Economic Rents and the Future of Democracy

Dec 4, 2013 · Greater London, United Kingdom

At this meeting of our Land Justice Group, Ed Randall will explore the origins of plutocracy and the ways in which plutocrats have not only protected their family fortunes but maintained political influence.
In spite of the introduction of universal adult suffrage 'Western liberal democracies' have had limited success in altering the distribution of income, wealth or power. Ed will draw on the insights of Henry George into the origins and ramifications of the privatisation of economic rents –  and land rents in particular - in considering the durability and adaptability  of plutocracy and the limitations and brittleness of 'liberal democracies',  even when they have been in the hands of elected representatives who have  expressed their support for highly egalitarian social and economic goals.
We will discuss whether democratic society can only be established and secured when a majority of the population accepts the need to treat location value as a common wealth.  He will outline the case for a legal and fiscal system capable of preventing a small number of rentiers from harvesting the common wealth for their private as opposed to public purposes.

Ed Randall is a Visiting Fellow in politics at Goldsmiths, University of London. Ed is the author of several books and his research and opinions have been widely published in a range of journals including Policy Studies, The Political Quarterly, Journal of European Public Policy, Social Policy and Administration, the Times Higher Education Supplement and the Liberator magazine. Ed played a leading role in drafting Caroline Lucas’s Private Members Bill, calling for research into Land Value Taxation, and he has been a vociferous critic of Coalition economic policy and the Government’s failure to make intelligent use of the receipts generated by the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility. He has also prepared drafts of the legislation need to implement an Annual Land Value Tax in the UK.
Ed will be introduced by Professor Carl Levy - Director of the Research Unit in Governance and Democracy, University of London.
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