Mark Braund Again

Well, it looks like I did him an injustice when accusing him of socialist windbaggery.

Today, there are three major threats to society:  climate change, the growing gulf between cultures, and deepening poverty amid unprecedented wealth.

When KFC is selling in India and Chicken Masala is the most common dish in the UK that growing gulf between cultures is hard to spot.  Deepening poverty is also hard to find, given that hundreds of millions have risen up out of it in the last decade alone, the greatest diminution of poverty in the history of the planet.

Instead, it must make the moral case against all forms of unearned wealth. Certainly this includes wealth derived from land rent, but it also includes the unearned income from speculative investment, and the riches enjoyed by those who benefit from a system of debt-based money creation, condemned as immoral in ancient times, but considered perfectly legitimate today.

And that last is channeling Aquinas. Next thing you know he\’ll be fulminating about fractional reserve banking.

Ill-informed incoherence is at the same sort of level as socialist windbaggery but calling in aid a medieval monk in your critique of the perils of charging interest goes rather further.

Mark, this is the 21 st century calling, hellooooo?

7 thoughts on “Mark Braund Again”

  1. Tim,

    Ill-informed incoherence or a substantially different word view?

    The growing gulf between cultures was a reference to the muslim/west split, in part a reaction to KFC moving into the orient.

    As for fractional reserve banking, it rather depends on the fraction. 10% strikes me as reasonable. The current 0.15% seems a tad ambitious.

    Tim adds: “a substantially different word view?”

    Yes, that is the idiocy to which I refer.

  2. I have just read the piece in full. “Unearned income” is condemned strongly but wait – the anti-capitalist movement condemns capialism as about instant gratification, an “I want it now” mentality. Nonone who lives by that mentality can ever accrue any “unearned income” which is a reward for saving/investment. The only way an economy can develop is by investment so Mr Braund’s idea would condemn the world to economic stagnation.

    I presume Mr Braund is deeply concerned about homelessness and bad housing (as any decent-minded person should be, regardless of political beliefs). To vilify those who own property for rent seems odd – if it is impossible to make an adequate return from renting out property (and thereby giving someone a roof over their head) then their wont be a rental sector to speak of anh bad housing is going to persist. The counterproductive effects of rent controls in many society seems to bear this out.

  3. From underneath I would have thought themajor threat to society was politicians – in general and in toto.

  4. This comprehensively destroys the old ‘usury is theft’ argument (for those who don’t realise that it was never a valid argument anyway).

  5. The unearned wealth to which I refer in the article is that which, in terms of classical economics, arises not a consequence of the combination of land, labour and capital (and goes to reward those factors in proportion with their contribution) but so-called wealth created by other means.

    As Mark points out, this include land rent, the lion’s share of which goes to landowners without justification. But it also includes wealth derived from speculative investment in the financial markets, where money is used to create more money.

    Money is not capital, it’s a means of measuring value and facilitating exchange. In the UK today, wealth created in this fashion constitutes the major part of GDP growth; a fact which I find worrying. If my position is one of idiocy, then I’m a happy idiot.

  6. Ian, good article, thanks for the link.

    Mark Braund:
    Instead, it must make the moral case against all forms of unearned wealth.

    The unearned wealth to which I refer in the article is that which … arises not a consequence of the combination of land, labour and capital

    You mean welfare payments? No more dole money, sick pay, incapacity benefit etc?

    PS: I would also advocate a LVT

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