Thomas Paine

If you know something about Basic Income, you may be aware that one of the first proposals for a Basic Income came from Thomas Paine, hero of the American and French revolutions. In 1797, after a stint in a French prison, Paine wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice, which sets out an argument for taxing land and distributing the proceeds among the population at large as compensation for landlessness.

In preparation for future challenges like COVID-19, we should take steps to address the root causes of low societal resilience. An important such step is a move to Land Value Taxation. This financial modification would turn the tax structure into a policy tool to boost community resilience without additional taxation or micromanaging legislation.

Land Value Taxation

An excellent article in Vancouver Sun (Sat. Dec. 7, 2019) 'Vancouver property taxes fuel inequality, speculation' by Alex Hemingway. In our previous correspondence with Alex (Apr. 5, 2018), he says, "I agree with you that taxing land value is appropriate more so than (and perhaps even to the exclusion of) taxing buildings and improvements"

Some economists are reconsidering their aversion to levies on large fortunes:

The Economist, Oct 3rd 2019


In 1879, a political economist argued that wealth derived from land value belonged to the American public. Today, economists are reviving interest in his ideas as a way to combat wealth disparities.

Every citizen has a right to a Basic Income, a right to their share of the surplus wealth produced by their local economy.

But Basic Income plans should be funded out of unearned income, NOT earned income. People with jobs should NOT be taxed to pay for people without jobs.

About 30% of the GDP in every jurisdiction is economic rent, variously called the economic surplus, super profits, royalties, capital gains, unearned income, monopoly profits, or profits without a corresponding cost of production.

Don't you wonder why jobs are taxed, but many people get rich by collecting unearned income, which is taxed little or not at all?

There are two income streams:
“earned income” from jobs, investments, and businesses, and
“unearned income” primarily from monopoly ownership of land or resources.

Economists call unearned income “economic rent”, defined as income not subject to competition, or revenue without a corresponding cost of production.

These days most Davos types get rich through stock option buy backs and then avoid taxes through offshore tax havens, shell companies, equity swaps, shell trust funds and real estate borrowing. To reduce the obscene wealth gap plus boost the economy, governments should finance programs by collecting unearned income (economic rent) in lieu of taxing jobs.

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Frank de Jong talks about the fading political currency of policy makers and their inability to meet the demands of inequality alongside rampant right-wing influence. How can a pre-emptive economic system be enabled to deal with issues at source? Taxation is not just to raise revenue, but to improve economic outcomes.

Check his work via

Just read Sun Yat-sen and study Singapore.

Ostensibly, the Chinese economy is increasingly reliant on construction, which has stoked a huge credit boom. It is often said that China avoided a direct hit from the financial crisis of 2008, unlike the United States and Europe; essentially, Beijing built its way out of a recession.

Dr Rhys ap Gwilym is Senior Lecturer in Economics at Bangor Business School and a member of the welsh agenda Editorial Board

The poorest nation in western Europe needs to implement some transformative economic policies if it is serious about making up ground on its affluent neighbours. Here’s one proposal for such a policy.

Beloved of liberals and economists, they have so far never caught on.

Eliminate all taxes but a levy on land, said Henry George. Here’s why it would work.

By Patrick Condon Today |

Professor Patrick Condon is the James Taylor chair in Landscape and Livable Environments at the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the founding chair of the UBC Urban Design Program.

We need to tax the super-rich, but what’s the best way to do it?

By Mike Cartmell from Singapore, Singapore (The Interlace, Singapore) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Léo Klag (1920-2018), longtime student of the economic philosophy of Henry George, passed away in his ninety-eighth year this past March. I first met Léo in the 1980s when he was on the governing board, along with Ben Sevack and the late Harry Payne, of the Canadian Research Committee on Taxation (CRCT), the predecessor to Earthsharing Canada. The job of Research Director for the CRCT was vacant. As a young academic I was keen on doing work in the areas of tax reform and normative economics.

"The rise of cryptocurrencies is potentially the long-awaited force to finally force governments to move to land and resource value capture. Cryptos are difficult to track or tax so salaries, sales and business profits become more difficult to socialize leaving governments little choice but finance programs by collecting rent. Milton Friedman foresaw this 17 years ago.