The middle of winter is often considered a good time for inactivity and quiet introspection, but the Georgist movement is not yet ready to relax. We are delighted to present an abundance of news and action reports in this month's issue. We won't be quiet until the world's people enjoy economic justice.
Please remember that your own reports, remarks, and rejoinders are always very welcome. Deadline for the March issue: February 20.
You can always reach the Georgist News at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
Here are the key statements from the bill, known as HB239:
If it becomes law, this measure will take effect July 1, 2003.
Concerning the 100 years celebration of The Danish Henry George Society, it is now confirmed that the occasion will be marked at a reception to take place from 2pm to 4pm, on Saturday the 2nd day of March, at BORUPS HIGH SCHOOL, FREDERIKSHOLMS KANAL 24, in COPENHAGEN.
Should any Georgist News reader happen to be in Copenhagen on that day, they would be heartily welcome. A dinner will also be arranged the same evening at a cover price of D.kr. 200/-. If you wish to participate in the evening arrangement, then please advise email@example.com not later than February 15th.
GN Comments: Best wishes and hearty congratulations to the Danish Henry George Society!
As reported to the Georgist News by Joshua Vincent of the Henry George Foundation of America, the council members argued heatedly about redistricting, while a crowd of concerned citizens and several panels of experts present to give testimony on land value taxation, waited patiently.
The hearing, scheduled for 1:00 PM, still had not begun at 4:15 in the afternoon, and a frustrated Saidel stormed out of the room, along with the entire group of hearing participants.
This fiasco made the entire council look stupid. One council member called it "the most embarrassing moment in the whole history of this Council."
But the campaign for land value taxation continues. At some point soon, there will be public hearings on Saidel's proposals. The main result of this delay is, we have a little more time to influence the City Council. Please read the remainder of this article and do at least one thing to help!
Please take action to help the city leaders of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to understand the advantages of land value taxation. One thing that we all should do is to visit the WWW site: http://www.hallwatch.org/faxbank/landtax/
At that site, you can send - automatically and free of charge - letters to the members of Philadelphia's City Council. Please do this. A council member will find it easy to vote against something that few people seem to care about, but if we demonstrate to them that a lot of people understand the benefits of LVT, they will give it serious consideration.
Our thanks to Ed Goppelt, creator of the www.hallwatch.org web site. Visit the whole site and you'll be inspired to see how much one individual can do to keep government accountable to the citizens. One feature of special interest is the ability to look at and compare property tax bills - see http://www.hallwatch.org/proptax/compare/blocktax/
For those wishing a comprehensive background story on the LVT issue in Philadelphia, you are in luck. Please visit the newest page at Common Ground-U.S.A.'s web site: http://www.progress.org/cg/phila02.htm
That page contains the lead article, "PHILADELPHIA CONTROLLER PROPOSES LAND VALUE TAX," from the most recent issue of Groundswell, the membership periodical of Common Ground-U.S.A.
Here are some headlines whose stories and photos you can find on the
Instituto Henry George Managua Nicaragua website at:
Click on the "IHG News as of January 15, 2002" link on the main page for:
This site and its archive extend the work of the original founder of the Georgist News, Adam Jon Monroe.
As you will see, the WWW site and the Archive are running, but are not yet 100% finished. Please send us your suggestions on how that site would be most useful to you. One obvious plan is to make the Archive searchable, and this feature will be added soon.
So some, here in America, since then,
Since the jihajj seven times 'round Jer'co
Brought the towers tumbling down to earth,
Have stammered we thought the flame of freedom
Had burned long for selective privilege.
And now that Liberty's torch splutters, gasps
We cry louder yet, "Hold the earth common."
Fifteen adults graduated from Fundamentals courses by fall, and another 54 students are scheduled to graduate by late January. Over 300 persons came along on our entertaining, informative and decidedly Georgist walking tour of downtown San Francisco.
In September the school inaugurated a radio program, THE FRANKLY GEORGIST HOUR, on station SFLR 93.7 FM. The program takes up public affairs from a clear and forceful Georgist perspective. SF Supervisors, candidates for a utility district, and a member of the school board have provided the highlights of the season thus far.
In mid March, 2002, David Giesen debuts the second installment of his portrayal of Henry George. This forty minute piece is set aboard the Mariposa just as it is to depart for Australia from San Francisco in February, 1890. The National Maritime Museum, located on the Hyde St. Pier in SF will play host to this presentation, using its tall ship, The Balclutha, as a theater.
