M. Mason Gaffney


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Such dismal dilemmas economists pose for us these days! We're told that to attract business we must lower taxes, shut the libraries and starve the schools; to prevent inflation we must have millions of people unemployed; to make jobs we must chew up land and pollute the world; to motivate workers we must have unequal wealth; to raise productivity we must fire people. Mason Gaffney has devoted his career to demonstrating the viability of reconciliation and synthesis in economic policy. In these 21 wide-ranging essays, he shows how we can find "win-win-win" solutions to many of society's seemingly "unsolvable" problems.

"One of the most important but underappreciated ideas in economics is the Henry George principle of taxing the economic rent of land, and more generally, natural resources. This wonderful set of essays, written over a long and productive scholarly career, should be compulsory reading. An inveterate optimist, Mason Gaffney makes an excellent case that, by applying the Henry George principle, we can reduce inequality, and raise ample public revenues to be directed at any one of a multitude of society's ills. Gaffney also offers plausible solutions to problems of urban renewal and finance, environmental protection, the cycle of boom and bust, and conflict generated by rent-seeking multinational corporations." — JOSEPH STIGLITZ

"A crisp cocktail of geography, history and economics, chilled by crackling-clear prose. In these sparkling essays on rent, land and taxes, Mason Gaffney gives us Henry George in his time and for our own." — JAMES GALBRAITH

Mason Gaffney is a national treasure. He boldly treads where few other economists even dare to peek: at the extraction of rent from the many by the few. Such rent extraction is now massive and threatens to destroy our democracy. To those who wonder how to stop it, my advice is simple: read Gaffney.—PETER BARNES

*** New in JULY 2018 ***

Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Power

In 1972, at the height of the Viet Nam war, Mason Gaffney presented a paper at an economics conference. The paper, entitled "The Benefits of Military Spending", so shocked the conference organizer that he refused to include it in the conference volume. Gaffney couldn't find another publisher willing to touch it either. Now, 46 years later, here's that paper (Draft version), updated by Cliff Cobb, and published in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, March 2018.

What was it that so offended the economics establishment in 1972? Quite simply, Gaffney laid out the inexorable logic of U.S. military spending: The benefits flow primarily to U.S., European and Japanese corporations operating abroad, and to a lesser extent to the third world governments the U.S. props up. The costs fall primarily on U.S. taxpayers and soldiers. The damage and drain on U.S. resources has only become worse over the years, pushing the U.S. empire to the brink of collapse.  

Mason Gaffney

Contact information

Emeritus Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
University of California,
Riverside CA 92521

Home:
817 Cajon St
Redlands, CA 92373
m.gaffney[AT]dslextreme.com


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Revised: 7/22/2018