THE GEORGIST NEWS

WEB EDITION
Volume Thirteen, Number Eight, February 1, 2011

Happy mid winter (or summer Down Under)! Had enough? We're only half
way through! Yet like the US mail carrier, neither rain nor hail nor
dark of night detours the movement. Just see how much good we've been
up to! And welcome aboard Chuck Huckaby, Tennessee pastor and blogger.
If anyone knows anyone who'd happily be a reader, please put them in
touch. Thanks. Enjoy the read!


CONTENTS: 1. Good Press: The Independent, The Guardian, The Observer, Aussie Financial Review, Progress online 2. News: Judges and assessors assign values 3. Numbers: Wars Make Corporations Rich & All In the Family 1960s' video 4. Movement Progress: Treasury Select Committee submissions & Scottish Land Tax a step closer 5. Letter: Freedoms Edge, IU Newsletter, US BIG, Last Issue 6. Correction: Links located 7. Likable link: Radio interviews, Online videos, LVTfan, Out of Victoria, BC, Digital Gallery 8. What You Can Do: Write Cuomo, Land rights project ideas, Mission statement, Unify us all 9. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes 10. Publication affairs: Contributors, About the Georgist News


Major Announcement: CGO Annual Conference this summer by Sue Walton, Jan 18, 2011 LISTSERVES/FACEBOOK: Did you know that the CGO maintains two listserves, one COGO and another Geo-Act. COGO publishes CGO business news such as conference sites & business meeting minutes; it's open to CGO Organizational and paying Supporting members; it is moderated by Sue Walton (sns at swwalton.com) & Dan Sullivan (pimann at pobox.com). GEO-ACT is a blog without the discussion; it is moderated by former CGO president, Alanna Hartzok (earthrts at pa.net). If you would like more information or would like to join either group, please contact Sue, Dan or Alanna. Are you on Facebook? Why not "friend" the CGO, Henry Geroge Institute and Common Ground-USA? The CGO is compiling a list of listserves and Facebook sites to place on its website. Send send information to CGO's VP and Webmaster, Lindy Davies by March 15th. CONFERENCE: The CGO is please to announce that it has selected, The Henry George Theorem at Work, as the theme for it's 2011 Conference to be held, August 2-6, 2011 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Among the invited speakers are: Dave Wetzel, Jeff Smith, Myron Ornfield and members of the Staff of the Humphrey Institute. More details will follow next month.


1a. Good Press: British newspaper The Independent via Carol Wilcox The Independent article, 3 January: There are ways that the state can curb prices. It could increase taxes on housing, perhaps by imposing capital gains tax on first homes, or a land value tax. This would reduce the profits from speculation in housing. It could build (or encourage the building of) more houses. Increasing the supply of housing would depress prices. It could reform the rental laws to make long-term renting easier (as it is on the Continent). Rent reform would reduce the profitability of being a landlord, thus taking some air out of the buy-to-let market which has contributed substantially to house price gains in recent years. http://tinyurl.com/385zjus Letter by Michael J Hawes, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, January 6, 2011 Land-value tax is the way forward ... land-value tax should not be an additional tax but a replacement for council tax, VAT and taxes on wages and capital. Land value is created by the community and, by raising public revenue in this way, it provides an essential component in a progressive tax policy that encourages economic development and ensures sustainable growth... Please see item 1b below - letter in today's Guardian and below it the referenced article by Philippe Legrain. John L, note the organisation Unitax to which Owen Ephraim belongs for the CEJ. I have Owen's email address somewhere, I'm sure.


