Soros, Rothschild, & Lex Luthor on Owning the Earth
Elected Leaders Make a Kiwi River a Legal Person, Inc
Do lawyers have more imagination than writers? What about investors, owning Mother Earth? We trim, blend, and append three stories from (1) 2012, APNZ, Aug 30, on a river person by K. Shuttleworth; (2) 2009, Land Report, Jun 22, on rich investors by E. Okeefe; and (3) Superman 1, 1978, on land by Jerry Siegel (creator: Superman), Joe Shuster (creator: Superman), and 6 more. Uploaded by blacksroogy on Feb 8, 2008
by Kate Shuttleworth, by Eric OKeefe, and by Siegel et al
Kiwi River Now, Like a Corporation, a Legal Person
The Whanganui River will become an legal entity and have a legal voice under a preliminary agreement signed between Whanganui River iwi (tribe or nation) and the Crown.
This is the first time a river has been given a legal identity.
A spokesman for the Minister of Treaty Negotiations said Whanganui River will be recognised as a person when it comes to the law -- "in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests".
The agreement was signed on behalf of Whanganui iwi by Brendan Puketapu of the Whanganui River Maori Trust, which represents a group of iwi along the river, and the Crown in Parliament.
Two guardians, one from the Crown and one from a Whanganui River iwi, will be given the role of protecting the river.
An agreement between the Crown and local iwi on what the values will be in protecting the river are yet to be decided.
A whole river strategy, in collaboration with iwi, local government and commercial and recreational users is still being decided.
An eventual settlement will also include monetary compensation for historical claims.
Minister for Treaty for Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson said, "Today's agreement which recognises the status of the river as Te Awa Tupua (an integrated, living whole) and the inextricable relationship of iwi with the river is a major step towards the resolution of the historical grievances of Whanganui iwi.”
To read more
JJS: What’s key here is the monetary value of the river. That is, how much the larger society will pay the smaller iwi and how much profit the use of the river will generate for somebody. For many successful people, the profit from land is what owning land is all about.
You often hear that the rich are owners of capital -- stocks and factories and the like -- and that in the modern era, land does not matter any more. Both assumptions are wrong. The rich own prime land in their portfolios and society’s spending for land is what drives the business cycle.
Soros and Rothschild Invested in Land
Investing in land can do more than bring piece of mind. It can bring an excellent return.
Some of the world’s savviest investors recognize the potential for substantial returns, including hedge fund manager George Soros and banking scion Jacob Rothschild. Both buy farmland and other natural resources in America and around the world. They do so by investing in the companies that make the actual purchases.
One investment firm that acquires “undervalued” [both financially land environmentally] farmland for the rich was founded by Shonda Warner, an ex derivatives trader for Goldman Sachs who launched Chess Ag Full Partners which illustrates the asset’s return.
In exchange for a seven-year lockup, a 2% management fee, and 20% of profits, she figures she can deliver the investors in her first fund an annual return of 13% to 16% -- about 4% to 6% from crop yields, around 8% from land appreciation, and the rest from hedging.
Based on historical returns for farmland, that’s an attainable goal. The average annual return on U.S. farmland since 1950, including crop yield and land appreciation, is 11.5%, vs. a 12% annualized total return for the stock market. And the farm returns actually came with about half the volatility of stocks.
To read more
JJS: What Soros and other investors know, so did Superman.
Truer words were never spoken than those by the character Lex Luthor on land, land, land in this popular 1970’s movie. To watch
JJS: The popular assumption that the profit from a parcel of land should go to the owner of that parcel of land is morally flawed. The owner created neither the land nor its annual rental value, which a buyer capitalizes into a sales price. Further, each owner owes their community for excluding them from her land, just as each owner would receive compensation from all her neighbors for keeping off their land.
Once society gets clear on whom to pay for land and resources, everything changes. When we pay land dues into the public treasury, there’d be little or no reason to pay the tangled web of counterproductive taxes that we pay now. And once we get “rent” dividends back from the local land authority, there’d be little or no reason for government to subsidize anything from schools to well-connected corporations, so government could streamline and save money.
That’s not all. Both taxes and subsidies distort prices; that’d go away Buying power would swell with less tax and this new dividend. We could shrink the workweek. And paying for land regularly, we’d treat our Mother Earth with more respect. There’s lots more to like about geonomic policy and no reason to not start now shifting to it. The shift can be step-by-step in any locality. Ready?
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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