THE GEORGIST NEWS
Volume Nine, Number Two August 1, 2006
Welcome to the August issue of The Georgist News.
The only way a movement moves - new people carry the banner forward - is
happening. People fresh to the idea of using land value for public benefit,
or at least fresh to the movement, are doing the work of convincing others
in Virginia, Milwaukee, and the UK. Plus, researchers are admitting to
land's weight. Not to mention thoughtful readers who provide book reviews.
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
By Richard G. Griffin, AICP Director of Economic Development, The City of Frederick firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome and Invitation
Last year we had a very successful APA trip to Harrisburg, PA, where we
discussed Land Value Tax (LVT). Many of us believe that this is an extremely
important tool in creating and sustaining successful communities. There are
further reasons for coming to Frederick on Friday the 11th and also Saturday
the 12th, as the boards of two national foundations devoted to education and
implementation of LVT (www.urbantools.org), the 26th Annual Meeting of the Center
for the Study of Economics (CSE) and the 80th Annual Meeting of the Board of
Directors of the Henry George Foundation of America (HGFA) will take place
in Frederick. The City of Frederick is pleased to have the MD-APA, CSE, and
HGFA Boards here on August 11th-12th and looks forward to hosting a tour of
our recently completed Carroll Creek Park Project in historic Downtown
By Rosemary Bennett, Times Deputy Political Editor, via Jock Coats on Land
Plans to replace a myriad of unpopular taxes, including council tax, with a
flat-rate 1% levy on the value of all homes are to be considered by the
Conservative Party. The influential Conservative Bow Group submitted the
proposals to the party's Tax Reform Commission. Under its "land value tax",
wealthy homeowners in London and the South East would see their annual bills
rise, and would pay more than the rest of the country. The author of the
report, Mark Wadsworth, British Chartered Tax Adviser
(email@example.com), would simplify both taxes and subsidies. His
Recommendation Number Five, Land Value Tax, would replace Council Tax, Stamp
Duty Land Tax, Capital Gains Tax on disposals of land and buildings,
Inheritance Tax and the TV licence fee, which might remove a geonomic fee.
His "Land Value Tax" of 1% per annum on the value of all residential
properties would exempt the first £70,000 in value per household,
which could cover most built value. He'd spend the revenue on such programs
as Child Benefit and Nursery Funding, a Basic Cash Benefit for adults not in
paid work or earning less than £11,000; i.e., a non-contributory,
non-means-tested, non-taxable Basic Cash Benefit (BCB) of £80 per
week, and a Citizen's Pension that would replace the BCB as people age, à la
Tom Paine. Recently Wadsworth has exchanged many emails with Georgists.
According to Georgist Brit, Tony Vickers, "We now have leading figures in
all three main parties here publicly extolling the virtues of progressive
taxation. Over the next couple of days (July 26 ...), The Times published
letters from Georgists, Charles Bazlinton in England, an author who endorsed
a citizen's income, and Bryan Kavanagh, Director, Land Values Research
Group, Melbourne, Australia. Thanks to Carol Wilcox
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for forwarding them.
By William Sell, small businessman and former priest
Thanks to Tom Calloway, Dave met the mayor, and we had lunch with Bob
Greenstreet and Ann Beier of the mayor's staff. We talked to County
Supervisor, James White, chair of the County Board Transportation Committee,
and the two top executives of County Transit. Dave even charmed a jammed
elevator in the courthouse - and these are the grimmest elevators in the
city. Rep. Jeff Stone, a Republican representing Greenfield in the Wisconsin
Legislature, is on the powerful Finance Committee and is very interested in
transit that works. I believe our breakfast meeting with him was helpful.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, Larry Sandler, who does the "Take Five"
column, interviewed Dave. Tom Calloway took Dave and Jeff to meet professors
in planning and transportation engineering at UW-Milwaukee. About sixty
public citizens gave up a balmy summer evening to listen to tax talk. Dave
told some splendid stories about his own life and how he was drafted to do
the mayor's work in transportation. Jeffery Smith spoke about his work in
Portland. I was indeed privileged to spend so much time with these brains
and hear stories of their experience. I have put down a few simple links for
resources and comments made July 24th at
make this a community effort and shine the bright light that Dave Wetzel
brought to Milwaukee. Another activist, James Godsil
(email@example.com), adds, "What a treat to meet you, David Wetzel,
and Mark Monson! And how cool is the power of the internet? I look forward
to a mighty collaboration with you and yours! You all stirred up Milwaukee!
