Volume Twelve, Number Twelve, June 1, 2010

The days can't get much longer or shorter or more celebrating Down Under. Wait
till you read about the government action in Australia! And if you know anyone
who'd happily be a reader, please put them in touch.

0. 30th North American Conference of the CGO
1. Movement Progress: Review recommends LVT; Oz Treasurers Push Rent Recovery;
   De Jong For City Council
2. News: New Laws & Official Plans
3. Numbers: Brazil's scheme to tackle poverty
4. Good Press: iTulip; Cape Times
5. Letter: Kindle; 3 newsletters; Material for a Georgist CD
6. Likable link: Oz Online Opinion; Economist talks LVT to pay for
   transportation; Interview with a New York cable TV host; Overview; IU paper
7. What You Can Do: Speak Up in Online Conference; Cut taxes, Cut back war
8. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes
9. Publication affairs: Contributors, About the Georgist News

0. 2010 CGO conference in Albany NY -- program and registration info
by Scott & Sue Walton, sns at, May 17, 2010

JUNE FIRST is the deadline for EARLY REGISTRATION for the 30th Annual CGO
Council. Remember you can register online at:

Coming to the Conference? Please bring your passports/government id's with
you because the Watervliet Army Arsenal is an active military installation.

Please take this survey:
We will be discussing the results of this survey at the 2010 CGO Conference.

1a. Movement Progress: Henry Tax Review recommends Land Tax
by Karl Fitzgerald, k2 at, (03) 9312 5790, May 1, 2010

Prosper Australia Press Release:

Henry Review Puts Land Tax On The Agenda

The Henry Tax Review's highlighting of Land Tax as a policy direction is a
welcome and encouraging development, says Prosper Australia.

"This is THE tool to liberate the people of Australia from their current
financial difficulties," Prosper Australia's Karl Fitzgerald said today.
"Consider the enormous economic benefits this reform offers.

"Taxing land will provide real incentives to spur land use to the best and
highest use. It will prompt a boom in investment and vastly improved access to
land for all - creating a tidal wave of economic and social progress.

"The Great Australian Dream of home ownership - now impossible for a whole
generation of Australians - would quickly become reality.

"I cannot overstate the potential benefits of re-basing tax onto land holding.
Yes, this means introducing a tax, but it also means many others can and would
be eliminated.

A land tax would allow sweeping cuts to income taxes, the end of the much
hated GST and the elimination of up to 123 other regressive, unfair and
exemption-riddled tax mechanisms.

It must be noted that Prosper Australia's energetic support for a federal land
tax is not a proposal to increase the government's tax revenues as a
proportion of GDP or its powers or to advance the interests of any group over

"This is a technical economic issue, not a morality play.

"We value that Australia is a low tax country and want it to stay that way.
Land tax aims squarely at further improving our quality of life through
discouraging the hoarding of land by attaching a holding cost to it.

"More land would become available at a much lower cost. Allied with higher
incomes from lower taxes elswhere, this shifting of the tax burden would
galvanize activity and opportunity.

Fitzgerald called on all Australians to embrace land tax in the interests of
an equitable and just society.

"Land Tax is beautiful. It is impossible to avoid, is transparent to all and
cheap to collect," Fitzgerald concluded. "The Henry Review proposal needs our
careful consideration."

1b. Movement Progress: Oz Treasurers Push Rent Recovery
by Phil Anderson, May 6, 2010

Just making sure you got these links. Half ignored in OZ, but from the top
Aussie treasury boffins, amazing... You should be able to make use of this
wherever you are.

1c. Movement Progress: Frank De Jong - For Toronto City Council
by Frank De Jong, May 2, 2010

Hey all, I'm running for Toronto City Council. Join VOTE Frank de Jong for
ward 18. Thanks.

To see more details and confirm this group invitation, follow the link below:
[to follow]
2. News: New Laws & Official Plans

Two leaders push sharing Earth as their nations try to reform past hoarding of
land and resources by a well-placed few. "New laws to heal past injustices"

While Americans lose their homes and US public debt dwarfs GDP, the Australian
Government spells out what to do. "Aussie Officials Plan to Recover More
Natural Rents"

To keep up with the latest in the world of economic justice, visit the daily
news site, the Progress Report, where such articles appear.

