Don’t Insist on Rationality

by Lindy Davies

A local school district has recently become embroiled in a scandal. It has overspent its budget for the year by at least $800,000. They were building a new elementary school… there was a long cold snap last winter… some of the athletic teams did really well and had to commandeer extra buses… pretty soon, you’re talking real money. It was irresponsible — and now, the voters have to decide whether to issue additional bonds, or require cuts. Outrageous. Those people responsible for educating our children went out and overspent — by the amount the United States spends on the Iraq war in 27 seconds! Continue reading

Repopulating New Orleans

by Mason Gaffney

Our latest Nobelist in economics, Professor Thomas Schelling, offers the following advice about New Orleans: “There is no market solution to New Orleans. It is essentially a problem of coordinating expectations….” By that he meant simply that each person’s incentive to move home and rebuild depends on his or her confidence that others will do likewise. Continue reading

Beware The Term ‘Land Tax’

by Shirley-Anne Hardy

“Land Tax is Back on the Agenda”. So reads the heading of an article usefully reprinted in November’s Comment, from its earlier publication in the  of 15 October. “Usefully”, because I suggest it is well for us, at this early stage in the matter, to grasp what an appalling misnomer the term “land tax” is! Continue reading

Fund Basic Income Grants Not from Income but from Outgo

by Jeff Smith

The only current example of a payout similar to a Basic Income Grant is Alaska sharing oil rent. In the recent past Kuwait also paid an oil dividend — and in the near future Iraq may, too. At the local level in America, Aspen, Colorado pays half of the area’s workforce a housing supplement, which is far better than nothing, in that pricey ski resort. Continue reading