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John McCone @McconeJohn
, 17 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter

The Story Behind The Countryside Living Allowance…


How I discovered a policy that could raise wages and bring about full employment…

…a thread.


Minimum wage can drive marginal workers into unemployment.

Or push them into undesirable jobs with no room for professional growth.

So a policy that can promote employment AND raises wages is the Holy Grail of Economics

#fullemployment #wages

It all began when I was working on a project for tax and welfare reform.

My job was to investigate the revenue generating potential of Land Value Tax and the ease of avoiding payment.

That’s when I was first referred to @Mark_Wadsworth an accountant and @YPPUK member.

He calculated that a Tax on the unimproved rental yield of residential real estate could raise £200 billion. This could fund a £4,000 per year #BasicIncome…
After a while, I read Progress and Poverty by #HenryGeorge.

He argued that unemployment did not exist when primitive man could access nature. There was always a productive outlet for his energies whether it be hunting, gathering, building shelter or other activities.

#HenryGeorge argued the root cause of #unemployment was private property. An unjust system that denied those without land their birth right to access nature in which some gainful activity could always be found.

#ProgressAndPoverty claims that the benefits of a tax on the unimproved rental yield of land, if evenly distributed, would resolve this primal injustice, end poverty end unemployment and bring about a golden age of prosperity for all!
But something didn’t quite add up…

The £4,000 a year basic income that @Mark_Wadsworth calculated a Land Value Tax could fund would be helpful. But it didn’t seem enough to usher in a golden age of wealth…

…Yes Henry George’s argument seemed flawless.

I thought about #ProgressAndPoverty some more, especially the bit that talks about how the effect of capital is to amplify the productivity of labour.


And realised that basic income could raise capital today to save expenses tomorrow. A lump sum, used to buy tools whose value could be amplified by labour, could enable an unconditional £4,000 a year to transform the labour market and bring prosperity to all!

I realised that self-provision was a unique economic activity that would never saturate demand, could absorb an entire unemployed population, and, in the process, strengthen the negotiating position of labour against capital.…

Even a #BasicIncome that was not enough to live without working, might be enough to enable you to live by working to provide for yourself.

And if everyone could work to provide for themselves…then everyone could exit the labour market.

Basic Income advocate @scottsantens understands this, and wrote a post on how basic income could replace the minimum wage.…

Henry George’s Law of Wages:

“Wages depend upon the produce which labour can obtain at the highest point of natural productiveness open to it without the payment of rent”

The fact that activity on low value land sets wages has interesting implications…

I realized that an income that is only available on low value land would have a similar effect to that of #ubi on wages, but at a fraction of the cost to public coffers.

The Countryside Living Allowance ( #CLA ) was born!

Furthermore, by making The Countryside Living Allowance conditional on the recipient signing up to a #LandValueCovenant it could serve as a suitable carrot to phase in #LVT in a politically acceptable way.
(17/17) Finished!

I resolved to put get ideas into a booklet. If you’re interested, The Countryside Living Allowance is for sale here:…
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