December 03, 2018

To understand how the west might be lost it is important to remember how it was won.

Sir, Martin Wolf when reviewing Paul Collier’s “The Future of Capitalism” titles it as “An important analysis of how the west was lost” December 3.

I have not read it yet, but I will be attentive to if Collier gave the film “How the West was won” or John Kenneth Galbraith’s “Money; whence it came, where it went”, or something similar, any consideration when writing this book. That because risk-taking is the oxygen of any development and current regulators, having imposed on banks loony and dangerous risk adverse risk weighted capital requirements, have helped set the west on a downward path.

Wolf does tell us that Collier is for some “updated Henry George type taxation of rent on land, [arguing] we need to tax more forms of rent, including that from agglomeration, which now goes to lucky individuals and businesses.”

I assume “agglomeration” refers here to land and other assets? Of course, if that agglomeration produces cash-rents thenthose rents should be and are already mostly taxed, but, if not, then, if taxed, land and assets would have be sold, at ever lower and lower prices. How would that asset value deflation solve any problems?

Wolf writes that Collier’s starting point is one on which surely everybody agrees: “Deep rifts are tearing apart the fabric of our societies.” 

Indeed, but as I feel it, much of it is the result of polarization and redistribution profiteers having been so empowered by social media to merchandize their products of hate and envy.

Sir, I’ll stop here until I have read the book.