The unsustainability of free-market economics | Letters

An obsession with maintaining high land and house prices has created a vicious class system, writes DBC Reed; notions of a universal basic income should be dropped for job guarantees, says Mike Ellwood; plus letters from David Murray and Derrick Joad

If there is any connecting theme in the continuous run of current scandals (Turn our anger into action with a summer of solidarity, 24 April), it is the breakdown of the old pre-Thatcher mixed economy, where there was a bipartisan focus on maintaining full employment. Now there is, instead, an obsession with maintaining high land and house prices – what some land economists call homeownerism – which has created a vicious class system, whereby at one end of a Midland village you have young couples paying £800 a month in house rent, and at the other older people profiteering from the rents of six such houses.

No movement concerned with social justice can ignore this scam. It is corrupt because people are bribed by continuously rising untaxed capital gains into voting for rightwing parties. It deprives the young of spending power forgone in rents and high mortgages which, as Henry George showed, prevented people from moving where there was new work and affording any more than the basics.
DBC Reed
Northampton

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Source: the guardian
The unsustainability of free-market economics | Letters