November 2008, Queen Elizabeth visited the London School of Economics and asked why no economist saw the financial crisis coming. Since that exchange, the realisation has dawned on many that it is the discipline of economics itself that is the problem. Until economics is fixed, mainstream economists will continue to fly blind. And we will continue to foot the bill. Economist and author of ‘Doughnut Economics’, Kate Raworth, calls for ‘an economics reformation’.
One of the great mysteries of modern economics is how little attention is paid to the role of land in economic activity. In particular, taxing land ownership as opposed to taxing the economic activity that takes place on it. Flick open an economics textbook, and you’ll find the idea of taxing land ownership based on its unimproved values – basically, the ‘raw’ land itself – seems unthinkable. Which is strange because the forefathers of modern economic theory, dating back to Adam Smith himself, had a very different attitude to land taxation.