Electronic Break-In at RSF Offices:
Last night, private email accounts of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation were accessed for several hours by an unauthorized and, as yet, unknown, party. The possible ramifications of this are also yet unclear. RSF Director Ted Gwartney and others are assessing the possible scope of damage in terms of lost files and email. Seperate accounts have been set up to insure the safety of RSF's online files, but the time wasted by the necessity for such measures has been and will be missed.
It seems likely this was part of cyber-guerilla activity meant to raise awareness about protests of international financial arrangements timed to coincide with the G-8 economic summit which began today in Germany (See 1st item, Section II). If so, this would be an ironic mistake since Georgist reform is the only non-catastrophic threat to Earth's dominance by international financial institutions.
It has also been postulated that the timing of the G-8 summit protest for this electronic break-in is simply cover for far more deliberate and far less well-intentioned parties. We may never find out. - AJM
I. EDITOR'S NOTE
Georgist Response to GN Editorial on WSJ's Lincoln Article:
'Correct (But Uncordially Stated)'
Big Weekend for Global Finance Community, Protesters
World Bank May Fund Population Transfer in China
US East Coast Coming On; Now, Connecticut Taking Lead
Near Passage, Vote Delayed on New Jersey Land Tax Law;
Labor Leaders Rescind Official Opposition to ACR-145
Euro-News: EU Elections, German Study, HG Cafe
John Fisher, Green Party of Ontario Lose Parliamentary
Elections; Agenda May Be Winning Anyway
Oregon Georgists Push Lawmakers, Seek Endorsements
Outreach Potential for Approach of Georgist Conferences
PRESSWATCH: Chronicling Mainstream News' Shenanigans
Wall Street Journal Receiving Letters from Georgists Around
the World - Still No Corrections; Georgist News' Editorial #2
NEWSPEAK UPDATE: "The Wealth Effect" by Edward Dodson
WATCHWATCH: Alternative Information Source for WSJ Writers
GEOWATCH: Georgist Media Updates Galore
IV. NETWORK TOOLS & OPPORTUNITIES
LA Times Reporter Seeks Answer to Housing Cost Rise
US Urban Land Prices, Statistical Comparisons on Web
V. OTHER NOTES
Corrections, Comments to Editorial on WSJ Article
You'll not be shocked to learn zero readers responded to the Georgist News editorial to the Wall Street Journal, to say they are favorable toward sales taxes, payroll taxes or any other arbitrary disincentive to the quality of human life. It was, indeed, easy to predict you would agree with that part of my complaint about the way Georgists were portrayed in WSJ's piece on the Lincoln lawsuit.
Another concurrence of Georgist opinion, however, is that the tone of my diatribe was a little on the scathing side. And, ... I agree. However ... (!), the WSJ most certainly should correct their "mistakes," at least those concerning a $100 million+ lawsuit, a possible conflict of interest and the rather obvious subversion of a humanitarian non-profit organization.
A lot more interesting follow-up on the WSJ baloney-fest (I mean, "article,") is in this issue of the Georgist News! (See Sections III & V.)
Adam Jon Monroe, Jr. email@example.com 212.613.5766
Earth (GNS) - Sunday, 30, 000 people gathered in the streets of London to lobby for third world debt cancellation. The event was organized by Jubilee 2000 and also involved demonstrations in 20 other nations.
As part of the event, 12 million sympathizers' signatures were put to sea on a barge bound for Cologne, Germany where rock star activists, Bono and Bob Geldof will try to present them to attendees of the G-8 economic summit.
The summit starts today and lasts through the weekend. Media reports suggest the 6 NATO nations will align to some degree, leaving Japan and Russia with less sway in any agreements made.
More protests of the problems associated with international financial arrangements and economic globalization are being predicted for this weekend, in cities around the world, by alternative news agents such as http://www.oneworld.net
Background articles on Jubilee, the International Finance System and related
topics are available in the archives of the Progress Report,
Earth (GNS) - Reports are World Bank is considering a loan of $160 million for the "China Western Poverty Reduction Project," which would, apparently, be used for massive population transfers aimed specifically at dissolving Tibetan culture. A final decision is expected June 24.
It's thought by many that World Bank is more interested in public opinion than other global finance giants. Evidence of that possibility has been borne out somewhat, such as with the Internet forum on land reform sponsored by World Bank last fall to which Georgists made significant contribution. More recently, Georgists have been part of an online discussion World Bank sponsored, *"Attacking Poverty."
Hope exists among Tibetans and sympathetic parties, that letters to World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn might persuade that organization to hold back funding for the project in Tibet. Georgists who would like to help can write Mr. Wolfensohn at:
The World Bank - firstname.lastname@example.org
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
*"Attacking Poverty" Forum:
USA (GNS) - Connecticut has taken the lead among the many American East Coast States now moving toward the establishment of Georgist tax reform.
