The Georgist News 10 May, 1999 Vol. II, #6
Weekly News of the Georgist Movement Worldwide
First, write this down - the phone # for the Gaithersburgh
Hilton, where Georgists and interested parties are gathering
for the CGO (Council of Georgist Organizations) conference
is WRONG in your brochure! The correct # is 301-977-8900.
Also: the deadline to get the early bird discount is 10 May;
today! Registrations must be postmarked today at the latest
to get that discount. The CGO Conference Schedule is
available at their web site: http://www.progress.org/cgo
Sue Walton firstname.lastname@example.org
1111 Church Suite 405
Evanston IL, 60201 USA
847-475-0391 Fax: 209-396-9072
Table of Contents
Georgists File Suit Against Lincoln Foundation
Scottish Parliamentary Election Results
Gaffney, Business Week: "Support Neal/Coyne Proposal"
Possible New Georgist Effort in Thailand
3rd Party Georgist Rhetoric Winning US Votes
NEWSWATCH: Mainstream 'Catch of the Day'
US Press Sprawling Georgist
WATCHWATCH: Alternative News Source Analysis
The Real War: Mind Control & the Public Voice
GEOWATCH: Update on Georgist News Sources
New "Fragments" Coming
Ben Russell Does it Again
Sierra Club to Sprawl List: Tax Land, Not Man
National Association of Realtors Conference
Property Sales Prices Online
IV. FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
Even Ralph Waldo Emerson Speaks Out on Urban Sprawl
Deserving Credit for "The Georgist News"
Phoenix, AZ (GNS) - Phoenix law firm Gil Shaw & Associates
filed suit a few days ago with Arizona's Maricopa County
Superior Court on behalf of several local Georgists and, not
incidentally, the bulk of major Georgist organizations in the US
and around the world. Defendants in the case are the Lincoln
Foundation, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Claremont-
McKenna University and a number of individuals associated
with those institutions.
Lincoln et al are charged with, in general, gross violation of their
nonprofit charter, which is to promote the use of Georgist reform.
Georgists claim Lincoln has, even blatantly, used the $100
million + left the Foundation by founder, John C. Lincoln, for the
exact opposite of that for which it was intended. Citing
numerous instances to demonstrate the charge against
Lincoln, the Georgist suit demands court action to cease and
reverse current and past such activity and to see to the proper
use of Lincoln funds.
For a long time, Georgists have complained about Lincoln's
policies, both to Lincoln Foundation directors and amongst
themselves. Over the years, repeated promises of change
from Lincoln have worn less and less credible to plaintiffs,
prompting this highly anticipated legal action (GN-11/3/98).
Expect more news and details on the Lincoln suit in coming
issues of The Georgist News.
Scotland, UK (GNS) - Thursday's Parliamentary Elections
in Britain, Wales and Scotland mark the creation of a very
new political theatre for Scottish land reform. Scottish
representatives in several political parties have voiced at
least some approval for land value taxation. The Green
Party has been very vocal thereon and managed to acquire
a seat in these elections, a significant victory (See related
item below, on Audie Bock).
Land reform is of paramount importance in Scotland and
could be a strong force driving Scots' desire to break from
the UK politically. The Scottish Labour Party won the most
seats of any party, but not enough for a ruling majority. This
will force coalitions and, luckily for Georgists, the land tax is
something upon which various parties may be able to agree.
Peter Gibb of the Georgist group, Land Reform Scotland, has
agreed to update readers of The Georgist News about the
implications of last week's elections on the reform effort there,
so stay tuned. The most in-depth coverage of Georgist news
from Europe and Russia is available from Land & Liberty. L&L
can be ordered through the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation:
Web site of the Scottish Green Party: http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk
Washington, DC (GNS) - Highly respected Georgist economist
Mason Gaffney is recommending Georgist support of a tax
simplification proposal by US House Ways and Means Committee
members Neal and Coyne. While simplifying the US tax code is its
advertised goal, Gaffney says their proposal would also shift taxes
in a Georgist way.
Bill Coyne is a name many Georgists recognize, due to his help
with Georgist reform in Pittsburgh and general advocacy thereof.
While press reports seem light generally, Business Week
magazine has been offering very positive reviews. Those with
access to AOL can read today's BW article on (advertisement
for?) the Neal/Coyne proposal: aol://4344:109.B3628111.23820290.609884680
Thailand (GNS) - A new Georgist 'cell' may have just been born.
