The thoughts behind the Renegade Ecologist

From my 20 years as a nature conservationist I have learned the utter futility of trying to protect nature under our current economic system. But by making some small changes to our taxation system we could make a world fit for our children to inherit full of wildlife & prosperity for all.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root....
Henry David Thoreau
"In many ways, nature conservation has become just another method of rent extraction by landowners who are trying to hide the fact that modern farmers’ fields are essentially deserts, devoid of wildlife, and the taxpayer must pay ‘rent’ if we want wild animals to occupy ‘their land’."
Peter Smith

Land Value Tax, which is in my opinion the Holy Grail of legislative changes to protect wildlife, is the simplest expression of the Economic theories of Henry George. This theory goes that if we abolish all harmful taxes on our hard work and trade and instead charge a rent for the use of natural resources such as Land we will not waste them or allow private interests to exploit the rest of humanities access to them.

Such a tax would not only stimulate jobs and enterprise but put a value on all of our natural resources and force us to look after them. If it was implemented for agricultural land, where the lower value of perpetually designated wilderness or natural grazing land is reflected in its land value taxation, it would be the surest way to save the wildlife of the UK and for the least cost to the taxpayer”

This would mean hard to farm areas, steep banks, riverbanks, rocky outcrops and areas landowners want to designate a nature reserves, which must be legally binding, could be set aside for wildlife and as such attract no taxation. The result of this would be that unproductive and marginal land would become wildlife havens and receive long term protection for future generation to enjoy. But it would also take away land and monopolies from our plutocrats who own wealth with no obligation to the rest of society, these plutocrats fund both the red and blue (and Yellow) faction of the vested interest or ‘line my friends pocket’ parties that control the legislature in Britain.

This blog is dedicated to teaching those who love nature that there is a simple ‘magic bullet’ that can save the rare wildlife of this country at no cost to the taxpayer. This magic bullet will actually grow our economy and create jobs and help create a better society based on rewarding those who work hard while penalising idol people who make monopolies such as bankers and landowners.

The solution if adopted worldwide would alleviate poverty and starvation and make a significant contribution to preventing war and terrorism.

Follow me on twitter: @peetasmith

Views are my own and don’t reflect the views of Wildwood Trust

Monday, 23 May 2011

Worst Family Life in Western Europe


The unhappy family life, as defined by the Gaurdian article article is down to:

1. reduction in Wages
2. Availability of quality housing
3. too much Debt

All of these problems lie in the availability of loose credit to fuel a speculative housing boom:

1. Wages (and the return on capital) are suppressed as more money from capital and labour is used to pay rent (or debt based purchase - which is the same thing) Many jobs and businesses become uneconomic in this country due to the huge rents charged to business owners and workers to operate in an economically productive manner. Money supply diminishes due to debt contraction forming a nasty vicious circle of reduced productivity and poor return on capital, wage decreases, underemployment and unemployment are the results.

2. The availability of housing is suppressed, as housing and earmarked land is taken out of circulation for speculative purposes and there is a growing pressure from the financial incentive for people to act in a way to suppress new house building. BTL nick all the properties, second homes etc.

3. More people, whether genuine or speculators, take out higher levels of debt to access land and housing for their basic needs and personal and business debt goes up and up, innovation is suppressed as people and business compete to max out their debt for a competitive advantage to buy up property or build a business.

This classic cycle has happened time and time again over hundreds of years. The human misery it causes has been witnessed, today of course, in the west, we only see its effects as social problems and poverty (as in this article) but in past times and the third world people are watching their children die in front of them because of it.

I know that last sentence is melodramatic but it is unfortunately real, and it is the basis where I get my moral indignation of speculation in land and natural monopolies and is at the heart of the problems of the two families in the article.

The relative problems of families in Europe, which this story leads on, demonstrates the point at which economic rent consumes the wages of the typical families in the UK compared to our western Europe Counterparts. The problems of Bulgaria and Romania are more structural and are not a good comparison.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Why should land speculator's make more in their sleep than we do sweating away over a lifetime? This trend has led to the financial meltdown but yet they are being bailed out....

The modern world's problems demand the most accurate financial tools on our side. Here we sum up the problems and give an overview to a very important reform.

Ignorance of the economic advantage land has is driving the wealth gap, global warming and boom bust cycles. Why should renters pay double what past renters have just for the human right of a roof over our head? 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Bridge - By Fred Harrison

Western economies need capital investment in infrastructure if they are to recover from the depression. But there will be losers: low-income taxpayers. Here's how.