Warm and hearty holiday wishes to all readers of the Georgist News and your families. Now is the time for you to decide what actions you will take on behalf of worldwide economic justice during the year 2004. Set goals and tell us about them.
Please send in your own ideas, reports, requests and remarks. Deadline for our January issue: December 25.
You can always reach the Georgist News at email@example.com
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
GN Comments: We have received many obituaries and notices of the death of Robert V. Andelson. Here is the text of the most complete, from Mark Sullivan of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation:
Robert Andelson was vice president of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, and had been a board member since 1986. He was also immediate past president of the International Union for Land-Value Taxation and Free Trade. Andelson served as a member of The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, the Henry George Institute, Common Ground - U.S.A., and the Council of Georgist Organizations. He was executive director, Henry George School of Social Science, San Diego, CA, 1959-62.
Dr. Andelson was author, co-author, or editor of many works: Imputed Rights: An Essay in Christian Social Theory (U. of Georgia Press, 1971); Critics of Henry George (Fairleigh Dickinson U. Press, 1979); Commons Without Tragedy (Shepheard-Walwyn/Barnes & Noble, 1991); From Wasteland to Promised Land: Liberation Theology for a Post-Marxist World, with James M. Dawsey (Orbis/Shepheard-Walwyn, 1992); Land-Value Taxation Around the World (2nd Edition, Schalkenbach, 1997, and 3rd Edition, Blackwell, 2000); and the forthcoming two-volume Critics of Henry George, Revised 2nd Edition, Blackwell). He also wrote many essays, articles, and monographs including "The Earth Is the Lord's" in 1978, and "Henry George and the Reconstruction of Capitalism" in 1994.
In 1964 Robert V. Andelson married Bonny Orange Johnson, with whom he shared his life until his passing. He is survived by Bonny and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A gravesite service was held on Tuesday, November 11, at Tracy City Cemetery, Tennessee. A memorial service was held Saturday, November 15, 2003, at the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn.
GN Comments: From Australia come these sad tidings:
A full obituary will appear in the next issue of Progress, the top-notch Georgist magazine of Australia.
GN Comments: A Georgist not so well known to most of us, Peter Patsakos passed away on October 30, 2003.
Lindy Davies of the Henry George Institute writes:
In the November issue of the Georgist News, we made a mistake in referring to the Niger Delta Fund Initiative as having been launched by Alanna Hartzok. Alanna Hartzok has written to say that actually, "the NDFI was launched by a team of us during a four hour working lunch in Dakar, Senegal in April of 2002 - Nigerians: Gordon Abiama and Sunny Akuopha and Earth Rights Institute Co-Directors Alanna Hartzok and Anne Goeke. We are following the lead of Gordon Abiama, Director of Center for Geoclassical Economics in Bayelsa State. There are now 26 endorsing organizations and the egroup has 11 participants."
Find out more about the Niger Delta Fund Initiative: www.earthrights.net/nigeria/
RUNNING FOR OFFICE IS A PIECE OF CAKE
by David Giesen
I'm not keen on hagiography, but there are some Henry George anecdotes that can wonderfully inspire activists to work for truth, justice and human potential. One of my favorite bits comes from Henry George, Jr's biography of his father. It relates how Henry once entered the kitchen in the George's San Francisco home while lost in abstract thought. He proceeded to consume slice after slice of chocolate cake, oblivious of his son's presence all the while. At last he stepped down from his mental aerie and became aware of the boy, at which point he urged his son to eat some cake, "It's good."
Running for political office as a Georgist is like eating that cake: it's good and should be repeated again and again. It's good because it removes the georgist perspective from mere theory to the platform of practical possibility. And it's good to run again and again because the reiteration of an idea can erode the galvanized, dumb allegiance to false gods of members of interest groups.
For the past year I have been campaigning as a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco. The election is now over, at the polls I came nowhere near victory, but much was achieved. On numerous occasions I engaged academics in discussions of public policy. "Oh that's that Henry George thing, isn't it?" they would throw out before moving on to another conversation. But I wouldn't let them go without reminding them that they now had a choice - to affirm or to deny principles. That they then beat a retreat was evidence of their dislodged thinking.
