The press coverage out of Britain and elsewhere has been fantastic.
Yet still not outdone by places actually recovering the
socially-generated value of locations, as you'll see below.
Meanwhile, welcome aboard new subscriber Steven Shafarman. Dear
reader, if you know anyone who'd happily be a reader, please put
them in touch.
1. News: Land dues Round up
2. Good Press: British mainstream media, National Review, Center
for the Advance of Steady-State Economics, IFTA journal
3. Numbers: De-fund Ethanol, Get Funds from Renewables
4. Movement Progress: Baker, Gaffney, Hartzok, Martin
5. Letter: Law of Rent? CGO Conference
6. Obituary: Alice Tang
7. Likable link: Scott on the Spot's; HousePriceCrash
8. What You Can Do: Advise England; Join forum; Attend AMI Conference
9. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes
10. Publication affairs: Contributors, About the Georgist News
1. News: Land dues Round up
Around the world, some governments do recover the rent for land,
meeting resistance: "People haggle over how big land dues should be"
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 progress.org link, see how it goes.
2a. Good Press: British mainstream media
via numerous readers
Collected into articles published at our Progress Report is recent
press coverage in Great Britain on the most controversial, yet the
most salutary, reform: "UK's Economist and Financial Times own up"
One of the above authors, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times,
continued at his blog. Post comments on http://tinyurl.com/2u5kdr9
Some Georgists have already been active there.
Steven Shafarman adds: Have Geoists been in direct contact with Martin
Wolf? I encourage other Georgists to contact him, and perhaps even to
be systematic and long-term strategic about it. A key to building any
movement is cultivating allies, even if it takes many years. He's
clearly open and worth the effort. Write letters to the editor of his
and other publications to highlight his support, and encouraging
others to do the same.
Letter in Saturday's FT, July 19 2010
Why land tax shouldn't be confused with property tax
by Mr John Read.
Sir, Edward Gottesman (Letters, July 13) makes a number of assumptions
regarding land tax in his arguments for rebutting its value. First, it
should not be confused with property taxes, which include not only
land but the buildings thereon. The latter incur significant cost, not
only to produce but to maintain, whereas the former, being simply the
site value, costs nothing to produce or maintain. Second, land prices
have increased at a distinctly greater rate than inflation,
exacerbated by a combination of increasing prosperity and population
and, unlike buildings, its supply cannot be increased. Third, the main
reason areas have property blight is that the tax taken from those
areas is too great for them and, to add insult to injury, any
improvements or maintenance of property are also taxed; with land
taxation, if the land has no value, no tax is levied.
2b. Good Press: NRO's domestic-policy blog On Property Taxes
by Reihan Salam, National Review, July 15, 2010 (via Wyn Achenbaum)
Michael Hudson is a bit more inventive: he'd like to see a move away
from income taxes and towards property taxes. As for Michael Hudson's
idea, ahem, I'll just say that I've been enthusiastic about property
taxes since Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales described their virtues
in Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists. An excellent idea - here's
what I had to say on the subject a last summer:
What if the problem isn't the property tax at all but rather, well,
all other taxes? In 1879, Henry George, a brilliant if slightly
crankish autodidact, published Progress and Poverty, a scathing
polemic that blamed all economic ills on the private ownership of
land. A staunch believer in laissez-faire economics, George found it
perverse that we tax productive activities like work and innovative
investment while letting landowners grow rich simply because they
scooped up property at the right time. In that spirit, George called
for a "Single Tax" on the unimproved value of land. There's a certain
compelling logic to the Single Tax that stands the test of time...
Take Reihan's observations with a grain of salt, says Reihan.
2c. Good Press: Daly News Modernizing Henry George
by Center for the Advance of Steady-State Economics,
July 18, 2010 (via Harry Pollard)
Better to follow Henry George and retain rent as a necessary price for
measuring opportunity cost, but to then tax it away as unearned income
to the landlords. The more we tax away rent the less we have to tax
the value added by human labor and capital.
