We’re going to mention some individuals, key informants, that have come to our attention and been a big help to us. We must give a big mention to our most importance source for these notes, Professor Mason Gaffney
A lot of the reading we’ve done, and continue to try to do, is of the writing of Mason Gaffney, who is Professor of Economics at the University of California, and has been since 1976. He’s 92 this year, and as far as we can tell, he is still in that post. He first read Progress and Poverty as a teenager and he is probably the major critic of Neoclassical economics.
He’s held the same role at other universities. In the little history we’ve looked at, we’ve commonly come across academics losing their jobs because of their Single Taxer convictions, protecting society from them, so maybe he’s done very well to survive so long in this job, though we gather life is made difficult for him in many ways.
We don’t know, maybe he’s one of very few Single Taxers that managed to hold onto a position in an economics department in an American university, though there are at least a couple of others. California seems to have been a good place to be an academic Single Taxer. This is Mason’s website and his links page. This is a link to dire history revealed in The Corruption of Economics, a key text that really drew us into this story.
Co-author with Gaffney of The Corruption of Economics was British author and economic commentator, Fred Harrison, who is also author of The Traumatised Society, which astonished us with its broad view of human life and history.
Along with Gaffney, Fred Harrison is also the major critic of the orthodoxy and communicator of the truth of things. As mentioned, Harrison is acknowledged to have predicted the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. People really should listen to the Single Taxers. (That’s us styling him so, by the way.)
10 theses, Ten strategies to Rebuild our Minds, our Lives and Society from Fred Harrison’s brilliant website, Share the Rents Do watch the short film about Denmark. (Much more about Denmark in due course.) Great website, great writing. There’s an invitation to sign The Cheating Index on this site.
Of The Traumatised Society, Brian Hodgkinson said:
This is a remarkably ambitious book, perhaps representing the author's intention to draw together all that he has learnt over a lifetime of striving to put across his essential message: that economies throughout the world need thoroughgoing reforms, based upon a shift of taxation from labour and capital on to land. He draws upon a range of disciplines - economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, bio-sciences and more - to explain his thesis that modern society has been traumatised by the drastic loss by whole populations of rights over the 'commons', the land and natural resources that had previously sustained them.
We read this book. It had as dramatic effect on us as Progress and Poverty and really filled out the story and expanded the understanding. It’s a shame it took us two and a half years to come around to this book, it’s a very deep learning. We'd as strongly suggest to the reader to read this book.
Fred and associates run a YouTube channel, Geophilos, and there’s documentaries there he’s made. He traces the whole history of the cheating culture. He says in a video on the site:
The liberties of the individual began to be eroded with Magna Carta. Far from celebrating it as a sacred document that protected people’s natural rights, the 1215 deal in Runnymede between king and aristocracy took the first fatal step in a centuries-long process of de-socialising the nation’s rental revenue, necessitating the imposition of taxes that damage the health and welfare of the nation.
After working with Mason Gaffney, Harrison next worked with Nic Tideman on Land & Taxation.
Nicolaus Tideman is Professor of Economics at Virginia State University and was on the RSF board in the past, and wrote Peace, Justice and Economic Reform for the Wealth and Want website:
And actually, we’re still discovering people with amazing things to say and with great ways to put them. Shortly before going to press, as it were, and thinking we’d covered most of the territory, we dipped into the lively writing of Fred Foldvary, lecturer of economic at Santa Clara University, California. Fred actually ran for Congress in 2000. He uses the term Geoclassical and has been part of popularising the term Geoist. We’ll catch up with him in time, he’s got a lot of things to say about a lot of things. Three themes of Fred Foldvary’s writing are universal ethic, cellular democracy, and public revenue from land rent.
As with Mason Gaffney and Fred Harrison and many others, much of his work is free to read on the Net. This is his book The Science of Economics. It does generally seem that anyone who has anything that really needs saying, makes their labour available free to the world, it’s a labour of love for humanity. There’s a lot we want to read.
The late Professor Robert V Andelson, who died in 2003, an honorary Single Taxer, has been a key informant, and we’ll return for one more quote from him later.
Lindy Davies runs the Henry George Institute, the leading educational institution that teaches the ideas of Henry George, and is a fine and prolific writer for the cause, we’ll be reading more of his articles. Lindy also works on the ever-expanding and fascinating Georgist Journal
When we were meandering around the web following our reading of Progress and Poverty, we came across an essay about the life of Henry George by Mark Braund, which we enjoyed - and this was one of the things that got us writing anything at all, because we wanted to write a more extended version, with other reflections we’d come across, and then learned more of the story as we wrote it. Unfortunately, that link leads nowhere already and the article can't now be found. So, here's an excerpt from Mark's book, The Possibility of Progress
From there we read a couple of other articles of Braund’s and read about his book, The Possibility of Progress. We don’t know exactly why we read this text next, just following our nose, it sounded good, of all the things we could have read to follow P&P, we were drawn to PoP.
And it was a good choice, indeed, and really gave us a deeper education about so much and was a part of our expanding consciousness at the time. With Henry George and classical economics at its heart, Braund makes a compelling map of where we’ve been and where we’re going, and where we could go. You can read his synopsis of the book
In The World’s Progress Without Justice we’ve often drawn on George Monbiot as a source.
George Monbiot definitely stirs up questions and emotion and does get up people’s noses, there are people who say they hate him. We find him invaluable, because he asks the important questions, questions very few others ask, and he fully references what he says, he does all the work for you. A proper journalist, who finds the right questions and does the research. We have a couple of fundamental disagreements with him, actually, and various other disagreements, but find we value him no less. He is what a journalist should be. He has contributed to Land & Liberty and we can call him a Single Taxer, and there’s a lot of other things people call him.
Even though it’s pointless now, we want to mention the Liberty Revival site, where we read a lot of really interesting and informative stuff by Keith Gardner, and quoted, from this site: http://libertyrevival.wordpress.com/ But that’s now disappeared, though references to his site can be found. That’s a shame, we’d have saved copies of some of his essays had we known. Something to bear in mind in future. If you're out there, Keith, it's a shame you're not online, it was appreciated.
We’ve never been readers like this and at times can hardly recognise ourselves saying about saving essays because they’d said important things. All this has been since we read that book.