Land Value Taxation will solve many of the 21st century's most serious social, economic and environmental problems, and promote justice, fairness and sustainability. We CAN have a world in which all can prosper.
Progress and Poverty, by Henry George Here are links to online editions of George's landmark book, Progress & Poverty, including audio and a number of abridgments -- the shortest is 30 words! I commend this book to your attention, if you are concerned about economic justice, poverty, sprawl, energy use, pollution, wages, housing affordability. Its observations will change how you approach all these problems. A mind-opening experience!
Henry George: Progress and Poverty: An inquiry into the cause of industrial depressions and of increase of want with increase of wealth ... The Remedy This is perhaps the most important book ever written on the subjects of poverty, political economy, how we might live together in a society dedicated to the ideals Americans claim to believe are self-evident. It will provide you new lenses through which to view many of our most serious problems and how we might go about solving them: poverty, sprawl, long commutes, despoilation of the environment, housing affordability, wealth concentration, income concentration, concentration of power, low wages, etc. Read it online, or in hardcopy.
Bob Drake's abridgement of Henry George's original: Progress and Poverty: Why There Are Recessions and Poverty Amid Plenty -- And What To Do About It! This is a very readable thought-by-thought updating of Henry George's longer book, written in the language of a newsweekly. A fine way to get to know Henry George's ideas. Available online at progressandpoverty.org and http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm
Where Else Might You Look?
Wealth and Want The URL comes from the subtitle to Progress & Poverty -- and the goal is widely shared prosperity in the 21st century. How do we get there from here? A roadmap and a reference source.
Reforming the Property Tax for the Common Good I'm a tax reform activist who seeks to promote fairness and reduce poverty. Let's start with the enabling legislation and state requirements for the property tax. There are opportunities for great good!
Equity, therefore, does not permit property in land. For if
one portion of the earth's surface may justly become the
possession of an individual and may be held by him for his sole use
and benefit as a thing to which he has an exclusive right, then
other portions of the earth's surface may be so held; and eventually
the whole of the earth's surface may be so held; and our planet may
thus lapse into private hands.
— HERBERT SPENCER, in 1850, Social
Statics, Chap. IX.
Let us suppose that a people is excluded from the ownership of the
land. I say that this exclusion, even if followed by no other
injustice (which I think impossible), by making a man a stranger to
the commonwealth, makes him indifferent to the existence of the
— MARMONTEL, Address in Favor of
the Peasants of the North (1757), Oeuvres, Vol X., p. 72.
I'm reading through parts of The Standard, Henry George's weekly newspaper from 125 years ago. In the issue I finished the other day, there was a reference to there being 154 contributors to that issue (and 100,000 readers, a figure one might find a bit difficult to believe -- this was in the first year of publication, though pass-along readership, particularly in the numerous local "land and labor" and "single tax" clubs, and library copies might make that credible). Though each issue at this time runs 8 printed pages, when I do "print preview" there are generally 90 to 110 pages of text per issue.
The piece below is signed by George, and while it is speaking to the anarchist trial in Chicago, it contains a lot that is extremely relevant in this election year 125 years later. It comes from page 1 of the October 8, 1887 issue.
I have seen no statement of the ground on which the authorities of Union
Hill, New Jersey, prohibited the meeting of sympathy for the Chicago
anarchists, which was to have been held there on Sunday afternoon, and
was prevented by the police with a free use of their clubs. But whatever
may have been the legal excuse, the action was wrong in principle and
mistaken in policy. We cannot too carefully guard the right of free
speech, and the surest way to prevent the spread of doctrines wrong in
themselves is to allow them to be freely ventilated, drawing the line
only when overt acts of violence are committed or incited to.
This, is illustrated by the effect which the violent language used by
the sympathizers of the Chicago anarchists has been producing, and which
is likely to be retarded by such occurrences as that at Union Hill. The
withdrawal from the Central labor union on Sunday week of the
representatives of the strongest and most influential of its component
bodies rather than permit themselves to be trapped into action which
would have been used as an expression of the sympathy of the workingmen
of New York with the methods and deeds of the Chicago anarchists is
indicative of the marked change, of opinion, which has been produced by
the ravings of the socialists of the progressive labor party.
