Liquid Gold Double Dipping

Liquid Gold
Creative Commons License photo credit: lrargerich

The Weekly Times reports that water traders are double dipping, claiming commissions on both buyers and sellers, something that is illegal in the real estate industry in Water brokers pocket liquid gold

An investigation by The Weekly Times has found many brokers have double dipped on commissions, a practice that is outlawed in the real estate industry.

Brokers have been charging both buyers and sellers 3 per cent commission on the back of the $1 billion of water traded across the southern Murray Darling Basin each season.

Last season, temporary water prices hit $1200 a megalitre, resulting in trades worth the price of a small house in Sydney.

The article also goes on to state that the long delays in water trade approvals meant that purchase money spent a considerable amount of time in water trader’s trust accounts, where they are earning interest, another principle not allowed in the real estate industry.

In a follow up article, Water trader pockets irrigators’ cash,

Mr Matthews said the interest earned should go into an industry fund, not brokers’ pockets.

Why don’t the principles that apply to one natural resource, such as land, apply to water and soon carbon? Senior bureaucrats must know what’s going on. If only there was more pressure on the water speculation that is occurring. Any student of speculative capitalism will tell you that traders are making thousands more than your average inventor trying to save the planet. One shuffles paper to make millions, the other is developing tools for humanity’s survival. Why is life so hard for the inventor?

Jim Hansen on Carbon Tax

Majestuosa hacia el cielo
Creative Commons License photo credit: Fotos de Carrio

Our repeated calls for a carbon tax have been heeded by none other than NASA’s Climate Change expert Jim Hansen:
‘We have only four years left to act on climate change – America has to lead’:

In particular, the idea of continuing with “cap-and-trade” schemes, which allow countries to trade allowances and permits for emitting carbon dioxide, must now be scrapped, he insisted. Such schemes, encouraged by the Kyoto climate treaty, were simply “weak tea” and did not work. “The United States did not sign Kyoto, yet its emissions are not that different from the countries that did sign it.”

Thus plans to include carbon trading schemes in talks about future climate agreements were a desperate error, he said. “It’s just greenwash. I would rather the forthcoming Copenhagen climate talks fail than we agree to a bad deal,” Hansen said.

Only a carbon tax, agreed by the west and then imposed on the rest of the world through political pressure and trade tariffs, would succeed in the now-desperate task of stopping the rise of emissions, he argued. This tax would be imposed on oil corporations and gas companies and would specifically raise the prices of fuels across the globe, making their use less attractive. In addition, the mining of coal – by far the worst emitter of carbon dioxide – would be phased out entirely along with coal-burning power plants which he called factories of death.

Will that be enough to fund the new train lines we need or encourage the urban density we so require? Look deeper

Renegade Economists Podcast 71

01/11/09:11/365 Melt
Creative Commons License photo credit: D&J Huber

The Melting Social Contract:

This show wades through recent economic trends, explaining why the boom bust bubble occurs and how this effects our ability to act as normal, respectable human beings. Also the Holocaust in Gaza and how desperate students have become to avoid paying fees.

Show Notes

  • South Pole summer
  • Why Economic Growth fails us – all benefits of progress captured in higher land values, non-landowners miss out.
  • Why credit creation is irrelevant – uncertainty prevails when we are all spending so much on rent/ mortgages.
  • But why does the current economic system curtail the synergy between the individual and the community? Listen and understand!
  • Stop the Holocaust in Gaza rally – those chants!

Articles covered:

The taxman cometh? IRS urged to tax virtual worlds, economies
By Jacqui Cheng |
The Internal Revenue Service should start taxing the fledgling virtual economy in Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other virtual worlds according to Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson.

Second Life threatened by and speculation
The Land Use Fee (also known as a Tier Fee) is a monthly charge in addition to membership fees (i.e., US$9.95/month Premium Membership). Land use fees are billed based on the peak amount of land held during your previous 30 day billing cycle.

British Gas implicated – War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields
The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves.

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
Continue reading

Skaters Make Use of Key Resources

frank rock and roll
Creative Commons License photo credit: tunaboat

A new phenomenon is sweeping the globe as housing foreclosures render thousands of dwellings vacant and ‘of no use’ according to two dimensional economics. Skateboarders are draining the vacant swimming pools and using them to skate in. The NY Times reports that:

“We have more pools than we know what to do with,” said Mr. Peacock, who lives in Fresno, the Central Valley city where thousands of homes, many with pools behind them, are in foreclosure. “I can’t even keep track of them all anymore.”

Across the nation, the ultimate symbol of suburban success has become one more reminder of the economic meltdown, with builders going under, pools going to seed and skaters finding a surplus of deserted pools in which to perfect their acrobatic aerials.

Skaters are coming to places like Fresno from as far as Germany and Australia. Mr. Peacock said his floor and couch were covered by sleeping bags of visiting skateboarders each weekend.

“God bless Greenspan,” the post read, “patron saint of pool skatin’.”

Unfortunately for most of us, but perhaps luckily for skaters, the economic policies being implemented will ensure pools and homes remain vacant for longer than they should. Nothing has been learnt from Greenspan’s failure. The pools of opportunity held to ransom by bailout economics is keeping the wealth amongst the elite and trapping the unemployed in the shanty towns popping up under highways throughout America and the world.

Land prices should be encouraged to fall back to reasonable levels so that business can re-start, wages can be paid and then workers can move back into houses. In short, less should be spent on rent, more on business start up and wages thanks.

In another display of creativity, the youthful show the way in Afghanistan with Skateistan, where Earthsharing supporter Sharna Nolan has been busy working on a skating school for the youth of Kabul. Written up in the Age today, Sharna explains how important it is for young people to have some enjoyment in life as a way out of the horrors of a war torn country:

Ms Nolan said of the eager pupils, with as many girls as boys: “Skateboarding has given them a chance to be children and to smile.”

Land was donated to help set up the skateboarding school.

In both cases the importance of natural resources plays a central role in the lives of future generations. Afghanistan’s oil pipelines and California’s foreclosed properties could be be better managed if the community received a share of the natural bounty of the land, rather than being left for the vested interests of speculators, banks and oil merchants. Such a tax shift off our incomes and onto land and natural resources would publicise our interest in these key resources, rather than leaving the profits open for lobbyocracy pundits to channel their way. Then we would have three dimensional economics.