General Meeting July 2009
CEJ General Meeting
Friday 10th July 2009 at the SES
The subject of the meeting was “The scope of economic policy that the CEJ should encompass”. The contributors were:
Adrian Wrigley (SFRG)
Chris Glover (ALTER)
David Triggs (HGF).
Adrian said it was important for the CEJ to seek involvement with other groups concerned with monetary and fiscal policies. It was, however, important that the CEJ maintained a consistent approach. Other related issues such as fossil fuels, the environment and welfare were also important. In discussion, the relevance of citizens income or dividend was regarded as an approach that could help overcome the difficulty of explaining the importance of annual LVT.
Chris spoke about the relevance of the banking system to land reform and its influence on land value. He explained the effect on the inter-bank market of sub-prime lending. It was necessary to re-establish controls on bank lending and stop the casino system that had been operating. The importance of reintroducing a proper balance between savings and lending within the retail banking system was emphasised. In discussion matters such as the separation of retail and investment banking, which might be difficult to achieve, and the need for a profits tax on utilities were raised.
References to publications were made: ‘Princes (?) of the Yen’; ‘The Black Swan’; and ‘Money as Debt’ plus the DVD on ‘Caritas Veritate’, a philosophical statement, for those wishing to pursue the issues further.
David said that the scope to be followed by the CEJ must be based on principle. Land value is created by the community and should be returned to them. He recognised there are difficulties in the method and scope of implementation. He was sympathetic to monetary reform but it was not the role of banks to create money. Rather this was a task for government to control the money supply. There was, therefore, a need to agree the proper roles of government and banks. He was happy to support a citizens income provided by LVT, based on rental value, was the basis for this.
The general discussion was wide-ranging. The current tax system is inappropriate and unsustainable. Debt should be removed by means of a citizens dividend. (People could look up ‘money as debt’ on google.) While land is the major element that should be available to the community there are others that are important. A paper by Ole Lefmann would be made available to the steering group. There continues to be a need to get policy makers and politicians to understand the economic principles we are expounding. The CEJ should be prepared to engage with other organisations dealing with other related aspects of the economic system. However, it was agreed that the CEJ should not major on wider aspects such as money creation. Nevertheless, it was realised that we needed to be prepared to deal with such issues in our contacts with policy makers and influencers.
Organisations represented on the CEJ: Land Value Taxation Campaign (LVTC), International Union for Land Value Taxation (IU), Systemic Fiscal Reform Group (SFRG), Land is Free (LiF), Labour Land Campaign (LLC), Professional Land Reform Group (PLRG), Social Liberalist Party (SLP), Christian Council for Monetary Justice (CCMJ), Global Justice Movement (GJM), Henry George Foundation (HGF), Action for Land Taxation (ALTER), School of Economic Science (SES), The UNITAX Association.