If you have not yet decided whether to attend the CGO conference in Philadelphia in August, now is your chance. Choose to attend! Be sure that your Georgist organization is well represented, and have fun getting to know other Georgists.
Deadline for our July 2005 issue: June 25.
You can always reach the Georgist News at email@example.com
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
Register Now - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - August 3-7
A note from conference coordinator Sue Walton: CGO conference participants who have special diets and other special needs, please notify the conference administrators when registering. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be to accommodate your needs.
And please have a look at the CGO conference information page at: www.progress.org/cgo/conf05.html
And view the beautiful conference brochure at: savingcommunities.org/conference2005/conferencebrochure2005.pdf
Sue Walton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Ed Dodson
A while back - in October 2003 to be exact - an article by James V. Cornehls appeared in Urban Land magazine discussing "takings." He concluded his article, as follows:
"Landowners demand to be compensated whenever a zoning change adversely affects the value of their land. But what about those times when a zoning change results in an increase in the value of their land? Are they willing to compensate the government for its largess? Or, what about a new airport that is built near their land? Are they willing to compensate the public, whose use creates the need for the airport? Perhaps the time has come to talk seriously about givings, as well as takings."
GN Comments: Don't forget the classic article by Adam Diamant, "Government Takings? What About Givings?" that appeared originally in the Christian Science Monitor. You can find it at: www.progress.org/archive/diamant.htm
by Sue Walton
The Banneker Center for Economic Justice recently received this note from Carol Wilcox:
You then published my letter explaining that I had made contact with the Bishop and hoped to have some further news. Well, I am pleased to report that Dave Wetzel and I, representing the Labour Land Campaign, went to see Bishop James last Tuesday (May 3) at a very posh venue in London.
He did not appear to be aware of the case for taxing land values, despite his belief that 'people should be taxed on what they use of the earth's resources, not what they earn'. We did our best to emphasise the moral arguments and his response was very positive. We left him with a hardcopy of Alanna Hartzok's excellent paper on land value taxation and the Christian teachings, and a promise to send a copy of 'Progress and Poverty'.
GN Comments: Many thanks to Ms. Wilcox. That article, by the way, can be found at www.progress.org/2004/taxes01.htm
GN Comments: The borough of Oakland, New Jersey, US, includes some very wise youngsters. Here is a news report from the Oakland Public Schools web site. Thanks to Richard Biddle of the Philadelphia Henry George School for notifying the Georgist News about this item.
Jake Danis, Kyle Whittle, Kayla Knox, Jim Etheridge, and Brian Sladek's exhibit, "Monopoly: A Simple Game" was awarded the Best New Jersey award in the Junior Division (grades 6-8) by the New Jersey Historical Commission and first place in the exhibits, the most competitive category. Over 450 students competed in the New Jersey event. About 700,000 are competing nationally.
Their project focused on Monopoly's roots in the the Single Tax theory of Henry George and traced the history of the game from a teaching tool of a Georgist, Elizabeth Magie Phillips, to the current game attributed to Charles Darrow.
Richard Biddle of the Henry George School in Philadelphia visited the students and brought examples of the Landlord's Game, Monopoly's predecessor, and other primary resources. Murray Sabrin, a professor at Ramapo College, discussed the benefits and disadvantages of capitalism and the single tax with the students.
The students communicated with Ralph Anspach, the creator of Anti-Monopoly who was sued by Parker Brothers. That case uncovered the real origins of the game. Anspach recently sold his court case documents on eBay for over $18,000.
The students were participants in Workshop PM and worked on their project after school.
The students will advance to the to the national event June 12-16. This year marks the 25th anniversary of National History Day, a nonprofit education organization that helps students develop critical thinking and research skills.
GN Comments: Congratulations and good luck to Jake, Kyle, Kayla, Jim and Brian!
Jeffery J. Smith of the Geonomy Society has released a report of his organization's recent activities. Way too much to reprint here, so send an email message directly to Smith requesting that he send a copy to you. Then consider how your Georgist organization can become so active!
