Tuesday, 29 July 2014

MELTDOWN - GREAT E-NOVELS

CLIMATE-CHANGE NOVELS - SUMMER READING

GLOBAL WARMING - CLI-FI NOVELS


CLIMATE CHANGE FICTION - Cli-Fi is primed to explode. Buy these absorbing, fact-based tales now "to avoid disappointment". They are both exciting and prophetic. Written by your favorite futurist, Noel Hodson.

A futurist is a  lunatic forecaster and mad prophet - until it happens - then is an irritating smart-ass when it happens. But, they can also be a very readable and increasingly credible prophet. Will you survive Global Warming - and what will happen to the human race? Two stories - 500 years apart - spell out what Climate-Change will bring.



 Recent extreme weather events around the world support the IPCC Climate Change scientists. My novels spell out the impact on heroines and heroes, on ordinary people, on Cities and on the planet. You will enjoy reading them.


OUT OF THE DEPTHS – by Noel HodsonMeltdown floods London and New York NOW and despatches 80% of the global population, so society has to re-form itself.

AD 2516 – After Global Warming  - by Noel Hodson (recommended for the Whitbread Prize) – a light and humorous, yet deep and realistically based tale of what will become of us, in 500 years time – after the icecaps melt.  

CLICK THESE E-BOOK COVERS: (or search on Amazon Kindle Books)   


Also available in Print on Amazon – Search Amazon for these print titles.
 

Monday, 28 July 2014

PUTIN FOR USA PRESIDENT

Chancellor Merkel & President Putin

Update 3 FEB 2015:

Oh for God's sake! Come off it! Do me a Lemon!

Now its Putin The Pedophile. Who are you trying to kid? This is playground halfwit slander. What has happened to reliable, accurate, measured reporting? Even The Guardian is running this drivel.

*************



23 February 2015. BEAR BAITING. At last! some sensible letters published in the Guardian.

What a refreshing change to see common sense written about the Ukrainian crisis. Mary Dejevsky (Russia’s “sinister” long-term plan? A stable Ukraine, 19 February) is right to say that sanctions against Russia, and sabre-rattling by the west, will only make matters worse.
The greeting of last week’s ceasefire deal with “pessimism laced with cynicism” was only to be expected, especially as the UK and US were not involved in the Minsk agreement. We can expect more of “diplomacy’s wrongheadedness” from London and Washington, especially as the Tories will be eager to impress on the British electorate their unwillingness to pander to Putin’s insecurity, acting tough but exacerbating the problem.
Accepting that some blame for the Ukraine problem lies with the west would be a more sensible approach. After all, it was the west that reneged on the promise made to Mikhail Gorbachev in the various talks that preceded German unity. With West Germany being a member of Nato, and the east a member of the Warsaw pact, the need for Russian agreement was imperative, and James Baker, President Bush’s secretary of state, said there would be no extension of Nato’s jurisdiction “one inch to the east”.


Your editorial (19 February) opines that “making the most of Europe’s and America’s economic advantages” is one way forward, but strangely omits the possibility of long-term economic agreements over the supply of gas and oil. With Russia providing around a third of the EU’s oil, and nearly 40% of its gas, wouldn’t a deal to take the same for the next 10 years, at an affordable but considerably higher price than today’s, improve matters, and reduce the possibility of further military conflict?
Bernie Evans
Liverpool
 Your 21 February editorial rightly stresses that the confrontation over the Donetsk region is as much strategic and diplomatic as military. It does not, however, even mention the underlying cause of the conflict: the redrawing of boundaries within the former Soviet Union following its implosion under Gorbachev.
The countries that emerged post-1990 from the Soviet Union were based on borders that did not meet sustainable definitions of commonality founded on linguistic and political orientation. The error then is further compounded by a manifest failure to accept significant devolution to communities within the new countries. Given all this, why is it a surprise that going to war over the boundaries is disastrous?
Once again the obsession with sovereignty and the nation state is leading us all to the brink of wider conflict.
Michael Meadowcroft
Leeds
 It is reassuring that the House of Lords report on the Ukraine crisis (‘Catastrophic’ errors by UK in Ukraine crisis, 20 February), in contrast to Timothy Garton Ash’s attack on Putin and Russia earlier this week (There’ll be no peace while Putin is squatting in Ukraine’s living room, 17 February), provides an unexpectedly nuanced view of Russia and its leader. Of course any glance at the political map of contemporary Europe will show a continent divided, but few in the west seem to recognise that it is the bloc to the west rather than Russia that has been spreading expansionary tentacles beyond traditional boundaries. Since the early 90s, western aims have been to draw countries out of the old Soviet sphere of influence and into Nato. Ukraine has always been seen as the ultimate test as to where the balance lies. The more the west provokes and teases (eg announcements of major troop deployments and old bases reactivated along borders with Russia, together with defence secretary Michael Fallon’s vacuous remarks about the Russian threat being worse than that of Isis), the more Russia and its leader will rise to the bait. Putin may be a nationalistic and vain man but the west does no good to Europe and the world by constantly goading him. In apparently acknowledging this, the lords seem to have been more perceptive in their analysis than many academics, military analysts and European and American politicians.
Gillian Dalley
London
 The most “catastrophic” error by the UK and EU in Ukraine was surely their failure to honour and support the agreement on the settlement of crisis in Ukraine, brokered and witnessed by the EU on 21 February 2014. The agreement was reached between the then government and opposition, and entailed, inter alia, the formation of a government of national unity. The ink had barely dried on the signatures when it was binned, with the EU going instead for the main chance to forcibly overthrow the elected president.


Had the UK and EU been less hawkish in supporting the pro-EU side, things could be very different now.
Peter McKenna
Liverpool
 Nato existed during the cold war to offset the power of the Warsaw Pact. When the Warsaw Pact disbanded Nato should have followed suit. It did not. The result is an army and a large contingent of generals with an eye for the next war (what is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation doing fighting a war in Afghanistan?). Now we have General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Nato’s deputy commander of forces in Europe, broadcasting “an era of constant competition with Russia” and calling for both fast-reacting conventional forces and capacities to counter “Russian efforts at coercion and propaganda” (Report, 21 February).
Nato has now moved right across Europe, even to the Russian border (Estonia and Latvia are members). Now there is talk of Ukraine joining Nato.
We could achieve a much more peaceful world by encouraging Russia to move closer to, and even join, the European Union. Citizens who want a peaceful world – and that is virtually all of us – must ensure that these matters are not left to the generals.
Jim McCluskey
Twickenham, Middlesex
 The situation in the Ukraine and the Baltic states prove that maintaining the Trident system is the only way to keep the Russian bear in check. The British government has proved its military and naval incompetence by aircraft carriers without aircraft and an army without armour, and its failed attempt to recruit reservists to replace the experienced, trained soldiers, sailors and airmen it has forced to leave the services. In spite of these many failed policies, the decision to keep Trident will make up for them. Even the SNP should realise that without Trident there is no way to keep the UK safe from foreign aggression and blackmail.
Like it or not, the nation is going to have to depend on MAD (mutually assured destruction) and Trident as the main ingredients in the defence of the realm for the unseeable future. Any one thinking differently need only look at Ukraine, which gave up its nuclear arsenal at the end of the cold war and now is being torn shreds by Russia. We are back in the world of Dr Strangelove.
George D Lewis
Brackley, Northamptonshire
 Michael Fallon is no doubt right that the Baltic states could be the next flashpoint for Russian expansionism. But Nato sabre-rattling is likely to have perverse results (as did the potential offer of Nato membership to Ukraine). Instead the EU should persuade any Baltic state under threat to ensure an appropriate degree of devolution and language-guarantee in its Russian-speaking areas, and then hold a pre-emptive referendum there, to decide between staying in the democratic west, and once-for-all separation. Russia could be invited to join an international monitoring group to supervise the election – but the operation would need to be carried through without too much delay, before covert KGB activities could distort the outcome. Not easy to arrange in a democratic nation, but not without precedent (Scotland, Quebec) – and the alternative could be very much worse for all concerned.
Alan Bailey
London
 We have heard a great deal lately from Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Libya, to name but a few; has anyone heard from the UN?
Bob Forster
Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire 



John Pilger wrote,  

War by media and the triumph of propaganda 5 December 2014 ....The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia - when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato. This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington's military encirclement and intimidation of Russia is not contentious. It's not even news, but suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war.
Once again, the evil empire is coming to get us, led by another Stalin or, perversely, a new Hitler. 