This is the word from Josh Vincent, Director of the Henry George Foundation of America and the Center for the Study of Economics. In a telephone interview last week, he explained that for the past four years, the oddly named Connecticut State Legislator, Jefferson Davis, has been promoting the sensibility of shifting taxation off of the productive activites of the people and onto land value speculation. This year, however, Vincent says "looks like the year ..."
Recently approved by the Connecticut House of Representatives' Finance
Committee, House Bill #6904 is on its way to the full house for a vote. Stay
tuned for more details on Connecticut's progress with systemic land reform.
The following is from the Friday 11 May session of the Connecticut General Assembly. Connecticut's official web site is amazingly detailed and well-maintained, yet rapidly navigable, http://www.state.ct.us
The Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding reported through REP. MCDONALD of the 148th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.
An Act Concerning Land Value Taxation.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Section 12-62a of the general statutes is repealed and the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(a) Each municipality, as defined in section 7-381, shall establish a uniform assessment date of October first.
(b) Each such municipality shall assess all property for purposes of the local property tax at a uniform rate of seventy per cent of present true and actual value, as determined under section 12-63. For assessment years commencing on and after October 1, 1999, any targeted investment community, as defined in section 32-222, by ordinance adopted by its legislative body, may (1) classify real estate as (A) land or land exclusive of buildings, or (B) buildings on land, and (2) establish a different rate of property tax for each class, provided the higher rate shall apply to land or land exclusive of buildings.
History of the 1999 version of this bill: www.cga.state.ct.us/billstatus/billstatus.asp?bill_num=6904&Go=Go%21
On the other hand, the New Jersey Assembly vote on Michael Arnone's land tax bill, #ACR-145, scheduled for last Thursday has, somehow, been delayed. Arnone is reported to have been surprised, but Josh Vincent said such "backstairs methods" should not be unexpected. As for details, Vincent offered that "the powers that be are very powerful."
As reported in GN earlier this year, leaders of America's largest union, the AFL-CIO were talked into signing an opposing letter to ACR-145 just prior to a late April pre-vote Assembly hearing.
Shortly thereafter, Vincent supplied Arnone's office with copies of position
papers that were, then, forwarded to the labor representatives who have,
since, rescinded their official opposition to the bill, but have not yet
decided to lend their support to Arnone's proposed state constitutional
amendment, bill #ACR-145: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/9899/Bills/acr/145_r1.htm
Europe (Tony Vickers/GNS) - As I sit down to write, ballot papers in 15 countries are starting to be counted in the world's only international representative election. The result could affect the progress of Georgist reform here significantly.
It has been widely predicted that parties of the European Liberal Democrat & Reformers (ELDR) group in Strasbourg will make big gains, possibly enough to hold the balance in a Socialist-led Parliament. Add to that the shift of power from Council of Ministers (Heads of national governments meeting and deciding in total secrecy) towards Parliament and you have potential for Georgists within ELDR like Chris Huhne to make a difference to the evolving tax reform agenda across Europe, which is already exploring how to reduce taxes on employment.
The pattern emerging from the British part of these Euro-elections is that
Lib Dems will win 14 seats out of 85 (up from only 2 in 1994) and Greens may
get one seat. Generally, the governing Labour Party did very badly and
Conservatives (Anti-Europe) very well.
Recently, we were visited here in London by German Masters student, Rolf Josten. He is studying at the Institut fur Biodenmanagement in Dortmund. He had contacted HGF-GB some time ago and is familiar with Roy Douglas.
Josten's first degree was in Town Planning. He speaks excellent English. His
study is of the potential of Land Value Rating in Germany. It includes a
detailed assessment of two cities and a study of Australian experience. His
conclusions are positive and appear to be endorsed by his supervisor - Prof.
Dr-jur. Hartmut Dieterich - according to Roy. Yes, they both know of Henry
The idea of a Henry George Cafe in London has aroused great interest among environmentalists here, as well as eliciting a response from David Giesen of San Francisco who sounds as though he'd be prepared to come over here and make it happen! Giesen's offer has been passed to property owner Don Riley. HGF is reluctant to put its limited capital funds into the project without much more study of the business plan, which it expects to be produced by a semi-detached consortium.
Henry George Foundation of Great Britain
Canada (GNS) - Along with other Green Party candidates for high level office in Canada, John Fisher, the Georgist activist running for Parliament on the ballot of the Green Party of Ontario, was unsuccessful in the June 3 election. Fisher was was vying to represent his district, Elgin-Middlesex-London.
