Western Reformer January 2018 PDF Print E-mail

BRINGING US UP TO DATE:  We wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year in 2018.
Dear Georgists and other readers,

Two years ago we downsized from the shopfront headquarters at Bassendean to save rental costs. Now we are meeting at 26 Second Avenue, Claremont, on a fortnightly basis through the great generosity of our host Owen Loneragan.  These gatherings are between 1030 and 1230 hours on alternate Saturdays.  Phone 08 9498 7515 for inquiries.

Primarily funds have improved.  The association has had no doubts about its mission but probably more questions on its realisation need to surface.  But from a lack of public relations skill or effort to obtain local community contacts the association has also downsized.  There have been several advertised public meetings but gaining membership has been very elusive and something needs to be done about obtaining and retaining female representation and stalwarts in the association.  This in itself would be most valuable.



The inadequacy of National leadership through a recognised peak body with a single public voice has been a substantial concern in Western Australia.  Without one voice the Georgist Movement is so much lacking community credibility.  There is a need for a National body that is elevated above State associations.  It is currently incorrectly assumed that it should be based in Melbourne.  Better that it be located in Canberra for lobbying purposes.  Each State association can continue on its diverse trajectory independently but no longer be the prime focus of the Georgist Movement.  For this to be accomplished there needs to be recognition of unity in diversity.



The March 2015 newsletter pointed out a need for corporate tax dodgers to be brought to heel.  The association sent a message to the Prime Minister and Treasurer about our concerns.  Since then has seen a significant effort to catch tax dodgers spurred on by public concerns over the extent of the Federal deficit.  We are very pleased about this outcome.  But it still has a further course to run and much surveillance to continue on a permanent basis against the political efforts of the Corporations opposing it.



The slogan " Might is Right" has much credibility internationally, bolstered by the machinations of the greatest powers and owners of nuclear weaponry, the most aggressive being North Korea.  We see international tensions of increasing concern fuelled largely by a variety of disputes and paybacks over resources, disparity of incomes and power, bringing insecurity and an unsafe world. Regrettably large profits from the sale of armaments and weaponry are still being made legally by many nations to meet an international appetite that seems not to diminish.

The organisation of ISIS [ Islamic State ] and its associates in terrorism is being addressed to an extent in the Philippines and Middle East but much more needs to be done particularly in some of the African nations.

The war against terrorism always brings with it horrendous civilian and military casualties seemingly against efforts being made for peace and regeneration.  Now that North Korea is approaching parity with other nuclear powers we wonder if it will be a good idea to balance tensions by threats and provocations?  It’s a matter that concerns not only Georgists but all of humanity.


We could look at the accomplishment of the Australian Capital Territory in how it has led the States in some areas of social reforms (not that we have to agree with every measure).  But hats off to the ACT for considering these matters:

• Leading in some aspects on the legal use of cannabis

• Led in 2013 in introducing Same Sex Marriage -went to HIGH COURT

• Allows the distribution of some porn material

• Legalised brothels but restricted to three Canberra suburbs

• Measures taken to reduce Stamp Duty as per Henry Tax Review *

• Internal review of Land Taxes and the transition *

Considering that the Territory can be constitutionally over-ruled by the Federal Government it has been bold in some measures, yet a leader in some social reforms. (Those marked by * are of special interest to Georgists.)


The largest transfer of wealth in living memory, by Laurie McFarlane, 13 November 2017.  Extracts from this article as seen in Progress, (Melbourne, Vic., Australia), Summer 2017, pages 5-7.  Originally published with a longer title on the Internet at Open Democracy,  https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/time-call-housing-crisis-really-largest-transfer-wealth-living-memory/

The Chartered Institute of Housing [ United Kingdom ] has described how the buy-to-let market is being fuelled by older households using their housing wealth to buy more property, renting it out to those who are unable to get a foot on the property ladder.  … we find the dark side of the [ UK ] housing boom.  ...
Whereas in the mid-1990s low and middle income households could afford a first time buyer deposit after saving for around 3 years, today it takes the same households 20 years to save for a deposit. …
House prices [ UK ] are on average nearly eight times that of incomes, more than double the figure of 20 years ago. …
Most of today’s ’wealth’ isn’t the result of entrepreneurialism and hard work – it has been accumulated by being idle and unproductive.  …
… most wealth is gained at the expense of others. …  (See Prosper Australia, Melbourne, at
https://www.prosper.org.au .)  (Also refer to the book Who Owns the World, by Kevin Cahill, 2006,
http://www.whoownstheworld.com/about-the-book/contents .  To check the U.S. $ 57 million million  public debt that the middle-income people supposedly owe to the wealthy, see the website Global Debt Clock at  http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock )


Views expressed in the newsletters and on the website are those of some members, not those of the Association.

