We are pleased to announce that the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation is once again providing funding support to assist the Georgist News. Our continued thanks to the RSF and to everyone who has contributed to this email newsletter.
Please send in your own reports, news, opinions, to share with other readers. Deadline for the November issue: October 20.
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The IHG, started in March 2000, is a research and educational project
supported in part by the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, the Henry George
School of New York, and the Henry George Institute. You can get full
information on our mission, progress and projects at our website
Our goal is to make the entire Nicaraguan nation aware of the Georgist analysis and remedy for poverty. We seem to have a plan which is working.
Our plan is to educate all levels of Nicaraguan society via our popular "Comprender La Economia" course, workshops, videos, TV and radio presentations, and other media as available. To date we have graduated more than five hundred students and introduced thousands of Nicaraguans to the concepts of Henry George. We are arriving to a new phase in our development where we hope to be able to multiply the activity of our CE course in order to reach more hundreds of students who are waiting for their opportunity to participate all over the country.
Like many Georgist organizations, the IHG Managua recently had our funding cut back severely, and now we are asking you if you can help us. You can send a tax deductible donation to the Henry George Institute of NY directed by Lindy Davies, 207-722-3001. To keep it simple, the minimum donation we will accept is $100. Donors will receive updates (including our financial report if desired) on the IHG project progress and will be recognized for their support on our website.
The IHG is doing its best to bring about the exceptional results we have enjoyed so far, but we can move ahead that much faster with your support. For my part, I have been working full time on the project without pay since the beginning of 2002. If you would like to join me in making our dream of economic justice a reality in Nicaragua, please make your contribution with a donation.
To donate, please make out your tax deductible check to Henry George Institute and note "for IHG Mga" in the memo, and send your check to: Henry George Institute, 238 Hadley Mill Road, Brooks, ME 04921, USA
Terry Collins takes issue with some of Karl Williams's points made last month. Collins says:
Bringelly is 20-30kms from any rail line and there are no plans to provide any rail line to Bringelly. There may have been, but it was actually a rail line to the proposed 2nd airport and that has gone back onto the back burner (again).
Bringelly is rural and mostly 5-acre + blocks and there is little if any urban development (20 houses perhaps). It is a good 30 minutes drive (no public or private buses) from any major area and at least another 30 minutes to any major area of employment.
If anyone was about to put $AUS66,000 on top of a house block of land at Bringelly, it would be the kiss of death, particularly if it was near an airport. However, $AUS66,000 onto 10 acres of airport industrial is negligible, but there will not many of them.
And, taxpayers (via the Government of NSW) did NOT pay for the East Hills (airports & Green Square) rail line. It was developed by private funds with a private company given the right to all (extra expensive) fares to the four stations on the line, i.e. the individual taxpayer who catch the train to the airport, or go to Green Square or Mascot for work are who are paying for it.
Although, patronage has been lower than expected and the NSW Government has had to kick the tin (guaranteed revenue). My prediction - developers will take the hint and increase their donations to the two major political parties.
At the NSW state election before last, for the Labor Party (currently governing in NSW) developers made four times the contributions to the political party funds than did the unions (which are seen as the traditional supporters of the Labor Party).
Here is a follow-up by Paul Brandon, Deputy Chief Executive of the Henry George Foundation of Great Britain:
The excellent news reported in the special mid-September Georgist News is most welcome by all of us at the Henry George Foundation of Great Britain. Our 24 October 2002 conference "Urban Regeneration: A Fresh Approach," jointly organised with the Land Value Taxation Campaign (UK), (www.landvaluetax.org/) continues to attract key advisors from the world of politics and business. It is now set to be a pivotal moment for our organisation.
As Fred Harrison reported, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, has commissioned an investigation into how public spending raises land values. Our rapidly expanding delegate list for the conference reflects this high-level interest in the subject. Further details of the conferences can be found at www.henrygeorgefoundation.org/conference.html
These exciting developments have given the UK movement a real boost. A blueprint for wider success has also emerged. Teamwork, 'Bridge Building' and good communications with the wider world have been critical factors in raising awareness of land rents as public revenue policy.
An exclusive interview in our magazine 'Land & Liberty' with Bob Kiley, the high profile head of Transport for London, brought to life the issue of paying for transport infrastructure from a land tax. The story was immediately picked up by the UK mainstream national press. Specialist journals and magazines soon followed. Interest has continued ever since.