Among the great body of workingmen there has never been any sympathy
with the bomb throwers of Chicago or any justification of anarchistic
methods, but there was a widespread impression that the men condemned at
Chicago had, in their excited state of public opinion, failed to get a
fair trial: and this feeling led some of the representative men of the
New-York trades unions, upon the first receipt of the news that the
anarchists had been refused a new trial, to consent to put their names
to a circular calling for a protest against the execution of the
sentence. But the violent utterances of the “progressive socialists,"
one of whom, at the meeting of the Central labor union last Sunday week,
called on God to bless the hand that threw the bomb at Chicago, and
their attempt to put the Chicago anarchists in the light of leaders of
the industrial movement who were being persecuted to the death for
legitimate and laudable efforts in the cause of labor, have produced a
strong reaction, well, indeed, may the personal friends of the men who
in Chicago are under sentence of death declare that their blatant
“sympathizers” are their worst enemies.
The truth is that there is no ground for asking executive clemency in
behalf of the Chicago anarchists as a matter of right. An unlawful and
murderous deed was committed in Chicago, the penalty of which by
the laws of the state of Illinois is death. Seven men were tried on the
charge of being accessory to the crime, and after a long trial were
convicted. The case was appealed to the supreme court of the state of
Illinois, and that body, composed of seven judges, removed, both in time
and place, from the excitement which may have been supposed to have
affected public opinion in Chicago during the first trial, have, after
an elaborate examination of the evidence and the law, unanimously
confirmed the sentence.
That seven judges of the highest court of Illinois, men accustomed to
weigh evidence and to pass upon judicial rulings, should, after a full
examination of the testimony and the record, and with the responsibility
of life and death resting upon them, unanimously sustain the verdict
and the sentence, is inconsistent with the idea that the Chicago
anarchists were condemned on insufficient evidence. And the elaborate
review of the testimony which is given in the decision of the supreme
court dissipates the impression that these men were only connected with
the bomb throwing by general and vague incitements to and preparations
for acts of this kind. Even discarding the testimony (contradicted by
other testimony) that Spies handed a bomb to the man who is supposed to
have thrown it, there was enough evidence left to connect the seven men
with a specific conspiracy to prepare dynamite bombs and to use them
against the police on the evening on which the bomb was thrown. It was not indeed proved that any of the
seven men threw the bomb, nor even was it proved who did throw the bomb,
but it was proved beyond any reasonable doubt that these men were
engaged in a conspiracy, as a result of which the bomb was thrown, and
were therefore under the laws of Illinois as guilty as though they
themselves had done the act. It may be said that these men had worked
themselves up to the belief that it is only by acts of violence and
bloodshed that social reform can be attained, but that does not affect
the justice of their sentence. No matter how honest or how intense may
have been their conviction on this point, organized society is none the less justified in protecting itself against such acts.
There may be countries in which the suppression by an absolute despotism
of all freedom of speech and action justifies the use of force, if the
use of force ever can be justified. But even in such countries complaint
cannot be made when the sword is unsheathed against those who draw the
sword. In this country, however, where a freedom of speech which extends
almost to license is seldom interfered with, and where all political
power rests upon the will of the people, those who counsel to force or
to the use of force in the name of political or social reform are
enemies of society, and especially are they enemies of the working
masses. What in this country holds the masses down and permits the
social injustice of which they are becoming so bitterly conscious, is
not any superimposed tyranny, but their own ignorance. The workingmen of
the United States have in their own hands the power to remedy political
abuses and to change social conditions by rewriting the laws as they
will. For the intelligent use of this power thought must be aroused and
reason invoked. But the effect of force, on the contrary, is always to
awaken prejudice and to kindle passion.
There is legitimate ground on which executive clemency may be asked for
the Chicago anarchists — that, being imbued with ideas which germinate in
countries where the legitimate freedom of speech and action is sternly
repressed, they were not fully conscious of the moral criminality of
their action, and that the main purpose of their punishment — the
prevention of such crimes in future — will be as well served, if not even
better served, by a commutation of the sentence of death into a sentence
This last is a very strong ground for the interposition of executive
clemency; and it is sincerely to be hoped that the governor of Illinois
will see its force. A tragical death always tends to condone mistakes
and crimes, and a certain amount of sympathy will undoubtedly attach to
the Chicago anarchists if they are hanged, which would not be aroused if
they were merely imprisoned.