1b. Good Press: British newspaper The Guardian via Carol Wilcox The Guardian, January 7, published a letter by, Treasurer, The Unitax Association, who said in part ... ... By taxing added value we are taxing the two financial incentives that people have to encourage them to provide competitive goods and services. Do we really want to tax the very thing that drives a developing economy? As Legrain points out, we would do better to tax the factors which remove value from goods and services. An RVT in the form of a national rent on land values is just such a tax. http://tinyurl.com/4o9xwkn


1c. Good Press: British newspaper The Observer runs letters via Carol Wilcox Well, things seem to be hotting up here, don't they? There was another letter on LVT in yesterday's Guardian from Meg Howarth, who used to be an LLC member. Last year I read numerous online comments supporting LVT from people I've never heard of -- in previous years they have generally been from known supporters. Yesterday I picked up an email which had attached the manifesto of the UK Reform Party which has a section on LVT. David Reed (LLC member): ... What is needed is a massive increase in house building, or maybe make capital gains tax apply also to homes or, better still, how about a land tax related to the value of property? DA Cooknell: What needs to be addressed is the absurd rate at which land prices have risen. A land tax, which has been trailed many times in the past, is one way to exercise some control on its price. In the past, governments have shied away from this, but perhaps its time has come.


1d. Good Press: Aussie Financial Review by John Passant, senior lecturer in law at the University of Canberra and a former assistant commissioner of taxation, john.massam at multiline.com.au The Australian Financial Review, January 12, 2011, p.46 Economic rent ripe for tax ... the taxation of economic rent becomes a tool in addressing the tendency to monopoly and at the same time raises revenues from profits appropriated by monopolists from other parts of society. As the current tax base slowly dries up, the demand to tax super profits will grow louder and louder over time. I have seen the future. It is the taxation of economic rent.


1e. Good Press: British website Progress online, news and debate from the progressive community, ran an article, "Taxing Land", January 6. www.progressives.org.uk/articles/article.asp?a=7390


2. News: Judges and assessors assign values The conventional media does cover the reform of tapping natural values for public benefit while de-taxing our efforts. To keep up to date, visit The Progress Report daily. Here's one of the latest articles in favor of reform: Landowning Eskimos score against BP, leaseholding Marylanders await trial, while some assessors rate sites right. "Winners and losers in the race for rent" http://www.progress.org/2011/maryland.htm 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.


3. Numbers: Lost Wars Make Corporations Rich & All In the Family 1960s' video clip Fifty years ago Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about the growing power of the military/industrial complex. "Why defense cuts can help America" http://www.progress.org/2011/warcosts.htm Martin Luther King is a hero to many but few know his suggestions for reforming the economy, in line with geonomics. "Equality, a True Soul Food" www.progress.org/2011/meathead.htm 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:


4a. Movement Progress: Treasury Select Committee submissions by Carol Wilcox, IU ExCom, carol.wilcox at labourland.org, January 26, 2011 On January 8, UK LVT groups and David Chester made individual submissions to the Treasury Select Committee in response to their inquiry into the fundamental principles of tax policy. The inquiry was opened thus: In the last month, the OECD in Paris and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London have each published important reports into the fundamentals of tax policy. The OECD reports that the tax system should distort economic incentives as little as possible and that "corporate taxes are the most harmful type of tax for economic growth, followed by personal income taxes and then consumption taxes, with recurrent taxes on immovable property being the least harmful tax." The Mirrlees Review, published by the IFS, argues that the tax system should be considered as a whole with the benefit system, seek neutrality, and achieve progressivity as efficiently as possible. The Office of Tax Simplification has revealed that there are over 1,000 reliefs in the UK tax system. The Treasury Committee has decided to launch its own inquiry into the principles which should underpin the tax system, and invites written evidence on the following points: * What are the key principles which should underlie tax policy? * How can tax policy best support growth? * To what extent should the tax system be structured to support other specific policy goals? * How much account should be taken of the ease and efficiency with which a particular tax can be imposed and collected? * Are there aspects of the current tax system which are particularly distorting?