Alanna Hartzok, UN/NGO Rep., Intl Union for Land Value
Taxation, is among several leaders of MPAN, The Millennium
Peoples Assembly Network. After September meetings of
MPAN at the UN/NGO/DPI (Dept of Public Information)
conference in NYC, she and others were invited to Thailand
by Dhammakayha Foundation, a group there wanting to
promote world peace through inner peace. Networking, while
by design, unpredictable, can yield unpredictably good results.
Among the welcoming committee were local and national officials
including one of the wealthiest men in Thailand, having made his
money in, naturally, real estate development. Thai hosts paid
expenses and, remarks Alanna, "treated us wonderfully for several
days." Mrs. Hartzok's work with the MPAN and the Peoples Agenda,
on which she spoke there, is to build broad global to local support for
LVT by, in part, helping build a strong worldwide peoples movement
cognizant of human beings' inherently equal right to access land.
Mrs. Hartzok also met with the Intl Union for LVT member who, nearly
30 years ago, translated Progress and Poverty* into Thai and a
former member and current advisor to the Bangkok City Council. She
reports he's extremely concerned about housing and poverty issues in
Thailand and was very interested to learn of the Georgist paradigm.
Alanna connected the group with Bill Batt, the highly active
American Georgist who served in the Peace Corpse in Thailand
for several years and who speaks fluent Thai. Alanna believes a
new core now exists for the advancement of Georgist reform there.
*Progress and Poverty is published by
The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
149 Madison Ave., Suite 601, New York, NY 10016 - 6713
212-683-6424 Fax: 212-683-6454 email@example.com
Dennis Coughlin contributed to this article -
Alameda, CA (GNS) - Audie Elizabeth Bock, Green Party
candidate for District 16 California's State Assembly, has
beaten the favorite, long time politician and former Oakland
Mayor, Elihu Harris, whose campaign outspent hers 20-1:
Bock's candidacy was hardly considered mentionable in late
January, before the already favored incumbent Harris had even
become the official Dem candidate: http://www.callaw.com/stories/edt0119.html
The Green Party has respect in other nations and Americans
seem increasingly willing to trade the left-right hierarchy for a
possibly more sincere effort. This should continue giving rise to
3rd Party victories here. Bock's is the highest political office yet
won by a US Green Party member. She is the Green Party's
first state legislator in the USA.
More and more Americans seem to be ignoring the mainstream
press and voting their conscience, often, perhaps, just as a last
ditch effort to voice some kind of dissent, surprised the next
morning to hear they have actually won. Georgist political action
may soon rise in the US due to a growing combination of fertile
conditions such those recorded in the pages of The Georgist
News since its introduction last summer.
How do outsiders such as Jesse Ventura and Audie Bock beat
the big boys? With a Georgist perspective maybe? Ventura talks
the talk (See Sec. 2-GN 3/1/99) and Bock, whether or not a
Georgist, is at least sufficiently aware of the Georgist paradigm
to use it (See below). Aside from being triumphs gained with
Georgist rhetoric, both instances are of historic victories by
their respective Parties and both were "shocking" (to the
mainstream press) political upsets by "hopeless" underdogs.
We can probably expect to hear more and more Georgist-
sounding voices in US politics.
"I have watched our schools deteriorate, our inner city
crumble, and mansions appear all over what used to be
open space and ranch land." "Our living standard has
declined because we are not educating our kids, caring
for our sick, and maintaining our urban environment. It's
time to reverse the trend." - from Audie Bock's Green
Party web site: http://www.greens.org/california/alameda
GNS - Somehow, the sprawl issue in the US refuses to be
quelled. This has obvious implications for a possible public
awakening in regard to the deeper land question. Indeed,
US journalists reporting thereon seem to be "sprawling,"
themselves, into a Georgist perspective. More and more
often, news articles about sprawl seem unable to avoid
exposing facts which raise obvious questions about land-
hoarding's preferential tax treatment and the degree to
which public revenue pays for the profit of land speculation.
Ed Dodson put us onto a great example, an article by Tom
Kenworthy for The Washington Post, March 26 and reprinted
in Philadelphia Inquirer Here's a quote:
"The rich, with more and more competition from their peers, are
having to pay ever-escalating prices for prime mountain property.