But in whatever expression of opinion associations of workingmen who do
not themselves believe in the use of dynamite may see fit to make upon
this subject, there should be nothing which tends to put the Chicago
anarchists in the light of leaders and martyrs in the cause of American
There are certain lessons connected with this Chicago tragedy that are
well worth the consideration of every thoughtful American. The
appearance in this country of a violent phase of anarchism is not to be
imputed entirely to the ignorance or viciousness of foreigners
unacquainted with our institutions. If they did not find in this country
deep and grievous social injustice, they would not retain the idea of
violence as a remedy for social evils after coming here; and were it not
for this injustice which large bodies of our people keenly feel, the
man who should propose violence or plot violence as a means for improving the condition of the
people would be laughed into silence. The really dangerous thing in this
country is not the presence of foreign born incendiaries, but the
existence of industrial conditions, which, in the midst of plenty,
deprive the laborer of what he knows to be the fair earnings of his
toil, and condemn men able to work and willing to work to enforced idleness.
And the most dangerous men are in reality not the socialists or
anarchists, but the comfortable classes who declare that things as they
are are just what they ought to be, and who not only do not address
themselves to finding any reasonable or peaceful solution for social
difficulties, but do their utmost to prevent any such peaceful solution
from being generally accepted.
Nor is the talking about force confined to anarchists. The rich and
influential are too ready to talk about it, and to condone such
applications of it as the employment of Pinkerton's detectives and the
clubbing of peaceful assemblages by police. And the readiness with which
the idea has spread that the Chicago anarchists have been unjustly and
illegally condemned is a grave warning of the loss of faith in our
judicial system consequent upon the corruption of our politics. We are
yet far from the point at which it can be rationally assumed that seven
judges of a highest state court would condemn a number of their fellow
creatures to death against law and evidence; but when, as in this state,
$60,000 is sometimes spent to secure a judicial nomination, and great
corporations can make their influence felt in politics to secure friends
on the bench, the belief in judicial integrity is surely on the wane.
"I find this vast net-work, which you call property, extending over the whole planet. I cannot occupy the bleakest crag of the White Hills or the Allegheny Range, but some man or corporation steps up to me to show me that it is his."
— EMERSON, The Conservative.
Extended excerpts from The Conservative (an 1841 speech) follow ...
A. Don't worry about that. Our children should pay for it, and their children if necessary, with interest accumulating. The economy will grow sufficiently that it will not unduly burden them.
B. We should pay for it via federal taxes on wages.
C. We should pay for it via a federal tax on sales (or consumption).
D. We should pay for it via a federal tax on land value; people and corporations (domestic or foreign) who own land in midtown Manhattan or downtown Los Angeles would pay a lot; those who own rural property would pay little or nothing. Tenants' rents -- residential, commercial, agricultural -- would cover their share, and be collected from landlords.
E. We should pay for it via royalties on non-renewable natural resources. (Whose natural resources? from U.S. soil? from Afghanistan soil? other?)
And what is this lowest man who holds the fate of the world in his hands; whom we must lift or perish? He is landless, workless, poverty stricken, degraded, drunken, dishonest. In a word overflowing with plenty, he lacks everything. In a world of brightness, he and his cower in a cellar, or burrow in a sun-abandoned court. With abundance of pure air, they breathe only the foul.
Let us go to this man, whom we have thus painted in somberest hues; loveless, imbruted, dirty, lazy. What shall we do with him?
Let me rehearse some of the favorite processes of the philanthropic tread-mill so amiably worked by the well-meaning, though willfully blind, in their efforts to "raise the fallen":
Preaching Jesus to his soul.
Giving soap and water to his filth.
Compelling him, willy-nilly, to work.
Exhorting him to abstinence.
Giving his children a taste of heaven on earth, with a treat of fresh air (sending them back again to hell of foul air).
Building airy tenements for his occupation.
Providing for his immediate wants in food, fuel, clothing and physic.
Although these do not exhaust the enumeration, they are typical and must suffice. But they are all wrong wrong, wrong.
What! Wrong to preach Jesus to the fallen? Yes, wrong to preach Jesus to them, until we practice Jesus ourselves.
What a mockery to preach Jesus to the fallen man, with the proceeds of his stolen rights in our pockets, in the suit of clothes we wear, and in the meal we enjoyed before we went forth to meet him. The first lesson in religion we can give him is an object lesson in the restoration of his lost inheritance in the earth. The first sermon he hears us preach should be one exhorting ourselves to repentance, confession, and restitution. Having obeyed and thus done the first duty in the premises, it remains for us to aid our fallen and defrauded brother in recovering the ground from which we have thrust him.
And this fallen man is not hurt harmlessly. He is the fly in the ointment of our wealth. He is the barrier to the realization of our social dreams. To secure ourselves we must secure him. The oneness of industry in its best conception is impossible until we have made this our brother one with ourselves. In some sad respects we trace evidences of our relationship. Is he sinful? So are we. Has he fallen? So have we. He was robbed and fell. We robbed and fell. Clearly our first duty is to "restore the pledge, given again that we have robbed." We can restore; he cannot recover; he is helpless; only we can help.
Until the lowest man and his rights are practically dealt with, and his opportunities to rise assured, we shall suffer; depressions, crashes, anxiety, overcompetition, aggravated covetousness, will mar all our industry.
We produce as individuals; we suffer as an organism. No man liveth to himself. The need of one is the calamity of all.
We have taken our brother's inheritance — the right to the use of the earth — and we make merchandise out of it. Let us agree to pay into the public treasury the whole annual value of the land we use in city or county, only retaining the proceeds of our own industry. Having agreed to and carried out this act of simple justice, no one will hold, can hold, land for profit. He must use or abandon it. The abandoned estates will then be available for our brother now landless, hopeless, degraded. Then, and only then, can we preach Jesus to him.
We are many members in one body. Which of us can be hurt and not bring hurt on the rest? In this sense, in the sense of sharing in suffering, the oneness of industry is perfect.
This appeared in a California weekly 115 years ago. Much of it could have been written in 2011. Does this mean that these problems are eternal, necessary and simply can't be avoided?
Or does it mean that when we continue to maintain the structures that create these problems, we ought not to be surprised that the problem continues to show up?
These problems can be solved -- and prevented -- by a simple, logical, just, efficient reform of our tax structure. But almost none of our elected representatives are the least bit familiar with it. You might send yours a copy of Walt Rybeck's book, "Re-Solving the Economic Puzzle," if you think yours might have an open mind.
Young Men and Their Opportunities The San Jose Letter, February 1, 1896
But what are young men to do for a living? Did it ever occur to you that thousands of young Americans between the ages of 16 and 21 are pondering over that very question? What are they to do, indeed? Shall they study for a profession? Scores of young professional men in San Jose are not earning enough to pay their office rent, young lawyers, doctors, dentists, waiting for the practice that does not come.
The professions are overcrowded, some one says, let them learn a trade. What trade, pray? Would you have any of them learn the carpenter's trade, for instance? The valley is over-run with idle carpenters. Would you have them become house painters? Every other tramp one meets appears to be a painter. Would you have them learn the printer's trade? A dozen idle printers are clammoring for every place.
I was talking with a gentleman who is in the hardware business the other day. This question of idle young men came up. The merchant got down a list containing probably a score of names. Applicants, he told me, for a chance to learn the plumber's trade. "I have not a place," he said, "for one in twenty of them. They offer to work for nothing, if permitted to learn the trade. But idle journeymen apply for work every day."
It is so with every trade that may be named. Plenty of young men are fitting themselves for a $20 job, by spending months in learning shorthand and type writing. There was a time when a book-keeper could earn a living-assuring salary. He cannot now. Book-keepers, good enough for any average retail business, are hunting $40 jobs.
What are the young Americans of this generation to do, then? Such as have parents to furnish them with a home can work for $20 a month. Those with no home cannot compete with home-cheapened labor. The result is, San Quentin is filling up with young fellows under 25 years of age. Most of our tramps appear to be under 30.
Since the land is filled with idle doctors one can safely conclude that none want for medical assistance and advice. Since idle carpenters are begging for work, the people of America must have all the houses they want. There can be no more plumbing to do, for plumbers are idle; no houses that need painting for painters are tramping the country seeking work, no one without bread for there is no sale for breadstuffs, and bakers are without employment.
But, strange to say, hundreds of men are suffering for the services of the idle doctors. Families are shelterless, while carpenters are begging to build them houses. Men and women and children are suffering for bread while bread-stuffs rot, and bakers starve to death because they can find no one who can command their services.
