In many countries we are now in the "holiday season" with happy times such as the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Christmas (and others) being celebrated. Very best holiday wishes to everyone, and further wishes for a very happy New Year. Our next issue will appear right around January 1, 2002.
Please remember that your own reports, remarks, and rejoinders are very welcome here. Deadline for the January issue: December 20.
You can always reach the Georgist News at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
Thanks to the hard work of many, many Georgists and to the wisdom of Philadelphia's city controller Jonathan Saidel, site value taxation is now a major public issue under discussion in Philadelphia. The city is economically distressed and needs a new tax system that rewards economic development instead of penalizing it.
For the controller's statement, his full fiscal reform proposal, and other information, visit: http://www.philadelphiacontroller.org/tax.htm
You will also find there a "tax calculator" that you can play with, trying out the effects of shifting property taxes from improvements to site values.
Saidel's suggested property tax modernization has received a lot of
attention in the local press. Here is a good example:
Would you like to help Philadelphia to get land value taxation? No matter where you are, your letters and phone calls can make a big difference. To find out what you can do, contact Joshua Vincent of the Center for the Study of Economics, at email@example.com or Alanna Hartzok of the Earth Rights Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Georgist News will keep you informed as this exciting story continues.
Den Danske Henry George Forening (The Danish Henry George Society) was founded on the 2nd day of March 1902. We plan to celebrate the occasion of the centenary at a reception in Copenhagen. The exact location and hours have not yet been established. We should know this by the time of the Georgist News January issue, and any Georgist who should happen to be in Copenhagen on Saturday the 2nd day of March 2002, would be very welcome to participate (we would have liked to cover your expenses but unfortunately our economy does not permit us to do that).
Besides the reception it is also intended to mark the centenary by a special commemorative issue of our quarterly magazine "Grundskyld". This special issue will emphasize the International Georgist Movement. Therefore if anyone should wish to contribute to this with a few words, such small pieces would be very welcome. To provide time for translation we would be happy to receive such written contributions by mid January at my email address: email@example.com
GN Comments: If you want the details on what really happened to property taxes in Pittsburgh during this year, and what is continuing to happen, this article will do the job perfectly.
The Busan chapter of the Henry George Association of Korea (HGAKor) held its second Land School at Busan National University on the 1st and the 2nd of November. Busan, located three hundred miles south from Seoul, is the second largest city in Korea. The theme of the Land School was "Land Value Taxation as the Third Way." More than one hundred people attended the four classes of the School:
Here are some headlines whose stories and photos you can find on the
Instituto Henry George Managua Nicaragua website at
Click on the news link on the main page for:
THE "TWO-COMPUTER" ECONOMY IF YOU ARE...
You build two computers. The government takes one and leases it below-market to a nationalized business that does nothing with it because its employees have not been trained to use this type of machine.
You bought one computer with revenue from goods you sold in the open market. You acquired a second computer from your tenant, who did not have the cash to pay the increased ground rent charge for the parcel of land under lease. It's the market, right?
You bought two computers because you need one and your kids need one for school. Your neighbor is unemployed and cannot afford to buy a computer. You feel sorry for your neighbor, so you vote for people who promise to tax even more successful people and use the revenue to buy computers for poor people. You feel righteous.
You hear that somebody out there has two new computers. Your government-owned factories are still producing computers with a 20-year old design that cannot use today's software programs. You call a friend of a friend of a friend who gets you a new, foreign-designed computer manufactured by an unlicensed Chinese company in Shanghai.
You hear that your neighbor has two new computers. You turn him in as a subversive, wait for the police to take him away, then break into his house and steal his computers (and some impressive-looking oil paintings).
AN AVERAGE U.S. TAXPAYER:
You max out your credit card to purchase two computers. You save the sales tax by traveling 50 miles to the next state to make the purchase. You could have gradually saved the money for the computers and paid cash, except that the government is taxing you for everything you earn, own, buy or sell.
AN AVERAGE U.S. CAPITALIST:
You manufacture computers. Most of the parts are purchased from companies located in low wage countries and assembled somewhere where there is no value added tax. The computers are shipped to the U.S. in unlabeled boxes, which are labeled after arrival at a central distribution center. The law says you can stamp "Made in the U.S.A." on every box.
AN AVERAGE U.S. C.E.O.:
The price of your firm's stock is dropping. You meet with your management team and decide that costs have to be cut. You move the final label stamping stage of computer assembly to Mexico. You lobby your Congressman for an amendment to the latest tax bill to exempt your company specifically from having to pay its fair share of the cost of public services. You are dumbfounded that the number of computers purchased by U.S. households is falling. After all, productivity is up, isn't it?