As often seems the case with '3rd Parties,' losing elections doesn't mean losing control of the public agenda.
In fact, in another part of Canada, beautiful British Columbia, 'the fix is in.' Though tentatively worded, the provincial budget, announced a few weeks ago, contains a commitment to begin dialogue on how to shift taxes from productivity to the use of resource.
Alan Thein Durning, co-author of *Tax Shift, Director of Northwest Environment Watch and main speaker at last year's big Georgist Conference, has been instrumental in fostering public awareness of the sensibility of such "tax shifting," a term people may soon begin hearing more often in other parts of North America.
Durning attributed progress to "activists in B.C. from environmental and labor movements, and members of the legislative assembly, especially Joan Sawicki." Northwest Environment Watch has helped a lot though, by blanketing the province with copies of their book, *Tax Shift.
*Tax Shift is available through Northwest Environment Watch, at
http://www.northwestwatch.org as well as the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, at
Oregon Georgists would like to make theirs the next North American 'province' to get hip to tax shifting and have done much to make that happen. The state's Geonomy Society asked the Georgist News to forward the following to readers.
If you have credentials that may impress politicians, we got some politicians that need impressing. Please:
1) modify the below if you must, putting changes IN CAPS,
2) sign it (or otherwise communicate your support to me),
3) return it ASAP, after you
4) make a copy and circulate it to other credentialed, supportive,
potential signatores ASAP. Thanks.
House and Senate
Salem OR 97310
re: HB 2473
Having spent our professional lives concerned about government, economics, and public finance, we urge you to investigate the possible benefits from the Environmental Tax Shift (HB 2473).
Already, a half dozen nations in Western Europe have begun to shift taxes off things people do want, such as income, on to things people don't want, such as pollution. Were this session of the legislature to authorize research, you could weigh the results of this shift. In Holland, where waste is taxed, businesses _increased_ profits. In Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh and 15 other cities tax land higher than buildings, development was drawn into urban areas, countering sprawl. Another variant is to use congestion pricing in lieu of higher gasoline taxes to dilute rush hour.
There are many examples to examine. The knowledge gained should help you craft tax policy that induces real economic growth rather than reward the inefficiencies which are becoming harder to afford. Please give HB 2473 the fullest attention it deserves. Thank you. And please know that we stand ready to offer any professional assistance within our capacity.
Very truly yours,
signatories and positions (for identification only) in the order received so far:
James Robertson, former British Cabinet official, director of inter-bank research
William Batt, former Fiscal Policy Analyst, New York State Legislature
Nic Tideman, Professor of Economics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Mason Gaffney, Professor of Economics, University of California - Riverside
Fred Thompson, Atkinson School of Business, Willamette Univ.
Jim Mann, consultant, author of TOMORROW'S GLOBAL COMMUNITY: HOW THE INFORMATION DELUGE IS TRANSFORMING BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY; bio in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA
Jim Horner, Professor of Economics, Cameron University (European MBA
Tom Gihring, consultant, co-winner of 1999 Amer. Planning Assoc. Award,
formerly at Portland State Univ.
Tom Sherrard, Director of Foundation for Economic Justice, a nonprofit
public service California Corporation; Member of the California Bar.
Fred Foldvary, Professor of Economics, John F. Kennedy University,
David L. Cameron, Professor of Law, Willamette University College of Law
Pete Sorenson, lawyer, former congressional legislative assistant, former Oregon state senator, cureent Lane County Commissioner
Eben Fodor, Ph.D., Fodor & Associates Community Planning Consulting
Godfrey Dunkley, former president, South African Institute of Certified Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, president, SA Revenue Research Group.
Jeffery J. Smith
President, Geonomy Society
1611 SE Nehalem St, #2, Portland, Oregon 97202-6700, USA
503/236-1968; Fax 503/760-4932; email@example.com
USA (GNS) - The annual conference of the CGO (Council of Georgist Organizations) will be taking place soon in Gaithersburg, MD, just outside Washington, DC. Immediately following this will be another conference on Georgist education, sponsored by the Henry George Institute and the Arden Gild of Arden, Delaware, the single tax community where it will take place.
Both are expected to be significant opportunities for both Inter-Georgist communications and public outreach.
Georgists are being urged to make the most of these upcoming events as
*reference to news publications and to groups of labor activists,
environmentalists, economists, journalists, historians, sociologists and
other related parties whose interests or efforts intersect with that of
"Best Practices" are, usually, a set of useful methods of reform for one or another social problem. The phrase is also sometimes applied to modes of activism. Among many of the interesting things Georgist educators will discuss at the Arden Education Coneference, will be the "Best Practices" they've found for reaching people, of various political and/or philosophical persuasion, with the Georgist perspective.
What would be on your list of "Best Practices" for Georgists?
CGO Member Org Reminder:
Members of the Council of Georgist Organizations are required to submit "registered agency" forms by June 25. This is necessary to give CGO staff and officers due notice regarding who will cast each member organization's vote at the annual meeting.
For more CGO info:
Scott W Walton & Associatesswalton@interaccess.com
1111 Church Suite 405, Evanston IL, 60201 USA
847-475-0391(V) 209-396-9072 (Fax-Email) 847-475-3776 (Alt. Fax)
*Announcements and all the essential information on the upcoming CGO
conference is at their web site, http://www.progress.org/cgo
And, that for the Education Conference in Arden is at the site of the Henry George Institute, http://www.henrygeorge.org Both are compelling promotions.
New York City (GNS) - Tonight (Friday 6/18), the New York Henry George School (121 E. 30th St.) is sponsoring a free seminar on the Russian reform process, especially plans to enact Georgist tax and land reform. It starts at 7 PM and will feature first-hand reports and analysis from Ted Gwartney, Director of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, economist and author, Michael Hudson, and Anne Williamson, an expert on Russia who has written for the New York Times, Spy Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
For more on this event call HGS-NYC at 212.889.8020.
Wall Street Journal Hears from More Georgists
At least 9 Georgists have sent letters to the editors of the Wall Street Journal regarding Michael Phillips' article about a lawsuit against the Lincoln Foundation. There has been no retraction or correction of any of the piece's offensive apects or, for that matter, any response whatever from the Wall Street Journal.
In the WSJ section "Marketplace," Phillips, whether or not unwittingly, goes along with the wholly false assertion as if it were a matter of fact, that some "Georgists" have a favorable view toward taxes on labor, sales and such. This is the same assertion Lincoln Foundation directors, now defendants in the lawsuit for violating their non-profit charter, put forward as defense for attempting to influence governments with Georgist reform in place or under consideration, to abandon it.
In addition to stipulating only "hard-line" Georgists actually approve shifting taxes to land's rental value, Phillips' article takes a dim view of the case in general. Despite the necessity to explain something of the difference between land value taxation and taxes on homes and buildings, the overarching perspective of the piece seems intended to foster doubt about the merits of both the case against Lincoln and plaintiffs therein.
Georgists are used to being maligned (when mentioned) by educators and media companies, of course, since land speculation garners the lion's share of those interests' profit. In this instance, however, fear of a different brand of justice may cause public land rent opponents to overplay their hand.
Use of the media to control public awareness and perspective has lost a significant degree of effectiveness due to the evolution of social interaction and communications such as with the Internet. This could bring about a different outcome in the Lincoln case than may have been possible beforehand.
Speaking of the Internet, I've posted several more letters to the editor of
The Wall Street Journal, courtesy copies of which were received at The
Georgist News, in the Economic Justice Discussion Room. Some of them are
actually extremely well-written pieces of (Georgist) journalism in and of
themselves. Take a look; this is some really good stuff:
In fact, I've been inspired to write again to WSJ. See if you like it better than my first. This is good practice, I think, and fun! Maybe the Phillips piece should be part of a worksheet in one of our Georgist education courses - as an exercise to demonstrate their undertanding of Georgist theory, students could write (and, of course, mail) responses to the Wall Street Journal regarding the Phillips piece. It's probably a safe bet the exercise could remain in use for some time and, who knows, maybe, one day, folks at the WSJ will read one of them.
[To save space for other items in this issue of The Georgist News, I've
posted my latest along with others' letters to the editors of WSJ in the
Economic Justice Discussion Room,
NEWSPEAK UPDATE: The Wealth Effect
From Edward Dodson
"Today's Business" (6/4/99) reports: "Nearly 15% of home buyers [in Calfornia] are using proceeds from the stock market to help cover their down payment costs [when purchasing a home]."
Economists refer to this as a "wealth effect." Hidden behind this is that
many home buyers are required to borrow against a retirement-savings account
or sell stock in order to raise necessary funds. The "wealth effect" seems to
be rather considerably benefiting the sellers of existing housing and land
Edward Dodson's web site, the School of Cooperative Individualism, contains a virtual library of useful and interesting documents and reference material: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/5148
The "Intellectual Matchmaker" is a new feature at Free-Market.Net consisting of ten questions about your interests which, then, makes personalized recommendations on people, books, web sites, events, jobs and other items of possible interest.
One question asks you to choose, from a list of notable individuals, who most influenced your thinking. One of the 64 names they list is that of Henry George.
