During yesterday’s parliamentary question time on TV, I took the opportunity to study the faces of the members of the House of Representatives.

Poor, ineffective, unwitting people, continuing the crime. Why are they prepared to sit there, allowing themselves to be circumscribed by a polity that steals from labour and capital and rewards already super-wealthy land owners?

I suppose it’s possible that a handful of them are actually working to assist wealthy property owners to become even richer at the expense of the poor and middle class, but I think the vast majority of them are basically well intentioned, if more than a little spineless, and too committed to the security of their party.  What positive role are parties currently serving anyway?

Our politicians are devastatingly misguided. Look at them trying their hardest, at least in some cases, to do good for Australia as they’re hog-tied to a horribly pathological distributional system.  Why not repair that first, guys? It’ll resolve most of your quandaries.

But they try to fix the effects of the gross maldistribution of wealth, instead of removing the taxation that creates poverty, dispossession, debt and social collapse. They seek to repair with taxes the inequities taxes create!

It’s undeniable, but they fail to redress the fact that the wealthy are able to claw back all the taxation they pay through the uplift in value of their lands. Our so-called ‘representatives’ need to ask themselves only one question: Can the landless and poor set off their taxes against the rises in the value of their properties?  Even the middle class is unable to do so, because they don’t own, as individuals, as many properties as the super wealthy; nor are their properties as valuable. Point made?

Oh, when asked, they’ll certainly come out with the litany of arguments that are always put up against capturing the economic surplus – the peoples’ land rent – for revenue and getting rid of all taxation on labour and capital:-

Such as:  If we collect the rent, property values will fall.

Response:  Not property values; property prices. But they’ll fall equally across the board, granting equality of access to land to everyone.  The prices of consumer goods and services would fall, and wages would rise without inflation, because taxes and land prices create inflation. So, we’d finally conquer the source of inflation, which is NOT caused by just printing money.

Such as:  People will need to be compensated for the decline in their property values.

Response: Only if those people who seek compensation are prepared to compensate all those other people whom they have precluded from owning a house by their approval of the high land price regime that had dispossessed them.

Such as:  It’s socialist!  It nationalizes the land.

Response:  It’s nothing of the sort; it creates a truly free enterprise at last, because it only captures the annual rent of sites which arises from public infrastructure and surrounding population. Individual owners don’t create this value, so it’s owed back to the community for revenue instead of taxes upon labour and capital. 

Such as:  But taking the annual value of the land for revenue would unfairly penalise the wealthy, because they own more land and the most valuable.

Response:  Nonsense! The rent of their lands is the direct measurement of the advantages they hold over others in society. For the nation to take the rental value of land as revenue is patently fair for everybody. It still leaves the wealthy with the best sites, but paying the annual rent for them, like everyone else.  And like everyone else, the taxes they now pay at all levels of government would be abolished.

Such as:  We need a balance of revenues between incomes, sales and property.

Response:  Why so? Isn’t this just an excuse to keep favouring wealthy landowners?  People are surely not doing a disservice to society by earning incomes, and don’t famous philosophers, jurists and the Bible tell us that people are entitled to retain the fruits of their labours? Similarly, don’t taxes on sales raise the price of goods and services, and, along with land prices, generate inflation?

 Such as:  If collecting site rents instead of taxation worked, it would already have been tried.

Response:  It has been tried, and people were all much wealthier. But over the years the lords of the land gradually passed off their responsibilities onto wages and goods and services. Now, we witness the truism that “taxes destroy” and see parliaments around the world trying to legislate to correct the poverty and dispossession created by taxation, rather than abolishing it.  Where rent is now captured to a greater extent will also be found more successful economies. eg. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore.

Such as:  Getting rid of all taxes sounds like “Tea Party” nonsense!

Response:  It does, doesn’t it?  But “Tea Party” adherents don’t understand that rent for revenue has a long history and is quite different from taxation. What do they propose as the source for necessary minimal government revenue? They usually still resort to a revenue base or other that adversely affect labour and capital, such as transaction taxes, or a Tobin tax.  Unlike labour and capital, land cannot flee the country, and capturing land rent grants free access to ALL people who are prepared to pay the rent.

Such as:  It’s too idealistic and can’t be done.

Response:  It certainly is an ideal to which neither Jews nor Christians have been able to measure up, despite the Biblical injunction to do so: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is Mine and you are but strangers and sojourners with me” – Levitucus XXV:XXIII

Such as:  But a lot of people don’t believe in the Bible.

Response:  Just about every philosopher in history has also come to the same conclusion by using logic.

Such as:  It’s too hard to change now.

Response:  That’s what all useless politicians say, but it’s a simple fiscal adjustment you could handle if you had the gumption and wanted to make yourself relevant.  You haven’t the gumption and you remain irrelevant.  Deep down, you realise you’re only serving the interests of the greedy and powerful, but you’re too scared of losing your seat to do otherwise.  Why not listen to your conscience and let your party know what has to be done if Australia is to move forward? 

[“Unlocking the Riches of Oz” explains why Australia’s GDP would now be $2 trillion, instead of $1 trillion, had we captured even half our land rent since the 1970s.  Instead, we’ve ratcheted land rents back since that time, and, as a direct result, the rich have become richer and the poor poorer at great cost to most Australians. ]


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