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

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Rent Is Too Dam High

Robin Harding in the FT today article explains Economic Rent. What beats me is why it is seen as radical - economic rent is the key to the problems of our economy. 


Economics and society: Barrier to a breakthrough


But Harding downplays the role of economic rent from its classical source land with no evidence, land & natural assets still accounts for about 80% of economic rent.


My favourite Keynes Qoute:
“First, let's euthanize all the rentiers”

John Maynard Keynes inThe General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
from the comments section:
"The failure of government to collect rent in lieu of taxes leaves a huge imputed income stream to the owners of nature, which is capitalized by market forces into a selling price (this selling price driven upward by the use of credit as leverage as fuel to an inherently speculation-driven market dynamic). Thus, the most important -- critical -- change in public policy required to stimulate a noninflationary, full employment society and elimination of the boom-to-bust cyclical nature of economic systems is to change the way government raises its revenue. The rent fund is huge and its collection could elimination the taxation (i.e., confiscation) of legitimate private property."


Our as I put it -

"we should pay no private individual for the gifts from mother nature, so one family can starve to allow another a life in opulence"



Jimmy McMillan of the 'The Rent Is Too Damn High Party' says it all: