How Large is Russia's Land Rent, and How Will it be Used?

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In June, I travelled to Russia with Nicolaus Tideman to meet with some of our Georgist counterparts and help create a program for local communities to collect land rent. We also wanted to spell out the alternative. What would happen if the land were privatized in such a way as to let its rent and price gains be taken by absentee speculators (and the mortgage bankers lining up behind them) to load this property down with debt? Our first task was to estimate the magnitude of local rental and land values. However, it soon became apparent that trying to determine an economic price for Russian real estate was premature. Security of ownership is unclear in a political environment ...

The Use and Abuse of Mathematical Economics

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* I thank Hans Maks and Peter Senn for their helpful suggestions that I have incorporated into this paper. – “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Hamlet, Act I, scene v) Content Mathematical economics as tunnel vision The semantics of mathematical equilibrium theory The subjectivity of statistical categories Problems, dilemmas and quandaries Mathematical economics as a distraction from economic reality The hypothetical “parallel universe” approach to economics Economics vs. the Natural Sciences: The methodology of “as if" Mathematizing the economy’s monetary and financial dimension BIBLIOGRAPHY “Whoever enters here must know mathematics.” That was the motto of Plato’s Academy. Emphasizing the Pythagorean proportions of musical temperament and the calendrical regularities of the sun, moon and planets, classical philosophy used these key ratios of ...

How Russia May Create a More Viable Financial and Fiscal System

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English translation of a pamphlet published in Russia by The Land Policy Association, St. Petersburg, Russia, April 1999 Instead of becoming wealthier and more like America since 1990, Russia is being turned into a third world country. In less than a decade the nation has been stripped of its capital and forced into debt to its former NATO adversaries. The point now has been reached where new credit merely covers the interest charges on past loans, so that the debt grows exponentially. Russia is being turned into an indebted raw materials exporter, told to sell off its natural resources and public utilities at distress prices to obtain the money to pay interest on its foreign debt – and to enable ...

From Sacred Enclave to Temple to City

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On the origins of cities as offshore banking centers - chapter 3 from my Urbanization volume, Urbanization and Land Ownership in the Ancient Near East (ed. with Baruch Levine) Cambridge, Mass.: Peabody Museum, Harvard University, 1999 The social sciences have long viewed the earliest cities as playing much the same role as they do in modern times: to serve as centers of government, and to undertake commerce and industry, reflecting the economies of scale resulting from their population growth. Such speculations assume an almost automatic and inevitable urbanization stemming from material causes, a combination of increasing population density and new technologies ("the agricultural revolution"). To the extent that political and military dynamics are recognized, they are of a character are more familiar ...

Dr. Michael Hudson's Testimony before the Russian Parliament

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"Since 1995 I have been a consultant to the Duma's Natural Resource committee, and have addressed the Duma on privatization issues on three occasions now. I am former balance-of-payments analyst for the Chase Manhattan Bank and Arthur Andersen, professor of international economics at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, former chief economist of the Hudson Institute, current president of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET), advisor to the Canadian, U.S. and Mexican governments, UNITAR, and founder of Scudder Stevens' sovereign debt mutual fund in 1990, the first global "junk bond" fund. I am the author of Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972, Holt Rinehart, trans. Spanish and Japanese), Global Fracture: ...