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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

Corporations, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court

On Jan 21 2010 our High Court shocked Americans by ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that a corporation may contribute unlimited funds advertising its views for and against political candidates of its choice – in practice, the choice of its CEO or Directors. . . . → Read More: Corporations, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court

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

Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem Against Henry George

Neoclassical economics is the idiom of most economic discourse today. It is the paradigm that bends the twigs of young minds. Then it confines the florescence of older ones, like chicken-wire shaping a topiary. It took form about a hundred years ago, when Henry George and his reform proposals were a clear and present political danger and challenge to the landed . . . → Read More: Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem Against Henry George

A Severance Tax on California Oil?

California has long been and remains a major oil-extracting state. It is the largest gasoline consumer by far, at the highest prices. Its fields were yielding up hydrocarbons not long ago when oil was at $10/bbl or less, and natural gas was a drug on the market. There is much economic rent there. And yet California is the only . . . → Read More: A Severance Tax on California Oil?

Alfred Russel Wallace’s Campaign to Nationalize Land: How Darwin’s Peer Learned from John Stuart Mill and Became Henry George’s Ally

Alfred Russel Wallace rose to fame with Charles Darwin: They independently found the principle of natural selection. Wallace later focused on reforming Great Britain’s land tenure system, under which a few owners had come to control most of the land, while most citizens had little or none of their own. In Land Nationalization (1882) Wallace proposed for the state to acquire . . . → Read More: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Campaign to Nationalize Land: How Darwin’s Peer Learned from John Stuart Mill and Became Henry George’s Ally

Whose Water? Ours: Clearing Fallacies about Implementing Common Rights

The late Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana in 1922 suffered the fate of Oregon’s Congressman Al Ullman: he was retired by the voters for proposing a national sales tax. Thereafter, he mellowed into being a scholar and biographer. In these philosophical years he wrote “You know, I’ve learned in the Widener Library at Harvard that most of what I was taught . . . → Read More: Whose Water? Ours: Clearing Fallacies about Implementing Common Rights

Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

The Harvard Registrar reports the most popular undergraduate courses now are “Justice,” “Principles of Economics,” “The Concept of the Hero,” and “Literature of Social Reflection.” The “Me Generation” is passing; Justice, Heroism and Social Thought are “In.” Are economists ready for this future? I think not: changes must be made.
Classical political-economists were moral philosophers. They made distribution of wealth and income central . . . → Read More: Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

Rent-Seeking and Global Conflict

National governments originate historically to acquire, hold and police land. Other functions are assumed later, but sovereignty over land is always the first business. Private parties hold land from the sovereign: every chain of title goes back to a grantor who originally seized the land.
When economists today speak of “rent—seeking” they usually are thinking not of basic land rent, but in . . . → Read More: Rent-Seeking and Global Conflict

Intergovernmental Competition for Energy Resources

Commissioner Dorgan is quite right that North Dakota, like other states, possesses a sovereign right to levy taxes in the manner of its choosing provided only that it does not discriminate against interstate commerce in a gross and overt way. I am only surprised that he feels a need to defend North Dakota’s use of its indisputable right. Anyone, . . . → Read More: Intergovernmental Competition for Energy Resources