A Few Questions for Mason Gaffney

We thought this might be an opportune time to check in with the eminently sane Prof. Mason Gaffney at his home in Redlands, California. The author of The Corruption of Economics, After the Crash: Designing a Depression-Free Economy and The Mason Gaffney Reader (as well as hundreds of published papers and articles: see masongaffney.org )has slowed down a little, perhaps, but not awfully much. Continue reading

Georgist Tax Policy in Western Canada, 1890-1920

by Mason Gaffney

From about 1890-1930 many cities in the four Provinces of Western Canada chose to attract people and capital by a simple tax device:  raising the property tax rate on land to support public services while lowering tax rates on capital, labor, sales, and production and trade generally. Vancouver quintupled its population from 1890-1900, far outpacing US cities, even on the booming Pacific Coast. Continue reading

Great Expectations: How Credit Markets Twist the Allocation and Distribution of Land

by Mason Gaffney

“The basis of allocating loans is not marginal productivity but collateral security” — Rainer Schikele

Henry George likened the aggregate effects of land speculation to those of a cartel of landowners. What do cartels do? They control enough of a resource to affect price, and withhold part of the resource from use, or from its full and best use. Formal cartels do this consciously. Herbert Hoover called it “Associationism,” and fostered his “Associations” which he evidently thought were good for the economy and the country. Continue reading