Michael Phillips, in a 5/28/99 piece on the Lincoln lawsuit, describes Henry George as "all-but-forgotten." Yet, his co-worker at The Wall Street Journal, John Fund, called the Intellectual Matchmaker "innovative and fun." (Maybe he likes the list of "all-but-forgotten" intellectual influences) at http://www.free-market.net/imm
GEOWATCH: Georgist Media Update
The 4th edition of a slick new Internet magazine called "Terrain" contains a powerfully poetic piece of Georgist literature by Geonomy Society President, Jeff Smith. The theme of Terrain's 4th edition is "The Suburban Frontier."
Subtitled, "A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments," Terrain has as much a cultural as a technical policy focus. The relationship between nature and society being central to the Georgist paradigm, Terrain seems well-suited to utilize Georgist literature of the less technical type. Indeed, Jeff seems to have demonstrated this possibility with marvelous aplomb.
Smith's article, "Suburbonomics: Harnessing Land Values to Transform Sprawl," could be an extremely hot item that Georgists will, likely, forward to favorite environmental bulletin boards and email discussion lists as soon as they read it. Terrain could see a lot of action as a result of this beautiful and enlightening work and Georgists are bound to greatly appreciate Smith's latest, apparently a modern Georgist "classic." See for yourself at http://www.terrain.org
[Smith credits past reference in The Georgist News for his idea to submit
something to Terrain. Thanks, Jeff!]
John Massam reports:
Good news! I found a Georgist letter in the "New Internationalist," a monthly mag out of Australia that fights for Third World justice and opposes monopoly and privilege. The letter to the editor was a bit unfair, so I've put in an explanation below. See it at http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/landless.htm
Also, while you're there, check out this new slant against the Australian GST
(Goods and Services Tax): http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/handover.htm
Here are a couple of topical references to the Henry George School of Chicago, that Chuck Metallitz managed to get forwarded through a Chicago area Libertarian events email listing recently.
Wednesdays, starting June 23, 1999
Course on Liberation Theology and Land Reform
Start of nine-session course. 2pm at the Henry George School, 417 S Dearborn. "Offers effective free-market solutions to the problems addressed by the Liberation Theology movement."
----- & -----
Wednesdays, starting June 30, 1999
Course on Fundamental Economics
Start of nine-session course. 6:30pm at the Henry George School, 417 S Dearborn. "Explore modern economic issues from a systematic, market-oriented perspective using the classic text 'Progress and Poverty'." No charge, pre-registration required. Information at (312)362-9302, by e-mail [firstname.lastname@example.org] and at their Web site [http://pages.ripco.com/~taxpayer].
Request from Tony Vickers:
Almost ready to go to press here is a booklet titled "Shifting the Burden." It's aimed at research funders and academia in the UK. I'd like to illustrate the front cover with a suitable Georgist cartoon. I'm sure I've seen one somewhere but can't remember where. Can anyone out there help?
[There are some, well, actually, a bunch of Georgist cartoons at
http://www.taxreform.com.au>. Charles Beard illustrations are good Georgist
cartoons sometimes. Some are available at:
And, there are more out there somewhere, right?]
Jeff Smith, AKA, "The Geonomist," is hunting for especially intriguing statistics to use in his Geo-Quizzes. Have any suggestions? Send them to him at email@example.com
From Edward Dodson:
The Los Angeles Times (6/8/99) reports: "Concerned over rising home costs, several public and private groups have formed the Orange County Affordable Home Ownership Alliance to increase the housing supply for working families." A County study released this year concluded that "housing costs have become employers' biggest barrier in recruiting and retaining employees in Orange County."
Californians were urged to email the reporter, Daryl Strickland, on how to
solve the housing crisis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet (Edward Dodson/GNS) - Delaware boasts its region's lowest land prices. Along with some other interesting comparative data, the state home page has land cost comparisons between selected metropolitan areas in Delaware other states: www.state.de.us/dedo/publications/databook/construction.htm
CORRECTIONS: (... Moi?)
First of all, not "every major Georgist organization in the world" has signed onto the lawsuit against the Lincoln Foundation, as I stated in my editorial on the WSJ article. Readers pointed out that a couple of pretty important Georgist organizations have opted to remain off the suit. To be fair to their status as "major," it would have been more accurate for me to say that plaintiffs include "*almost* every major Georgist organizations in the world ..."
Secondly, it may have been journalistically improper (or dangerous) to claim to "speak for Georgists," despite making the obvious point that no "Georgist" promotes the taxation of creative activity ... (But, since it's true, I got away with it!)
With all the disagreement among Georgists on such things as pollution taxes, citizens' dividends, and the ever popular "throw rent into the sea" idea, it was a joy to hear Georgists singing in choral union, 2 beautifully poignant songs over the past several days. Both resulted from Phillips' WSJ article 5/28.
