES

You’ll be missed, mate.