Doctor A wants to build a house, and carpenter B is anxious to build it for him; but the house is not built. In the meantime Carpenter B's children die for the lack of medical assistance. Blacksmith C is unable to furnish his family with wood, for he "has no work." However, Wood-dealer D sees his horses go lame because he cannot afford to have them shod.
A very interesting state of affairs, is it not? Work that should be done, and plenty of it; while the young men of the nation are drifting to State prisons and the road because they can find no work.
This condition of affairs is new in America. Hungry men startle the well-fed, until they, too, hunger for the luxuries that once seemed necessities, then they are more than startled.
Along with this an evil is growing up in America that cannot be too earnestly condemned; it is that of the steadily growing custom of giving charity. The recipient of charity is demoralized. The American laborer wants work, not charity. When you give him charity you sink him to a condition lower than that of the negro slave. I know philantropists who employ Chinese, while white labor goes begging for a purchaser, who pompously "pay the white man's butcher bill." The white man wants to pay his own butcher bill, and demands work that will enable him to do it.
The evil results of this charity are doubled when school children are taught to "give to the poor." San Francisco has been turned into a pauper-making, pauper-sustaining educational institution. The papers reek with "charity," and the children are given lessons in pauperizing their elders. A year ago last winter the children were encouraged to feed the men employed at $1 a day in the Golden Gate Park. What did this mean? It meant that the children were made accustomed to see laboring Americans want for food, while the laborers, although working ten hours a day, were obliged to stoop to accept charity, and charity at the hands of children. It is very pathetic, this picture of Susie or Johnnie giving a ham sandwich or a piece of sponge cake to a hungry laboring American — a pretty picture, if you like; but the children are not benefited by it and the laborer can know no greater degradation. But, what are the young men who are leaving schools, colleges and universities each year to do for a living? Must the majority of them become objects of charity, to be given work, charity work, at wages which will not sustain life, only to be helped out of the difficulty by a lot of idle society women, who have nothing better to do than to take up the fad, charity; and by a parcel of school children who are encouraged in doing their little towards the ultimate pauperization of the American laborer?
This was most likely written by Franklin Hichorn, editor of The San Jose Letter.
I got into a chance conversation with a friend a couple of weeks ago about wealth concentration, and he made an assertion that appalled me: that 400 families hold 50% of America's wealth. I told him that I knew wealth concentration was a serious problem, but that I was sure it wasn't that concentrated! He brought out his cell phone and googled these words: 400 families control 50% wealth, and got results. We were at lunch with a group, so I didn't pursue it then.
I returned to the topic and did some research (without recalling exactly what his search criteria had been). What I came up with were the following:
A page from Michael Moore's website, entitled "The Forbes 400 vs. Everybody Else" (March 7, 2011), which begins, "According to the most recent information, the Forbes 400 now have a greater net worth than the bottom 50% of U.S. households combined." He provides sources for his assertions, and they all look quite sound to me, with the possible exception of his note 3, which includes nonprofits.
This is a very different assertion from saying that 400 families hold 50% of America's wealth. That sent me looking for the correct data for my friend.
If you've spent much time on this site, you've probably looked at the series of 3 articles listed at left on Concentration of Wealth. Part 1 provides these data, from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (Federal Reserve Board "Ponds and Streams"):
Top 1% 33.8% Next 4% 26.6% [Cumulative: 60.4%] Next 5% 11.1% [Cume: 71.5%] Next 40% 26.0% [Cume: 97.5%] Bottom 50% 2.5%
The 2007 SCF study writeup says that the Forbes 400 are expressly and purposely omitted from the SCF, and suggests that they account for 1% of Net Worth. So add that to the numberator and the denominator.