GEA President Mark Lofts, Secretary Tom Maxwell, Treasurer Stuart Dunstan, Vice-President John Massam, Auditor Owen Loneragan

Stuart Dunstan authorised representative 08 9498 7515

Georgist Education Association (Inc), PO Box 472, Bassendean, W.A., 6934; Mobile Tel. 0497 364 124
Perth, Western Australia, http://www.gea.org.au

Western Reformer - March 2015 PDF Print E-mail


Godfrey Dunkley, who has been seriously ill for some weeks, began running seminars on political economy in his retirement home.  The first drew 16, and the second 8, listeners.  Members hope that the numbers rebound next time, and that Godfrey’s health does not deteriorate.

He is a former president of the International Union www.theiu.org , the worldwide conference of followers of Henry George’s discoveries of making a fairer society through redirecting the capital gains in land to the general public, instead of allowing those unearned profits to enrich “the few”.

Readers may remember that a few months ago Mr and Mrs Dunkley hosted a few Georgist Education Association members to play a bilingual game of Monopoly, modified to show some of the features of the original Landlords’ Game that preceded Monopoly.


In Western Australia the Barnett Coalition government has at last accepted defeat on the Local Government Amalgamations that it wanted for Perth after the people have spoken decisively against the move.  The Councils are expected to bear the campaign costs running into millions of dollars for the ill-fated outcome.  The Georgist Education Association had made submissions largely opposing the amalgamations for the brevity of prior community consultations.  Much more effort needed to be given to a conversation with the public than was allowed.

On 12th February 2015 a Channel Seven news item featured a big concern of the Association, the number of vacant blocks in the Metropolitan Area.  There are over 12,000 applications awaiting Public rental housing in WA and a substantial number of people including families are classed as homeless.  In addition a large number of privately-owned vacant blocks, being used as bank accounts by speculators, are contributing to the problem.  The Department of Housing said that many of their blocks located in regional areas are unsuitable for development. The problem of vacant blocks in Perth with its housing shortage has been vigorously asserted by this association, and has been included in more than two public lectures/seminars in the past year.

In Federal Parliament we have had the Prime Minister Tony Abbott damning the Human Rights Report on Children in Detention.  He says the report is blatantly politically partisan.  When it is the duty of the Commission to report clear evidence of sexual and common assaults and severe deprivations to detained children it is inappropriate for a personal attack to be made on the Commissioner.

We also saw Tony Abbott make a further gaffe, for which he has apologised, only days after surviving a vote by the Liberal government members on his fitness for the Office of Prime Minister. This was after asserting that he has learned the past lessons and can change - it gives concern that the leopard can ever change its spots. Meanwhile Australians await positive evidence of Good Government, of caring for the nation’s true interests and social justice, a matter of continuing concern in the Association. - Stuart Dunstan, Secretary


For overseas insights into social justice and taxation reform, read the Internet websites  www.theiu.org and www.progress.org/banneker-center.  There are others; it is educational to use search engines to find them.



From 1936 the Tax Act quarantined investment losses from other forms of income.  The Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating changed that in 1985.  He tried to unwind it, but vested property interests said that new housing would be reduced and rents would increase.  Neither of these is correct. – See “Ignore the banks, the Australian housing bubble is real,” by Ian Verrender (ABC’s business editor), Economic Reform Australia Review, http://era-blog.com , Vol. 6 No. 6, Nov-Dec 2014, pages 9-12.


On 5 February the Association held public talks on the upside-down thinking of opinion-moulders, politicians, etc.  President John Massam gave the title talk, pointing out that the stock exchange is thought to be “advancing” if the price of shares goes up.  (Share prices are inflated by banks and stockbrokers giving people credit to buy shares.)

A “healthy housing market” is one where the prices have gone through the roof (pun intended), inflated by negative gearing and overseas investment.  A person wanting to invest in shares or buy a property does not believe these inflated prices are “healthy.”  And Secretary Stuart Dunstan read a paper which exposed the errors of today’s dominant economic theories.