While, admittedly, it was entertaining and well-written (and even relayed a few points in favor of Georgist reform), Georgists had no choice but take offense at the assumption therein, especially in context, that some "Georgists" favor taxes on human creativity. Obviously (to us), hardly anything could be farther from the truth. The Lincoln lawsuit does not, as Phillips framed it, concern a question of "How rigidly ..."
Georgists do speak with a single voice when it comes to certain issues. The other unanimous reaction from Georgists was in criticism for the harsh tone of my letter to Phillips and the editors of the Wall Street Journal. This instance might belong in the files of the still-only-conceptual "Georgist Cultural Society."
Yes, I admit it; I really went off! And, while I agree that, maybe, I shouldn't have been quite so mean to the poor little Wall Street Journal (I forgot they don't have as good a research department as I do), there's, now, another reason I'm, yet, a little glad I "socked it to 'em."
The unified Georgist rebuke I received, regarding the tone of my response, just goes to show what generous, kind and friendly people Georgists are. Among other desirable personality traits found in extraordinary abundance among Georgists, you have a lot of class. Anyone with a question about that should attend one (or both!) of the big Georgist conferences coming up.
Any uncivil overtones to my editorial were, indeed, misrepresentative of
Georgist communications. I'll try to be more responsible in the future with
the power of my Georgist pen, remembering with whom I associate. Please, know
your corrections are always very cordially invited. Thank you.
"Another great issue!" - Sue Walton
Thanks, Sue, but The Georgist News can't help being great - it's Georgist! It has that "religious fervor," mentioned in the WSJ, remember? I did a voodoo ritual between every paragraph (also the excuse for this issue' tardiness)!
Adam Jon Monroe, Jr.
Editor, The Georgist News email@example.com
Normal Credits Removed for This Issue
The last minute news item placed at the front of this issue required space that forced the deletion of the less essential text normally found at the end of each newsletter. Thank you for your patience with such technical difficulties from time to time.
The Georgist News ~ 1 June, 1999 Vol. II, #9
WATCHWATCH: Watching the Watchdog's Watchdog
About.com (formerly "the Mining Co."), is a popular web site that employs experts in various areas of interest, such as Mark Twain guide, Jim Zwick, who has been mentioned many times in this newsletter (Twain, of course, was a friend of Henry George and an advocate of the land tax).
When About.com was the Mining Co., guides seemed open to new information from the Georgist perspective and were happy to repair reports on their sites when having accidentally forwarded false facts such as regarding "the first Earth Day."
Whether About.com will continue to remain a truly alternative Internet agent
is, of course, yet unknown. However, with the amount of money in TV
commercials right now, it may behoove Georgists to find out.
About.com has sites on just "about" everything. Their guide to politics, Rowena Wall, seems quite invitational. This is from her latest newsletter: TALL, DARK AND HANDSOME?
We want you......to host chat for us! Actually, you don't have to be that tall - a little smarts wouldn't hurt. And maybe a coherent opinion or two on politics. Does this sound like you? WRITE ME! (We need you!)
And, in another recent edition of her weekly letter, she writes:
There's a lot going on now, and you can be assured that we're staying on top of all the news. Let me know if you have a particular interest in any subject of a political nature.
Folks, she's practically begging for it. Somebody, get over there and ell 'em
what it's all about: http://uspolitics.about.com
About.com's section on prophecy and the paranormal currently has an interesting tie-in with the Balkan War. It seems an illiterate Serbian man who lived just prior to the 20th Century was thought a seer, so a priest wrote down everything he said.
Unfortunately, Tarabich also predicts a time when "evil ones will ravage the whole earth and men will start to die in great numbers" and many other catastrophic events. But he also alludes to a time of enlightenment when men will rediscover a "real power" within themselves, and "...when that happens, people will be so sorry that they didn't discover it before, because this knowledge is so simple."
Georgists can attest to the accuracy of that prediction. The whole story: http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa051099.htm
GEOWATCH: Georgist Media Update
Earth Day Founder, John McConnell has written a poignant letter on the
occasion of Memorial Day, the US national holiday dedicated to the memory of
US military personnel who have fought and who have died to preserve the quest
for freedom, equality and justice. Read it in the Economic Justice Discussion
This registration deadline for this year's conference of the CGO (Council of Georgist Organizations) is coming up - Thursday, June 10. As reported previously in this periodical, the conference planned for this year stands a very good chance of being our biggest and best yet.
Sue and Scott Walton have managed to make these events progressively better attended and exciting over the past several years and 1998's in Portland received more media attention than ever with the expert help of Geonomy President, Jeffery Smith. This year, we'll be in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just outside the US capitol.