My addendum to John Pilger's must-read article: 

...2 FEB 2015 - Finally – from me -  The immensely stupid and totally obvious PR war to paint Ukraine politicians as incorruptible heroes of The New Age; and Putin as a slavering monster, is so pathetic that I can hardly credit that it needs a rebuttal. E.g. Who on  God’s Earth can take seriously the recent reporting of the Litvinenko poisoning “Personally authorised by Putin. Putting the entire population of London, all 15 million, at risk. No other national leader, all lovable saints, has ever ordered their spies to dispose of a double-agent such as Litvinenko” (actually a triple-agent). 

UPDATE - 8th August 2014. Letter to the Anglo Saxons:

Our sanctions and threats against Putin's Russia are deeply self-harming. (Russia bans EU & US food imports... Guardian 8 Aug 14). The effect will be to drive Russia into more trade with China and India and to abandon our paper tigers, the Euro, Sterling and Dollar; and our crazed crooked casino mostly offshore financial markets. They and we will rapidly realise that the Anglo-Saxon Free Market emperor has no clothes. Russia is the largest country on Earth, a major player in the high-tech space race, with massive valuable natural resources, and a proven capacity for stubborn self-sacrifice that has defeated the worst invaders - such as 20 million Russian deaths to break Hitler - which far outweighs the snub of giving Edward Snowden sanctuary. Russia needs Black Sea ports. Putin is no monster; Russia is our historic ally not enemy. NATO, the EU, Ukraine and the US should negotiate a 200 year lease for Russia on the Crimean ports and eastern access corridor, as the UK had on Hong Kong. Send in the diplomats and keep our friends.

Noel Hodson - Oxford - 8th August 2014.


President Vladimir Putin - Life story and his governance of Russia.  Wikipedia

For those few people who can still read between the lines, or at all, it is baffling to try to comprehend the current high level smear campaign against President Putin of Russia. The campaign consists of unspecified allegations and florid adjectives, repeated parrot fashion by most western media and commentators; and repeated, and repeated, and repeated. These smears paint him as an aggressive  monster - on a par with Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Blair and Bush, and other warmongers who caused the deaths of millions of people. He is no such monster. These critics are either idiots or provocateurs. 

Read Wikipedia on the internet. Read about Vladimir Putin, and you will see that he has been a clever, civilized and an exemplary leader of Russia, in one of the greatest societal transitions in history - with hardly any bloodshed or bigotry. 

Did Putin fire rockets at the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine? Did he personally sell rockets to the incontinent moronic halfwits who blew-up the passenger jet five miles above them? Is Russia the only weapons maker who sells to lunatic fringe groups? Who are Britain and America supplying now, today?

One of the principal attackers - master of U-turns, personal smears, PR and obfuscation - is Britain's PM, David Cameron. In western democracies, the accused are innocent until proven guilty. How about some specific facts to back up your silly, dangerous rhetoric, Mr Cameron. What are you going to do to Putin? Smack him on the wrist with a wet flannel - or sell him more weapons? What utter posturing nonsense.  Tory red-top The Daily Mail, reports:



It is almost certain that over the decades - managing the largest country on Earth, 6.5 million square miles, spanning thousands of miles from Sweden to Alaska, and with 143 million people of diverse nationalities, religions and genetics - that whoever governed Russia will have overseen some very bad incidents and tragedies. Is there any nation on Earth where this is not so? 

