THE GEORGIST NEWS

WEB EDITION
Volume Thirteen, Number Ten, April 1, 2011

Time to gird yourself for that IRS audit. Actually, the news is so much
better than that: there's another real world example of public recovery
of socially-generated land value, an MP stood up for the reform in
Parliament, and a major paper cited it. With such tidings, welcome
aboard Mike Rouse of Oregon and Jacob Shwartz-Lucas, currently working
in South Africa. If anyone knows anyone who'd happily be a reader,
please put them in touch. Thanks. Enjoy the read.


CONTENTS: * Major Announcement: Topics Announced for 2011 CGO Conference 1. News: City of Harare to tax land, not buildings 2. Movement Progress: Brit MP speech promotes LVT 3. Good Press: #1 Online News Story; NY Times op-ed 4. Numbers: Shining A Light On .2 Billion In Chicago TIFs 5. Letters: Bill Peirce, Kris Feder, Ed Dodson Karl Fitzgerald, Bob Matter 6. Likable link: LandValueScape Update, Public Trust 7. What You Can Do: Connect with Economic Indicators Services (EIS); Be a Fan on Facebook; Check Out Ry-book 8. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes 9. Publication affairs: Contributors, About the Georgist News


Major Announcement: Topics Announced for 2011 CGO Conference by Sue Walton, March 19, 2011 "The Henry George Theorem at Work" has been selected to be the theme of the 2011 CGO Annual Conference, among the topics to be discussed will be "Windfall Profits to Landowners: The Capitalization of Subsidies into Land Prices with Jerry Zhao and Lee Munich of the Humphrey Institute and Dave Wetzel, Communicating Georgist Principles Using Modern Media Techniques with Erich Jacoby-Hawkins and Frank DeJong and Taking Land Out of the Market: Economic Potential of Community Land Trusts with Mike Curtis and Minnesota Experts: Greg Finzell, Janet A. Lindbo, Teresa vanderBent and Jeff Washburne. During the conference, there will also be a time and place for attendees to play a new Geoist board game, WONKS. The object of the game is to raise the maximum of public revenue for one's leader. Each player is a powerful advisor, like a vizir to a sultan. It's a game of both skill and luck (else Geoists would always beat non-Geoists), as chance plays a strong role. That said, outcomes should still reveal Geonomic policy as the soundest, vis-a-vis conventional policies. The conference is being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2-6, 2011. Conference brochures will be mailed no later than April 15th. If you would like more information please check out our website: www.cgocouncil.org or write us at: sns at swwalton.com


1. News: City of Harare to tax land, not buildings The conventional media sometimes 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 are some of the latest articles: On the front of sharing Earth's worth, much progress. A Zimbabwen city shifts its taxes as a US state considers a bill. "Connecticut bill takes aim at vacant lots" http://www.progress.org/2011/zimbabwe.htm The most Geonomic cities on Earth share their surplus with all residents, even the least powerful citizens. "Hong Kong to Hand Out Cash, Tax Rebates" http://www.progress.org/2011/kongidea.htm James K. Galbraith quotes a Geonomist and promotes shifting taxes off our efforts as we recover society's surplus. "Big-name economist tells Congress to Geonomize" http://www.progress.org/2011/galbrait.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.


2a. Movement Progress: Brit MP speech promotes LVT by Dave Wetzel, davewetzel42 at gmail.com, March 29, 2011 UK BUDGET DEBATE John McDonnell MP in the House of Commons Thurs 24th March 2011: "Thirdly, I think we should deal with land speculation. I believe that now is the time for land value taxation. If we tax the wealth in land, we will encourage development rather than preventing it." John is a Left-wing Labour MP. He Chairs LEAP - the Left Economic Advisory Council which I have recently been invited to join. John was a member of the Greater London Council with me from 1981 until we were abolished by Thatcher in 1986 for being too radical. His website includes a link to the Labour Land Campaign's website www.LabourLand.org The precipitating note by Carol Wilcox, carol.wilcox at labourland.org, 28 March 2011, re Paul Brandon: I hope that at least some of you heard Paul Brandon's interview on BBC 24 following the TUC March, where he suggested Land Value Taxation as an alternative policy. Paul, as well as being a member of the Labour Land Campaign, is Chair of the Right to Work campaign, and held his ground very well against the dreadful IEA guy he was pitted against. Hope to see more of Paul on TV in the coming weeks.