In addition, a conference in the land tax community of Arden, Delaware on Georgist education techniques will follow. It's sponsored by the Henry George Institute and the Arden Georgist Guild. As HGI Director, Lindy Davies says, "Education is Activism." Here's the link for more about the Arden conference: http://www.henrygeorge.org/arden.htm
And here's one for the CGO conference in Gaithersburg: http://www.progress.org/cgo/conf99.html
By the way, people which will have an organizational affiliation on their conference name tag need to contact Robin Robertson with that information before 25 June.
And, one more reminder: the correct phone # for the Gaithersburg Hilton is
With increasing regularity, Georgists are being asked, "what is a 'Georgist'?" or "what references are most recommended for either Georgists and/or Non-Georgists?" With so much available information scattered across the Internet, the answer to such questions is sometimes difficult.
Attempts are underway, therefore, to compile the quintessential Georgist FAQ pages. Answers to questions would, in most cases, be hyperlinked from various Georgist web sites. Links to other such FAQs would also be listed there. Please, send in your suggestions for this project. Or, if you're working on a similar project, write the Georgist News and let us know, so others doing the same can be connected with you.
Another project along these lines is an online Georgist reference library. Many have commented that while there are numerous web pages with lists of Pro-Georgist quotes, there is no such list which is comprehensive and includes full documentation for each quote. The same goes for Georgist web sites - no comprehensive list yet exists. Is there even a tally?
Similar suggestions made have been for a list of the very best Georgist position statements and debate on many issues and aspects of history. In effect, the sum of these might comprise an online history book from the Georgist perspective.
If you've a particular interest in or are already working on any of these
projects, please, contact Adam Monroe at: Georgist@aol.com / 212-613-5766
Example: Though I visit a lot, I've, somehow, even after almost a year of publication, never mentioned one of the best Georgist web sites on the planet, which is truly masterfully maintained and constantly evolving - Tax Reform Australia - so artful, so easy to read, so timely and loaded with new and important material, I always look forward to reviewing it: http://www.taxreform.com.au
Speaking of excellent Georgist web sites by Australians, I've just learned of John Massam's web site on Social Justice & Economic Freedom: http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm
GEORGIST HISTORY BOOK - Installment #1?
The following is reprinted from page 80 of the collection, "In Palestine and Other Poems," by Richard Watson Gilder, published in 1898 by The Century Co.
"Of Henry George (Who Died Fighting Against Political Tyranny and Corruption)"
Now is the city great! That deep-voiced bell
Tolls for a martyred hero. Such is he
Who loved her, strove for her, and nobly fell.
His fire be ours, - the passion to be free.
New York, 1897
That inspirational poem and many other fascinating texts by and about Henry
George and the land question can be viewed *in their original format* at the
University of Michigan's web site, "The Making of America." MOA scans the
actual pages from books and periodicals between 1800 and 1925 and makes them
available online free to the public. Type "Henry George" (without the
quotation marks) into MOA's search engine; the results demonstrate, to a
considerable degree, the disparity between George's significance in American
history and the significance with which he is treated by modern textbooks
with titles such as "American History."
U of M's "Making of America": http://www.umdl.umich.edu/moa
On June 13, decision makers at the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation will be meeting near RSF offices in New York City to review progress reports on the various Georgist grantees currently engaged in RSF-funded activities and projects. New grant proposals will also be considered. For more information, contact RSF at:
The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
149 Madison Ave., Suite 601
New York, NY 10016 - 6713
212/683-6424; Fax 212/683-6454; firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland (Peter Gibb) - Land Reform Scotland has now registered its own domain name. Our website (under construction) can be found at: http://www.LandReformScotland.org
General correspondence for Land Reform Scotland should be sent to Peter Gibb at: gibb@LandReformScotland.org
Georgist efforts in the New Jersey campaign demonstrate the need for a more coordinated organization of Georgist Internet envoys. Marking out specific "territories" or "missions" for Georgist cyber-emmissaries, it seems, could ease the frustration many have feeling there's too much ground to cover. Laying out more specific areas of concentration, Georgists might be better able to cover more areas with the seedlings of enlightenment, increasing our ranks and our chances.
Ready for your first mission? There are two theaters of operation:
1) Write to the Wall Street Journal and let them know their article in the 5/28/99 issue misrepresents Georgists, Georgism and the suit against the Lincoln Foundation.
2) Utilize the contact information in this issue's lead story and persuade New Jerseyans to call their representatives. For more details on these, call or write Adam Monroe at: Georgist@aol.com / 212-613-5766 (vm).