To establish a shared frame of reference for a discussion about how to solve
economic issues with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, try sending
them the link, see how it goes.

3. Numbers: Brazil's scheme to tackle poverty

Want all the current indicators in one place? Periodically, The Progress
Report publishes just such a digest. To give readers greater breadth, depth,
and the most salient facts, many articles at the Progress Report are not
single articles but compilations on a particular theme, offering a compendium
of data on one sector:

In Maranhao, 50% of the population are on the dole. Hence 20 million
Brazilians have been lifted out of poverty. "Brazil's scheme to tackle

4a. Good Press: iTulip interviews Gaffney, Hudson
by Phil Anderson, May 10, 2010

Have you seen this site? No shortage of geoists being interviewed it seems.

4b. Good Press: Cape Times and Municipal Valuation challenges
by Peter Meakin, mea44kin at, May 11, 2010

This headline treatment on Monday 10th May of the Cape Times [circ 300 000] in
my battle with the City of Cape Town valuation and rates department was
welcome. This morning they also ran an editorial. A blush was suppressed.

City accused of rates fiasco
May 10, 2010 Edition 1

INCONSISTENCIES and an "unacceptable" margin of error in the City of Cape
Town's new valuations roll suggest the operation may have been botched.

This would leave thousands of homeowners paying exorbitant rates, while
thousands of others will score, paying low rates and costing the city hundreds
of millions of rands.

This is according to professional valuer Peter Meakin, based on his analysis
of a random selection of 420 mostly residential properties sold in July 2009.
The city has based its new valuations roll on property sales and market
conditions around its chosen valuation date, July 1, 2009.

According to Meakin, the city's variance of 23 percent was unacceptably large.
For example, a house sold for R1 million will, on average, be valued at either
R1.23m or R770 000.

Meakin estimates this under-recovery will cost the city more than R500

Rate speech
May 11, 2010 Edition 1
THE response by the City of Cape Town to our article on property evaluations
yesterday does it no credit.
In Monday's Cape Times we reported on a study by independent property valuer
Peter Meakin suggesting the city's new valuations roll may be faulty. The
study, based on a random selection of 420 properties, found that on average
properties had been over- or under-valued by more than 23 percent. This is
about double the internationally accepted margin of error adopted by the city.

But at the very least, Meakin's study warrants a response.

The City of Cape Town does have a history of disputes with Meakin. And Meakin,
who has a stake in a company which offers a competing valuation system, may
have an interest in exposing faults in the city's rating processes. But that
does not mean his findings are wrong.
Residents of Cape Town have a right to know whether or not Meakin is right and
the city's property valuations have been botched; and, if so, how many
properties have been affected and what the consequences are. Only the city
authorities can answer these questions and it is a great pity that instead of
doing so they have chosen to splutter with indignation at the very suggestion
that there might be something wrong

5a. Letter: Kindle
by Laurel Hessing, April 30, 2010

I recently purchased Progress and Poverty on my kindle. I have been
highlighting places in the book which explain why industrial progress, which
should only better the life of mankind, brings with the good, poverty and
exploitation. Some chapters on wages and capital may be complicated to
understand for me but much of what I read is simple, beautifully written and
clear as a bell. If you have a kindle, I urge you to download this valuable
piece of writing. Henry George writes passionately about the Irish famine and
other tragedies in world history which could have been avoided if those who
lived on the land had been free to work it in ways most beneficial to them and
if it were not owned by exploiters and speculators far away. I will continue
to read. I believe the book is relevant more than ever to the times we live
in. To download the book I paid only a few dollars.

5b. Letter: Ozzie News: Mining Magnates, Henry on our side
by Karl Fitzgerald, k2 at, May 4, 2010

The Earthsharing Australia email newsletter for May is out.
Contact us to subscribe.

5c. Letter: Ozzie Guardian
by David Brooks, davidsb1 at, May 25, 2010

The Australian May issue of Guardian is out. Contact me for a copy.
I trust you enjoy the reading.