2b. Movement Progress: Proyecto turistico by Paul Martin, CEIHG Mga, Director at ceihg.org, March 17, 2011 I have just been formally invited by the Managua municipal government to submit a proposal for the Tiscapa Lagoon development plan. This means to me that we have a chance of making a powerful presentation for multi-million dollar green Georgist-financed commercial zone in Managua which would include collection of land value via long term concession leases and tax exoneration for capital investment, commercial activities, and maybe even wages. If I were to have some key active support of the more prestigious intl. Georgists, including those technically qualified with land value assessment, that would be my resource to keep the project on track with its Georgist emphasis. I'll be sending out a more detailed announcement of the situation in a short time.


2c. Movement Progress: Students' Equinox Earth Day Events by Alanna Hartzok, ERI, alanna at earthrights.net, March 13, 2011 Land Rights Course Registrants organized events on Land Rights concerns during the Equinox Earth Day celebration at the United Nations in New York on March 20! To see the details about this global celebration, please get in touch.


3a. Good Press: NY Times features economist proposing LVT by Scott Baker, March 29, 2011 Prof. Pagano is only one of 11 economists weighing in on how to save dying cities, and LVT is only one of his ideas. Still it is at least mentioned: http://tinyurl.com/4e6eblm


3b. Good Press: #1 Online News Story by Karl Fitzgerald, Projects Coordinator, earth at earthsharing.org.au March 16, 2011 The latest issue of the Australian newsletter EarthSharing featuring "Property Buyers Strike Called" and "Campaign Goes Viral" is now available. Please get in touch to receive a copy. (March 30, 2011): Our Don't Buy Now Home Buyers Strike was the no.1 online news story for much of the day. With SQM Research depicting auction levels up 46% in Feb. '11 (y.o.y), and 2010 auction sales down to its lowest level in a decade, we thought it time to warn those locked out of the market that now is not the time to buy. The campaign has been picked up by GetUp (similar to Avvaz) and has become the no.1 Campaign suggestion with a staggering 3000 votes in 13 days. Over 500 people have signed our Total Abstainers Pledge. Our campaigner David Collyer has done a fantastic job with over 6 interviews today alone. With UK local councils attempting to re-inflate the housing bubble with 70,000 handouts, we must warn young people of the dangers of this ponzi economy and the tunnel vision policy on offer. Stay posted via www.prosper.org.au https://www.facebook.com/dontbuynow


3b. Good Press: Washington City Paper by Cecil Adams, March 18, 2011 (via Wyn Achenbaum) Monopoly's Anti-Capitalist Origins When "Go" used to say "Labor upon Mother Earth produces wages" http://tinyurl.com/4r4cp6e


3c. Good Press: Privatization and plunder - railroads and streetcars by Dan Sullivan, March 27, 2011 Pittsburgh's most popular columnist featured me in an article on the history of privatized transit in Pittsburgh. www.post-gazette.com/pg/11086/1135093-155.stm?cmpid=bcpanel3 He refers to my website. www.savingcommunities.org/issues/transportation/railroadplunder.html This is what I will touch on at the conference in Minnesota, where several transit experts will speak on funding transit through land value capture.


4. Numbers: Shining A Light On .2 Billion In Chicago TIFs Much tax money has gone to large corporations and other institutions operating in thriving neighborhoods. "Walmart Tax Avoidance Exceeds $400 Million Annually" http://www.progress.org/2011/galbrait.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:


5a. Letter: re Wilson quote in latest issue by Bill Peirce, william.pierce at sbcglobal.net, March 1, 2011 Woodrow Wilson made a very prominent Georgist his Secretary of War. Newton D. Baker was part of the Tom Johnson circle and later the dominating force in the Cuyahoga County Democratic party. He was also mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate before FDR was nominated for the 1932 election. Baker was an old time Democrat, believing in the single tax, free trade, small government, and world peace. It is interesting to contemplate what the world would be like had Baker won instead of Roosevelt.


5b. Letter: News site article by Bard speaker by Kris Feder feder at bard.edu, 1 Mar 2011 James Boyce, who wrote one of the articles you linked ("The Environment as Our Common Heritage" www.progress.org/2011/heritage.htm), spoke recently at Bard. Admitted in questioning that he agrees with the Georgist position on sharing ALL rents (but says to start with rents of unowned resources).


5c. Letter: Latest SCI newsletter by Ed Dodson, ejdodson at comcast.net, March 7, 2011 The latest issue of the School of Cooperative Individualism newsletter (7 March 2011) is now available. Please get in touch to receive a copy.