But the upside is that President Putin has rapidly greatly increased Russia's national wealth and wealth distribution. Russia's need for Black Sea ports in Ukraine is self-evident - Russia should not have relinquished them - and maybe they should have reached an accommodation with Ukraine, perhaps along the lines of the British presence in the strategic port of Hong-Kong. 

I can only assume that President Putin has trodden on some sensitive western toes, and threatened some lucrative western franchises, to warrant the avalanche of vicious opprobrium being indiscriminately poured on him by hacks and failing politicians, desperate to be seen to be tough - to appeal to stupid voters.

I was born in 1942, after The Battle of Britain, Europe's darkest hour, when the forces of good combined to eliminate the horrible evil of Nazism - with its vile murderous concentration camps and merciless racist SS. Russia was our and Europe's and America's ally - suffering 20,000,000 (twenty million) deaths - and diverting the Nazi war machine from invading Britain, when we were all but beaten and defenseless, to the Eastern Front. Which broke Hitler - as Russia had broken Napoleon in an earlier century.

With his economic record - America ought to recruit Putin as their President for 5 years. He would undoubtedly pay-off the $16 trillion Fiscal Cliff, fix the dilapidated infrastructure, pay living wages - and break the chronic political gridlock in Washington DC.

Who would most Britons prefer as leader - Cameron or Putin?  


WW3 - PUTIN - CYPRUS



WAR WITH RUSSIA - NEW RESERVE CURRENCY


Friday, 25 July 2014

WILL APA CERTIFY MAD LEADERS

Democrats
Noel --

They did it. Republicans voted in the House Rules Committee to move forward with John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama.

If you're sick and tired of Republicans in Congress wasting your taxpayer dollars on stunts like suing President Obama, add your name and tell them you're not having any of it.

You have to wonder where this ends, Noel. They've already shut down the government. They're already talking about impeachment. And now they're moving forward with a lawsuit against the President of the United States.

Let's end this farce before it goes any further. Add your name against this bogus lawsuit:

http://my.democrats.org/Stand-Against-the-Lawsuit

Thanks,

Mo

Mo Elleithee
Communications Director
Democratic National Committee

*************

SANE LEADERS CAMPAIGN (SLC) - As I've said elsewhere - sanity is marginally, very, very slowly; painfully slowly, guiding the human race forwards to a wonderful future. The trend will be greatly accelerated and immense amounts of suffering avoided, if the American Psychological Association (APA) establish a scoring system for remotely auto-diagnosing world and national and regional leaders of all our important organizations; those found to be completely insane can then be certified & sent to asylums for their own mental health and comfort. The world will then move forwards led by sane, positive and competent people. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

CLIMATE-CHANGE NOVELS - SUMMER READING

GLOBAL WARMING - CLI-FI NOVELS


CLIMATE CHANGE FICTION - Cli-Fi is primed to explode. Buy these absorbing, fact-based tales now "to avoid disappointment". They are both exciting and prophetic. Written by your favorite futurist, Noel Hodson.

A futurist is a  lunatic forecaster and mad prophet - until it happens - then is an irritating smart-ass when it happens. But, they can also be a very readable and increasingly credible prophet. Will you survive Global Warming - and what will happen to the human race? Two stories - 500 years apart - spell out what Climate-Change will bring.



 Recent extreme weather events around the world support the IPCC Climate Change scientists. My novels spell out the impact on heroines and heroes, on ordinary people, on Cities and on the planet. You will enjoy reading them.


OUT OF THE DEPTHS – by Noel HodsonMeltdown floods London and New York NOW and despatches 80% of the global population, so society has to re-form itself.

AD 2516 – After Global Warming  - by Noel Hodson (recommended for the Whitbread Prize) – a light and humorous, yet deep and realistically based tale of what will become of us, in 500 years time – after the icecaps melt.  

CLICK THESE E-BOOK COVERS: (or search on Amazon Kindle Books)   


Also available in Print on Amazon – Search Amazon for these print titles.
 