It was the same with the Green Party, my default party of electoral registration (default because certainly neither the Republicans nor the Democrats engage in the kind of rhetorical posturing about the earth that the Greens do). After four years of electioneering on behalf of local Green Party issues I am recognized by the Green constituency as an activist. But my unflagging advocacy of LVT has astonished more than two or three prominent Greens, who have been obliged by my candidacy to abandon rhetoric and engage in intellectual deliberation. Earnest deliberation is not a place many people really want to visit. Their intellectual discomfort on such occasions demonstrates the complacency of their thinking. Most Greens I meet are unthinking in terms of generating policy that squares with rhetoric, but that is neither surprising nor especially disappointing, for it is the leadership that we must affect. One or two acclaimed Green spokespersons advocating serious political economic reflection can translate into five hundred occasional Greenies actually reflecting.
Matt Gonzalez is that one acclaimed Green. Matt is currently President of the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco. He is in the thick of a run-off election for Mayor of the city and has heard the georgist message. I have had two extensive private conversations with him about georgism. Jim Dorenkott, a self-proclaimed Geoist, is on staff with him. Another near-geoist volunteers in Matt's office. Matt has publicly stated that he wants to officially commemorate George.
Is Matt a Georgist? No. But his thinking has been palpably moved.
And the next time I have some cake, er, run for office (school board in 2004), I trust that Matt's thinking, and that of many more local Greens, will dislodge yet more. I like the public forum of an election. It's good. I invite all Georgists who have run for office (and there are a few actually serving!) to contact me so that we can build a candidate's resource service.
David Giesen firstname.lastname@example.org
GN Comments: Many thanks to David Giesen for this report. By the way, the latest polls show Matt Gonzalez slightly ahead of his opponent; for those interested in finding out more about Gonzalez' campaign as we draw near the December 9 election, visit www.mattgonzalez.com/
GN Comments: An exciting upcoming event. Here is the latest announcement from the organizers.
The First Georgist Conference in Spain in 70 Years
AEPERS (Asociacisn Espaqola para el Estudio del Rigimen del Suelo y los Recursos Naturales) is organising an International Union for Land Taxation and Free Trade Conference in Madrid on the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th of May 2004. The venue will be at Hotel Foxa 32, located in Calle Agustmn Foxa, n: 32 CP 28036, Madrid.
It is the first time in many decades that the International Union will hold a Conference in Spain and we are proud to host participants from all over the world, precisely in times where the great standing issue of access to land, both urban and rural, projects its shadow over the whole of modern society.
The price of the hotel is 84 euros + 7% VAT per room either in single or double occupancy, including breakfast. There are other hotels in the area, and later on we shall send a list.
The Conference will be completely bilingual in Spanish and English, with simultaneous translators.
There will be a Conference Fee that we are bound to establish shortly and that will cover all coffee breaks, lunches and a banquet. We look forward to fix this Conference Fee in the order of 350 euros for participants and of 150 euros for guests. Nevertheless, it is not a final figure as this will depend on the responses we get from possible participants. However, we expect not to introduce substantial changes in the final figures. Once it is ready, we shall send to you the forms for registration and reservation of the Hotel.
The provisional list of topics to be considered in the Conference is:
All papers related to the topics should be sent to us in Microsoft Word format and via e-mail before the 28th of February 2004.
If somebody would like to participate as a panelist in any of the subjects, the Executive Committee of our organisation, which is dealing with the whole Conference, shall take the final decision.
Those who wish to participate as panelists or file papers related to the topics of the Conference should send a brief C.V. to us.
We look forward to a maximum of 4/5 panelists in each topic.
In some of the topics, as "The Solution to Conflicts Over Land: Pay Rent", there will be a main speaker and we look forward to more panelists for debate. Please be aware that we cannot accept any papers outside of the subjects to be considered in the Conference.
For more information, inquiries and pre-registration forms, please contact us at email@example.com or by telephone at (34) 91 350 72 62.
