This comment was made at Macrobusiness (link may be locked – but there is a free trial available)
Land use restrictions should be relaxed right across the country.
Rather than the current approach where a use is banned unless it is permitted a better approach is that all uses are permitted unless they are specifically banned. That would allow change of use as needs change except for changes to the small category of restricted or banned uses.
Heavy industry might be banned in all locations except certain specified areas.
This would not prevent some land being restricted for a specific use permanently – say for example – preserving suitable land for market produce close to cities.
The current system invites corruption, land banking and the concentration of power in urban centres.
In simple terms the existing urban powers centres can easily prevent competition by refusing permission for the development of competing locations.
And then this
“…This is not a land shortage issue…”
Certainly not in a country as large as Australia.
And although land restrictions play a very important role they are not a complete explanation either.
Similarly, the defects in our system of ‘democracy’ while major are not a complete explanation either.
For me I tend towards the old advice – follow the money – as the most likely source of an explanation.
The decision to not only privatize the management of the public money supply (fiat) but to allow those who control its creation (for the most part) to do so with the attachment of a trailing commission is the beating heart of the machine.
That enormous source of money (trailing commissions / interest) translates directly into power – and not surprisingly the engagement and effective retainer of self selected psychopaths.
No surprise that the industries who most seek to manipulate the political process have clear and direct lines to the money supply creation mills.
The private banks.
No surprise that the money doesn’t seep out far from the centres of banking to the hinterlands. For the most part the hinterlands and beyond are busy supplying the trailing commissions demanded by the banks.
Get the banks back to being what they should be – intermediaries between savers and lenders and get the government back to what it should be – the manager of fiat.
We may find that we start to find more room in the public sphere for wider discussion of more effective forms of Democracy.