LANDLESSNESS IS BASIC CAUSE OF POVERTY
There is one fundamental factor which your magazine on poverty (NI 310) overlooked. It is landlessness. All life and all wealth derive ultimately from land, and in the UK [United Kingdom] approximately five per cent of people own outright -- and tend to exploit possession of -- 75 per cent of the land and its natural resources.
The remaining 95 per cent of us have to sell our labour in a shrinking labour market.
The way out? Accept the fact that all land and natural resources be regarded as community assets and that we must each, while reaping the full benefit for what we put into the economy, pay for what we take out. The Exchequer [the British Government Treasury] should collect the economic rent of all land sites.
Gordon Rudlin, of Stonesfield, England, in the New Internationalist, No. 312, May 1999, page 2
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This is not a new idea. The American economic journalist Henry George dedicated his book Progress and Poverty 1879 "To those who, seeing the vice and misery that spring from the unequal distribution of wealth and privilege, feel the possibility of a higher social state and would strive for its attainment".
-- Gordon Rudlin, of Stonesfield, England, in the May 1999 New Internationalist
COMMENT: A wrong impression might have accidentally been made by the first paragraph above. The New Internationalist for years and years has featured landlessness as a basic problem in many of the poorer nations. There are also newsitems on the attempts at land redistribution. The magazine is a goldmine of information on monopolies, superstitions, multinational corporations, conspicuous consumption, nepotism, militarism, terrorism, persecutions, economic rationalism, doctrinaire socialism, and many other causes of death-dealing poverty in the Second (Communist and ex-Communist) World and Third (poor) World, and relative poverty in the First (prosperous) World. The New Internationalist has back issues on line plus secure on-line shopping for publications at http://www.newint.org
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