THE GEORGIST NEWS

WEB EDITION
Volume Fourteen, Number Five, December 1, 2011

Ready for the solstice and the holidays that follow? Power up on the successes of your cohorts. And welcome aboard new subscriber Peter Smith of the UK. If any reader knows anyone else who'd enjoy the News, put them in touch. Thanks.


CONTENTS: 1. Good Press: Australia's The Age 2. Movement Progress: Value(en)abling meeting set up, 500 attend Madrid talk, News from Managua, Q in the House, 4,000 page views 3. News: Aussie Com't Suggests Getting Rents for Land 4. Numbers: Bank profits rise as bankers don't cover their risks 5. Letters: Correction, New lecture material, 'Riots Panel', Monetary reform bill 6. Obituary: Barbara Sobrielo 7. Likable links: Current Newsletters, Secret Life, Panel discussion on mortgage finance and "housing" crash 8. What You Can Do: Attend IU in BsAs, Be on the Program of the Conference of Georgists 9. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes 10. Publication affairs: Contributors, About the Georgist News


1. Good Press: Australia's The Age by Kath Dolan, November 26, 2011 (via David Brooks) Time to Give Them Shelter New film calls for an end to property speculation, saying housing should be a human right. Karl Fitzgerald, Projects Coordinator, Earthsharing Australia (November 29, 2011): Screen Real Estate 4 Ransom Real Estate 4 Ransom is a 40-minute documentary examining the motivations behind property bubbles and what we can do to avoid them. The film challenges the notion that the Global Financial Crisis was caused by bank lending alone. Prosper Australia, via funding from the HGFA and HGC, are proud to state that the film is a gift to the Georgist movement. We have funded, produced, and distributed the documentary independently and thus the distribution costs are minimal. If you or your organization would like to screen the film, please email me via access at realestate4ransom.com. We can provide you with the film, promotional material, press kit, posters, and a discussion paper. We have found the film an excellent resource to build bridges with satellite organizations. Check our latest preview on the Jubilee train line: http://vimeo.com/32548658


2a. Movement Progress: Value(en)abling meeting set up by Tony Vickers, November 9, 2011 A meeting has been arranged with HMLR officials to explore the possibility of valuing land in England and Wales for taxation. On behalf of the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), Dr Tony Vickers, Hon Sec of the Professional Land Reform... LandValueScape Update http://tinyurl.com/cclcmxy


2b. Movement Progress: 500 attend Madrid talk by Fernando Scornik Gerstein, madrid at scornik-gerstein.com, November 16, 2011 My speech on the 15-M (the Indignados) meeting on 9th November: Yesterday we had a meeting of the Economics Group of the 15-M movement of which I am a member and the calculation they made for the number of persons at the moment when I started speaking was about 500. Editor's Note: Please contact Sr. Gerstein to see his entire report.


2c. Movement Progress: News from Managua by Paul Martin, Director, HGIEC / CEIHG, Managua, Nicaragua, ceihg at ceihg.org, November 18, 2011 So far this year, the CEIHG has graduated two "Understanding Economics" (CE) courses in Managua with 43 graduates. A third course which started with 63 participants is currently half completed. Lately we are having to spend more and work harder to get students to come and register. That is not just the apathy syndrome of development, but has more to do with formerly free publicity venues closing up as more access rent is sought, as well people working longer hours and feeling a bit more insecure about being out at night (the CE course is at night) - a fruit of "progress" in Nicaragua. Of course, in this current course, the hurricane season was especially daunting, as well, so it was not only economic woes that forced us to a third week of publicity and registration. In the last two CE courses, 100% of the superior level graduates who qualified for Georgist Community Fund membership on their final exams have become members. This leads us to wonder how many of the 750 superior-level CE graduates might be members of the GCF today if we had thought of it years ago. The Georgist Community Fund association gained a couple of new Nicaraguan and intl. members, bringing total membership to 30. Building of the physical CEIHG center continues, with flooring and bathrooms being installed for the cafe and public reception area.


2d. Movement Progress: Q in the House by Stewart Goldwater, November 22, 2011 MP Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park, Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing a tax on the land value uplift created by the granting of planning permission on greenfield sites. http://tinyurl.com/6ts7r7o Also, great article here: Fanny may in the U-kay http://tinyurl.com/79282e6


2e. Movement Progress: 4,000 page views by Scott Baker - Op Ed News Blogger/Senior Editor; Huffington Post Blogger; Author; President: Common Ground - NYC; NY State Coordinator: Public Banking Institute, ssbaker305 at yahoo.com, November 25, 2011 I was interviewed via Skype on Renegade Economists, Australian radio, 23.11.2011 on Georgism and what Occupy means: http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2011-11-23-33653.mp3 I have been working closely with the Occupy movement here recently. (November 27, 2011) I'm on Michael Moore's mailing list and I posted an email to his fans on Op Ed News too, where his reposted article got nearly 4,000 page views.


3. News: Aussie Committee Suggests Getting Rents for Land 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 is one of the latest articles: You can measure power by favors one gets from government - and justice by the level of the playing field. "Loopholes for Banks 17% Bigger than for Others" http://www.progress.org/2011/bischoff.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.


4. Numbers: Bank profits rise as bankers don't cover their risks This Thankindians, be grateful for another chance to speculate in land (AKA housing) - or not, since it raises prices of goods. Traditional turkey dinner costs 13% more than a year ago http://www.progress.org/2011/gruenber.htm


5a. Letter: Correction of Last Issue by Kris Feder, feder at bard.edu, 2 Nov 2011 No link for 1b? "1b. Good Press: Financial Times October 2, 2011, via Carol Wilcox Nick Boles, the MP for Grantham and Stamford says a Land Value Tax should be introduced ..." Thanks. Editor's Note: Sorry for leaving it out. It appeared in the press September 30, still locatable at: http://tinyurl.com/3nuyeny [Archivist's Note: Link was included in web edition.]


5b. Letter: New lecture material by Ed Dodson, ejdodson at comcast.net, November 25, 2011 My fall semester teaching seniors at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is winding down. I have decided to spend the final two weeks with a discussion of the economic policy proposals of each of the Republican candidates for the Presidency, and what President Obama has in mind for his second term, if re-elected. The presentation is in Powerpoint format, with my lecture notes included with each slide. My approach in discussion will be to juxtapose what the candidates are calling for against what those of us who embrace Henry George's basic analysis would support or reject. Contact me for a copy. Any comments you have will be welcomed.


5c. Letter: UK Government's 'Riots Panel' by Peter Smith, November 29, 2011 In a submission to the UK Government's 'Riots Panel' looking into the causes of the London Riots that spread across the country this summer, I introduced a Georgist angle on the role Nature and the Environment can play in the engagement of youth and the creation of social cohesion. I tried to spell out a classical Georgist solution to the problems of social division and emotional and economic disenfranchisement due to people's separation from natural assets. I would welcome any thoughts. http://www.vineproject.org.uk/project_documents.html


5d. Letter: Monetary reform bill by Stephen Zarlenga, Director, American Monetary Institute, ami at taconic.net, November 24, 2011 There is a bill (HR 2990) introduced into Congress by Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, and co-sponsored by John Conyers of Detroit, which has all the monetary reforms of our American Monetary Act. Called the NEED Act (National emergency Employment Defense Act), HR 2990 re-empowers Congress to create and spend new US money into circulation. In addition it provides an "end the depression" citizens dividend to every American.


6. Obituary: Barbara Sobrielo by Dave Wetzel, General Secretary, The IU, davewetzel.theiu at gmail.com, November 24, 2011 It is with great sadness that I have to report that Barbara Sobrielo passed away at home after a stay in Hammersmith Hospital and the hospice at Ealing Hospital. Barbara was a stalwart of the UK's Georgist Movement for over 50 years, working with the Henry George Foundation, the Economic Social Science Research Association, Land and Liberty, running the bookshop at 177 Vauxhall Bridge Road, and of course as the General Secretary of The IU. I'm sure you will join with me in wishing Denis and Barbara's family our deepest condolences. Barbara and Denis requested that the funeral should be a family affair only and that no flowers be sent. In discussion with me, Barbara warmly agreed to my suggestion that the IU create a "Barbara Sobrielo Fund" within the IU accounts to be used to provide travel burseries for young people to attend conferences for the promotion of LVT. Consequently, instead of sending flowers, Denis has requested that donations be made by cheque payeable to "The IU" and sent to Co-op Funeral Services, 107 Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, London, W5 1RH. UK. Please write on the back of your cheque "In Memory of Barbara Sobrielo from" and add your full name and address. [Cheques can be made payable in UKŁ, US$, Aus$, Can$, DanKr, or Euro€ as appropriate]. An active IU Executive Committee member right up to last month, Barbara will be sadly missed.