2d. Good Press: IFTA journal
by Phil Anderson, phil at glasswings.com.au, July 31, 2010
Email 22 attachment
My article in the IFTA journal, "How the Technical Analyst can profit
by understanding Real Estate" (page 22) can now be downloaded.
Prestigious journal, worth a read:
3. Numbers: De-fund Ethanol, Get Funds from Renewables
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:
Free Press says subsidize the press (surprised?) while others in the
press say lose subsidies for energy.
"Use Tax Dollars for Public Media? For Oil? For ..."
4a. Movement Progress: Common Ground - NYC Mid-Year update
by Scott Baker - Author, Community Activist; President: Common Ground
- NYC, ssbaker305 at yahoo.com, July 4, 2010
Our Common Ground - NYC Mid-year update is posted to the Files section
of Common Ground's Google group. We are pressing for three
anti-warehousing bills designed to tax vacant land at the same rate as
built-upon land and outreach to residents of communities like
Roosevelt Island to see if it's possible to stop gentrification, or at
least slow it down, with a Georgist initiative. You can read more
about this effort in the next issue of GroundSwell where I talk about
my first 60 days as local president.
4b. Movement Progress: Conference at Syracuse
by Mason Gaffney, m.Gaffney at dslextreme.com, Jul 5, 2010
Just returned from a Conference at Syracuse Univ. Lots of things there
confirm suspicions raised in Corruption of Economics. I attach a
family letter I wrote on returning. Ignore the family parts (for some
odd reason I cannot erase them), but pick out the Syracuse parts,
which are pretty damning!
Syracuse U adorns a hilltop. It exemplifies the old saying, "Slums
must create great centers of learning, because it couldn't possibly be
the other way around".
Students are calling the President of Syracuse U, Nancy Cantor, "The
Shill on the Hill", for her courting of a major Wall St. Titan, Jamie
Dimon, CEO and chair of JP Morgan Chase. (What else can she do?
There's no money in Syracuse, or much of anything else except acres of
parking lots, mostly empty.) The biggest building on campus is a HUGE
inflated sports dome, modern panem et circenses. Syracuse' traditional
color is orange, but the athletes must wear Nike logo's. They say
Dimon gave $30 millions to S.U. - will they put his name on the dome?
It was the Carrier Dome, but Carrier stopped donating so now it is
just "The Dome", awaiting a new donor buying immortality. Beware:
timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Jamie Dimon is already creating a new
business school program at SU, apparently designed to train more
Recent Chancellors have racked up an authoritarian and anti-union
record. They make a point of holding down pay rates while expanding
their real estate holdings roundabout. Students turned their backs on
The Shill's banker when he spoke at commencement.
New York State was also a hotbed of Fenianism. Wild young Matt
Gaffney, a Civil War vet, joined their invasion of Canada in 1867 or
so (my Canadian friends may not appreciate this). Double-dealing
Washington politicians joined the Mounties in repelling this venture -
grandfather escaped by swimming across the St. Lawrence, by his own
account, although he loved to improve on a story - he had a lot of
Ella Chapin was about 20 when she married the Rev. Matt Gaffney, who
was then over 50. She survived him by about 25 years. She drew on his
Civil War Vet's pension until she died in 1940 or so - the costs of
war go on a long time! Pity the widows of Confederate vets, with
nothing but shinplasters to use as wallpaper. Ella had a summer home,
a big barn of a place on Lake Ontario. Just before dying she sold it
for $750 or so. Big mistake! It was called Bonnicastle then, but now I
hear has returned to its original German name, Bonn Castle, and is
4c. Movement Progress: Course growing
by Alanna Hartzok, earthrts at pa.net, July 28, 2010
Two weeks ago I participated in a direct action for land rights for
homeless in Washington, DC where several of us put up a tent city on a
city owned vacant lot that had been promised for affordable housing,
now likely for upscale condos.
During this adventure I met up with African Americans who are dreaming
of establishing a CLT ecovillage. Two of them will be visiting with me
in Pennsylvania next week.
Also, just found out about Growing Power community food systems:
And the online course I developed under contract with UN Habitats
Global Land Tool Network now has several hundred people enrolled from
68 countries. I need more class facilitators!
4d. Movement Progress: IHG Nicaragua Project
by Paul A. Martin, Director, Centro Educativo Internacional Henry
George (CEIHG), Managua, NICARAGUA, Boston phone (until August 9th or
so): 617-527-1821, July 28, 2010
We are happy to announce that our new facility is finally functional
to facilitate IHG educational activities.
The Director of the IHG proyect incorporated Nicaragua Spanish
Schools, SA (nssmga.net) in Nicaragua. NSS is intended to be the
revival of the Director's past successful Spanish language immersion
program. The NSS will operate to help raise operating funds for the
CEIHG project while educating international students and facilitating
their investigation into Nicaraguan economic, political, and cultural
reality from an explicitly Georgist perspective.
As of this moment, the CEIHG project is organized as a private
non-profit project of the project director. In the short-term, it may
be considered a project of NSS as well. For reasons of long-term
stability, cost-effectiveness, and functionality, we have determined
that the best plan would be to establish the CEIHG project as a
registered international NGO under the auspices of a US-based NGO. We
are currently investigating the requirements for starting an NGO based
out of the CEIHG Director's home state of Massachusetts. The only
thing we are missing would be an in-State board director who could
provide a physical address in Mass, keep the NGO's legal papers, and
facilitate some initical correspondence for the NGO process in
Nicaragua. Another alternative would be to establish the NGO in
another State with the help of a board director there. If you know of
any dedicated georgist in Mass or another state who might be able and
willing to act as a board director for our start-up NGO, please let us
know as soon as possible.
When I get back to Nicaragua, the CEIHG will be offering its 41st P&P
economics course. If you can help us out with the replacement of our
defunct class laptop (which runs the projected visuals) with $ or the
donation of a reliable windows XP based laptop, or with the purchasing
of 20 plastic tables ($35 a pop) for our classroom, we would
This seems like a good place to say: Special thanks to Nicholas Rosen
for his recent donation, and to the HGI NY and the HGS of NY for all
their ongoing support!
5a. Letter: The Law of Rent?
by Michael Hawes, copyline at ntlworld.com, July 2, 2010
Many thanks latest edition. [13-1] I am a humble student of economics
and devotee of HG living in Newark on Trent, England. Can I take issue
with you on: 7. Likable link: The Short Run, by John Sorrentino, April
14, 2010: "A Keynesian website of note explains economic rent:" The
explanation, to my mind, is awful if not appalling! Is economic rent
'the price paid for use of land'? as the article states in the first
para? Some time ago I wrote a piece attempting to explain the LoR
concisely. I'll look it out and take an objective view - but I don't
think I will change my mind about the site you recommend!!! Just to
show I mean no hard feelings (!) I am sending you a hymn I wrote for
this weekend - July 8th being tax freedom day in the UK. Please feel
free to use if you can find an outlet. Vee ay tee is our sales tax
VAT. By the way, have you heard about the latest discovery of a
natural resource that will solve all the UK economic problems? The
news is published on www.landvaluetax.org.
5a. Letter: Albany CGO conference a great success!
by Ted Gwartney, July 23, 2010
The 2010 CGO conference was a Great Success! The CGO officers and
staff would like to thank everyone who presented! They would
especially like to thank the 2010 host Bill Batt for all of his hard
work on the project.
Watch this space for details of next year's event.
6. Obituary: Alice Tang
by Cliff Cobb, cliff.cobb at gmail.com , July 5, 2010
Alice Tang died recently (within the past couple of months). I believe
she had some form of cancer that advanced very rapidly.