4b. Movement Progress: Scottish Land Tax a step closer by Tony Vickers, vickerst at lsbu.ac.uk, January 27, 2011 'Scottish Land Tax a step closer' has been published to LandValueScape. http://tinyurl.com/5r99nmh Reminder: Jeremy Edge to speak at PLRG meeting 3 Feb LSBU, details at www.plrg.org


5a. Letter: Freedoms Edge by David Brooks, davidsb1 at bigpond.com, January 11, 2011 The current issue of the magazine Freedoms Edge is available. To see it, contact me (above).


5b. Letter: IU e-Newsletter January 2011 by Dave Wetzel, Acting General Secretary, Deputy President, TheIU, davewetzel.theiu at gmail.com, January 24, 2011 We live in interesting times and I do hope we all enjoy a successful New Year raising the profile of the land issue. To read our latest e-newsletter, please get in touch.


5c. Letter: Green Revolution Deadline by Bob Flatley, January 29, 2011 Please submit any items for publication in the Winter edition of the GR by Friday, Feb.4, 2011. Items appropriate for publication include articles, poetry, short stories, book reviews, and pieces relating to activities on School Of Living communities. Also if you have received any funding from the SOL one of your obligations is to provide a report to the GR documenting how you used the funds. Please make submissions to solgreenrev at gmail.com


5d. Letter: book The Science of Economics by Fred Foldvary, January 29, 2011 I have recently published a Georgist economics textbook, The Science of Economics. Get it from the distributor for .95: Step 1: Log on to https://students.universityreaders.com/store/ Step 2: Create an account or log in if you have an existing account. Step 3: Instructions will then guide you. The site is meant for students, so take on the role of a student. Use Santa Clara University for the college. My class there is Economics 2, Principles of Macroeconomics. Orders are typically processed within 24 hours. If you experience any difficulties, email orders at universityreaders.com or call 800.200.3908 ext. 503.


5e. Letter: US BIG by Karl Widerquist, January 5, 2011 The Georgist Newsletter is very well done. I'm emailing to remind you that a lot of stuff in the USBIG newsletter overlaps with Georgist stuff, and perhaps should be reported to the Georgist community. Like for example that we have three sessions at the USBIG conference on the book "Exporting the Alaska Model," and that meeting for the book in Anchorage this spring. Ed. Note: Karl's right. To receive the US BIG monthly e-newsletter, please visit http://www.usbig.net/index.php


5f. Letter: The Georgist News for January, 2011 by Walter Horn, Jan 1, 2011 Nice issue, Jeff. Happy New Year!


6. Correction: Last Issue, GN13-7: Some Links Bad by Stewart Goldwater, December 31, 2010 Happy New Year! 5b. Ebenezer Jones, 1849: The Land Monopoly No link provided to Google Books page. The url: http://tinyurl.com/6jj4clv is now posted in web version. 9b. What You Can Do: Edge to open PLRG 2011 Program Incorrect link: Jeremy Edge Correct url: http://tinyurl.com/2ug7okc now posted in web version. Also, footer should read: The Georgist News, Volume Thirteen, Number Seven, January 1, 2011.


7a. Likable Link: Radio interviews by Karl Fitzgerald, January 1, 2011 You may enjoy this highlights package of the Renegade Economists; they all helped tell a compelling story. You can listen in weekly at a time of your choosing by subscribing to the podcast. http://www.earthsharing.org.au/renegade-economists/ Bryan Kavanagh recommends a listen to the collage of interviews for the year. "Good year, Karl, and good going for 2011!"


7b. Likable Link: Online videos YouTube - 1 Jubilee-Land Rent solves poverty.wmv This video is a VERY brief overview of how we can solve many of the gigantic economic problems we have at present. www.youtube.com/?v=wlvXVd1uctU 1 Jubilee-land Rent Solves Povertywmv - from WN Network. WorldNews delivers latest Breaking news including World News, U.S., politics, business, ... www.wn.com/1_Jubilee-Land_Rent_solves_povertywmv


