We asked for your news - and we got it. Since this issue is jam-packed, I'll be brief. Below you'll find receptivity by opinion leaders everywhere, leads to data-laden papers and books, venues for meeting your cohorts, the obit of one of the movement's pillars, and more you need to know. As always, we invite you to send us your news and views to share with others.
The deadline for our July 2006 issue is June 25.
You can always reach the Georgist News at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
A few geoists have become expert in the business cycle, including Australia's Phil Anderson (who summers in France). Phil researches, writes, and dispenses his findings professionally, and will be presenting at the CGO in Chicago in July. If you'd like to ask Phil for more information, contact him at: email@example.com
Can't get enough of the good stuff? On July 23 when the CGO ends, Great Britain's circuit preacher Dave Wetzel and proselytizer Jeff Smith slide north to Milwaukee for yet more outreach. Any and all are welcome to come to America's Beer Capitol for the meetings or the fun or both. After two days of providing expert testimony as only Dave can, we return Tuesday afternoon, the 25th, back to Chicago.
The first-ever Basic Income Guarantee Bill, HR 5257, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by San Diego' Congressman and former Sierra Clubber Bob Filner (D-CA) on May 2, 2006. The bill would transform the standard income tax deduction into a standard tax credit of $2000 per adult and $1000 per child. For the first time, it would give a refundable tax credit to everyone who filed an income tax return, even if the person had no income. While the credit would not come directly from rent (that should happen later), it would cut the income tax burden, and cutting taxes is the other half of Georgism. If you ever communicate with any Congress people, or groups who do, you might casually bring up the bill and the logic and ethics behind it.
The Star-Ledger, the main newspaper in Newark, New Jersey (across the river from New York City), ran an article May 4 on a fine idea: "the best idea is one that dates back more than a century: a two-tiered system that would impose higher taxes on land than buildings."
In Hartford, site of a CGO Conference not many years back, The Courant, the main daily, ran an article April 30 that referred to Mason Gaffney's feature article in last month's Dollars & Sense: "According to Gaffney, [taxing land] worked in San Francisco. The city's credit was quickly restored, and it began borrowing to rebuild infrastructure. The population grew by more than 20 percent in each of the next three decades."
The New America Foundation is a DC-based foundation that frequently succeeds in placing its op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal andother major media outlets. One of their Senior Fellows is Joel Kotkin. After receiving an email from your editor on the benefits of shifting the property tax off buildings, onto land, he asked (May 18), "Would it be OK with you to post your comments on my website - www.joelkotkin.com?"
At the Plenary of the Annual Policy Conference of the provincial Green Party of Ontario (GPO), the delegates and attendees adopted this resolution: - The GPO shall implement Site Value Tax improving assessment procedures to reflect the value of the land, taking in to account long-term restrictions, allowed uses, and other factors such as ecological, cultural and zoning mandates. - Assessed value shall derive from the unencumbered value of the site in relation to location. - Assessed value shall ignore the structures on the land. - Assessed tax shall, at a minimum, recover costs of site services including ongoing maintenance where Site Value Tax returns are too low. The paper by Frank deJong of the Ontario Green Party on Green Taxation includes one of the best statements of LVT around: www.earthrights.net/vision.html
The 2006 Spring issue contains articles on the Democratic Republic of Congo Ecovillage, ready for next phase, updates from Washington DC, and photos of Nigeria's First Ecovillage under Construction among many inspiring photos. To check it out, click the link in the top right corner of their page.
Polly Cleveland sends Econamici - occasional emails with interesting attachments or links - to friends who are economists or care about economic issues. If you can't follow a link, she can send you the actual article. Here's a recent sample, a synopsis of the review itself.
One paper is by Victor Saldji, "New Light on Richard Cobden and the Land Question," presented at the 1955 International Conference held in St. Andrews, Scotland. Mr. Saldji was an active member of the IU for many years and served as an IU Vice President in 1984. More information on Mr. Saldji's involvement in the Georgist movement would be much appreciated.
Philosopher Mortimer J. Adler. Adler had a close relationship with Robert M. Hutchins, who established the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in the late 1950s (and later appeared in the film, "One Way to Better Cities."). Over the last few months I have been going thru old issues of The Center Magazine. Seven of these articles and transcripts of discussions deserving a second life are now available in the SCI library under the listing for Hutchins.
Thanks to Godfrey Dunkley, a number of his writings in support of land-value taxation for South Africa are also now available in the SCI library.
Several of you have sent me materials to review and consider for addition to the SCI archives. Be assured that your commitment to help with the SCI project is greatly appreciated. It will take me awhile to get caught up with everything I have awaiting attention, so please be patient to see results.
This Georgist advocate in Southern California presented a paper at the Takings Conference at UCSB on May 13. Nic Tideman and Florenz Plassmann were also on the panel.
For a copy of the abstract or the complete paper, contact the author.
The Lincoln Institute's 2006 Publications Catalog has been posted at
It features more than 70 books, policy focus reports, and multimedia resources.