7a. Likable Link: Scott on the Spot's
by Scott Baker, June 30, 2010
The new Geoist comic Tax and the City in short vignettes shows how a
Land Value Tax could benefit New York City apartment renters, store
owners, and commuters, and the more detailed text pages have lots of
useful and clickable links to Georgist sites - including The Progress
Report! Learning about Land Value Taxes has never been so
entertaining! Tax and the City can be downloaded from both of our
Common Ground Websites in full, glorious color:
http://groups.google.com/group/common-ground-nyc (in the Files
Section) and http://www.commongroundnyc.org/ from the homepage.
Also, a new book by two economists encompasses 800 years of booms and
busts. It's called "This time, It's Different" and you can read a
review here: http://tinyurl.com/325gmrv
It is more historical than analytical, offering no insights other than
that booms and busts keep happening and "no one seems to know why."
Well, we know why. Perhaps some comments/reviews are in order on the
Amazon page (you can't do either in the NY Times article).
Also, I just started a Georgist petition on Change.org supporting
Frank D. Walker's initiative titled, "Support Reform That Will
Revitalize California's Economy and End The Public Finance Crisis".
You can sign the petition in less than 30 seconds by clicking the link
7b. Likable Link: HousePriceCrash
HousePriceCrash.co.uk, owned by Fubra Limited, an Internet media
company, acts as a counterbalance to the positive spin the housing
market receives in the main media and provides up-to-date data and
commentary. Its forum has over 10,000 users a day. Some there extol
sharing rent via a Citizens Dividend:
8a. What You Can Do: Advise England
by David Chester, July 10, 2010
The British government is interested on ideas and opinions on revoking
old laws and introducing new ones as replacements. Nick Clegg, the new
deputy Prime minister (LIB-PROG) has opened a site for the expression
of this freedom: http://www.number10.gov.uk
This popular site shows what the interested e-mail user is feeling
about the British Laws. Inside the site tabs "communicate" and
"freedom" and a search for "land value" will take you to what I wrote
8b. What You Can Do: Join the Forum W7TF "territorial anchorage"
by Martine Theveniaut, martine.theveniaut4 at orange.fr, Aug 4, 2009
This Forum follows the Workshop 7 at the Lux'09 Forum. Its theme:
"Democratic participation and anchoring the Solidarity Sustainable
Economy at the territorial level." Workshop 7 was prepared by visits
to regional territories and by a "collective intelligence" process of
over 2 years, as part of an EU work platform, hosted by the French
network Pactes Locaux, which exists since 1998
The conclusions of Workshop 7 have made "territorial anchorage" a
theme of its own to prepare for the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy
in November 2009 and the International Forum for Globalization of
Solidarity in 2013. Following up on from the conclusions of the
Workshop 7, this Forum places the territorial approach at the highest
level. We plan to establish an international think-tank of 15-20
people to expand exchanges for collective learning, to collectively
bring forward these proposals in 2013.
8c. What You Can Do: Attend AMI Conference
by Stephen Zarlenga, July 17, 2010
Register now to obtain the $120 discount on the 6th annual AMI
Monetary Reform Conference ($275 instead of $395). Conference dates
are Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. As usual we'll have a top notch line-up of
speakers: Prof. Steve Keen, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Dr. Michael
Hudson, Prof. Nic Tideman of Virginia Tech, Michele St. Pierre, Robert
Poteat, Dick Distelhorst, Ben Dyson, Jamie Walton, and Will Abram.
9. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes
If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their
feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop
it? - Stephen Wright
This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world
is run by those that never listen to music anyway. - Bob Dylan
I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men,
now walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since
the war. - Robert Mueller
10. 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 geonomics.org or gn at progress.org. 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. Thanks.
The Georgist News is also available on line http://www.Georgist.com/.
The Georgist News, Volume Thirteen, Number Two, August 1, 2010