7c. Likable Link: LVTfan by Wyn Achenbaum, January 8, 2011 If you haven't had occasion to check out the LVTfan blog recently, you might want to take a look. I've dredged up some interesting (to me, anyway!) material, and posted a bunch of things in the past few days. (Google Books and some other similar resources are absolutely amazing.) Comments welcome, of course! http://lvtfan.typepad.com/ Those who are interested in The Landlords Game, on which Monopoly is based, might want to look at several new posts (January 23, 2011). One of the links will take you to a page where you can create your own board and materials for playing Brer Fox an' Brer Rabbit. And I've got one more piece about Lizzie that I've chosen not to post. Will share it with anyone who requests it. Editor's Note: Wyn also circulated "A LESSON FROM JAPAN", from The Arena, Volume 35, 1906, subtitled, "The Single-Tax For Centuries In Practical Operation, and Its Result", which she may send you or may have posted to her blog.


7d. Likable Link: Out of Victoria, BC by Glenn R Harrington, January 11, 2011 Please add this to the likeable links: http://tinyurl.com/4ebzj3b Tally ho!


7e. Likable Link: Digital Gallery by Tom Whelan (of Portland, ex-state legislator), January 12, 2011 Stumbled upon the Henry George Collection: Illustrations and Photographs http://tinyurl.com/6ygzpnn


8a. What You Can Do: Write NY Gov. Cuomo by Scott Baker, President: Common Ground NYC, Writer & Senior Editor for OpEdNews (a Technorati top 100 Blog site), ssbaker305 at gmail.com, January 23, 2011 Common Ground-NYC is leading a letter-writing campaign to Governor Cuomo about cap for the property tax and a second campaign to Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-AD67) to re-sponsor an LVT bill that would create a new property class for vacant property, and tax it accordingly. Please send letters to me. I will include them all - plus the 22 we had hand-filled out at our most recent meeting, and mail or deliver them to the Governor and the Assemblywoman respectively.


8b. What You Can Do: Land Rights Course News and Project Ideas by Alanna Hartzok, Co-Director, Earth Rights Institute, January 22, 2011 Course students now more than 500 people from 80 countries. We invite them to communicate as class groups. To date, country class groups have been formed for Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Togo, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, the US, and the UK. The course is now translated into Spanish. Tell friends and colleagues about the course, suggesting they enroll in the course. We encourage you to create a project relevant to the contents of the course to be held on or around the date of March 20, which is celebrated as Equinox Earth Day. A project could be as simple as inviting a few friends to for a discussion of land rights and what you are learning from the course. Or you could organize a public forum; speak to a class; arrange for a radio, TV or newspaper interview; distribute postcards or flyers containing a relevant quote and the course website; or create art, poetry, or music expressing your feelings about land rights. Enroll in Land Rights and Land Value Capture at www.course.earthrights.net


8c. What You Can Do: Mission Sstatement by Fred Harrison, fred.Harrison at talktalk.net, January 20, 2011 Following the response to my personal New Year Mission Statement, I decided to write some follow-up reflections which may be of interest to you. Contact me for a copy. Forward it to anyone you think may be interested.


8d. What You Can Do: Intl Georgist Org to unify us all by Paul Martin, Director, IHG Managua, ceihg at ceihg.org, January 24, 2011 I've a plan to create an intl. Georgist community that would in practice demonstrate the idea of the public collection of rent for comunal benefit, including the "citizens' dividend" while encouraging an unprecedented and steady increase in the number of active georgists in the world. It is kind of innovative and may be a great idea ... or not? I'd really appreciate getting your considered feedback on it! Write for a copy.


9. the Margin: Quips and Quotes Education is nine-tenths of encouraging the student to learn. - Anatole France A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. Enjoy Life. This is not a dress rehearsal. All three are from Fortune Cookies via Pia Francesca DeSilva, sagemotherpds at hotmail.com, January 24, 2011.


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 Publisher: Hanno T. Beck 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 online: http://www.Georgist.com/


The Georgist News, Volume Thirteen, Number Eight, February 1, 2011