Geonomics and the true cost of poverty

by Scott Baker

Why are there so many poor people when the world seems so much wealthier as a whole? By wealthier, I mean there is more food, more housing (and bigger, better housing too), more of everything, in fact. I'll get to the obvious misdistribution and the true remedy in a moment, but would point out here that this question is not new; in fact, it was asked, and brilliantly answered by Henry George, a Political Philosopher who wrote the answer - and debunked all the others - in his earth-shattering book, Progress and Poverty, written in 1879, which sold 2 million copies in its first year (1879!) and remains the best-selling economics book of all time (it is still very much in print, as are George's other 8 books).

It is no coincidence the poor are often forced to live on marginal, polluted land. In fact, Henry George - really, the father of the Geonomics school of thought - predicted it. It's easy to see why: if someone owns the best land - and this ownership is backed up by legal and physical means (i.e. police, the justice system etc.), then other people will have no choice but to either agree to work on that land (and by 'land' I, and George, mean any natural resources - oil, water, land itself etc.), or to try to eke out a living on marginal, less productive land.

The injustice springs from the fact that neither party actually created the land, nature did. The land 'owner' should pay rent (in the form of land value taxes) to work the land, profiting from actual improvements, but paying the value of the raw resource back to the community, who rightfully owns the resource to begin with.

If you think of all the billions and billions made by speculators in oil, water, actual land, commodities, and all the other products of nature - none of which had to do with any actual production (as we speak, supertankers are moored off the coast of Africa, rented by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, just waiting with their cargoes full of oil, until the price goes up again - this is the playbook they employed last summer, and which is now fully legal thanks to deregulation begun under Clinton and embraced warmly under Bush II). Exxon made tens of billions in profit chiefly because of the price of oil, not because they suddenly discovered how to refine superior oil and gas. Exxon could, and should, still be able to make a profit - even after the true (and considerable) cost of pollution and land use and abuse was factored in as well - but it wouldn't be anywhere near the obscene levels guaranteed by oil that spiked at $147/barrel last summer (in percentage terms, Goldman and Morgan Stanley made much more, and they didn't refine a drop of oil).

As for the poor, they are poor chiefly because the monopolizers control the world's resources, leaving nothing for the poor to labor upon. True wealth (not the funny stuff that goes across Wall Street screens) is created by Labor + Land + (optionally and usually) Capital. You can create wealth without capital, but it's a heck of a lot harder; I could build a bridge across a river with just trees, stones, and mud (that is, natural resources, or 'Land') and my (considerable) labor, but it would sure go a lot easier if I had access to a tractor and a crane or two (this is true capital; money is NOT capital, it is only a medium of exchange).

Neither labor nor capital would be taxed under a Geonomic system. You can see pretty quickly what kinds of work opportunities this would free up. Imagine if you could take a $40,000/year job, and not pay taxes on your wages. Wouldn't that be a lot more attractive than taking a $40,000/year job, which nets to only $30,000 after wage taxes are figured in? Of course, you would be paying more in resource taxes - from gas to land, if you owned your own home, but you have to pay most of that anyway, and the really large amounts of resource taxes would fall on those individuals and businesses that owned the most resources, encouraging them to utilize those resources, or sell them off to someone who could.

The myth that has been perpetuated by Milton Friedman, the Chicago School, and adherents of former President, Ronald Reagan, is that capital (including their misidentified 'money' or 'debt' as capital) somehow creates wealth by employing labor. As I just showed in my bridge-building example, labor comes first. We labor to satisfy our desires (for food, clothing, shelter, etc.). The 'money' we are paid is just a convenient means to obtain that which satisfies our desires (e.g. it's easier to find someone willing to accept money in exchange for food than to accept my labor as a bridge-builder).

All the capital in the world won't build a bridge if labor is unable or unwilling to work.




This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of ecological, political and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Views: 47


You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

Latest Activity

the mighty bull posted a photo
4 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited Phyllis Maka's blog post HUMANITY IS THE MANIFESTATION OF LIGHT
2 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited James Roberts's blog post The One on the Right is on the Left
3 hours ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on James Roberts's blog post The One on the Right is on the Left
"Sorta like,  "C'mon Everybody!...The Second verse, ...same as the…"
3 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Old Denmark's video
3 hours ago
Diana favorited Old Denmark's video
6 hours ago
Phyllis Maka commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post HUMANITY IS THE MANIFESTATION OF LIGHT
"Every individual here on earth are one of the same. We All are from One Energy Source. Do you know…"
6 hours ago
Diana favorited Phyllis Maka's blog post HUMANITY IS THE MANIFESTATION OF LIGHT
6 hours ago
Old Denmark posted a video

Alternative for Sweden - Be Prepared for Hard Times

The Swedish currency is sinking fast, meanwhile city after city is having budget deficits as a consequence of the welfare abuse and extreme immigrant unemplo...
7 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post HUMANITY IS THE MANIFESTATION OF LIGHT
"I'm consciousness having experience of being.....My answer to the question 'Who are…"
9 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Phyllis Maka's blog post HUMANITY IS THE MANIFESTATION OF LIGHT
9 hours ago
Phyllis Maka posted a blog post


Humans have forgotten who and what themselves truly are, divine beings who created themselves in…See More
9 hours ago
Diana favorited Chris of the family Masters's video
10 hours ago
Diana commented on Chris of the family Masters's video

How the Catholic Church Hid Away Hundreds of Irish Children | Times Documentaries

"This is only the tip of the iceberg.   "Four years after the establishment of the…"
10 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited Diana's photo
11 hours ago
Sweettina2 posted a video

Prophecy Update End Times News Headlines - 5/25/19

Prophecy Update End Times News Headlines - 5/25/19 A fast-paced highlight and review of the major news stories and headlines that relate to Bible Prophecy an...
11 hours ago

Please remember this website is supported by your donations...

© 2019   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 2007-2015 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted