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A Real-Assets Model of Economic Crises: Will China Crash in 2015

Henry George proposed that land speculation creates boom-bust cycles. I propose a real-assets model of economic crises, loosely based on George’s theory, in which land prices play a central role. Swings in land prices affect the entire economy by three mechanisms: construction on marginal sites, partial displacement of circulating capital by fixed capital investment, and the . . . → Read More: A Real-Assets Model of Economic Crises: Will China Crash in 2015

Reverberations between Immoderate Land-Price Cycles and Banking Cycles

Paper delivered at Annual Meetings, Association for Evolutionary Economics (AFEE), Chicago, January 8, 2012

Major Outline

The Pecora Hearings, 1933.  Another 10 days that shook the world.
Hearings sponsored by a dying Republican Congress.  Role of Hoover, seeking scapegoat.  Role of Senator Norbeck of S.D., an echo of earlier progressive Republicans of the Bull Moose Party.
Pecora was a surprise, . . . → Read More: Reverberations between Immoderate Land-Price Cycles and Banking Cycles

Interview on After the Crash, 2009

At a time when most everyone has an opinion about the state of the U.S. economy and the quality of decision-making in Washington, D.C., the voice of esteemed economics professor and former TIME magazine journalist Mason Gaffney is an important one. Currently teaching at the University of California, Gaffney has been publishing vital
contributions to economics since his PhD dissertation in 1956. . . . → Read More: Interview on After the Crash, 2009

Stimulus: the False and the True

“Stimulus” is the buzzword du jour of domestic policy, but its old metaphors ring with sad satiety: kick-start the motor, jump the battery, prime the pump, shot-in-the-arm, wake-up call, jolt, multiplier, ripple effect, … . Fact is, “we’ve been there and done that” several times for generations back. We have been doing it again for seven years now – that . . . → Read More: Stimulus: the False and the True

The Shrinking Dollar

In January 2006 Insights showed how successive administrations in Washington have doctored the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to conceal the real rise in the Cost of Living (COL). Self-defined “mainstream” economists have served as tools, some as active leaders and others as sheep in the herd.

For Insights column in Groundswell . . . → Read More: The Shrinking Dollar

Land Gains, Fast Write-Off, and Incentives to Build

Once upon a time each building was written off from taxable income over something purporting to approximate its economic life. Then Congress and the industry began implementing the Commons variation of the George principle. They began shortening tax lives and steepening the gradient of depreciation paths. The light broke on most of us with the speed of a crepuscular Yukon sunrise, but . . . → Read More: Land Gains, Fast Write-Off, and Incentives to Build

Environmental Policies and Full Employment

In order to protect the environment, we are going to have to face up to the chronic (and now acute) problem of mass unemployment. To save jobs and make jobs we now tolerate polluting mills and vehicles; we chew up more earth each year for energy and materials; we secure and protect mineral rights abroad at great material, environmental and human . . . → Read More: Environmental Policies and Full Employment

Toward Full Employment with Limited Land and Capital

“Though custom has dulled us to it, it is a strange and unnatural thing that men who wish to labor, in order to satisfy their wants, cannot find the opportunity.” “There can be no real scarcity of work . . . until human wants are all satisfied.” Today, nearly a century after Henry George wrote that, and with nearly 40 . . . → Read More: Toward Full Employment with Limited Land and Capital