Who owns the world: the hidden facts behind land ownership

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Mainstream, Nov 2, 2006 - Business & Economics - 640 pages
Who Owns the World is the first ever compilation of landowners and landownership structures in every single one of the world's 191 states and 41 territories. The book is divided into two parts: the first covers the history of landownership as far as written history will allow, while the second shows the division of landownership in every region of the world. Packed with revelatory information, the book: · identifies the person who owns the largest proportion of the world's land and documents their landholdings; · provides details of the next 50 top landowners and lists the next 1,000 thereafter; · reveals the 100 most prominent aristocratic families who own over 60 per cent of Europe's land mass and who receive most of the EC's agricultural subsidy allowance; · documents the vast landholdings of the four largest religious groups: the Catholic Church and the other Christian churches, the Islamic trusts and the temple possessions of the Hindus and Buddhists; · details in a special individual section the lands owned by the British Commonwealth; · contains a complete survey of the historic record of landownership, starting in Mesopotamia/Iraq in 8,000 BC; · lists many of the world's great Domesdays, going back to the earliest in Ptolemaic Egypt; and · includes an analysis of the legal structures that have reduced 95 per cent of the earth's population to serfdom. Who Owns the World is a breathtaking tome of huge political, economic and social importance. It is set to revolutionise our understanding of our planet, its history and its land.

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Reinvigorating old ideas: Who Owns the World 
by Mairéid Sullivan,
First published March 2009, in Tintéan Magazine, Australia
‘Who Owns the World’ (UK 2006–US 2009) by Kevin Cahill, is the first
survey of landownership in each of the world’s 197 states or countries and 66 major territories. Kevin Cahill explains, 'The purpose of all the feudal land laws, derived from the fundamental principle of the feudal system, … was to prevent the population owning land.'
The Crown is the only “absolute” owner of land in the UK and all Commonwealth countries; 
'all other property owners hold an 'interest in an estate in land'
–except in Australia, where the Mabo Act of 1992, gave Aboriginal Australian people, alone, full title to their traditional lands. 

The United States of America is the only country in the world where land title is not exclusively 'owned' by the government. Kevin Cahill writes, 'In the USA, the final authority lies with ‘We the people.’ As the occupants of a state, its citizens are the sole authors of a state’s being, the sole source of its authority, and the sole reason and purpose for the state’s existence.'

Kevin Cahill's work has much to offer Australians today. Firstly, it indicates the seriousness of the task ahead for the establishment of an Australian Republic, free from the bonds of the Crown and secondly, it is a reminder that we need to consider making significant changes to our economic system, and especially our taxation system, if we really want our entire society to prosper.
Melbourne economist Phillip J. Anderson's new book ‘The Secret Life of Real Estate - how it moves and why', a timely and thorough study of the history of the mass addiction to land speculation, is the perfect companion to ‘Who Owns the World’. Land speculation really began during the establishment of the United States of America, and continued in Australia, with significant exceptions. Now the rest of the world is ‘catching up’, especially with the growing enclosure of the commons in Russia, India and China. But history has shown that real estate speculation cycles only serve to privatise profits and socialise debt and promote chaos and suffering on every level of society in the process.
Both Kevin Cahill and Phil Anderson provide the historical context for understanding how Classical Political Economic Theorem, the first modern economic theory, also known as Geonomics, Ecological Economics, Resource Rent, The Law of Rent, and Classical Economics, offers hope in light of the breakdown of the current Neo-Classical Economic system.
Classical Political Economics is a philosophy and economic theory that follows from the belief that although everyone owns what they create, land, and everything else supplied by nature, belongs equally to all humanity. Geonomists advocate a Single Tax, a Land Value Tax, also known as a Resource Rent. Early Proponents included John Locke, William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Henry George, William Ogilvie, Clarence Darrow, David Lloyd George, Sun Yat-sen, Sir Winston Churchill, Walter Burley Griffin, to mention of few.
The current recession is global, because no one can avoid its consequences, which are yet to play out fully. Phil Anderson explains how real estate boom-bust recessions develop over 18 year cycles, with inflation building up over 14 years, followed by deflation over 4 years. The current cycle peaked in August 2007, and is expected to bottom out between 2010 and 2012. Ireland is suffering its first experience of this land speculation driven recession. Tax revenues there have fallen to 2005 levels, and unemployment has hit an all–time high. As we are beginning to see, Australia is not immune.
Neo-Classical Economists, or economic rationalists, treat land as capital. But land does not ‘turn over.’ The word ‘land’ is put in quotes in economics textbooks, “land


Selected list of tables
Of wealth and poverty of kings and queens of power and land
Table of land distributions for some sample countries

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