Greg Reeves of The Kansas City Star posted the following request, which was picked up by Sue Walton and forwarded to the GN. Georgists might be uniquely able to help him.
"For a panel on urban sprawl at the IRE [Investigative Reporters and Editors] national convention next month, my copanelist and I would like to give a look at coverage of the issue in the past several years. If you would be so kind as to send me an original copy or reprint of your article or series, I'll make it part of a slide show. Your reward will be great fortune, and I can make you a copy of the slide if you request it.
Greg Reeves email@example.com
Database Editor, Kansas City Star(816) 234-4366
Kansas City Star
1729 Grand Ave.
Kansas City, Mo. 6410
IRE is, officially, "a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to improving the quality of journalism through intensive training and a cooperative exchange of professional advice."
IRE http://www.ire.org (573) 882-2042 Fax: (573) 882-5431
138 Neff Annex
Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, Missouri 65211-1200
More studies of the sprawl-busting effects of the land tax shift might be helpful. A message posted by Larry Bohlen on Sierra Club's email discussion on sprawl
Larry Bohlen, one of SC's leading anti-sprawl agents, recently forwarded a press release from the US Dept of Transportation announcing a great deal of money is available for "Smart Growth."
While most Georgists might assume this money is earmarked for land speculators, there is a strong element of desparation and trepidation surrounding the issue and from the text of the press release, it's possible the US DOT is open to innovation. Instead of just buying up suburban land to bid up the market price of other land parcels, how about the establishment of more places like Arden, Delaware and Fairhope, Alabama where land-only property tax systems have kept those cities centralized without sacrificing anything whatsoever in the way of quality of life?
The full text of the recent DOT press release is on the Economic Justice Discussion Board: http://www.progress.org/progs/wwwboard/wwwboard.html
US Department Of Transportation, Office of the Secretary ~ Office of Public
Affairs, Washington, DC 20590
Contact: Jim Pinkelman202-366-0660
Federal Highway Administration web site provides extensive information on the
The Federal Register notice (Docket No. FHWA-98-4370) can be accessed at http://www.nara.gov/fedreg/ [or] http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara
DOT Public Affairs Web Site: http://www.dot.gov/briefing.htm
CATO, the Right-Wing Think Tank, has an extensive "Events List" for people who have $100 to burn: http://www.cato.org/events/calendar.html
The leadership and members of the Council of Georgist Organizations as well
as of the BCCI and many others express their condolescences to the New York
Henry George School on the death of Connie Weinstein.
"Everyone I know reads GNS" - Sue Walton
"I certainly enjoy your GeoNews." - John Fisher
"I have made use of your news. It does fill a gap." - Mary Lehman
"If nothing else, I read the Georgist News! It creates a real sense of family and movement. Thanks to all who make it happen. That's all of us, isn't it?" - David Giesen
Yes! That's absolutely correct. In fact, here are a couple of requests! 1) I get so much email and have to scan through so many lists, I can lose track of an item or two occasionally. Please, if I owe anyone correspondence or seem to be neglecting some occasion of import or news reference, or even if you just have some general advice for this newsletter, let me know!
2) Many of you already do this (thank you!), but here's a note to others and to newer Georgist News contributors. To facilitate our mutual efforts, try to "pre-form," as well as possible, items you send into the Georgist News. This is of help to a degree you probably aren't aware. Just imagine the info you're about to send as a press release and you'll notice that essential data that might not otherwise, will naturally find its way into your submissions. That kind of assistance would maximize this project's overall effect. Thanks!
Adam Jon Monroe, Jr.
Editor, The Georgist News
* * *
The Georgist News relies heavily on volunteer correspondents and writers! Email potential news items, press releases and story references to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This edition of The Georgist News and archives are available on our home page, hosted by Scott Kroyer at: http://www.kroyer.com/gns
The Georgist News is very grateful to the following institutions for providing visitors to their web sites with a link to the home page of The Georgist News.
The EarthSharing Home Page: http://www.earthsharing.org.au
The Georgist Educational Association: http://www.multiline.com.au/~georgist
10 Broome Street
South Perth, Western Australia, 6151
Phone: (08) 9367 5386 (international +61 8 9367 5386)
John Massam's Social Justice & Economic Freedom Site:
There are many ways you might be able to help this project grow and improve. If you'd like to become further involved or if there is any way The Georgist News might be of greater use to you or your related projects, please, contact Adam Monroe at: email@example.com
Web site suggestions can be sent to Scott Kroyer at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Georgist News is honored by and deeply grateful for support received from:
The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation (The Publishers of Henry George)
149 Madison Ave., Suite 601, New York, NY 10016 - 6713
212/683-6424; Fax 212/683-6454; email@example.com