The thoughts behind the Renegade Ecologist

From my 30 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

Sunday, 22 January 2012

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a landlord taking all of humanity's surplus income - forever"

The Real News Network (TRNN) made this excellent news report on third world land grabs. This will cause a food crisis as described but its implications are much, much wider. Its a pity that the  TRNN did not follow this land speculation to its obvious conclusion that it will enshrine poverty of the world.  The solution to this is for the countries to tax the value of land and return it  equally to all the people of the country. That way they can attract investment for  modern farming and increase production while everyone receives the fruits of the land. Without land rent capture the population of the Third World are doomed to poverty forever more, land grabs, biodiversity and commodity speculation will make them poorer.

Biofules are an environmental and human nightmare where the starving children of the third world are left landless and our most precious wildlife habitats are destroyed to allow fat Americans to drive their SUV's. They are hugely environmentally damaging, much more so than fossil fuels and are only economically viable through huge state subsidies, which all end up in the pockets of landowners and increase the price of land.

Land Rent Capture by an 'ad velorem' Land Value Tax will funnel land to the most productive and ensure the maximum productivity of the land by rewarding the most productive farmers. Marginal land will be protected and left as wildlife habitat. Every citizen can enjoy equally the fruits of the land and thus be lifted from poverty and their efforts to do productive work will go un-taxed by a rapacious Government's need for revenue.

The monopolists robbing the land of the poor can do this as the British/American legal and tax system has now been imposed on most of the world. The relative stability of the post cold war environment means the speculators can safely bet that economic rent can be extracted from any country and hidden in tax havens without any local population stopping them.

The Barons of one thousand years ago who originally took land by violence learned it was much easier to create laws and a tax system to enshrine their advantage than fighting the peasants and face rebellions. Now the new mechanisms of empire, with a stabilising system of international law based on the USA/UK system are using the same laws to allow themselves and their future offspring  to monopolise all the fruits of the land for themselves though perpetual freehold ownership. The people of the third world will never afford to buy it back, its value will increase and the populations incomes will not keep pace. Tax havens and blind trusts will ensure their future generations can hold on to this advantage without any form of redistribution.

To paraphrase George Orwell:

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a landlord taking all of humanity's surplus income  - forever"

1 comment:

  1. I thought this went quite well with the Orwell quote:


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