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Mason Gaffney

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Mason Gaffney first read Henry George when a high school junior , and became notorious among his classmates for preaching LVT to them . H e served in the S.W. Pacific during W.W. II, where he observed the results of land monopoly in The Philippines, on which he later wrote.  He came back to get a Ph.D. in Economics at Berkeley, where he tried to meet his teachers' skepticism and apathy with a dissertation, "Land Speculation as an Obstacle to Ideal Allocation of Land." Since then he has published many books and articles on land use, economics, taxation, and public policy. He has been a Professor of Economics at several Universities; a journalist with TIME, Inc.; a researcher with Resources for the Future, Inc.; the head of the British Columbia Institute for Economic Policy Analysis, which he founded; an economic consultant to several businesses and government agencies; and a frequent speaker on economic topics, domestic and foreign, and in political campaigns. He has been Professor of Economics at U.C. Riverside since 1976. He is proud to have survived, bloodied but unbowed, muffled but never silenced, knocked down but never out, frequent political and academic and personal attacks based on his outspoken and well-researched advocacy of Georgist and related views and causes.

OpEdNews Member for 605 week(s) and 3 day(s)

14 Articles, 0 Quick Links, 1 Comments, 0 Diaries, 1 Series, 0 Polls

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Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty, From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 17, 2014
A Georgist Perspective on Thomas Piketty's book: "Capital in the 21st Century." Thomas Piketty's new book is kicking up a storm. It brings the Distribution of Wealth and Income back into the center of economic discourse, where it was in the 18th and 19th Centuries -- the era of "classical political economy". Piketty's book is timely and will do a lot of good. We itemize below its good elements and then, sadly, its failings. The most basic of these is his conflating land with capital.
Series: Georgism (1 Articles, 1938 views)
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Whose Water? Ours! How to End California's Water Crisis Despite all the focus on urban water conservation, agriculture consumes some eighty percent of California water. California is basically a dry state, subject to periodic severe droughts. So, how come the largest water user is cow pasture, watered with giant sprinklers sending great sprays into the atmosphere? What can be done to stem the flow?
From ImagesAttr
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Reverberations between immoderate land-price cycles and banking cycles The Pecora Hearings, 1933; A major flaw was to narrow his subject to the paper economy; Real estate and its endogenous cycle of about 18 years, established & documented by Hoyt...; Austrian analysis of the structure of production; Institutional economics; Quality of Credit is the link between banking and real estate & at the core of current banking troubles; Why land prices fall; 18 years later, Great Crash of 2008 & beyond..
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 8, 2013
Europe's Fatal Affair with VAT In August, 2011, S&P lowered the credit rating of the U.S. Treasury. We held our breath, thinking this might be the tipping point before a flight from the dollar. Our Congress, deadlocked, quarrelsome and dysfunctional, seemed to deserve it. And yet mobile international capital saw something, spited S&P, and stayed with U.S.A. Treasury securities. It seems that we must be doing something right, or at least less wrong...
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Land Booms, Capital Stretch-Out, And Banking Collapse Part of a "Pilot Paper", conference on the bank bubble, The American Institute for Economic Research. Although written in 1994, after the "Thrift Debacle" (S&L collapse) of 1991, they could as well have been written, with a few different details, after 2008. Our leaders, had learned nothing from 1991. The notes could be written again today, in 2012...
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 27, 2012
Why Sales Taxes? Amazon is squaring off against California in an effort to force Amazon-and other out-of-state mail-order sellers-to collect State sales taxes and remit them to the State Treasury. Academicians, media pundits, and talking heads are supporting the State as a matter of simple fair competition among retailers. No one, to my knowledge, is asking whetherstate sales taxes are a good idea to begin with. It is time someone did.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, November 12, 2011
Sales-tax bias against turnover and jobs An indictment against big banks and for smaller banks, and State banks, and for untaxing labor and capital goods. My thesis is that retail sales taxes, however "general" or universal in their apparent coverage, tax capital for turning over; turnover means replacement; and replacement sustains demand for labor.
Mason gaffney, From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 25, 2011
What's The Matter With Michigan? The Rise And Collapse Of An Economic Wonder. A tracing of history of taxation in Michigan and California can provide answers to how best to apply taxes in ways that PROMOTE growth instead of retarding it-the Georgist tax on land. It's not a matter of cutting, but of leveling taxes where they belong: on the land, not the people.
Mason gaffney, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sleeping with the Enemy: Economists who Side with Polluters Do you remember much about last summer's Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? BP and various Federal agencies probably hope not. Still, courts and regulators turn to economists for remedies & preventives. When future jurists, regulators & legislators study economics in college, how do their mentors prepare them to act? In the last 60 years they have dipped into pollution issues, yet these accidents keep happening.
Mason gaffney, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 19, 2011
An Award for Calling the Crash People say the crash of 2008 was unpredictable, even by economists. Wrong! Here are two economists - both Georgists - who independently predicted the crash and the reasons for it, up to a decade in advance. See how economics works, when it is actually treated as a science, capable of making predictions. But instead of being awarded, these 2 economists lost to a more mainstream economist who didn't challenge the core system.
Mason gaffney, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A Cannan Hits the Mark Income taxes were originally mostly Land taxes. They should be again, to discourage hoarding, speculation and wealth inequity based on unearned income. A chink in Georgist Land economics, and a fix.
Mason gaffney, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Land as a Distinctive Factor of Production The classical economists treated land as distinct from capital: "land, labor and capital" were the three basic "factors of production". They were mutually exclusive. They were comprehensive, including all economic agents. Each was also "limitational," meaning at least some of each was needed for all economic activity. They made a coherent system.
Mason gaffney, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 17, 2011
Oil and Gas Leasing: a Study in Pseudo-Socialism The author poses three questions. I) What is Socialism? II) What is pseudo-Socialism? III) How should we administer public lands bearing oil and gas?
The Money Tree, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 15, 2010
The Incredible Shrinking Dollar As recently as January 2006, it was clear how successive administrations in Washington have doctored the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to conceal the real rise in the Cost of Living (COL). Self-defined "mainstream" economists have served as tools, some as active leaders and others as sheep in the herd.