Aussie prof says land value increase can fund light rail

Land value increase due to light rail is sufficient to pay the entire cost of construction, asserts Curtin U. Prof Peter Newman.  At a minimum, he suggests, the increased real estate tax revenue resulting from the system should be used as part of the funding.  This from an interview on (Australia) Radio National‘s Saturday Extra, May 18.  I think RN leave their audio posted for only a few weeks after broadcast.  One assumes Newman has written some posts somewhere documenting his assertions, but a quick search doesn’t reveal any.


Paradox of geoist publicity

Innovative geoist group Prosper Australia are promoting a homebuyers’ strike against that country’s still-high housing prices. It’s getting them worldwide publicity and certainly seems to be in the interest of non-homeowning Aussies, encouraging them to avoid leveraging themselves in a soon-to-burst land bubble.

But what is the message?  The message is, “don’t get yourself deeply in debt to buy a house that may put you underwater in a few months.” I hope the message also is “We at Prosper Australia understand the economy and know how to fix it.  Pay attention to us.”

Whether that’s getting thru, I don’t know.  But the campaign can’t hurt.

“Health” care reform

I don’t see much thoughtful discussion of “health” care reform. (The quotes are because we’re really just talking about medical care.  Health is much more impacted by things like sewers, water treatment, and garbage collection than by physicians and hospitals). So I enjoyed this discussion of the Australian system compared to the U. S., with some talk of  the UK and France thrown in.  Especially the comments are enlightening.

The conclusion seems to be that to make decent medical care available pretty much universally and at a reasonable price, we need to squeeze the providers and work around the insurance companies. One commenter proposes mandatory catastrophic insurance combined with 100% consumer-paid routine care (which, to give this item a Georgist theme, can be funded out of the citizens’ dividend).  This is too reasonable to gain a fair trial in my lifetime.

Renegade Economists on broadcast and pod

Melbourne radio 3CR’s weekly Renegade Economists show is now available by podcast.  To my knowledge this is the first podcasting, and the only current radio broadcasting, by any Georgists.

Main presenters Karl Fitzgerald and Alice Bleby are associated with Earthsharing Australia, whose numerous activities now include a filmmaking competition.