Economy

Geoism

This idea called GEOISM isn’t all that ancient (http://www.henrygeorge.org/geoism.htm). In fact it is contemporary with hopelessly confounding SOCIALISM and frankly monopolistic CAPITALISM.  It’s a third way.  And  I’m always big on third ways.

Geoism espouses Henry George’s economic idea that the natural opportunities presented by the land, in the form of land returns/ economic rents, rightfully belong to the community that lives on it and which can provide laborers to any venture that happens upon it. Land in his view does not belong in the hands of landowning individuals.  These persons would more freely act as entrepreneurs involved in production/exploitation of the capital produced by labor, if they were not tied down to seeking rents as landlords, sometimes with vast holdings, an intrinsic monopoly on available space. 

Geoist theory equates land rent with public revenue, from which all public goods arise. I would consolidate as primary public good a basic salary for those living upon and caring for the land.  This would free all within a community to do highest and best good who have labor to contribute.  This would free those unable to contribute labor to live as they choose with the support of their community.  It would help to equalize the power of large and small, extractive, rural and urban communities.  This would do away with the whole pastiche of arcane bureaucracies’ inefficient and insufficient industrial-age “make-up” programs and gerrymandered political boundaries of all kinds. It would re-relate worker domiciles to workplaces (compact living, live-work labor entrepreneurship, new frontiers of substantial margins), and to both the local and global (political, economic, and natural) environment. 

Without need for land entitlements, but rather community consensus, private goods are then drawn to their proper sphere, becoming more liquid (fungible), unregulated if legal, and enjoying absolutely free markets in which risk-taking and opportunity-maximizing (BUT NO LONGER RENT-SEEKING) behaviors may find just and ample expression without risk to public safety and well-being.

The minimum wage debate would be history. Private labor agreements could then become literally anything that the market will accept, even zero or for the independently wealthy, negative value wages, without concern for whether the components of labor (you and I) shall live or die. We’ll all live. Libertarian and progressive, this third way that avoids the pitfalls of both capitalism and socialism sounds pretty intriguing; thanks go to Pittsburgh’s Mr. Henry George (1839 –1897, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George).

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