From the UK, Tony Vickers reports on this recent development:
ALTER will be represented, but I thought I should let all UK non-party Georgist organisations know, in case they have suitable people who are Lib Dem Party members not known to us. In fact there is no requirement for members of the Group to be paid-up Lib Dems: it is more important that they have knowledge and commitment that will help the Party develop its tax policies.
ALTER will convene its own reference group to support any of its members who get selected to join the Party's official Group. And there will be an opportunity to submit evidence to the Group and/or for it to call witnesses. Anyone interested in helping ALTER should let me know.
Party Leader Charles Kennedy has said that no area of policy is more crucial in this Parliament than taxation. He has also said that fresh thinking is needed and that policy reviews should not be constrained by conference decisions made many years ago. In the case of tax, it is over ten years since the subject was fully reviewed.
Steve Elkins has found a new article discussing the two-rate property tax.
You can find the full article at: http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/05/05/CohenCoughlin.pdf
The author's second objection is that anyone whose tax bill will rise when a two-rate tax is implemented, will oppose it, and therefore that remedies or mitigations have to be devised for such taxpayers. Yet we know that dozens, or hundreds, of communities increase their property tax rates each year, and in those communities ALL the taxpayers are asked to pay more. For better or worse, it happens all the time. The author doesn't breathe a single word against the current failed property tax system, but appears to require absolute unanimity across an entire community before he would favor the two-rate property tax system. An unfortunate and embarrassing mistake.
But don't take my word for it. This paper is going to be read by many decision makers and you should be familiar with it.
A very neat new web site has been launched by Chris Tolworthy, called "land rent will save the world."
Have a look for yourself, and tell others about it:
On June 10, 2005, a seminar featuring academics, policy makers and business stakeholders will take place, called "Land Value Tax: Worth the transition?"
The event will examine the economic and political case for shifting to a land value tax, and look at ways to overcome problems of implementation.
GN Comments: We believe this event will take place in or near London, UK. For more information, contact the sponsoring organization, the Institute for Public Policy Research, at 020 7470 6176.
A workshop on Tax Governance and the Globalization of Wealth will be held at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK, July 7-8, 2005.
The workshop will consider such questions as, "Who has the right to tax someone's income or gains?" and "What are the effects of tax avoidance and tax competition?"
For more information, visit: http://visar.csustan.edu/aaba/taxworkshop05.html
GN Comments: We hope that this event will not merely attempt to prop up the failing, outdated income tax, but will be open to more modern ideas grounded in justice.
A free community conference will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US on Sunday, June 5th from 10am to 5pm.
"The conference will confront the myth of 'clean coal' by detailing the true effects of coal mining and coal power on the health of our communities, families, and our children.
"Armed with this knowledge, we hope to develop a vision for clean, sustainable alternatives to the coal industry that can be implemented in our own communities to build a future that offers quality jobs while maintaining a healthy environment for future generations."
For more information, or to register, contact "Canaries in the Coalfields" at 412-310-4641, email@example.com.
"All My Relations: Native People and the Land." a public talk and slide show, will be presented on June 6, 2005, at 7:30 PM at the Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California, U.S.
For more information, visit www.close-to-home.org or telephone Sandra Lewis at (510) 601-5715.
The American Monetary Institute's 2005 Monetary Reform Conference will take place September 29-October 2, 2005, in Chicago, Illinois, US.
The conference will deal with monetary reforms and related topics. For a list of speakers, full schedule of sessions, and registration information, visit: www.monetary.org/2005conference
A one-day conference on Planning and Public Investment will take place on July 6, 2005, at the Cavendish Conference Centre, London, UK.
Georgist Dave Wetzel will be among the presenters, and several Georgist
organizations are among the event's sponsors. For more information, visit:
Nothing is worth more than this day.
Do it no matter what. If you believe in it, it is something very honorable. If
somebody around you or your family does not understand it, then that's their
problem. But if you do have a passion, an honest passion, just do it.
- Mario Andretti
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