5d. Letter: Mohammed Mossadegh - Georgist? by Bob Matter, March 26, 2011 I am reading "All the Shah's Men" by Stephen Kinzer right now. On page 140 I encountered the following passage which gives a little more detail about Dr. Mossadegh's Georgist-like reforms: "Mossadegh had freed peasants from forced labor on their landlords' estates, ordered factory owners to pay benefits to sick and injured workers, established a system of unemployment compensation, and taken 20 percent of the money landlords received in rent and placed it in a fund to pay for development projects like pest control, rural housing, and public baths."


6a. Likable Link: LandValueScape Update by Tony Vickers, March 23, 2011 A new Entry entitled 'Mirrlees/Adam/IFS: MPs ignore Land Tax proposals' has been published to LandValueScape. Treasury Committee were able to dismiss LVT out of hand with a quote from a 2001 OECD paper: "While such a tax system would avoid distortions in economic behaviour, it would be highly unlikely to yield sufficient revenues to fund socially useful expenditure without producing substantial inequity." http://tinyurl.com/4smtcuv Ironically, the day before Treasury Committee published their report, a piece in the FT by David Pilling reported that Hong Kong's Government, which relies on Land Rents accounting for about 40% of all its revenue, was giving US$770 to every citizen because it has a surplus. One reader commented: "Wow, a taxation system so efficient that the Government can't spend all the revenue and is reduced to giving it back to the citizens as cash payments! How quickly can we get such a system implemented in Britain?" www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2731d5f0-4a87-11e0-82ab-00144feab49a.html


6b. Likable Link: Public Trust by Willis A. (Bill) Frambach, March 26, 2011 I respectfully invite you to click on the following hyperlink and then to take notice that we would be well-served if we could figure out a way to show environmentalists that, as implementation of LVT were to grow, it would diminish the profit motive of their adversaries to exploit the gifts of nature. http://www.scribd.com/doc/51492411/14/Public-Trust-Doctrine


7a. What You Can Do: Connect with Economic Indicators Services (EIS) by Phillip Anderson, February 28, 2011 Next presentation is in London, can tell you "Why the Recent Financial Turmoil is Fading Fast Into History" April 19, to the London Cashflow Group. Phil will illustrate how to understand - and profit from - the economic system and why it's always possible to know what will happen next. In three short new video's, EIS explains to you, why. The latest videos can be viewed from the business cycles page: http://www.businesscycles.biz/index.html Watch other videos on YouTube youtube.com/businesscycles Follow Phil on Facebook and Twitter! facebook.com/EIS.Phillip.J.Anderson facebook.com/TheSecretLifeofRealEstateandBanking twitter.com/MrBusinessCycle ...and keep up-do-date via the blog: www.businesscycles.biz/blog Subscribe to the EIS service at http://www.businesscycles.biz/services.htm


7b. What You Can Do: Be a Fan on FaceBook by Sue Walton, March 25, 2011 Common Ground-USA has established an organizational Strategic Planning Committee. As part of the process CGUSA has initiated a FaceBook Fan Page. Please consider becoming a Fan! The CGO is compiling a list of FaceBook pages. The CG-USA FB page is here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Common-Ground-USA/121940028050 So far, we know that Common Ground, Ed Dodson, HGI, HGS-Chicago, BCCI and ourselves have pages, but who else. What other Georgist Organizations have FB pages? Let's link-up! Please send your listings to Sue Walton at: sns at swwalton.com. For more information, please contact Scott Baker at: ssbaker305 at yahoo.com. Scott Baker adds: CG -NYC has one too, here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Common-Ground-NYC/150782994952642 I have posted extensively to both, videos and useful links. Please feel free to link to both of these pages extensively on your Georgist websites.


7c. What You Can Do: Check Out Ry-book by Fred Harrison, PhD, March 30, 2011 My guess is that you have been informed of Walt Rybeck's new book, which is worth a plug. In case not, here's the link to the publisher's review: www.ethicaleconomics.org.uk/2010/09/re-solving-the-economic-puzzle/


8. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O'Rourke The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society. - Mark Skousen Eight decades of amendments... to (the) code have produced a virtually impenetrable maze... The rules are unintelligible to most citizens... The rules are equally mysterious to many government employees who are charged with administering and enforcing the law. - Shirley Peterson, Former IRS Commissioner


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 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 Ten, April 1, 2011