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European Tribune - Anglo Disease at Fever Point?
There remains another way: higher wages across the board, and a more modest financial sector restrained by regulators and unable to impose the artificially high return-on-capital requirements made possible only by excessive leverage. Making banking boring again is, compared to the alternative, a fairly gentle cure for the Anglo Disease.

Firstly, I agree that corporate revenues should be split more equitably as between "Capital" and "Labour" - which is another way of saying "higher wages".  Unfortunately, the pathological structure of "the Corporation" means that just ain't gonna happen.

So we need an enterprise model other than "the Corporation", and fortunately, new ones are no longer a novelty.

Secondly, the relative decline in wages  is only a part of the problem.  The greater issue is the increasing inequality in ownership of "Wealth" aka Capital.

By "Wealth" I do not mean claims over wealth issued by credit institutions - because in my opinion any leverage using such credit is "excessive", and indeed is the direct cause of asset price inflation - but "property" in productive assets, particularly land.

This is where taxes on privilege, such as the privilege of private property in the "Commons" of land, in the Commons of non-renewable energy, and even the "Creative Commons" of knowledge, are long overdue.

Until the current Danish government came to power and capped it, the Danes raised some 30% of their tax base from a tax on land values. Even Milton Friedman called this tax - which I would call a "Location Benefit Levy" - the "least bad" tax ,because it is simple and inescapable. It is also equitable, although I am not sure that was a consideration for Friedman.

With such a tax in place, regressive indirect taxes could be abolished, and some headway made on cutting direct taxes for low earners.

Similarly, a "Carbon Levy" on non-renewables could sustain a "Pool" fund to be used to invest directly in the future production of renewable energy assets, and indeed, even the future savings ("NegaWatts").

To achieve this diract investment, Redeemable Units in such a Pool would essentially "monetise" the energy value of carbon, rather than the complete bollocks of monetising something of no intrinsic value at all - by which I mean CO2, not dollars, but if the cap fits....

The result could be an expanding Pool of renewable energy assets in public ownership - but with "Not for Loss" private operation - which would give rise in due course to an "Energy dividend" to all.

Finally, I would abolish Corporation Tax, and replace it with a "Limited Liability Levy" made on GROSS corporate revenues, collected at the clearing level, and representing a tax on the privilege f "free" limitation of liability.

This would get rid of most of the tax industry overnight, plus 90% of the work of accountants, who could do something useful instead.

To conclude, I believe that we reached the point of "Peak Credit" over a year ago and that we are just about to hit the second wave effects of the "Credit Crunch".

Fortunately, the pervasive spread of the Internet and the direct "Peer to Peer" connections it enables makes credit intermediation, whether by Privately owned Banks, Publicly owned Banks, or even National Treasuries (cf "Social Credit") obsolescent.

IMHO, the real cure for the "Anglo Disease" is the widespread introduction of new forms of "Equity" within frameworks based upon partnership and trust law.

So, through a "Debt/Equity swap" on a grand scale it is possible to "Equitise" the US and the UK, to begin  with.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Sep 15th, 2008 at 07:55:35 AM EST

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