5d. Letter: Spring Newsletter - The IU
by Megan Ashcroft, General Secretary & Treasurer, megan at,
May 28, 2010

The spring issue of newsletter of the International Union is out. Contact me
for a copy.

5e. Letter: Material for a Georgist CD
by Bill Batt, hwbatt at, May 21, 2010

It would be worthwhile to put together a CD of some of our best materials --
that which is online and anything elsewhere -- that we think is our best
stuff. With attention and discrimination, we can do something appealing and

I'd even like to have disks for the Workshop that Josh and I are putting
together before our 2010 CGO meeting. Certainly CDs are far cheaper to
duplicate than paper, especially when using colors for graphics like diagrams,
GIS maps, etc.

We can get someone like Vadra Minter in the RSF office to lift pieces off our
websites, or from wherever, and we can have material to pass out or put on a
table. Disks cost, at most, about a quarter apiece to produce. Sheets of
paper, just black and white, are about 3-4 cents a page.

You know what stuff tends to get the most hits, and what seems to be the most
useful. I'd like your suggestions. And I welcome everyone to tell me what we
need as much as suggesting stuff that we should include. I ask you to send me
your suggestions about what should go on a disk.

Mason Gaffney replies: On go to "Published Papers", item
G-29, a paper on Taxable Capacity of Land.

6a. Likable link: OZ On Line Opinion - 18/5/2010
by Bryan Kavanagh, May 18, 2010

The National Forum is Australia's e-journal of social and political debate,
including my "Resource rents - a counter revolution"

6b. Likable link: Economist talks LVT to pay for transportation
by Scott on the Spot Baker, May 21 2010

David Levinson, Associate Professor and Director, Economics and Urban Systems
(NEXUS), University of Minnesota, talks about ways to pay for mass transit
outside the normal routes. He specifically talks about Land Value Taxes
throughout his 97 minute talk to Baruch College in New York City, April 30. He
even gives a short history of Henry George and the Georgist approach (picture
of George and all!) at the 40 minute mark.

6c. Likable link: Interview with a New York cable TV host
by Ed Dodson, May 19, 2010

Last week, I was interviewed in New York by cable TV personality Harold
Channer. If you have an hour to spare, you might find this of some interest.

6d. Likable link: Overview
by Fred Foldvary, May 1, 2010

Where would you send people for an overview of Georgism that explains what it
is, why anyone should care about it, or how it relates to existing political
interests? Does one exist?

6e. Likable link: Presented at the IU Conference
by Gavin R. Putland, May 7, 2010

"Land-Backed Debt as a Revenue Base" presented on April 27, 2010, at the IU
Global Conference 2010 (London, April 26-30) by Gavin R. Putland. For what
it's worth, the HTML edition is now available at

7. What You Can Do: Join A Remarkable Conversation On Taxing And Spending
by Brett Mandel , May 4, 2010

I usually focus on local government and ways that we can become engaged to
push for change locally, but something is happening in Philadelphia next month
that could help change the direction of our national government. Most
important, you can act locally, and make your voice heard to have a national

On June 26th, there will be a remarkable effort to influence thinking about
how we raise and budget public money at the federal level. Across America,
citizens will come together -- liberal and conservative; urban, suburban, and
rural; young and old; every race and demographic -- to have a facilitated
conversation about how we tax and spend.

I saw this process work in Washington DC to inform the city's budget
deliberations and thought it was an engaging process to generate public
feedback. I think Philadelphia should do something similar to connect us to
our budget process, but that is a conversation for another time.

Philadelphia, the birthplace of the American democracy, will be one of the six
primary host sites for this remarkable national conversation and you can sign
up to join your neighbors -- and thousands of other citizens across the nation
-- in letting your government know how you think we should collectively raise
and spend OUR money.

If you ever wanted to speak out -- and interact with other citizens and have
your government listen -- this is your chance.