Monday, 14 July 2014

PLEASE HELP THE RICH TO SCREW THE POOR

50% YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IS
DRIVEN BY THE HIGH PRICE OF MONEY.
The Guardian Newspaper - 14 July 2014 - Letters
In response to interest rates remaining unchanged at 0.5% for a 65th consecutive month (Report, 10 July), we strongly advocate a 0.25% rate rise in August, working towards Bank of England governor Mark Carney's "new norm" of 2.5%. The below-target consumer price inflation, 1.5% in May, gives the Bank the necessary leeway to act now. We advocate this approach as the sustained low interest rate is encouraging households and businesses to borrow to excess.
Britain's household borrowing is at a record high of £1.44tn, equivalent to an average household debt of £54,629, on a background of a 2.2% fall in real wages a year. While we applaud the financial policy committee's decision to limit the proportion of high loan-to-income mortgages and related affordability checks, we question whether this is enough to cool the market. Carney himself warned in April that the economy faced renewed dangers from excessive borrowing as encouraged by low interest rates.
We have been told that any future interest rate rises will be data-driven. A marked relapse in manufacturing output in May, when it fell 1.3% month on month, highlights that ongoing strong growth cannot be taken for granted and we recommend a rate increase at the next possible opportunity. The CEO of Lloyds Bank, António Horta-Osório, said at a recent event at Judge Business School that banks had a duty to give back to society. We would encourage the monetary policy committee to announce this rise on 7 August, helping to embrace Carney's vision of banks contributing to the good of the people.

Dr Rav Seeruthun 
Dr Ian Colwill
Cambridge


NB - If these dreaming Cambridge economists had all their wishes come true, and interest rates paid by borrowers returned to what these economists used to know as "normal levels" of say 7.5% on mortgages; at the cited UK household borrowings of £1.4 trillion, the Haves would be paid by the Have-Nots £180 billion a year - unearned income, for doing nothing, risk free. This amount would keep 6 million people in good jobs with "earned income". But hey, We are all in this together - capitalists are suffering too - SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LOAN SHARK!
**********************
My Reply Letter to the Guardian - 14 July 2014
Contrary to Dr Rav Seerthun's and Dr Ian Colwill's plea to help The City cash-flows with higher interest rates (Banks should lift interest rate next month - Letters - Guardian 14 July 2014), the price of money on all borrowings - from home mortgages to business loans to credit cards to loan sharking should be capped at 5% APR. Five percent is ten times the base-rate. A 5% cap will reduce most retail prices, including housebuilding, by 25%, through reducing unearned-income inflation (interest) at every stage (about ten stages) in all supply chains. The world is awash with $32 trillion of criminal tax-evasion-capital-flight, desperately seeking investments in safe-havens in stable OECD countries.The money-economy (bookkeeping) is massively, ridiculously overmanned, overpriced and is increasingly offshore. It siphons after-tax wages from the underpaid poor to the over indulged rich. In the UK every 0.25% increase gouges £3.1billion per annum from the Have-Nots to the Haves; which is great obscene greed capitalism but dangerously foolish social economics.                 

(Mr) Noel Hodson

16 Brookside, OXFORD,
NB - Borrowing by the undeserving poor has increased to enable real transactions in the real-economy. e.g. My first house cost £16,000 in 1972, on a 120% mortgage costing 12.5% APR - My demonstrable income that year was £5 (five pounds) as I was starting a new business. The generic 12.5% interest rate drove unearned-income fuelled inflation - that forced up house prices and all prices. The obscenely greedy rich blamed the unwashed undeserving poor's wage increases. But, as ever, the inflation was in fact unearned-income driven.  Inflation always slavishly follows the Base Rate (unearned income); as it does today. That same house is now £500,000. Borrowing was and is dictated by necessity and by determination to earn the ability to repay - regardless of the Base Rate. Some sociopathic economists would deny all lower paid workers the right to rent or buy a decent home - instead of building more homes and increasing mortgage supply to meet the real demand.  If they are not by nature cruel slave owners, they live in a  time-warp fairy-land where factory floor workers buy a house for £250,000 on a mortgage that is only 3 times their £83,333 annual wages - just like Cambridge Dons do.  It is time to reform the global money-economy and reduce its parasitical, immensely high cost. A 5% per annum interest cap on all loans would be a good start.




  • WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?
  • PIKETTY - $7.6T OR $32T OFFSHORE?
  • TAX HAVENS WRECK GLOBAL ECONOMY  

  •  

    Monday, 27 April 2015

    LAND VALUATION TAX & UK POLITICS

    UK Inflation mirrors the Bank Rate.
    Unearned income, not wage-rises, drives inflation.
    Dear Carol,

    LAND VALUATION TAX AND PREMATURE RETIREMENT.

    Thanks for your FT inspired article which stimulates me to respond fully.

    I agree with your economic analysis.  Productivity is the neglected driver to make the UK wealthier. The allegedly “good news” on GDP, jobs etc consists mostly of more Brits serving other Brits with ever more fattening coffee and cakes – on minimum wages on zero hours contracts. A recipe for rapid decline and congestive heart failure. But aimless service-industry self-pampering consumerism does at least slightly stir the sluggish blood flow of money through the flaccid UK arteries, in the short term. Banking, usury and old professions will be fully computerised (think of agricultural workers replaced by combined harvesters) – they are dead-ends – the City will not save us - move on.

    VISION - We need boosts to exportable commerce and industry. We have three high-tech high-earning world leading major export activities to enlarge – Education – Health – News & Entertainment. Our old heavy industries cannot compete with Chinese wages – but we do/could win with hi-tech (more education) – Electronics – Air & Space – Transport – and Marine Engineering (we are a bold sea-faring nation – and sea level is rising).

    LAND & HOUSING – SURPLUS POPULATION  A trip last week to Cornwall confirmed that the UK is heavily overcrowded, stressing all utilities and infrastructure. Just as it is OK for Jews, Catholics, Tories & Muslims to make risqué jokes about their own groups; at 72, into my last decade, I’m permitted to recommend get-rich-kwik businesses aimed at the elderly “Coffins to Die For” and replacing Starbucks with corner-shop franchises “Friendly-Fifty-Quid-Euthanasia-Clinics”; reducing overcrowding and releasing land & homes. Seriously – I have an inventor client who designs emergency flat-pack housing from recycled plastics – costing £200 per room which last 30+ years. Many post-war prefabs (pre-fabricated-homes), designed to last 10-20 years are, 70 years on, still much loved homes. It only needs political will and vision to provide enough affordable homes on underutilised land. LVT - Do it today!

    WHERE’S THE MONEY ?  THE EMBARRASSING FACT ALL POLITICIANS STRIVE TO AVOID - Money is simply government permission to act (think of building pyramids). The UK has billions of well-fed, aimless, underutilised, skilled person-hours (e.g. 35 hours a week watching TV or meandering mindlessly round golf courses etc). IF cramped purblind economists insist that we apply only “existing” capital – money-surpluses already accumulated – then there is £2 to £3 trillion (8 million jobs) of UK tax-evasion-capital-flight frozen in dozens of banks in 70 tax-havens (read the HSBC Swiss & BVI figures and do the maths – or ask the OECD). The “owners” clearly don’t need it, it is redundant – and it is illicit tax-unpaid UK assets, gouged from our High Streets, which HMRC have existing powers to immediately claw-back via back-tax cases. Get it back to HM Treasury, end the UK’s premature retirement culture, and build houses and expand our world class commerce and hi-tech inventions.

    Vote for intelligent co-operation, vibrant leadership and informed-referendum-politics.