GN Comments: As you know, the 2004 CGO conference will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 21-25, 2004. Here's a note from conference administrator Sue Walton:
"November-December is a time for trips to see friends and family and lots of 'Are we there yet?' thoughts even if as adults we don't say the words out loud. There are countless count downs to the winter holidays. In this issue, I'd like to add one more: as of December 1, 2003, it's only 264 more days until the 2004 Council of Georgist Organizations Annual Conference which begins on July 21, 2004 in Albuquerque New Mexico. December's a cold month in the Midwest, so thinking of Albuquerque makes me think of warm summer days and of all of my cool Georgist friends. Hope to see you there!"
Also please note this new decision:
The 2004 Council of Georgist Organizations Conference Planning Team, headed
by Alanna Hartzok, Council VP, is pleased to announce that it has selected:
"Our Common Heritage: Land & Water in New Mexico"
as the working title for the Outreach Segment of the 2004 CGO conference. The Outreach segment of the conference will be from Friday Lunch (with speaker) until 3:30 pm Saturday; it will include a major event open to the general public at no charge on Friday night. Wednesday night and all day Thursday will be devoted to internal Georgist educational topics. The CGO business meeting will take place on Saturday, as well as the Awards Banquet. The conference will conclude with its annual Friendship Brunch.
In addition to the outreach theme, the committee is also working on an overall conference theme which will be announced in this space next month.
Other members of the planning committee are: Anne Goeke, John Fisher, Dan Sullivan, Lindy Davies, Jeff Smith, Alan Feinberg and Charlie Ellinger. Ex-officio members are: Ted Gwartney - CGO Advisor; Sue Walton - Council Administrator, and Mark Sullivan - CGO President.
For more conference information, contact Sue Walton at 847-475-0391 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
GN Comments: Ed Dodson sends in this interesting tidbit from governing.com:
Parceling Out Public Property
How much land does your city own? If the cities near Phoenix are typical, your city's leaders may not know. The tax assessor of Maricopa County decided to build a database of government-owned land in his county, so he asked the cities to tell his office how much land they owned and precisely what it was used for. So far, three cities have completed their audits; the rest, including Phoenix, are coming. The early results are eye-opening. Chandler, for instance, owns 802 acres of commercial land, mostly downtown, and 47 acres of residential. Mesa has 173 acres of commercial land, some of which is leased out as warehouse space to private businesses. This looks strange, Mesa's real estate manager conceded, adding, "We really don't have stuff we don't need anymore, just some remnant things." Still, he went on, "If we don't need it anymore, the right thing to do is sell it for budget purposes and to get it on the tax rolls." Exactly, says the assessor, who's pushing the municipalities and school districts to help themselves by selling unneeded property, which would give the cities a cash windfall and place the land back on the tax digest. But to do that, the cities must know what they own; hence, his insistence that they report their holdings. Apparently that's easier said than done. It took Mesa FIVE MONTHS to compile its list, leading the assessor to suspect that cities "don't know what they own."
GN Comments: The situation is pathetic but not all bad. There's an opportunity here for some enterprising Georgists in every city to win publicity by pinpointing land parcels that governments own without realizing it.
GN Comments: A report from Lindy Davies.
The economics lessons in particular are brand-new, and they focus on an integration of Georgist ideas and basic economics as taught at a high school level.
There's also a section called "Land and Freedom in the News", which provides new articles, with activities, keyed to the various lessons in our series.
Everything is fully searchable, and there's a discussion board for "shop talk".
Check us out at Land and Freedom dot org!
Trade, Growth and Poverty Conference - London, December 8-9, 2003
A conference on trade, growth and poverty is to be held in London on 8 and 9 December 2003. The conference is organized jointly by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), European Commission, IMF, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank.
It will provide an opportunity to review work that has been undertaken on trade, growth and poverty reduction, and discuss its implications for policy and a country's development program. The event aims to have an open and informed debate on the subject, and to bring together a wide range of stakeholders, in particular policymakers, developing country governments, representatives from multilateral organizations, bilateral donors, civil society organizations and academia.
The December conference will be followed by a series of regional workshops in 2004. The conference will help to shape the scope and nature of the regional workshops.
For more information, contact Ann Duncan at email@example.com
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no
need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
- John Kenneth Galbraith
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a
thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
- W.J. Bryant
Holiday gift suggestions from Oren Arnold:
To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
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