Monday, 18 October 2021

The eighteen-year cycle

From WalesOnline


Mark Wadsworth said...

B, overlap the previous ones. I did one for E&W and I expect the peak at about 150% of trough prices, plus inflation.

Mark Wadsworth said...

.. although they are well past that point already.

Bayard said...

This just popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought it was a neat illustration. There was a surprising level of awareness of the cyclical nature of the housing market in the comments.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, any Georgists in the comments?

Bayard said...

No, I think I'm the only Georgeist in the village.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, in the whole of Wales, or just your village?

Bayard said...

Judging by the responses, the whole of Wales.

Piotr Wasik said...

Judging by responses I get in popular Polish blogs and fora, I may be the only Polish speaking Georgist. Of course taken literally, it is almost certainly not true, but I am yet to meet another one. It seems like the only translation of "Progress and Poverty" to Polish was published in 1885: - the language feels archaic to me and it predates ortography reform.

It is a disaster, everybody knows about the likes of Marx and Piketty, but George is totally unknown.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PW, doesn't Communism have a bad reputation in Poland?

Piotr Wasik said...

Yes, but it deserves longer explanation or even a separate topic (but I am the only one around familiar with Poland I believe anyway):

There are 2 mainstream political groups:

(1) associated with Civic Platform party and its satellites - they are all economically neoliberal, decorated with pro Europoean aesthetic (but not really socially progressive, e.g. they never supported gay rights and they are happy to be in truce with the Catholic Church, most of them stressing their personal catholic faith), to them anything left of Reagan or Thatcher is "communism", and yes, communism has very bad reputation in this group. Currently opposition, supported by cities, professionals on high salaries.

(2) associated with Law and Justice party, currently in power. Economically centre, decoration is nationalistic (great national history, national heroes etc.) and catholic. Very catholic. Communism is bad because it was godless but also because it was not respecting people's personal wealth (so the heirs of the inter war landlords deposesed by the Commies need to be compensated for example, here they agre with group 1, the Civic Platform). They do not use free market language, they try to start big state funding infrastructure projects, and added some big welfare transfers atop of it, like child benefits. So communism bad (but they appeal to people impoverished by the new neoliberal order who were objectively better off under Communism), social transfers good, and Civic Platform (group 1) is for the rich only. If there was Catholic Communism but with private property and conservative social order, they would love it - in my opinion.

And a fringe group:

(3) There is also a minority association of the "Left" consisting of
(a) post communists (who were actually in power pre 1989) and did not mind market economy (I would say they are the Centre) when they were in power elected again after 1989 and signed EU treaty on Poland's behalf, but lost significance after serious corruption scandals and
(b) mostly young groups of "true left", the Western woke style. They celebrate Piketty and do not criticise Marx. They are often out of the Parliament or have a very small number of seats.

to be continued (limit 4096 chars)

Piotr Wasik said...


The biggest daily news magazine "Wyborcza" (meaning "electoral newspaper", since it started in 1989 when Solidarity was allowed to stand for election), now both paper and online supports group 1 and post-communists from group 3, flirting with the "true Left" as well, in the hope of winning the election as coalition 1+3 against 2 and they try to present themselves as "pluralistic". They have always had a portion of articles for the "left" now to lure them in against Law and Order; and previously - for the sake of "plurasim". These cover Piketty and they have some articles on history of communism and Marx, from the lefties point of view. Don't ask me how neoliberals can go to bed with the left, but "Wyborcza" tries to mediate it somehow.

The "Wyborcza" magazine has a huge outreach, so they managed to educate both the core supporters of (1) Civic Platform et al and (3) the Left that Piketty exists. Of course group 1 believes they are "the true economists" and they hate him, because he is "a commie". I doubt many people read his books though in group 1. Group 3, the "young western left" probably knows him better, they are the self appointed "intellectuals, philosophers and anthropologists and culture specialists".

So, none of them know about Henry George but I see how they react to my comments:

to neoliberals (group 1), I am a "communist" - they see landlords as enterpreneurs, self-made men and I propose a tax that stiffles enterprise, takes away from the resourceful people who can earn their living and give it away to "lazy freeloaders making children" - as they see the group 2. They think they understand the economics (yes, "the" economics - they do not accept that economists disagree between each other). It is all despite me stressing that I am all in for enterprise and free markets and that there is distinction between earned and unearned income (even in economy they claim they know) and that pricing of financial assets in general does not follow simple

group 2 is not really interested in discussions on economics.

to the left (group 3), I am a "corporate lobbyist and neoliberal" - because I do not want to tax the rich or corporations (that often rent offices or land) and I do not support full scale nationalisation. They do not accept any nuances that they are observable regularities and predictable outcomes in economy (tax incidence? another way to trick "the poor"); they only want a straightforward huge income tax and give the proceeds to "the poor", gleefully blind to the fact that the young people on good salaries (tax them!) are often worse off than their parents because they cannot afford a house (why is everyone so obsessed with ownership? to social housing with them, and give a housing benefit - seriously, they do not see absurdity of a housing benefit paid to social housing dwellers). I had bigger hopes with this group, but they are fixated on taxing the income and allergic to anything that uses any free market language.

So I despair.

Piotr Wasik said...

sorry for few sloppy editing errors, like I meant "pricing of financial assets in general does not follow simple supply and demand, but equivalence of cashflows."

Piotr Wasik said...

another one I recall (from group 1, they associate everything other than themselves with communism that losers want to reintroduce): "so you say there is unearned income and earned income? and who will decide which is which? a civil servant? the state? we had it already, thank you very much. weren't decades of communism enough to teach you something?"

Pablo said...

PW: When are you going to get started on that new Polish translation of P&P?

Piotr Wasik said...

P, haha, maybe when I am retired :)

Mark Wadsworth said...

PW, thanks for explaining. So the usual rules apply - the lefties call you a neo-liberal and the conservatives call you a Commie. Sigh.

Piotr Wasik said...

The good thing is that there are many more Georgists' threads in public sphere in the English speaking world than in Polish speaking world.

maybe try to talk to the "centre"? but where are they? I said I had bigger hopes with the Lefties, because of shared goals of more egalitarian society and no unfair privilege or advantage. the Polish Lefties can be written off though, if I say to them in simple words: dude, if you earn a living by working for salary, you will be better off even if you have mortgage (VAT and income tax down, LVT up by *less*) - I get hit on both proposals: (1) of course "income tax down" is a mortal sin for the lefties, because they want it higher not lower, and VAT is a tax "on consumption", so save the planet, you are supposed to work and produce, but not consume and (2) LVT up they just can't get their head around tax incidence or pricing of a monopoly, or simply price being a discounted series of cashflow to present time, so they imagine it is "a trick" and the rich will own all the land, and the poor will pay the tax anyway.

there is nowhere to stick the foot in the door, to get started. I responded half jokingly to you P about translating P&P, it is not only that I have no resources to do it in foreseeble future, but I honestly doubt it would be a bestseller. the best thing one could do I think is to work full time (any economists around working full time at a university?) to provide serious commentary on the current matters, publish numbers, tables etc. and then others who filters it into popular articles in popular online news outlets. I have no resources for either. There is no philantropist in sight to set up a privately funded think tank either.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PW, we Georgists have to accept that we are banging their heads against two brick walls and getting nowhere.

All we can do is keep the flame alive!