sclmlw avatar
Mark Webb

@sclmlw

Associate Director of Clinical Research in oncology; also working on development research through land reform.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-webb-phd-09489148/
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About Me

My day job is in development of new cancer treatments. Our company is developing treatments to toxicities of cancer drugs that will make cancer treatment less terrible, and allow patients to stay on full treatment doses.

I'm also building a project to explore land reform through direct land purchases. I plan to redistribute land from landowners to farmers. If we can demonstrate efficacy quantitatively, this will make the case for land reform efforts much stronger. It will allow those working in the development space to quantitatively judge what kind of return they can expect on future land reform efforts.

Projects

Comments

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Mark Webb

8 days ago

@prudentj This is the current place to go for updates. I can't promise any news in the offing, but if you want to be more directly involved let me know.

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Mark Webb

8 days ago

@saulmunn This is a good concern, and one that I've been pondering for some time. Part of why I wanted to start purchases from current landowners, instead of buying land on the open market, is to specifically avoid driving up property values. However, as you suggest if people know there's someone going around buying all the land this will encourage holdouts - which could defeat the whole redistribution project.

One mitigating factor is that I don't think we need to buy 100% of the land to help propel a country down the development path. I'm not sure yet what percent of the land we'll need, but a significant percentage of the tenant farmers will likely be able to transition toward industrial or other non-farm work without us having to buy the land directly.

A concern with this is that landowners who hold out too long may actually have the opposite problem once we no longer need to use land transfers to spur economic growth: that having missed their chance to sell for land transfers, farmland values may not equal what they could have gotten from us. Hopefully, economic growth will make that land valuable for other reasons by that point, and they will not feel that the project has harmed their financial interests.

A big open question is what percent of the land would need to be part of the land transfer to drive self-sufficient economic growth. If we knew this going in, we could start by redistributing that percentage and avoiding the market distortion from the outset ... in theory. In practice, I imagine it'll be a lot more messy and we won't know how much so until we encounter these problems in the real world.

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Mark Webb

14 days ago

Does this project need additional funding beyond what Scott contributed? Yes and no.

To get started, no. I'm going to be using the ACX grant to work out the logistics and get a dollar amount for buying a first farm.

Once I've identified an opportunity, I will need additional funding to make the first farm purchase. I'll be seeking additional funding once I get to that point. If you're interested in getting involved at that level, please let me know. I'm considering crowdfunding efforts, along with other potential sources of funding.