Dear Sir,   It has been noted that steps are being taken to place CITIZEN restrictions on a number of Australians who go to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State military.  It is correct to do so as it is not in Australia’s interests to have these people potentially causing problems here after fighting in a terrorist war zone.

There are other classes of citizens who may be less overt in their criminal actions, who similarly cause problems to governments.  I refer specifically to the big-time Taxation Dodgers on whom the Taxation office would have serious concerns over several years.  They are a big enemy of Australia.  In essence these people that are easily identified get around the laws with ill intent, giving selfish consideration to themselves and none to their own country (that needs them to help balance the budget).  They expect other citizens to fill the financial gap and yet receive all of the rights of citizenship of Australia.

The outcome is that taxes are being paid to foreign states enabling the Australian government to be cheated of its legitimate income.  There are currently some steps being taken to discourage use of overseas Tax Havens, but what about restricting people’s rights of Citizenship?  After all they care little about their citizens’ responsibilities, do harm to the State, and do not deserve much.  It may help to prevent some activities, and the resulting upsurge in Australia's government income would be of assistance.

Citizens throughout Australia are rightly concerned about the extent of their Taxation obligations; accordingly would you give serious consideration to bringing in personal Taxation avoidance reforms that would have overall approval throughout the country?

- Stuart Dunstan, Secretary, Georgist Education Association, Perth.


Mrs Eileen Bennett (29 Apr 1927 – 28 Jan 2015) was honoured by some members of the Georgist Education Association at her funeral service on Tuesday, 3rd February at Booragoon.

She had been a long-term assistant to the late secretary Graham Hart, and was treasurer and later secretary before retiring, after which she was made an Honorary Life Member.  The eulogies included one on behalf of the Association, given by President John Massam.  Among those present were Secretary Stuart Dunstan, Vice-president Owen Loneragan, former Treasurer Keith Massam, ex-member and former Secretary Mrs Ethel Birt, Eileen’s long-time friend Bob Tweed, and other non-members Peter Wright and Marjorie Bass.

Brief letters to the editor of about 100 words are requested.  Please use simple language.

A Perth rally will be held on Wednesday 4 March, at Parliament House, Harvest Terrace, 12.30pm onwards, during a National Day of Action to fight attacks on producers’ rights, living standards, and rising costs.


Professor Steve Keen writes that the mad economic idea at the core of the Stability and Growth Pact of the European Union was devised by the American economist Robert Barro, who called it “Ricardian Equivalence” (Barro 1989).  This theory opposed governments running deficits.

So, private debt has been overlooked.  In France the private debt in France was 140 per cent of Gross Domestic Product when the recent economic crisis began.  The public debt was 63% of GDP.  (see Economic Reform Australia Review, Nov-Dec 2014, pages 14-18.)  ERA’s website is at  www.era.org.au .

Address from the new GEA President, Mark Lofts, 30th April 2016 PDF Print E-mail

As the newly elected President of the Georgist Education Association Inc of Western Australia I would like to thank the members for their confidence in me and welcome members and visitors to future meetings of our organization.

My particular aim is to understand why Georgism has still not attained its rightful place in economics worldwide; how and why Georgism, despite its sound programme of curbing land speculation, has continually and repeatedly been sidelined from mainstream economic thought.

The future of Georgist development and political organization depends on such understanding, since the laudatory efforts of the Schalkenbach Foundation in separating Georgism from the explicitly Christian roots of its founder have not relieved the general anti-Georgist attitude prevailing in mainstream economics.

Consequently, a better philosophical appreciation among Georgists is now a pressing need, so I hope to be able to fill this significant gap in our understanding.

Given that Human-induced Global Warming and generalized capitalist economic decline are both setting in severely worldwide, the time for a Georgist Renaissance is overdue, so I would like to focus our efforts in improving and clarifying our understanding so as to put out a more effective message to potential audiences.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Lofts

Is your Dream of a House Affordable? PDF Print E-mail


We all need a place to live in. But this place is more than just a practical commodity. It holds an important place in your future life dreams, plans and goals. Do you feel your dreams are getting scattered by the cruel face of reality: a life full of paying high rents and mortgages?

Why is housing so unaffordable? Read the explanation here.


Page 1 of 2
Copyright © 2018 Georgist Education Association. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.