Council of Economic Advisors, 2016


The CEA Issue Brief, April 2016

In its April 2016 issue brief, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors stressed the decline in competition in numerous sectors of the US economy. Given the high level of corporate profits as a share of GDP, one would expect more investment in a highly competitive environment.  Since this is not happening, the brief submits that monopoly power in big business is one of the causes of weak business investment.  Henry George spoke vehemently against monopolies in his book Social Problems. George considered them to be entities that inhibit innovation and encourage resultant high prices.


While George’s focus was mainly on land monopoly, which he likened to “the robber that takes all that is left”, he was acutely aware of additional pockets of potential monopolies.  He predicted that these would grow as technological progress improved and society advanced.


George’s times are very different from 21st Century America in many aspects.  However, there is an interesting parallel between what he saw as the cause of poverty in the midst of progress, and what the CEA sees today as one of the main hurdles that is holding back the US economy.  In the CEA’s view, government can and should take numerous steps to address the concentration problem.  This is yet another vindication of the author of Progress and Poverty.  To read the entire brief, please click here.

Dr. Marty Rowland at Pace University’s 2016 ISEE Conference


Dr. Marty Rowland, a Director of the Henry George School, will be participating in Pace University’s  Environmental Ethics and Economics: Values & Choices”, June 29 – July 2, 2016 .

July 1st, 9am – 12pm Session – Dr. Rowland will present Lessons in Balancing Economics with the Environment

July 1st, Early Afternoon Session, 1pm – 3pm  –  Dr. Rowland will present Economic Growth versus Ecosystem Sustainability


The new era of monopoly is here

Land Value Tax: Blueprint for a Vital Tax Reform.


The Henry George School of Social Science, in partnership with Joshua Vincent, Center for the Study of Economics, is pleased to offer another of many of our new ‘mini-series’ courses.

This enlightening presentation compares and contrasts forms of taxations used in the U.S. today, with the use of Land Value Tax.  The course is available here, in 9 segments.  Watch at your convenience and leisure.






The unsustainability of the American economy is as familiar as the newscycle.  There is no money for social programs, no money to run the government, no money to cut taxes, and above all, we have to cut, cut, cut.

But, what if it’s not true?

Instead of familiar complaints about the national debt, leading to just slicing a shrinking economic pie differently, or worse, to Austerity Economics, the reality is that we already have all the wealth we could ever need. The tried and proven proposals in America Is Not Broke would guarantee America’s prosperity, fairness, democracy, and economic and ecological sustainability. Four multi-trillion dollar reforms: Sovereign Money, Georgism, Public Banking, and Ending Government Financial Asset Hoarding, plus a few other major reforms, show how we can have it all, if we only learn where to look.

Price: $15.00

Click here to order your copy today or call the Henry George School (212) 889-8020
Click to register for the “America is Not Broke!” seminar.


Scott Baker is an Activist-Journalist and a Managing & Economics Editor at the top 100 blog, Opednews. He is a lecturer at the New York Henry George School, President of the New York chapter of the Georgist group Common Ground USA, and New York Coordinator for the Public Banking Institute. He has advocated for economic reforms on TV, radio, web and print media, and directly to local civic groups and politicians. Scott lives in New York City with his wife, where he is a biking advocate and ride leader.



The Legacy of Henry George, Economic Populist and Progressive Reformer


Join Dr. Alexandra Lough, Henry George School of Social Science, along with other esteemed scholars, on Wednesday, April 13, from 3:30-5:00P.M., in a panel discussion of “The Legacy of Henry George, Economic Populist and Progressive Reformer”.

This event coincides with the release of the first volume of The Annotated Works of Henry George: Our Land and Land Policy and Other Works, edited by Francis K. Peddle and William S. Peirce, published by FDU Press in partnership with Rowman & Littlefield of Lanham, Maryland.

Panelists include Dr. Alexandra W. Lough (Henry George School of Social Science), Dr. T. Nicolaus Tideman (Virginia Tech University), and Dr. Daniel Cassino (Fairleigh Dickinson University).  The panel will be moderated by Edward Dodson, Researcher at the Henry George Birthplace and Historical Research Center at the Henry George School of Social Science.

The panel, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Monninger Center for Learning and Research at the Florham campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. For directions or further information on the event, please write or call 973-443-8564.