Bill Sell concludes, in reference to my pithy email pitch that kicked off
the whole she-bang, "We were looking for the original email, and have
enshrined it at:
EmailPower". How cool is that?
via The Progress Report,
by Green Scissors
While some in Congress have traditionally behaved like serfs of Big Oil - a
few oil companies in recent quarters grossed $10 billion - there has been a
mini-revolt. In May, the House of Representatives, led by Reps. Maurice
Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), voted to attach an amendment
to the Interior and Environment spending bill, forcing oil companies to
either renegotiate the leases signed in 1998 and 1999 - and ensure taxpayers
receive the $10 billion in oil royalty revenues they should be paid for
these two years - or be barred from buying new oil and gas leases in the
Gulf. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is also aggressively investigating the
contracts signed in 1998 and 1999, and introduced legislation preventing oil
companies, led by Kerr-McGee, from accessing federal courts to pursue a
potential $60 billion lawsuit challenging the Interior Department's
authority to place limits on royalty relief. On the Senate side, members of
the Senate Appropriations Committee also won in a skirmish with Big Oil.
Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) offered an
amendment to the Interior and Environment spending bill that mirrored the
Hinchey language. The amendment succeeded 15 to 13, with support from
Republican Senators DeWine (Ohio) and Bennett (Utah), while Democrat Mary
Landrieu (La.) opposed.
From a conversation between Hillsdale College President, Larry Arnn, and
Milton Friedman, May 22, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, California
- Harold Kyriazi firstname.lastname@example.org
"The first step following the 2003 invasion of Iraq should have been the
privatization of the oil fields. If the government had given every
individual over 21 years of age equal shares in a corporation that had the
right and responsibility to make appropriate arrangements with foreign oil
companies for the purpose of discovering and developing Iraq's oil reserves,
the oil income would have flowed in the form of dividends to the people -
the shareholders - rather than into government coffers. This would have
provided an income to the whole people of Iraq and thereby prevented the
current disputes over oil between the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, because oil
income would have been distributed on an individual rather than a group
By Steve Bailey, Globe Columnist | June 30, 2006, via Walter Horn,
"Think of this long Independence Day weekend as the weekend we begin freeing
our beaches. Is there anything more obnoxious than a 'private, no
trespassing' sign on a stretch of sandy beach? People who come from civilized
places - that is, almost anywhere else - can't understand the concept. The
ocean is our Grand Canyon; it belongs to everyone. It's wrong to fence it
off. The attorney general's office has produced a dandy little pamphlet
explaining the rights of property owners and the public when it comes to the
beaches. What I want is an attorney general who will get my rights back. To
win, we'll need creative thinking, looking for whatever leverage we can
find, whether it is eminent domain or something else. And we'll need to be
as persistent and organized as those who think they can expel us from the
beaches. We can't go away after Labor Day."
By Vicki Hyman, Staff The New Jersey paper, The Star-Ledger Staff,
July 04, 2006, via Mark Monson
Neil Baldwin, a poet-turned-biographer, appointed distinguished visiting
professor of history at Montclair State University, explores the provenance
and legacy of ten inherently American ideals in his book,
American Revelation] out in paperback this month (St. Martin's Press,
$14.95). Along with marquee thinkers, Baldwin also offers up lesser-known
idealists like Pierre Eugène Du Simitière, a French immigrant and artist who
selected the national motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one);
Henry George, a San Francisco writer and self-taught economist whose
"Progress and Poverty" argued that a single-tax system on land would remedy
the gap between the haves and have-nots (and made him one of the most famous
men in the last 19th century); and pioneering black historian, Carter Godwin
via The Progress Report,
by Campion Walsh
Housing prices in big U.S. cities have increasingly reflected underlying
land value, rather than building value since the mid-1980s, and that trend is
likely to continue; according to a Federal Reserve study released June 20.
Even when using their method of measuring land prices as the residual after
subtracting the value of the structure - instead of vice versa - most major
metro regions have land accounting for at least half of property value. In
cities on the West Coat, land accounts for two-thirds, and three-fourths,
and even four-fifths of total residential property value. In their sample,
39 of the 46 cities have experienced a clear peak in the real residential
land price index, and in many of these cities it has taken 10 years or more
for land prices to fully recover from their previous troughs. A high land
component means "possibly larger swings in home prices" or big losses for
some and a full recession for many.
Richard Biddle - email@example.com - offers to send a copy of the
complete report with some commentary.
