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Fred Harrison’s thesis is that land speculation is the major cause of depressions. He shows how the land market functions as a junction box which regulates the power flowing between Labour and Capital, and how land speculation periodically throws the switches on the productive power of men and machines, causing economic stagnation. This theory was acknowledged by philosophers such as Adam Smith and Karl Marx, and social reformers ranging from Winston Churchill to Leo Tolstoy, but it has been forgotten by today’s economists and policy-makers. The hypothesis is tested against the historical facts and the recent booms and slumps, and is found to offer a powerful explanation for postwar trends in unemployment and the distribution of income.
About the Author
Fred Harrison is Executive Director for the Land Research Trust. He studied economics at Oxford, first at Ruskin College and then at University College, where he read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. His MSc is from the University of London. He cut short a career as an investigative journalist in Fleet Street and embarked on a 10-year sojourn in Russia, following the collapse of communism, acting as an advisor to a number of Russian academic and political bodies, including the Duma (parliament), in order to help the Russian people avoid the economics favoured by rent-seekers.
“Harrison’s book is a formidable challenge to the apologists for the status quo which raises, and goes a long way toward answering, the questions that gnaw at the intellects and consciences of all thinking men and women.” —The American Journal of Economics and Sociology
“This is a brilliantly-written and extremely readable book … not unduly difficult for those with no more than an elementary grasp of economic concepts.” —Journal of General Management