But workers in the West's recreational enclaves struggle harder
and harder to find affordable housing and endure epic commutes
and isolation from their families. Ranchers whose spreads have
views or good fishing sell and move to the plains to continue
raising cattle rather than saddle their heirs with punishing real
estate taxes from inflated property values."
Given the long history of press complicity with landed interests*,
suspicion among Georgists remains that such reporting may just
be to enable the classic defense, 'everybody already knows and
*"The Brass Check," by Upton Sinclair
*"Lords of the Press," by George Seldes:
GNS - The Internet is more accessible to readers and writers
of alternative news. The ability of local Serbs to report on their
circumstances and what's happening among the community
inside that country seems in stark contrast to the broad brush
painted by Western journalists. This phenomonon is thought
largely responsible for the widening difference from NATO
policies among the populations of their member nations,
especially in the US, where a relatively large percentage of
people have access to the Internet.
According to this report, apparently from sources inside
Belgrade, the real war in the Balkans is a war to control
the flow of information among the Serb people. This report
reads like an excerpt from a prequel to Orwell's "1984." It's
difficult to read such reports thinking the people of Serbia
deserve the level of punishment they now endure:
[Many, perhaps even a majority* of Georgists are calling
for a cessation of NATO's bombing campaign. Such
decisions, however, seem to enter the realm of making
one a "backseat field marshall," and, obviously, Georgists
sympathize with Kosovars forcibly removed from their land.
*According to a recent survey among Georgists conducted
by Al Date. - AJM]
A new installment of "Fragments" will be released within days.
In addition to being the oldest, it may well also be, as many
say, the best of the Georgist magazines. Though run by some
of the best scholars and brains in the Georgist Movement,
Fragments has no sponsors and, "how we survived financially
for 37 years is a mystery and a miracle," says founding (and
still) Editor-In-Chief, Jack Schwartzman.
Fragments' founders include legendary figures. Of the initial
six, Frank Chodorov, Leonard Kleinfeld, Sydney Mayers,
Herbert Good, George Bringmann and Jack Schwartzman,
only Mayers and Schwartzman remain living. Oscar Johannsen,
however, is now with the publication, and Irving Starer is their
Senior Associate Editor.
Recommended as one of the best anti-war pieces by Alanna
Hartzok, Jack Schwartzman's article, "War Jobs," has been
reprinted 19 times. Mind you, all three editors of Fragments,
Mayers, Johannsen and Schwartzman are veterans of World
The new issue of Fragments will carry an essay by Harry
Browne called "10 Reasons to get out of Yugoslavia." Jack's
pamphlet, "Henry George & Emma Lazarus," published last
year by Schalkenbach, received a tremendous response, and
their new issue carries reviews of it by Spencer MacCallum,
Lindy Davies, Mason Gaffney, Jerome Heavey, Clay Berling,
Heather Remoff, Ernest Kahn, David Aronson and others.
In the library at the School of Cooperative Individualism, you'll
find a few items from the top-notch Fragments writers:
[If you can, subscribe to Fragments; every edition is classic
you're likely to appreciate over and over. - AJM]
Jack Schwartzman FRAGMNTS1@aol.com
PO Box 20038
Floral Park, NY 11002
Ben Russell of The Council for Economic Inquiry continues
his series of Geo-Media advances with another demonstration
of his ability to apply Georgist analysis, regardless of the angle
(this time, Social Security), in response to a misguided article
in his local newspaper, The Baxter Bulletin. His letters to the
editor usually draw inquiries from the general public. The latest,
"Understanding Economics is the Key," is now on the
Economic Justice Discussion Board:
Ben Russell, Council for Economic Inquiry
224 Fulbright Drive, Mtn. Home, 72653
GNS - Sierra Club maintains, among others, a high volume
and widely read e-mail discussion list on sprawl. In reaction
to a post from the Georgist perspective sent in by this
newsletter's editor, Sierra Club list moderator Lawrence
Bohlen made note of Sierra Club's official position on the
issue to the list's many subscribers.
He added a number of personal observations, as well, all to
the effect that this is an extremely good anti-sprawl practice,
even going so far as to pre-empt the usual charges that
historic sites might be razed, that rural land would become
overdeveloped and that poor areas would become underfunded.
