Wednesday, January 24, 2024

James Robertson

James Robertson the pioneer of alternative economics has died (Obit. The Times 18 Jan.    Guardian 6 Dec 2023 ).  Through his writing and lobbying he drew together several strands of pioneering reform such as government reform, environment issues, money creation, land value taxation, citizen's dividend, et al., which are now generally known as New Economics or Green Economics.  

From 'Creating New Money' (NEF 2000) with Joseph Huber, to his later broader-based 'Future Money - Breakdown or Breakthrough?' (Green Books 2012) he provided indispensable research for anyone lobbying for change from the flawed entrenched economics of the 20th century to a system more based on the common good. His life's work is accessed on his website which is an excellent resource for research into these and many other issues.

He shows how the wealth intrinsic to common resources generated by, or available for the use of society as a whole, such as money creation and the natural resources of the earth including land value, are captured by special groups of people for their private use. Meanwhile people whose ordinary work, enterprise and proportionately high taxation add to the wealth flowing from those resources  but often have little or no share in that wealth.

As an example of how he helped those who were promoting the same issues I recall a Land Value Tax conference in 2006. An academic speaker had explained LVT but was perplexed as to how it might be made politically acceptable. In the lunch break I spoke to James who arrived to address the conference later and said that no one has mentioned citizen's income (or C.Dividend) as a means of making LVT more acceptable. When he spoke later he kept referring to CI and ..'I will bring more detail later...' and ended by giving a comprehensive view of how the new economics might be achieved with CI. It was the first time I had heard CI and LVT mentioned at a public event. Since that time the issue has become international with CI experiments being conducted. Progress is being made.    

Posted by Charles Bazlinton author: The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom. The book covers many aspects of the New Economics.

No comments: