Assessing Good Policy

What would the result of good policy be?

One measure would be that land and housing become more like car ownership than gambling.

Perhaps the following would be appropriate ways to assess policy changes:

    • Home owners should not see change in net income or wealth due to changes in local property market

    • Landlord should not see change in net income or wealth due to changes in local property market

    • Increases in income should be split between increase in tax revenue (society) and what a person keeps, but no increase in income for landlords.

    • A home owner should still be able to benefit from relocating (downsizing) to release cash, or spending cash to upsize.

    • Switching between renting and owning should be relatively safe

Another measure that has to come into play is to ensure that the policy works equally for "asset rich, income poor" individuals, as for "income rich, asset poor" as well as those who are straightforwardly poor (in social housing with housing support, or young and in education).

Perhaps we might aim that:

    • Life stages (e.g. child, adult in education, adult, retired) must be accommodated differently as needed within a given policy, such that no generation uniquely gains or loses.

    • For example, if a policy involved LVT + Citizen's Dividend, then the dividend may vary for each of these phases, and may even have a geographic element (an example being John McCone's Countryside Living Allowance proposals)

    • Some mechanism should be in place to ensure that those currently holding a monopoly asset (either through gift or through purchase) do not find themselves suddenly with unfundable levies to pay nor with a shock wealth confiscation. Instead a policy should seek to simply freeze their current situation, and defer any larger impact to disposal of an asset.

There may however be some significant special cases where we may seek to confiscate some wealth where that wealth is purely unearned and is a monopoly asset. An example would be the descendants of a person who was gifted large amounts of land by a long dead king or queen, and the land is still in their possession.