GN Comments: And the big question, of course, is - what is the two-computer economy if you are a Georgist?
To find out more about this discussion list, visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenTaxPolicy
To subscribe to the list, send an email message to: GreenTaxPolicyfirstname.lastname@example.org
Out of Reach contains income and rental housing cost data for the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the territory of Puerto Rico by state, metropolitan area, and county or, in the case of New England, town. For each, it calculates the income that renter households need in order to afford rental housing; it estimates how many of these households cannot afford to pay the Fair Market Rent (FMR). It also calculates what they would need to earn to pay the rent and keep their housing costs at 30 percent of their income, the generally accepted standard for affordability established by Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Out of Reach: America's Growing Wage-Rent Disparity" is available at: http://www.nlihc.org/oor2001/index.htm
Usually doors are closed to Georgists. Here is an open door. Will you submit a paper? Will you attend?
The announcement follows:
CALL FOR PAPERS
4th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF HETERODOX ECONOMICS
9-10 JULY 2002 Dublin, Republic of Ireland
All economists are encouraged to come together and hear a diversity of papers on topics not well represented in mainstream economics. Papers from a plurality of perspectives and topic areas are encouraged - for example, Post Keynesian Economics, Marxian Economics, Labour Process Theory, Institutional Economics, Feminist Economics, Evolutionary Economics, History of Economic Thought, Business History, Social Economics, Input- Output Analysis, Economic Policy, Interdisciplinary Economics, Sraffian Economics, Economic philosophy-Methodology, Austrian Economics, Georgist Economics, Historical Economics, Postmodern Economics, etc.
Please send copies of a 250-word abstract for your proposed paper to: Avis Lexton, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes U.K. MK7 6AA
Or email: A.Lexton@open.ac.uk as the initial point of contact.
Deadline for submission: 30th January 2002
JUNE 29 - JULY 3, 2002 KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Theme: Fighting Recession in a Globalized World: Problems of Developed and Developing Countries.
Papers will be presented by internationally renowned economists and policy makers from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.
In addition, the diverse group of participants will include people from the private sector, including various entrepreneurs and practitioners interested in economic policy. Please consider presenting a paper on any topic of your choice at the conference.
Paper proposals must be submitted no later than January 31, 2002. Complete panel proposals are also invited.
Send proposals by E-mail or snailmail to:
Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Associate Director
Center for Full Employment and Price Stability
UMKC Economics Department
211 Haag Hall,
5100 Rockhill Road,
Kansas City, MO 64110
Tel.: 816 235 5835 Fax: 816 235 6558 Email: Tchernevap@umkc.edu
Is anyone interested in working on this and on other preparatory work leading up to the Johannesburg World Summit? Do you know local government officials who might want to get involved?
The Local Government International Preparatory Meeting for the Johannesburg 2002 World Summit will be held in Vancouver on Feb. 27 until March 1, 2002.
The main organizer is the Intl. Council for Local Environmental initiatives (ICLEI) along with City of North Vancouver and Environment Canada.
For more on ICLEI and its goals, visit http://www.iclei.org/johannesburg2002/
For additional conference information, contact: ICLEI World Secretariat, by email: email@example.com
Have to disagree, in part, that auctioning off oil and gas leases is a good government program. It could be worse, granted, and often is. However, auctioning in the manner cited is like selling any parcel of land to the highest bidder, free of future taxes. It favors those with strong "front money" access. A better way is to sell SUBJECT TO HEAVY FUTURE ANNUAL PAYMENTS. This is analogous to improving any other land market by subjecting land to heavy annual taxes.
Jefferson and Madison handled this, on their watches, by selling western lands on credit, so the high bidders could pay over time. The program was right-minded but poorly administered, at least toward the end. The depression of 1819 was used as an excuse to terminate it, opening the door to wild speculation thereafter.
With minerals, many jurisdictions set the royalty at much higher than the 1/8 used in the subject example, then let bidders compete on the "bonus bid," the up-front payment.
Royalties have a disincentive effect, but there are ways around this. A common method is lowering them progressively over time, as wells peter out. Another method is to couple them with a high "delay rental," a fixed annual charge that is a fraction of the high bid up front.
For more information, contact Sue Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no way to peace, peace is the way.
- A. J. Muste
It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and
groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more
desolation. War is hell.
- William Tecumseh Sherman
There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing
good in war. Except its ending.
Wars are not acts of God. They are caused by man, by man-made institutions,
by the way in which man has organized his society. What man has made, man
- Frederick Moore Vinson