Asserting SC's "official" position, coming from Bohlen, a
representative from that respected environmental group and
praising so highly the anti-sprawl effects of the land tax shift,
reference to this post should be of use to those pressing the
environmental case for Georgist reform. The Henry George
Foundation of America is mentioned. Here's an informative
"The Maryland Municipal League has endorsed the system
as a desired policy for promoting revitalization. Additionally,
the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has lobbied the Maryland
Governor's office to enable counties to adopt the tax
system. Additional support has been shown by Herman
Daly in "For the Common Good" and by the Brookings
Institute in an editorial in the Washington Post by senior
fellow, Anthony Downs."
The full text of Bohlen's post is now at the Economic
Justice Discussion Board: http://www.progress.org/progs/wwwboard/wwwboard.html
Sierra Club E-Lists: http://www.sierraclub.org/news/lists.html
The Henry George Foundation of America: http://www.smart.net/~hgeorge
GNS / DFC E-List -
Bret Cahill, the frank (some say brash) DFC* (Democratic
Freedom Caucus) member states that President Clinton
has fulfilled his promise to improve race relations and the
economy and that "these are the two most important
issues in American politics."
If Cahill is correct about what most concerns US voters,
Georgists here may have a unique opportunity to foster
widespread review of the split-rate property tax reform in
jurisdictions across the country as a means of
combatting an issue of growing concern - environmental racism.
This is a problem wherein poorer areas must accept
pollutive industry into the community in order to raise
crucial revenues. Should such communities learn of the
ease with which they might forego such drastic
compromise to their and their families' long-term health,
it's doubtful they would allow it. As things stand, they've no
other option but fiscal bankruptcy and/or losses of
irreplacable public services.
Indeed, Cahill's view is borne out by the increasing attention
being paid this issue. Greenpeace, the hugely popular
enviornmental group, has recently grown an offshoot to
deal with environmental racism, called "Greenaction." This
marks a new venture for Greenpeace, into a more socio-
economic realm of environmental protection.
Find out about some of the many US communities
(currently) faced with impossible choices: http://www.greenaction.org
The DFC is, for all intents and purposes, the US Democratic
Party's Georgist contingent: http://www.progress.org/dfc
From Ed Dodson / Land Theory E-List -
The 1999 conference of the National Assocation of Realtors
is being held May 20-24 in Washington, DC at the Marriott
Wardman Park Hotel. Some 6,000 realtors are expected to
attend. One of the events is a forum on "Land Use and
Environment." Among invited speakers is Steven Hayward
of the Pacific Research Institute, with whom, it's hoped,
some West Coast Georgists may be acquainted.
National Association of Realtors: http://nar.realtor.com
A reminder - Dodson's site is a unique treasury of useful
tools for Georgist education and is updated regularly with
new links, documents and events. The School of
Cooperative Individualism: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/5148
Right now (and through this coming Saturday), Dodson is
leading a Progress Report-sponsored seminar/discussion
on "The Democratic Imperative": http://www.progress.org/democracy
From Bill Batt / Land Theory E-List -
Just about any sales record in the nation can be obtained
online through Yahoo's new service. Type in an address
and find out what your neighborhood is worth:
V. FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
"I hear the whistle of the locomotive in the woods... Whew!
Whew! Whew! How is real estate here in the swamp and
wilderness?" - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1842
"Thanks for your good work and best wishes." - Ben Russell
"It's certainly good to see Georgist News up and running, and
all credit to you for that." - Peter Gibb
Not "all," actually, "some," but thank you. Without the help of
the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, I wouldn't be able to do
this project. So, if "all" credit must go anywhere, it's to them.
Also, thank you on behalf of those who also deserve credit for
The Georgist News - the many Georgists who take the time
to report in on news they locate (or make)!
For my part, I've had a lot of help and good advice, but I think
this project has far more potential. Still relatively new, it is yet
under immense evolutionary pressures and in a constant state
of transformation and refinement. And, here's a reminder in that
regard: I mean to do the best job I might with this project. If
you've some ideas for how I could improve it, please, gripe at
will - hey, we're family! It's alright! In fact, since we're all
Georgists and, thus, all want the same thing, it's your DUTY
to complain ... unless, of course, it just happens to be perfect
in every way imaginable ... Well?
Adam Jon Monroe, Jr.
Editor, The Georgist News 212-613-5766 firstname.lastname@example.org
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