Over 100 delegates at a conference in March paid up to £500 to listen to Dave Wetzel, Vice Chair of Transport for London, Peter Gibb, Chief Executive of the Henry George Foundation, and Fred Harrison speak in favour of land value taxation. New and exciting projects have been launched as a result. Peter and Dave have continued to speak clearly and forcibly for the policy at other transport conferences in the UK.
We still receive interest in and orders for "Taken for a Ride" by Don Riley (a HGF member). Our website adverts for the book have attracted calls and correspondence from all over the world, including national governments. Networks are now in place and, as Fred Harrison made clear, important meetings have already taken place.
The future now looks very bright. We will continue to build bridges and work with everyone who shows an interest in our approach.
What we are experiencing today in the U.S. is a good deal of risk taking on the part of investors, who are moving funds from stocks and bonds and into commercial real estate - driving up prices well above what current cash flows justify. But, as investors have said, at least they have something concrete in the form of an investment instead of a financial instrument.
The New York Times reported recently on this bizarre market in Manhattan real estate, where because of corporate downsizing and movement of people out of Manhattan, rents are falling at the same time building prices are skyrocketing. Now, if all this buying is being done for cash, the owners can be as patient for positive cash flow as their own deep pockets permit. If there are banks and insurance companies holding mortgages on these properties and the owners are dependent upon a long chain of property-related cash flows to meet debt service and other obligations, well we may be closer to the next crash than most analysts realize.
It would be interesting to hear from Georgist News subscribers around the U.S. and in other countries about what is happening in your office building markets with respect to vacancies, property values, whether rents are going up or down, etc.
GN Comments: Please send your feedback to email@example.com so that we can include it in the next issue of the Georgist News.
For more information: http://www.kwru.org/conference
First, a little background. In April, the third annual "Global Conference on Environmental Taxation" was held in Vermont. Georgists such as Jeff Smith, Bill Batt and Tony Vickers made presentations and drew more media attention than all other presenters.
For a full report see this article, which appeared in Groundswell, the periodical of Common Ground-U.S.A.: http://www.progress.org/cg/etshift02.htm
Now we have a superb chance to build on that success. In June of 2003, the fourth such conference will take place, this time in Sydney, Australia. We already have an active team of Georgists in place in Australia, so perhaps we can set the tone and agenda for this event. Also, I believe that Batt and Smith are aiming to be presenters again.
The deadline for submitting abstracts for proposed papers is November 29. Every Georgist in Australia should submit a proposal.
For further information see this web site: http://www.law.mq.edu.au/eti/overview.htm
Let us be present at every session, in every group. It's time for the world to learn that there is one superior "environmental taxation" policy, whether you call it geoist, Georgist, or Green - and it's the shifting of taxes away from human initiative and onto natural resource taking, monopolizing and polluting. We have a terrific opportunity to be the "big boys" and gain proper recognition at the Sydney conference.
Whatever you choose to do, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Would you find a Spanish version of the Georgist News useful on a regular basis? Please let us know. Also, does anyone know of a glossary, or set of definitions of Georgist economic terms, in Spanish? Naturally we all want important Georgist terms to be translated consistently; if no such glossary currently exists, perhaps we should build one.
Send your inquiries and ideas to email@example.com
"It is (or at least should be) clear that this planet desperately needs a new, improved and fundamentally democratized socioeconomic system. The book will be of interest to (among others) all those who are seriously concerned about the multidimensional unnecessary harm (to individuals, societies, cultures and the planet at large) caused by the extreme systemic maldistribution of material wealth intra- and internationally and who are convinced that this problem should and can only be resolved democratically and peacefully by an informed, thoughtful citizenry. The book will be found appropriate for courses in economics, political science, sociology, political philosophy, utopian studies, futures studies, psychology and, perhaps most importantly, democratic socioeconomic systems engineering.
"The Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS) is a research and educational institution (founded in 1969) dedicated to the examination and explanation of the properties and possibilities of democratic societies and democratic socioeconomic systems."
For more information, visit the Center for the Study of Democratic Societies web site at http://www.centersds.com
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From Sue Walton:
I'd like to thank all those who sent me cards and notes during my bereavement over my Mom's recent death. Your thoughts and words meant a great deal to me. I'd especially like to thank Nadine Stoner, Mark Sullivan, Alanna Hartzok and Pia & Eloise DeSilva for their support during the CGO conference. YOU'RE THE BEST!
Make small commitments and keep them. Be a light, not a judge. Be a
model, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
- Stephen R. Covey
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
- Theodore Roosevelt
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