More recently, I learned about a series of 3 articles Citigroup published in 2005 and 2006 in a newsletter called "Equity Strategy" which dealt with how investors might profit from "plutonomy"; "rich" here pertains not to net worth but to income:
"In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. ... As Figure 1 shows the top 1% of households in the U.S., (about 1 million households) accounted for about 20% of overall U.S. income in 2000, slightly smaller than the share of income of the bottom 60% of households put together. That’s about 1 million households compared with 60 million households, both with similar slices of the income pie! Clearly, the analysis of the top 1% of U.S. households is paramount. The usual analysis of the “average” U.S. consumer is flawed from the start. To continue with the U.S., the top 1% of households also account for 33% of net worth, greater than the bottom 90% of households put together. It gets better (or worse, depending on your political stripe) - the top 1% of households account for 40% of financial net worth, more than the bottom 95% of households put together. This is data for 2000, from the Survey of Consumer Finances (and adjusted by academic Edward Wolff)." - October16, 2005
One of the other articles in the series also provided a much higher estimate for the net worth of the Forbes 400 than the 1% I'd been carrying in my head: 2.4%
The Factcheck article provided, for September 2010, the Forbes 400 Net Worth of $1.37 trillion and the total US Net worth of $54.9 trillion, which makes the Forbes 400's share 2.5%. If we apply that 2010 percentage to the 2007 SCF data, we get this:
It appears to me that 50% of the net worth is held by about 3.5% to 4% of us.
Henry George wrote of a wedge being driven through society, driving a relative few upwards, and the rest downwards.
Thomas Shearman wrote, in 1889, as follows:
Federal taxation has increased 6-fold since 1860, and the whole of this increase has been taken out of the relatively poorer classes. At the same time, the profit which is secured to the wealthier classes by the adjustment of indirect taxation in their interest has been increased not less than 10-fold. The wealthy classes, collectively, have made a clear profit out of the indirect effects of taxation to an amount far exceeding all that they have paid in taxes, although this profit has been absorbed by a minority of even the rich. But, apart from this, the whole system of taxation is and has been such as to take from the rich only from 3% to 10% of their annual savings, while taking from the poor 75 to 90%. It is true that the same system existed, in form, before the war; but, taxation being light, the amount taken from each individual was far less, and the disproportion between the rich and the poor not so great, while the profit levied from the poor by the rich was much smaller. The amount of the burden has increased, and it has been more and more shifted over upon the poor.
It is childish to imagine that, under such circumstances, the concentration of wealth can go on less rapidly here than in Europe. On the contrary, it has gone on far more rapidly here; and it will continue to do so, at a tremendous pace.
It is intended to confine this paper to a simple investigation of facts, without suggesting remedies; but, to avoid misapprehension, the writer wishes it to be distinctly understood that he is opposed, on principle, to all schemes for arbitrary limitations of individual wealth, whether by a graduated income tax, a heavy succession tax, or otherwise; that he is utterly opposed to communism, socialism, and anarchism; and that he is of opinion that the enormous wealth of the few in this country has been forced upon them by the votes of the very masses who have been impoverished for their benefit. Populous vult decipi. The farmers insist upon throwing away their inheritance; and since they are determined to heap their earnings upon somebody, it is well that the list of their chief beneficiaries should be, upon the whole, so respectable. And, indeed, has it not been clearly explained to us that it makes no sort of difference who owns the wealth of the nation, so long as it is kept at home?
But the facts should be known, without regard to the inferences which may be drawn from them; and we are now prepared to answer the question: "Who own the United States?"
The United States of America are practically owned by less than 250,000 persons, constituting less than 1 in 60 of its adult male population.
Within 30 years, the present methods of taxation being continued, the United States of America will be substantially owned by less than 50,000 persons, constituting less than one in 500 of the adult male population.
The entire article is a few posts below this one, under the title, "The Owners of the U.S."
The rioting in England is indefensible, but how to understand it?
I’ve mentioned several times throughout these blogs that the rent of land represents community. However, although land and natural resource rent is community-generated, less and less of it has been captured back for public revenue over the last forty years. Thereby, a sense of a community has been lost.
That’s because it has become fashionable to privatise the rent of land and natural resources in the misbegotten belief that ‘user pays’ and increased taxation is preferable to the public capture of publicly created resource rents. It is largely privatisers of our natural resource rents who’ve been able to put about this self-serving idea successfully. And they’ve sold it well to governments.
The cumulative effect of the process over forty years has been to widen the gap between rich and poor. This now vast divide is well documented, but the role of rent has been kept invisible.
Right wing shock jocks consider the private leeching of natural resource rents by private interests is respectable employment and, unable to think through the natural consequences, they’re flabbergasted by London’s street riots.
The rising of the hun in the city is obviously a function of poverty and dispossession. Feeling disenfranchised and disconnected, these predominantly lower class youth exhibit their hate for a system that keeps them down and often unemployed whilst bank CEOs receive their multi-millions. Unlike many of us, the rioters see the game is rigged and their frustration has spilled over into aggression and excess.