Please visit the school's new website: http://www.henrygeorgesf.org/
We hope to hear complete analysis from such Georgist Russia experts as Fred Harrison and Tanya Roskoshnaya in the near future. Meanwhile, Scott and Sue Walton have obtained a reprint of a briefing from the Baker & McKenzie international law firm, discussing the new land code.
To request a copy of this "Legal Alert" (author Adrian Moore, date October 30), or other information about interpreting the new Land Code in Russia, contact Adrian Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: we do not know whether Moore's document is available to the public, nor whether there is a charge for it.
Excerpt from: "How Responsive Is the Demand for Residential Land to changes in Its Price?" by Dick Voith. Business Review, Q3 2001 (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia), pp.33-40.
GN Comments: So, federal tax policy makes sprawl far worse. Can we build on these estimates, and look at the effect of local property tax policy as well? We need sharp figures that show the importance of bad property tax systems and the need for sound (land-value oriented) property tax reforms. This is particularly urgent when the hot issue of "sprawl" comes up - land value taxation needs to be "front and center" whenever that topic is discussed. See item #11 below.
Call for papers on the TAA (There Are Alternatives to Globalization) Project. Papers are due March 3, 2002.
An essay contest for five (5) prizes of US $100.00 each for winning essays.
Winning essays will provide detailed, first hand discussion of one or more projects which create useful, productive resources without reliance on international markets, financing or advice.
Papers of 2-3,000 words are preferred, but articles of exceptional quality of any length will be considered.
A) Who FIRST wrote, "More is given to us ... and, therefore, more is required of us."
President John F. Kennedy? Nope, too obvious.
It was (of course) Henry George, Social Problems, Chap. XXII, p.241, para. 1. (You also get full credit if you chose Jesus, for although he was not a writer, he is quoted "to whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required." Luke 12:48.)
B) Henry George also anticipated the Turner thesis (The Frontier in American History), by 11 years.
C) H.G. also anticipated "Spaceship Earth," by nearly 90 years. (Buckminster Fuller wrote about it in 1963, and Kenneth Boulding in 1969 or so.)
D) H.G. also anticipated the "Lorenz Curve" for measuring concentration of wealth and income, in his debates with Francis Walker. Academics just had to name it for one of their own, instead. George's attack on Walker did move the U.S. Census to revise its reporting methods, from 1900 on. The model for the new census format may be found in the 1894 Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, headed by single-taxer George Schilling, appointee of George's friend, Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld. Schilling applied it to landholdings in the Loop of Chicago - still makes a fascinating study, and it's better done than the U.S. Census, even though Schilling had no formal training.
CONCLUSION: The man Henry George worked at the "cutting edge"; go thou all and do likewise, and we may wield the kind of influence he did. "Steer then with steady hand, O helmsman, thou carriest great companions."
The NRDC has about half a million dues-paying members. When it speaks, a lot of people are influenced. On the issue of sprawl, Georgist proposals may be forgotten and less effective, unproven ideas tried instead, unless we keep stressing the need for sensible taxation policy.
Here is part of the NRDC's publicity statement about its new book:
Solving Sprawl tells the inspiring stories of American cities and towns that are beginning to grow and develop in an innovative way that creates comfortable, attractive neighborhoods without ravaging open spaces. Using real-world examples, the book shows that people can use smart-growth strategies to break the cycle of sprawl and improve their communities.
NRDC's website features an online guide to Solving Sprawl at http://www.nrdc.org/cities/smartgrowth/solve/solveinx.asp
The online guide is intended to introduce smart growth practices to a wide audience. Concerned citizens; visionary architects, developers and planners; elected officials and local governments struggling with the problems that poorly planned, headlong growth brings will all find useful information on the site.
"Solving Sprawl is the best summary of the real choices we have to build
better communities today."
- Peter Calthorpe, architect and author, The Next American Metropolis
"Finally, here is a book on the environment that confronts the
American reality both pragmatically and comprehensively."
- Andres Duany, architect and author, Suburban Nation
"Solving Sprawl is one of the most important books to emerge from the
rapidly growing smart growth movement - a valuable handbook for
developers, public officials and ordinary citizens who want to do it
- Richard Moe, president, National Trust for Historic Preservation
I don't know if that story has any hidden meaning, but today the Georgist News finds itself in the position of the tall man. Today, the Georgist News says to you, "Give me money please." With your funding support, we can continue to provide you with this monthly summary of relevant Georgist news and viewpoints.
Please consider sending something, even just a tiny token amount, to demonstrate your support for the Georgist News. For information on how to donate, just send an email message to email@example.com
The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of
rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop
hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to
- Helen Keller