By Dave Wetzel, The Mayor's Transport for
TfL has studied land value increases around two of the new
stations on the London Underground's Jubilee Line Extension. This study,
conducted by consultant property experts in the UK (Jones, Lang LaSalle),
concluded that the land around just two stations (Southwark and Canary
Wharf) increased by £2.8billion. The whole new extension with eleven
new stations cost only £3.5bn to build! It was at the CGO in London,
Ontario, Canada that Bill Batt and Ted Gwartney helped me to insert the land
value study in a meaningful way into the brief for this study.
By Frank J. Gonzalez, candidate in Miami firstname.lastname@example.org
"Speaking of taxes, land, labor and capital, I prefer Henry George's Land
Value Tax (LVT) just like you, instead of the outrageous taxes on labor or
capital. LVT is the most economically sensible and ethical form of taxation
that simultaneously benefits the environment with what I have personally
been describing as a sort of 'Tetris' effect toward 'ground zero' that
minimizes sprawl. Normally I have been calling myself a Jeffersonian
Democrat. But this forces me, on this issue, to call myself a 'Georgist.'
Unfortunately, most don't know what this means, so I have to keep it simple.
I have blind-copied Democrats on this Email.
By Dr. Robert Dickson Crane, July 2, 2006
Those who generate wealth in reliance on the natural resources provided by
the Creator in the ground must pay a tax of 20 percent on their total
wealth. The rationale for the high tax rate on natural resources is based on
the concept that God, not human labor and ingenuity, created these
resources... The aim of the Georgists is the justice of equality, but the
abolition of private property, even if only in land, in actual fact might
result in the opposite by further empowering the government (the state), the
defective institutions of society, and their self-serving economic and
Review by Ole Lefmann email@example.com
The latest work by Dr. J. W. Smith of Arizona argues that exclusive rights
should be replaced by conditional rights, implying that their holders pay to
the public purse an annual fee, being the annual market values of the
rights. The revenue of these payments of user licenses, instead of taxes on
productive activities, should finance public tasks, among which are issuing
of money and putting money into circulation. JWS proposes abolition of the
current practice that money is put into circulation as loans against
interests by which people will have to repay more money than has been
circulated. We should also abolish the demand for reserves as basis for
money put into circulation. It should be possible to put money into
circulation locally; such money should be valid only within small regions.
The same authority that put money into circulation should have the
responsibility to suck up from circulation excessive money and destruct it
soonest possible, in order to avoid inflation. JWS visualizes that the
present western economies will get the worst of it in competition with the
economies of the rest of the world when they - intelligent people ready to
deliver plenty of cheap manpower with access to plenty of natural resources
- use the means proposed by Henry George. It may lead to Western leaders'
panic decisions of using weapons and waging war, though there is no reason
for believing that that will change the falling off of Western economics.
JWS points to the fact, however, that Henry George's rules of law used
within the Western economy will have the capacity to bring the Western world
into the future in a decent manner.
Review by Dave Wetzel, The Mayor's Transport for London
By Richard Biddle firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgists might find useful the History News Service by Joyce Appleby
(email@example.com) (Phone: 310-470-8946) and others. She was
on BookTV CSpan2 on the IN DEPTH segment, which went on for three hours.
Jefferson's belief in usufruct came up in the first hour. At Franklin's
grave, I recently discovered a relatively new marker with three quotes; one
is from Washington, the other two are from the French Physiocrats, Turgot
and Mirabeau. Of course Adam Smith, whose patron, the Duke of Buccleuch, a
large landowner - who's descendant recently topped the 21st Century charts
for the wealthiest man in the UK, even above the Duke of Westminster, -
studied under the Physiocrats.
firstname.lastname@example.org July 21, 2006 via Paul Metz
The origins of the game can be traced to a Quaker from Virginia named Lizzie
Magie, who patented a game named The Landlord's Game in 1904. Lizzie
actually made the game to illustrate the evils of oppressive land owners.
She was a Georgist, which means that she adhered to Georgism, a philosophy
and economic ideology that basically says if you create it, you own it, but
if it's natural, then everyone owns it. This explains why Lizzie would make
a game about the evils of owning something and then patent it so she could
exclusively own it. Other notable Georgists include Winston Churchill and
By Ed Dodson email@example.com
Some of you receive my periodic email updates regarding the School of
Cooperative Individualism project, which are sent out about once a month. If
you are not familiar with the project, I invite you to take a look
(www.cooperativeindividualism.org). New material pertinent
to the taxation of land values and to political economy generally is
continuously added to the library of materials. If you would like to be
added to these updates, just send me your email address.
