The Universal Basic Income: It’s time

henry George

 In the beginning

The most widely read book on economics in history (with the possible exception of “Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith) was a book by a self-taught political economist named Henry George. His formal education ended at age 14. He made his living as a journalist and later became a politician. Yet, his magnum opus, entitled “Progress and Poverty” was taken very seriously by economists, and justifiably so.  The book sold 3 million copies in English, in the first years after publication, 6 million copies in thirteen languages, by 1936, and many more since then. It is justifiably included as one of the ten all-time economics classics {George, 1879 [1946] #2004}. See Figure  1.

In 1879 Henry George advocated a single tax on land values. At the time he wrote, land values were a reasonable proxy for total societal wealth. Today that is less true, and I will focus on the alternatives later. Very briefly, it argued that people should own the products of their work, but that the gifts of nature, including the fertility of the land and the mineral wealth beneath, should be shared equally among all the inhabitants of the earth or the territory.

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Taiwan East/West New Mobility Innovation Challenge 2017. Events: Getting ready for Taiwan 2017 Collaborative Mission

 

This year’s program combines site visits, brainstorming sessions, conferences, presentations and vigorous questioning, looking, listening and co-learning with my esteemed long time Taiwanese friends and colleagues.from 22 September to 4 October. Among the main events and presentations:

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Sustainable Transport: Declaration of Dependence

Out there in the real world life is a complex interactive system in which things do not exist in isolation but depend heavily on each other.  As Miller and Scott put it: “A complex adaptive system is a system in which a perfect understanding of the individual parts does not automatically convey a perfect understanding of the whole system’s behavior”.  Which means that if our goal is to create a strong and wise policy for sustainable transport in and around our cities we need to change our tools and perspective  as well as our behaviour.  As the Brundtland Report, “Our Common Future” told us already a full generation ago . . .

The following is taken from the peer review  edition of the forthcoming book “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City“. For a copy drop a line to betterchoices@ecoplan,org.

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Op-Ed: The Walking Dead in Washington

paul-gilding-the-walking-dead-op-edWe’re all focused on the drama and entertainment of Trump’s takeover of the world’s centre of military, security and economic power. For some it’s exciting and entertaining, for others terrifying and apocalyptic. I too have been glued to the news – at various times having each of those responses! But now I’ve come back to earth, recognising it all for what it is. Important, but a sideshow to a much bigger and more important game. And on reflection, I’m glad he got elected.

How can a Trump Presidency be positive? Surely this is a major setback – to action on climate change, to addressing inequality, to human rights and global security. Doesn’t it make the world a scarier and less stable place?  In isolation, all true, but in context, not so much. The context is the key.

By Paul Gilding, http://www.paulgilding.com/

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Climate of Denial: Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?

From the New York Times, 22 June 2011: “Former Vice President Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama as lacking leadership on climate changein a magazine essay published online Wednesday, saying his policies had been little more effective than those of President George W. Bush. In the 7,000-word article in Rolling Stone, Mr. Gore said . . . ” Continue reading