“With great clarity and care, this book takes economics to its proper foundation: the earth itself, the land and all that comes from it.”
“If you want to truly understand the way out of our present economic challenges, read this book.”
“Land is a modern breakthrough that deserves to be on the reading list of anyone who cares about the ways that together we can create a sustainable future on our planet.”
About the Author
is a social innovator, systems thinker, and community organizer. As a child, it pained him to see most people struggling while a few were living in opulence. This inspired in him a lifelong quest to create a fair and sustainable world in collaboration with others. As a young adult, groomed for a career in finance, he opted not to pursue a career on Wall Street and chose instead to dedicate his life to community enrichment. Through his non-profit work, he saw firsthand the extent to which our economic system causes human and ecological strife. Consequently, Martin devoted himself to the development of a new economic paradigm that might allow humanity to thrive in harmony with nature. His book Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World
is the fruit of his years of research into a part of this economic model; its message stands to educate policymakers and changemakers worldwide. Martin is executive director of Progress.org
You can also follow Martin via social media:
“I’ve worked with Martin Adams for several years and have come to appreciate his service orientation and dedication to quality. I’ve met few people with higher standards or as high integrity as Martin. His new book, and his life, emerge from his spirit and insight—he’s a gift to our world.”
“Martin is a deeply introspective thinker. His work ethic, as well as his passion for learning and excelling in new areas, is at a level most of us only dream about. Beyond his very compassionate nature for all things on this planet, he also works tirelessly to inform others on ways humanity might create a brighter and healthier place for us all to live. Martin is a rare man that not only talks the talk, but truly is walking a higher path on all levels, especially in the areas of work, trust, integrity, and heartfelt honesty.”
Many of us already sense on one level or another that capitalism creates inequality and also engenders the ecological destruction of our planet. What we don’t seem to understand is why: For example, why does the economic system we call capitalism
lead to financial insecurity for many, even for those who, by all accounts, shouldn’t have to worry about money? And why exactly are we destroying our planet in our frantic conversion of nature into digits and little bits of paper we call money?
One of the main reasons our current form of capitalism
is no longer working is because the revenue flow from the commons
—which include all gifts of nature—has been privatized. For example, when an oil company makes money, it not only charges money for its effort and for the machinery it uses to extract oil from the ground, it also makes money from the value of the oil itself. The same can be said of the money that people make through their private ownership of land—and what banks make through their financing of private landownership via the mortgage
. This privatization of the revenue flow from nature is one of the root causes of economic recessions, ecological destruction, as well as social and cultural decline.
All of nature is community wealth, including—and especially—land. People give value to land through the goods and services they provide to their communities. For example, because people offer more goods and services in the city than in the countryside, urban land tends to be much more expensive than rural land. As communities become more attractive to live in, some property owners—but mostly the financial institutions that finance them
—then extract this value by making money from real estate (buildings, like cars, decrease in value over time, but land increases in value the more prosperous a community becomes), and this extraction is one of the root causes of wealth inequality
, ecological destruction
, and even economic recessions
Land—even undeveloped land—costs a lot of money in our society. Why is that? It’s because land has an intrinsic value to human beings: We all need land
. And because we all need land, those that own land can make money by buying and selling land at the expense of other people who have to pay money to live on it. Under our current land ownership model, property owners only pay other property owners for land as well as the banks that finance property ownership.
While land can certainly be privately used, its value is created by the community and therefore belongs to the community. Land has to be owned in common, and whenever people use land, they need to reimburse their local communities for their exclusive use of it. They can do this by making community land contributions
for the land they use. A land contribution approximates the market rental value of land, and the rental value of land is a measuring stick that reveals the financial value of the benefits that land users receive from their exclusive use of land. In most nations around the world, the value of land has already been privatized: If communities were to suddenly impose land contributions upon existing property owners, property owners would end up having to pay twice for their ownership of land—first to the previous landowner (from whom they bought land), and a second time to their local communities.
In order to transition from a land ownership model to a land stewardship model
, therefore, local governments and community land trusts would either have to financially compensate existing property owners for the land value portion of the properties in question or offer a transition plan that would allow new property owners to acquire exclusive use of the land without obtaining ownership of the land itself. Land users would then be required to share the value of land with all members of their community through community land contributions. And finally, these contributions would then have to be redistributed to all community members in the form of a Universal Basic Income to prevent gentrification, reduce wealth inequality, and create a truly fair economy
for all participants.Read the blog
to learn more.