You are cordially invited to participate in an unprecedented National Town
Meeting to discuss "Our Budget and Our Economy"

On Saturday, June 26, 2010, thousands of Americans across the country will
join together in a National Town Meeting to discuss the fiscal future of our
country. Philadelphia is one of the six primary locations across the country
where participants will be connected via satellite video, webcast and
interactive technologies. Additional smaller gatherings and discussions will
take place simultaneously in other cities across the nation and those
locations too will be connected to the primary sites via webcast and
interactive technologies.

In Philadelphia we will begin this historic Town Meeting at 11:30 am and the
meeting will run to 6:00 pm at 3801 Market Street.

We invite you to join the discussion.

To participate, you must register.

There is no fee to register and lunch and snacks will be provided free. Where
possible, childcare, transportation assistance and translation services will
be provided.

To register
Log on to:
Click on Participate found at the top of the page.
On your right, in the vertical menu, under 'Join the Discussion' click on
Philadelphia. This will open up the Registration form.
Complete and submit the Registration form.

You can also register by calling toll-free at 866-755-6263 or by printing the
attached registration form and faxing it to 301-567-9553 or mailing it to
AmericaSpeaks P.O. Box 623 Oxon Hill, MD 29750-0623

Space is limited so register now!

Your voice will be heard!

Participants in the Town Meeting will reflect the political, socio-economic,
and ethnic diversity of the United States. After June 26,AmericaSpeaks will
present the priorities that emerge from the National Town Meeting to Congress
and President Obama, as well as the National Commission on Fiscal
Responsibility and Reform and the Bi-Partisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction
Task Force. The results that emerge from the discussion will have credibility
with policy makers because they will reflect the authentic views of a large,
informed, and representative group of Americans. The discussion will not be
manipulated by any side or point of view, and will give the American public a
real chance to find common ground.

For additional information, visit our website at:

Or email Le'Kedra Robertson, Philadelphia Site Manager at:
lrobertson at

Who is AmericaSpeaks?
AmericaSpeaks is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with the mission to
reinvigorate American democracy by engaging citizens in the public
decision-making that most impacts their lives.

Over the past 15 years, we have engaged more than 150,000 people across the
country on some of the most pressing issues facing our communities and our
nation, including the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina,
economic development in Northeast Ohio, and creating municipal budget
priorities for Washington, DC. We have done so through innovative meetings
that integrate authentic deliberation with new kinds of technology.

AmericaSpeaks takes pride in its reputation as an honest and neutral advocate
for public participation. We play a unique role in the policymaking process by
serving as a non-partisan convener of forums that provide the public with an
opportunity to make decisions about important issues without fear of
manipulation or bias. Our ability to help citizens and elected officials come
together around tough public issues is dependent on our commitment to
maintaining this neutral role. We have not and will never take a position on
the outcomes of the national discussion.

7. What You Can Do: Cut taxes, Cut back war
by Paul Martin, PaulMart10 at, May 30, 2010

Please view this video of a bill in congress which would effectively cut war
spending and eliminate taxation on everybody's first $35K ($70 for couples).

Then consider getting in touch with your congress reps and networks to support
this legislation.

8. the Margin: Quips and Quotes

In what other language do people drive in a parkway and park in a driveway?
In what other language do people ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
- Richard Lederer, Crazy English

As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the
landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand
a rent even for its natural produce.
- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

9. Publication affairs: Contributing to this issue

Along with those acknowledged above with each blurb,

  Editor: Jeffery J. Smith
  Assistant Editor: Caspar Davis
  Archivist: Stewart Goldwater
  Owner: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
  Founder: Adam Monroe

Send your news and other interesting material to the Georgist News, jjs at or gn at The deadline for the next issue is the
25th of this month.

The Georgist News, a project of Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, is an email
newsletter brought to you free of charge. Its purpose is to keep you updated
on the latest news, citations, events, and initiatives of relevance to people
who, like Henry George, seek a world free from special privilege and the
causes of poverty.

Do you know someone who'd enjoy reading the GN? Please forward them an issue
and ask them to subscribe, or send us their eddress. As always, it's free.

The Georgist News is also available on line

The Georgist News, Volume Twelve, Number Twelve, June 1, 2010