Help get word out about the Henry George Institute's new online course. The time is right to put this analysis in front of as many concerned minds as we can find. I've compiled a list of URLs of blogs featuring commentary on international trade and economic justice issues. All invite comments. Your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to pick one/five/eleven/all of these online forums and post your comments there, recommending that people check out what we have to offer at www.truefreetrade.org.
If anyone has some time to read the book and write a review, I would reprint it in the School of Cooperative Individualism library.
Land use authority Harvey M. Jacobs has gathered a provocative collection of perspectives from eighteen contributors in the fields of law, history, anthropology, economics, sociology, forestry, and environmental studies. Who Owns America? begins with the popular view of land ownership as seen though the television show Bonanza! It examines public regulation of private land; public land management; the roles culture and ethnic values play in land use; and concludes with Jacobs' title essay.
Who Owns America? is a powerful and illuminating exploration of the very terrain that makes us Americans. Its broad set of theoretical and historical perspectives will fascinate historians, environmental activists, policy makers, and all who care deeply about the land we share.
The AARP lists every state's tax details. Makes good, but frustrating, reading. To review any state, click on www.retirementliving.com/RLtaxes.html
Apparently it's a new series by Tax Analysts, this one's on sales taxes.
The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities has published the first in a series of four papers on interconnections between housing and other issues of concern to philanthropic organizations and the communities in which they work. "Getting Ahead of the (Housing) Curve: A Look at Emerging Housing Needs and Market Dynamics," by Arthur C. Nelson of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, provides an overview of the housing market's unique features and emerging trends. Other papers in the series will examine the relationship between housing and regionalism, education, energy, and transportation. The series seeks to provide a context for funder work related to housing and smart growth.
This prominent Georgist in South Africa sends articles and updates around the world to others interested in the political situation in Zimbabwe and other nations in the region. To see that part of the world from the inside - can you imagine an inflation rate of 1000%? (that's three zeroes) - just drop a line to Godfrey. He'll be happy to hear from you.
The Swiss WIR Bank is the best example we have of a successful large-scale mutual credit clearing system that has stood the test of time and continues to thrive. Until now, very little information was available about its history and operations. That situation has changed with the publication in English of Professor Struder's book about the Bank. This excellent translation by Prof. Philip Beard of Sonoma State University is a "must read" for any student of money, banking, complementary currency, or exchange alternatives.
You might also be interested in monitoring my new blog, at beyondmoney.blogspot.com/
By the way, all of the Riegel books may now be found on our website at
Please pass the word.
Back in 1990 (which doesn't seem all that long ago), a New Yorker named Roslyn Willett wrote a brief letter to the editor of GroundSwell regarding Frank Chodorov. It seems that during 1947-48, she participated in meetings attended by Chodorov and several mathematicians and physicists at Chodorov's office at 5 Beekman Place. Their purpose was to make an effort "to reduce George's political economy to mathematical formulae." Do any of you dear readers know if they made any progress?
This World Urban Forum promises to be the biggest ever with more than 8,000 registrations to date from 157 countries. A few geoists will attend as well. A varied program offers something for everyone over the course of the five days, from the morning dialogue sessions to the afternoon networking sessions and side events. Less than 30 days until the June event; to register, Google WUF3 for more.
Some speakers confirmed for the Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago, Sept. 21-24, 2006 are:
Dr. Anselm Görres, president of Green Budget Germany, which focuses on environmental taxation yet is sympathetic to more conventional Georgist taxation, plans to go to Canada and USA in October for a promotion tour on Environmental Taxation. Perhaps you are interested in a conference/workshops/meetings together? Do you have suggestions of people who are interested in this topic and whom Dr. Görres should meet? Thanks!
Veteran, longtime Fairhope surveyor, Claude Willis Arnold, died May 5 at his home surrounded by family. He was 88. A native of Flint, MI who was raised in Tyler, Texas, he resided in Fairhope since 1931. A World War II veteran, Arnold served in the U.S. Navy as quartermaster on PT Boat No. 105 and saw action in the English Channel as well as Normandy. After recuperating from an injury suffered during the Normandy landing, he served in the Philippines in President Kennedy's PT boat squadron. Upon returning from service, Arnold launched his lengthy surveying career in Fairhope, forming Fairhope Title and Survey Co., which he led for more than 50 years. As a professional land surveyor registered in both Alabama and Florida, he also served as president of the Alabama Society of Professional Land Surveyors. Arnold was also a Mason and a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans; the Optimists Club; the First Church of Christ, and a longtime instructor of Henry George Single Tax philosophy. Survivors include seven sons, Paul Arnold, Michael Arnold, Jack Arnold, Chuck Ellis, Tom Arnold, Willis Arnold, Seth Arnold; five daughters, Sharon Brown, Margaret Lynn Ellis, Mignon Bishop, Carolyn Arnold, and Alodia Arnold; three sisters, Mary Emma Kreek, Elsie Butgereit and Joan Cotten; one brother, Mordecai Arnold; 22 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
"I could not believe Elvis was dead.... until I heard that he had voted in
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