    Noel

    (Mr) Noel Hodson
    16 Brookside, OXFORD, OX3 7PJ, UK 


    From: labour-land-campaign-supporters@googlegroups.com [mailto:labour-land-campaign-supporters@googlegroups.comOn Behalf Of Carol Wilcox
    Sent: 22 April 2015 18:01
    To: John Lipetz
    Cc: Richard Hithersay; henry law; David Triggs; tommas graves; peter bowman; John Howell; Paul Nicolson; Mark Wadsworth; Janos Abel; Ed Randall; peter challen; Dave Wetzel; Neale Upstone; Rob Blakemore; William Davidson; Louanne Tranchell; David Hirst; Ole Lefmann; Michael Learoyd; heather wetzel; Tony Vickers; LLC Members Group; LLC Supporters Group
    Subject: Re: FT leader today

    UK’s weak productivity invites a bolder response
    Capital and labour are already deregulated, now is the time for land
       Raise the subject of productivity in any gathering of UK economists and the mood will surely darken. Insofar as opinions differ, the room will split between the extreme pessimists on one side and the merely gloomy on the other. None would dispute the dire recent performance, nor the waste wreaked as a result. Had Britain kept to its pre-crisis trend, output per worker would be 15 per cent higher than it is.    Productivity matters more for the country’s fiscal health than any of the parties’ flimsy electoral vows. If it picks up again, the end of fiscal consolidation would be in sight. Should it sputter along as it has, the outlook is grimmer. Recent figures tilt towards the latter. Growth in “total factor productivity” — the residual once the effect of increased labour and capital is stripped out — is negligible. This is not the performance of a country set to win any global races.    Caution should be mixed in with the gloom. Like the Higgs boson, the economy’s productive potential has great import without ever being directly observed. How much it has fallen and or could rebound is a matter of conjecture. The output possible when resources are fully employed can be known with certainty only when the UK is again firing on all cylinders.    It cannot be a coincidence that productive potential fell just as the economy suffered a shock to demand. This allows room for the possibility that a cyclical rebound would restore this potential. For example, Britain’s hitherto thriving professional services sector lost revenues when the economy receded, and could recoup them without needing an expensive hiring spree.    Given how entrenched the recovery is, it would be unwise to bank on this. Other causes of the productivity shortfall are less likely to reverse. Unless the rocks beneath Gatwick really are awash with crude oil, UK production of hydrocarbons is in secular decline. Another key productivity driver, manufacturing, has shrunk too far to carry the rest of the economy on its own.    Per capita hourly output is not prominent in any electoral literature, but Britain’s deficit and cost of living problems will overshadow politics as long as productivity remains weak. The election campaign is yet to elicit a convincing response from the parties. They have coalesced around the usual measures: boosting apprenticeship numbers, promising more credit for business and more funds for infrastructure. This undifferentiated mishmash could have emerged at any time under Gordon Brown’s chancellorship, when growth policy was based on the “five drivers” of competition, enterprise, investment, innovation and skills.    Such agreement is not bad in itself — sharp changes in economic philosophy seldom help a country grow. But more is needed. What holds this worthy consensus together is its timidity: no one objects to better infrastructure and skills. The last great step-change in UK productivity followed the radical deregulations of the 1980s, and took far more courage. Now that capital and labour are deregulated to a sensible degree, the challenge that remains is the dysfunctional market for land. Here, artificial scarcity acts as a tax on all enterprise, and drives up the price of a home (which indirectly raises wages). It also slows down the delivery of better infrastructure.    To address this, measures would be needed: land value taxation, the greenbelt policy revisited, even more compulsory purchase of land. Delivering these would prove just as fraught as when David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill tried to take on landed interests a century ago.    But decades of stagnant growth are a much worse prospect. On 2015-04-22 10:17, John Lipetz wrote:
    Dear All,
    Just to advise that the FT leading article points LVT as the key measure to deal with the current economic situation.
    Cheers,
    John

    -- 
    
    Carol Wilcox
    Secretary
    Labour Land Campaign
    www.labourland.org
    480 Lymington Road
    Highcliffe
    Christchurch
    BH23 5HG
    01425 279307
    07912 038811
    --
    You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Labour Land Campaign Supporters" group.
    To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email tolabour-land-campaign-supporters+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
    To post to this group, send email to labour-land-campaign-supporters@googlegroups.com.
    To view this discussion on the web, visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/labour-land-campaign-supporters/fade5d5d5d2758f74bc3bf08c056f6f6%40labourland.org.