Deadline for our June issue: May 25.
You can always reach the Georgist News at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
Full conference details have been mailed out to interested people. You can also find the details, and an option to register for the conference online, at the CGO website: http://www.progress.org/cgo/
"Who Owns America? IV" addresses land acquisition and retention issues such as fractionation (heir property), land titling, inheritance, and management. The focus is on those who are often excluded, marginalized, unequally served, or have limited participation in setting public policy.
Four case studies will be presented by community activists and researchers. Case study topics are: Vacant and Abandoned Properties in an Urban Area: Baltimore Project 5000; Colonias along the Texas-Mexico Border; Cross-Generational Attitudes toward Rural Land among African Americans; Struggling toward the Ideals of Sustainable Tourism in Hawai'i.
For details, contact Marsha Cannon at email@example.com or go to the Who Owns America website at www.union.wisc.edu/conferenceservices/whoownsamerica/welcome.html
Payment for the exclusive use of land (land tax) is the fairest of all community charges. "It falls upon those who receive a singular and valuable benefit, and upon them in proportion to the benefit they receive. It is the taking by the community, for the use of the community, of that value which is the creation of the community. It is the application of the common property to common uses." Only when these charges usurp taxes on labour, savings and trade will equality prevail and dignity and freedom flourish.
The land tenure system of a nation shapes its moral, psychological, spiritual and economic life. Here follows a set of Frequently Asked Questions, common economic questions about the replacement of conventional taxes by user charges (land tax).
- Peter Meakin
GN Comments: Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland:
If interested please contact email@example.com for details.
The first national Take Back Your Time conference will be held at Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, June 10-13, 2004.
For more information about the conference speakers and schedule, and for the registration form, please go to: http://www.timeday.org/conference/
GN Comments: Is time a valuable natural resource? Can it be stolen away from you without compensation? Is it precious to you?
Members may also belong to other political parties. The aim this year is to influence the other political parties, not to elect candidates. A membership secretary is needed; if interested, please apply.
Fred Foldvary, President, Free Earth Party
The target participants are:
Participants are asked to register as soon as possible. To register, please visit: http://scic.cec.eu.int/scic/owa/WEB_MTKF.reg_form?confID=0412PRAGUE
Registrations will close on 1st June 2004.
For any further information about the content of the conference, please contact:
Re: GAS PRICES
In your excellent article on gas prices you quote Dave Fogarty of the Western States Petroleum Assoc. as saying that the price of gas rose only 19% from 1982 to 2002, while other products and services rose substantially more. This would suggest the price of gas is long overdue for a natural increase. On top of that it is becoming painfully clear that demand is beginning to outstrip supply, worldwide and locally. The International Center for Technology Assessment (www.icta.org) calculates that the real price of gas is between $5.60 and $15.14 per gallon. If we had to pay this price at the pump, maybe our manufacturers would be more willing to make, and consumers more eager to buy, fuel-efficient vehicles. The reason we pay much less than this for gas is that the taxpayers (you and me) greatly subsidize petroleum (through the percentage depletion allowance, among other subsidies). Why? Our economy depends on it and it is good for oil and car companies and people who drive gas-guzzlers, but bad for long term conservation of our natural resources.
We have become accustomed to cheap gas and have too few effective strategies to deal with price increases, small and large. Unfortunately we are using 4 barrels of petroleum for every new barrel discovered. This will eventually catch up with us!
Consider this: Oil production peaked in the United States in 1970 and has peaked in every single oil producing state in the United States including Texas, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma etc. That means that we are past the half-way point of our oil reserves, nationally and in every oil-producing state! We are now using the 2nd half of our petroleum endowment. It will be better to use this endowment judiciously and wisely.
Too few people understand or discuss the realities behind the finite nature of the petroleum resource. We are beginning to run low on cheap, especially domestically produced, gasoline. Unfortunately our local and national energy policies support short sighted oil interests over conservation and energy efficiency. Car manufacturers and dealers give great discounts on gas-guzzlers, but offer few incentives to buy hybrids or energy-efficient cars.
Are we all oblivious to the coming gas shortage? We are only now beginning to see the first hints of it. Unfortunately we have bought into the big lead foot ideal of car ownership and operation and may be caught unprepared for the looming catastrophe of petroleum depletion without adequate alternatives. It can devastate our economy and country especially if we do not start to prepare for it NOW!
Prudent businesses and individuals can take a precautionary approach. Even if we don't see a gas shortage or energy crisis coming, and even if gas prices remain low, it still makes sense to take reasonable precautions to guard against what a growing chorus of petroleum geologists predict - a severe and permanent gas shortage in the near future. To help avoid or at least delay this we can all take five simple steps now: 1). Drive socially responsible, fuel-efficient cars, (Save 50-300%) 2). Drive (intelli)gently (not aggressively), (Save up to 33%) 3). Reduce unnecessary trips and speed, 4). Ride bicycles or walk and 5). Keep tires inflated, engines tuned, and our eyes and ears open for additional ways to conserve.! As a society we can also reduce our subsidies to excessive oil consumption (including the SUV tax loophole), and instead give incentives for conservation, hybrids and fuel-efficient cars. We can also create a better jobs-housing balance. Gas prices obey the law of supply and demand. Bottom line: For gas prices to come down we all will have to use LESS!
Former Clean Cities Coordinator
San Diego Regional Clean Fuels Coalition
GN Comments: Alan Ridley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The vague conference theme is "Enhancing coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes towards economic growth and development."
When UNCTAD meets, it will consider fresh alternatives to the WTO (World Trade Organization), by examining the role of fair trade rules to address hunger, the global farm crisis, monopolization, international markets and economic development.
For a lot more information and details, visit: http://www.unctadxi.org/
Among the topics to be addressed are:
For more information or to register, visit the conference web site at http://www.georgiaitp.org/carbon/
"Those influences on land assembly include soaring costs, a trim inventory of land, long chains of title, the need for time-consuming zoning revisions in some cases, and the stubbornness of some property owners who do not want to give up their land. As a result of these factors, explained ULI's Maureen McAvey, 'much potentially usable land in close-in areas is bypassed because it is cheaper and easier to build further out.'"
GN Comments: For more from the Urban Land Institute, see their website at http://www.uli.org/
Second World Renewable Energy Forum:
Renewing Civilization by Renewable Energy May, 29-31, 2004
Federal Art Hall (Bundeskunsthalle) Bonn, Germany
For more information: http://www.world-council-for-renewable-energy.org/
The conference's purpose is to move a critical problem onto the front burner of American politics and public discourse - within the time frame of the 2004 election campaign and beyond.
The aims of the conference are:
The conference will examine:
The conference begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, and ends at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday. It will take place at the Kimmel Center, New York University.
Register at http://www.inequality.org/registration.html or call 212-633-1405 or send an email to email@example.com
Have a look at their online resources, and subscribe to their free email newsletter: http://www.eco-tax.info/
You will even find a Georgist emblem on their website front page.
The Georgist News on the WWW - http://www.georgist.com/