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Deadline for our April issue: March 25.
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CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
A note to organizations that are members of the Council of Georgist Organizations -
You can reach Sue Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 847-475-0391
Svend Dinsen sends in this news:
Kim Yoon-sang sends in these two items:
Kim Elected New President of Henry George Association of Korea
Although the Jesus Abbey, established by the late Reverend Archer Torrey, is located in a mountainous village in Taebaek city about five or more hours away from Seoul and other major cities, some fifty people attended a leadership camp held there. The number of attendees shows that the land value taxation campaign in South Korea is drawing dedicated young people more than ever.
One of the top policy staff of the incumbent President Roh's administration of South Korea is a Georgist, Lee Joung-woo, the editor of the book, "Henry George: Revisited 100 Years Later" published in late 2002. Last year he set out a new set of real estate policies to curb speculation including raising the assessed value gradually. Korean Georgists have been encouraged by the progress, while at the same time dissatisfied with the slow movement.
New Georgist Books Published
The other book is titled "The Essence of Henry George," consisting of translations of Henry George's five famous addresses and numerous memorable passages from writings and addresses. The five addresses are Thou Shalt Not Steal(1887), The Study of Political Economy(1880), Thy Kingdom Come(1889), Justice the Objective-Taxation the Means(1890), Moses(1878). The memorable passages are those selected and arranged by A.C. Auchmuty under the title of "The Economics and Philosophy of Henry George." The translators are Kim Yoon-sang and Jun Gang-soo.
A note from Wendy Rockwell in Monteverde, Costa Rica:
I am very excited about the possibilities here in Costa Rica. I have been discussing different possibilities for applying LVT (land value taxation) at all levels of government and so far no one has dismissed the idea, on the contrary they appear to be quite interested.
A department (ONT) in the Ministry of Revenue is in charge of setting land values for all the municipal governments of the country. Land values, along with improvements of course, are taxed at the municipal level.
I have received the green light to make a proposal for Monteverde to establish those values for our municipality. My uncle, Lucier Rockwell, developed a rather simple equation that established the land value for any point using traffic counts and other factors that would contribute to land value. The procedure that they use at the ONT is quite cumbersome, not something I would want to use as a model. This only has to be approved at the ministry level. No law has to be changed, and it decreases their work load. I hope that facilitates its approval.
We have a computer, and by the end of this year, a pretty up to date cadastre, with separate data on land and improvements.
Let me hear from you,
Wendy Rockwell email@example.com
This is an appeal for more information about the inventor of The Landlord's Game.
Paul Brandon of the Labour Land Campaign writes:
Ralph's detective work has uncovered that the 1904 version of The Landlord's Game is the forerunner of all other Monopoly games, including the world famous Parker Brothers version. Its inventor Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Magie Philips was a devoted follower of Henry George's philosophy and her game soon changed and evolved into a means to teach the virtues of the Single Tax.
I am currently researching this connection with the most popular board game in history and would like to hear from any readers of this newsletter who may be able to cast greater light on the life of Lizzie Magie Philips, and in particular her involvement with Parker Brothers in the 1930's. Any personal encounters or stories would be especially welcome.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Send your comments to Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
"The Money Crunch" conference will be held March 19-21, 2004, at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, United States.
The events will all deal with money, alternative currencies, and other monetary ideas to make the world a better place. Among the presenters will be geoist Thomas Greco.
For more information: www.accessfoundation.org
Comments by Ed Dodson:
Is a real estate bubble about to burst in the U.S.? Well, not if the commercial real estate sector is, in fact, a leading indicator of troubled waters ahead. As of late in January, the Wall Street Journal reported on the state of the U.S. commercial real estate markets. Here is the article.
"Office Vacancies Are Sky-High; So Why No Crisis?"
Wall Street Journal, 1/23/2004, by Dean Starkman
Yet while U.S.-based corporations defaulted on over $105 billion in corporate debt, Moody's Investors Service points out that commercial property firms have not had a single corporate-debt default in a decade with minimal bankruptcies, foreclosures, and delinquencies. Many of the developers that have survived the boom going bust did so by taking their business public and paying down their debt with investor capital, leaving them in good position to react quickly to additional downturns without being at the mercy of banks. Still, developers are looking at another down year in 2004 with stagnant job growth likely and the possibility of rising interest rates.
A note from Fred Foldvary:
GN Comments: Does this topic offer an opportunity to introduce Georgist ideas on how to allocate property rights fairly and securely? Has anyone tried before?
The Norfolk, Va., City Council voted to ban town homes and multifamily developments of seven or more units in large parts of the city, including the fast-developing Ocean View corridor. The plan grew out of a councilman's effort to increase housing quality in Ocean View, reported The Virginian-Pilot. The lone councilman to vote against the plan said the zoning changes aim to create a situation in which only the well-off could afford to live in Ocean View. The plan was opposed by affordable housing advocates and some members of the city's black community, who said it would reduce the supply of affordable housing for the poor. Mayor Paul D. Fraim said the council would review the changes in six months and again in a year "to avoid the rule of unintended consequences."
GN Comments: Thanks to Ed Dodson, Director of the School of Cooperative Individualism, for sending this item. Proponents and opponents of the anti-housing legislation need to consider why housing costs so much, who should pay for new infrastructure and schools, and whether land speculators who receive windfalls have actually earned them. As is usually the case, Georgist input could clarify these communities' situations and point them toward solutions that are fairer for all.
Who owns the airwaves?
Once in a while the NTIA, the US federal agency that oversees the spectrum, seeks input on spectrum management policy. Their dull announcement includes this passage:
Now is your chance to give your views on how spectrum access may be justly allocated for the benefit of all persons.
For more information, and details on where to send your comments, see: www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/frnotices/2004/SpectrumInitiativeNOI_01282004.htm
Energy policy, over-reliance on fossil fuels, the potential for hydrogen power, climate change, etc., are among the topics to be considered.
For more information and the conference agenda, see: www.ceres.org/conference/2004/2004_agenda.htm
The theme for this year's Summit is "Getting the Real Answers", designed to explore the federal government's role in supporting economic development across the country.
For more information, see: www.iedconline.org/EDSummit/index.html
"The New Land Reform Agenda: How Can Fiscal Change Benefit Scotland?" is a one-day conference examining how fiscal reform can generate the funding needed for new infrastructure as well as the wider benefits it can provide for Scotland's economy and society.
The day contains such delights as 'Land uplift capture from transport initiatives', 'The relationship between land taxation reform and charging for the use of road space', 'Taxation and land reform: which way for Scotland?' and 'The implications of reforming the taxation of land.'
Brochures available from: www.thewaterfront.co.uk/pdfs/current_conferences/scotland broch.pdf
GN Comments: Thanks to Paul Brandon for this news item.
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