LVT+MMT+UBI

A great combo of acronyms from which I coined the word VIMMLBUTT.

The time is fast approaching when nations need to turn to each component of ‘vimmlbutt’ to save themselves from now unavoidable financial collapse and potential world war.

Progressives need to unite on the understanding of these economic terms because the rent-seeking 0.1% are totally united (against them).

Whether in the western or communist world, it has not been an undersupply of properties that skyrocketed real estate prices moonward (presaging socio-economic destruction) but failure to capture economic rents publicly.

High land prices destroy societies because Henry George (amongst others) demonstrated that, in turn, they generate low wages and profits. They do, however, increase the wealth of rent-seeking billionaires at the expense of everybody else. These billionaries sell the proposition that “You, too, may be like us as long as you leave the economic distribution system as it is.

But escalating land prices and taxes on wages, profits, goods and services have generated excess burden, the ‘invisible’ cost-push inflation for which we are about to pay – big time!

Communist and western oligarchies are brothers-in-arms on retention of the status quo. Their power has the media and law in their thrall. The divide and rule of “Communism v. Democracy” serves each side nicely against their peoples’ best interests.

So, there’s the reason for taxing land rent away with land value tax (LVT). Rent is the net product owed equally to each of us. Taxing land values and untaxing wages, profits, goods and services, wages and profits would finally receive their rightful reward (whilst the 0.1% would lose its special privilege and undue power).

So, that’s essentially the tweak required by failing economic regimes. Both Adam Smith and Karl Marx saw the need to tax rent away. But both were half-hearted about it.

Next, there’s the need to understand money and government spending. National governments having their own currency may metaphorically throw captured rent into the sea, because they need neither taxes nor rent to be able to spend productively. It’s a misapprehension that the national government spends from its collected taxes. There is no national pot of tax. This fact challenges people who are unable to see that a certain amount of money needs to be extracted from the economy if the national currency is to be protected. I maintain that the land rent is the necessary sufficiency to achieve that.

Furthermore, the amount of rent to be extracted does not need to match national government spending. That the government needs to sell treasuries/bonds to ‘fund’ deficit budgets is incorrect. It’s a gift to those who invest in bonds. In Australian terms, it’s a rort. Henry George also understood this point, well before Modern Monetary Theory, but modern proponents of MMT need to be congratulated.

Then there’s a citizen’s dividend, to be generated along the lines of ‘paying the rent’ to which King Charles III recently swore. The principle needs to be applied universally, however, Your Maj!

Prosper Australia has shown that if we were to capture the economic rent, now some 50% of the economy, there’s plenty available ‘to be distributed’ to everyone.

Source: “Trickle-Up Economics, Dr Gavin Putland, 2019

OK, so there’s the case for governments using vimmlbutt if nations are to escape in one piece from the upcoming 2027-32 depression; so what’s the chance of them taking it up?

The answer is “Very little!” That is, unless progressives are prepared to unite.

Unfortunately, progressives currently silo themselves off into LVT, MMT or UBI camps, not cooperating in support against such a rigged system. To those who might claim vimmlbutt “might act to undersell my particular issue!”, may I suggest we need to respect vimmlbutt in its entirety.

Preferring their ‘job guarantee’, most MMT afficionados won’t have a bar of a universal income. They’re not quite as antithetical to LVT though. Warren Mosler has long advocated the need to only tax properties – which is close to an LVT; but no cigar, Warren.

Some UBI advocates, such as Scott Santens see the need to include LVT in the proposal if the income isn’t to be complicit with the banking sector in inflating land prices with easy credit for fun and super-profit.

There remain some Georgists opposed to MMT and a UBI. This is a pity. Their reluctance about UBI is much the same as MMT proponents: i.e. people won’t work if they get this ‘handout’ from government. If they searched their reasoning, behind it is much the same sort of condescending patriarchy-cum-servility with which the new world treated its first peoples.

Humanity wants and needs to work, but NAIRU has been the obscenity denying full employment and creating a pool of unemployed victims. A universal income is not an opportunity to do nothing. It offers the freedom to do anything.

Such a reformed distributional system might then be able to offer free health care, free education and free pubic transport, which will grate with those ‘libertarians’ who are able to justify rent-seeking, but vimmlbutt is rapidly emerging as humanity’s only hope.

Must go now. Beer and circus awaits ….