By Stephen Zarlenga firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of weeks ago we were asked by some serious governmental people in
Washington, DC whether the Federal Reserve was a part of our government or
not. Rather than give an off the cuff answer, I wrote a short paper
demonstrating the Fed's private status, including the overwhelming evidence
that it is not operating in the public interest. That paper is at our
website, as is "The Need For Monetary Reform" and the working text of the
Monetary Transparency Act. It's been described by one economist as
"deceptively innocuous." Please take a look and send comments. All the links
but one of the reviews of The Lost Science of Money are now functioning at
www.monetary.org. The AMI
2006 Monetary Reform Conference is going well; consider joining us in
Chicago, Sept. 21-24.
By T. H. Greco email@example.com
My slide show presentation, Complementary Currency and Exchange: The
Movement to Reinvent Money, was given at the June 8 Complementary Currency
conference in Burlington, Vermont. Watch it at
Theo Megalli and I recently completed An Annotated Précis, Review, and
Critique of Prof. Tobias Studer's book, WIR and the Swiss National Economy
(English translation by Philip H. Beard, Ph.D.). Because of its size and
long-term success, the Swiss WIR Bank is an extremely important case study.
A careful reading of Prof. Studer's book, while providing enormous insights
into the history and operations of WIR, raises some further questions, and
reveals some possible flaws in the way WIR is currently operated. These are
thoroughly discussed in our critique at
All of the Riegel books may now be found on our website at
My new blog is Beyond Money, at
http://beyondmoney.blogspot.com/, focusing on news
relating to money, banking, economics, and exchange innovations; while Tom's
News and Views deals with a broader range of topics from geo-politics,
health, and humor at
By Dr. Yoon-sang Kim, Kyungpook National University.
Korean translator of Progress and Poverty firstname.lastname@example.org
I am going to finish writing a new Korean book introducing Progress and
Poverty, and the life and thoughts of Henry George by the end of August.
The book is for general readers and college students. The publisher wants
many photos and illustrations to be included. Could R. Schalkenbach
Foundation provide appropriate items? I find the Henry George cd published
by Lincoln Institute contains interesting visual items provided by Mr.
Kenneth Wenzer and others. Could I use them? I wrote the Lincoln Institute
several weeks ago but have gotten no response yet.
From Peter Meakin email@example.com
"The 29th successful land tax was introduced in South Africa as perpetual
quitrent tenure. It was very successful, as it enticed Englishmen who had
lost their land to Enclosures to settle in South Africa under rental
tenures. Once they had all arrived, they decided to redeem the quitrents for
freeholds - for a song no doubt! Here is the copy of a quitrent deed. So,
should South Africa be second on the list? Or is it Tasmania where
quitrents were optional as the attachment?"
From Paul Justus firstname.lastname@example.org
"If there is one message I would like to impart to the Georgists, it is that
we need to do outreach and not spend so much time being an internal debating
society. As a 'planner', I believe we need to set a goal. I suggest
'Geotopia 2020', which implies that we will have a geotopian society by the
year 2020. Of course we need to define 'geotopian'."
Please keep sending your news and views and other interesting material to
share with others to email@example.com.
And of course you may continue to reach the Georgist News at
The deadline for ourSeptember 2006 issue is August 25.
Knowledge is a process of piling up facts. Wisdom lies in their
- Martin H. Fische
How can it be easier to assent than to dissent but harder to ascend than to
- Crazy English by Richard Lederer
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like
underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
- Miss Snark
Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday
- Rodney Dangerfield
The Georgist News, a project of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, is an
(plain text) email newsletter. It is brought to you free of charge. Its
purpose is to keep you updated on the latest news, world events, projects, and
initiatives of relevance to people who, like Henry George, seek a world free
from special privilege and free from the causes of poverty.
Do you know someone who'd enjoy reading this e-monthly? Please forward them
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The Georgist News on the WWW -
Contributing to this issue:
Richard Biddle, Jock Coats, Ed Dodson, Frank J. Gonzalez, Tom Greco,
Walter Horn, Paul Justus, Yoon-sang Kim, Harold Kyriazi, Ole Lefmann,
Peter Meakin, Paul Metz, Mark Monson, Bill Sell, Josh Vincent, Dave Wetzel,
and Steven Zarlenga.
Editor: Jeffery J. Smith
Copy Editor: Enzo Piccone
Proofreader: Caspar Davis
Archivist: Stewart Goldwater
Owner: The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
Founder: Adam Monroe
Publisher: Hanno T. Beck
The Georgist News Volume Nine, Number Two August 1, 2006