Helene Breban – Celebrating Our Colleague’s Life and Work


Join us in remembering our esteemed colleague, Helene Breban,  Saturday, April 16 at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the John Haynes Holmes Community House, 28 East 35th Street (Madison & Park).

Long time Georgist, teacher, friend to many and Common Ground-NYC member Helene Breban passed away September 29, 2015 in New York City at the age of 90.

Helene was born March 25, 1925 and was from a village in the Carpathian Mountains of central Europe.  A holocaust survivor, she came to the US in 1952, having lost all connection with her family in Europe.  She lived for some time in Pennsylvania, but primarily in New York City.  Helene was a graduate student at CUNY in Sociology, and transferred out of that Graduate program to the New School.  There she met the late Bruce Oatman of the Henry George School.  Helene dedicated herself to teaching classes at the HGS from 2004-2010. She was an active member of Common Ground-NYC, conveying her wisdom and wry humor along with underlying passion and compassion for humanity.

Please follow the link below, for further details and signup information.


(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Low Wages Still Dominate This Recovery

The big economic news this week has been the Federal Reserve’s decision not only to keep interest rates at their still super-low level, but to signal that they will stay there longer than previously indicated. This Fed dovishness has many economists and finance types indignant, since they believe that the American economy is amply strong enough to withstand more normal credit costs, and because they fear that ongoing floods of easy money will encourage the type of reckless investment that helped inflate the housing and spending bubble of the previous decade.

I agree with the bubble fears. But it’s hard to believe that anyone bullish on the U.S. economy has been looking at the data. For we got two major indications this week that American performance is still failing a key test – spurring strong enough growth to produce a healthy labor market characterized by adequately rising wages.

The first batch of evidence came on Wednesday, when the Labor Department issued its latest report on inflation-adjusted wages. Once again, they powerfully undermined the widespread view that this measure of pay is showing signs of meaningful life. The data revealed that after-inflation hourly wages for all private sector workers flat-lined month-to-month between January and February. Revisions were positive, but only microscopically so on net, with January’s monthly gain raised from 0.38 percent to 0.57 percent (the best such improvement since last January). But the December number was lowered from 0.19 percent to 0.09 percent.

In addition, let’s not forget that, for the last two Januarys, wage figures have been significantly influenced by mandatory minimum wage hikes in many states – which reveals nothing about the underlying vigor of the labor market.

Year-on-year, the new statistics look little better. From February, 2015 to February, 2016, inflation-adjusted wages were up only 1.23 percent – considerably less than their 1.94 percent rise between the previous Februarys. In fact, it’s the lowest annual increase since last August’s.

As a result since the current economic recovery began in the middle of 2009, real private sector wages are up a grand total of 3.39 percent. That’s over a nearly seven-year stretch.

The story in manufacturing is pretty dismal, too. February after-inflation wages rose just 0.09 percent from January levels. January’s 0.28 percent monthly improvement stayed unrevised.

On an annual basis, real manufacturing wages rose 1.22 percent in February – also less than the 1.33 percent increase from February, 2014 to February, 2015. But at least it was better than January’s year-on-year improvement of 1.13 percent. These results left real manufacturing wages a grand total of 0.37 percent higher than at the start of the recession – rounding error territory.

The day after these dreary wage numbers were released, Labor came out with its monthly figures on turnover in the labor force. As known by RealityChek regulars, these figures are taken very seriously by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, so I track them as well, and focus on the job openings (“JOLTS”) data. Throughout the recovery, they’ve told a tale of a labor market increasingly dominated by low-wage sectors of the economy. The new statistics, which cover January, and incorporate revisions going back to 2000, sustain this narrative.

To review, I define low-wage industries as comprising the retail sector, the leisure and hospitality sector, and the administrative and support sub-sector of the professional and business services sector. The turnover data doesn’t break out the latter, but I (reasonably) assume that job openings in the industry resemble its overall employment levels.

At the beginning of the last recession, according to the latest figures, in December, 2007, these low-wage sectors together generated 31.94 percent of the economy’s total job openings. By mid-2009, when the current recovery began, their share actually fell to 28.38 percent. But in January, they stood at 32.34 percent.

Individually, the real wages and the turnover figures tell a powerful enough story of a national job-creation engine missing some major cylinders. By reinforcing one another, their collective message seems irrefutable. There’s still a legitimate debate over whether continuing the Fed’s super-easy money policy is the best way to heal the American labor market. But there can’t be much legitimate doubt that such healing remains urgently needed.