7a. Likable Links: Current Newsletter by Karl Fitzgerald, Projects Coordinator, Earthsharing Australia, November 24, 2011 Our latest issues are out, updating Real Estate 4 Ransom screenings. http://tinyurl.com/7sxw3bv Watch the latest clip from Real Estate 4 Ransom. http://vimeo.com/m/32548658 I hope you are all planning to show the film to your networks soon.


7b. Likable Links: THE SECRET LIFE OF REAL ESTATE AND BANKING by Phil Anderson, Economic Indicator Services, Economic_Indicator_Services at hotmail.com, November 24, 2011 Phil Anderson's latest presentation, on video: How to read the tealeaves - the world of economic indicators www.objectivecapitalconferences.com/ocic/globalR2011/panderson.php


7c. Likable Links: Panel discussion on mortgage finance and "housing" crash by Ed Dodson, November 29, 2011 A new book, "The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform" offers analysis of the causes of the housing crisis, examines the challenges confronting our mortgage finance system, and includes potential solutions to the problems facing the future of American homeownership. The University of Pennsylvania held a book launch at which several contributors to the volume engaged in an informative panel discussion http://vimeo.com/30752890 I added my own comments in response to the film.


8a. What You Can Do: Attend Biannual IU in BsAs in May by Hector Sandler, member of parliament and current President of the Instituto de Capacitacion Economica, hsandler at speedy.com.ar, For the first time the International Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade will hold its biannual conference in Latin America, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the 15th until the 18th May 2012. Argentina has a somewhat fascinating history in connection with land value taxation. Many of the founding fathers of Argentina were physiocrats. "Argentina can claim the honor of being the birthplace of the single tax ideas in the world" (Manuel Herrera y Reissig, Uruguayan historian, 1914). The foundation stage (1810-1830) - After the Revolution of May 25, 1810, in 1826 under President Rivadavia's rule, a law was passed forbidding the sale of all public land (90% of the country in those days). It was only to be leased under a system called "emphyteusis". The law provided for 20-year leases. During the first 10 years, the lessee would pay into the Public Treasure an annual fee amounting to 8% of the assessed value in the case of land use for cattle raising land, and 4% in the case of smaller parcels used for agriculture. Dr. Ignacio Nunez, Rivadavia's diplomatic envoy to London at the time, said to the British Government "the spirit of the project is that publicly-owned land should never be held in any other way than by leaseholds... The present taxes bear harmfully upon the people and hinder the country development... The rent of land is the most solid and definite source of revenue on which the state must count". Rent would make it possible to do away with tariffs and all other taxes... This act provoked the reaction of the owners of large estates and the greatest of them all - Don Juan Manuel de Rosas - took over the government and ruled as dictator until 1852. His cruel tyranny divided the political class into "unitarios" (the liberals expelled) and the "federales" (landowners of each province). However, the law of 1826 was not abolished. It was used to grab more land by the few landowners. Once Rosas was expelled, the "unitarios" returned to power. However, they also took advantage of the 1826 Law for themselves. In 1857 this law was abolished and branded as a "communist law". In 1869 the landlord class (unitarios and federales), then in the government, approved the Civil Code and implanted in Argentina the ancient Roman law of land tenure. An important lesson emerges from this story: the law is not sufficient to establish a good economic order. It needs to be sustained by the culture of society. (To be continued). All the Georgists of Argentina hope that a crowd of Georgists from around the world will join them in Buenos Aires. To register for the conference, please contact Hector Sandler: hsandler at speedy.com.ar with copy to the accountant Gonzalo Lecuona (Secretary General of the ASAP) gonzalo_lecuona at me.com. Thank you.


8b. What You Can Do: Be on the Program of the Conference of Georgists by Sue Walton, conference administrator, sns at swwalton.com July 30 - August 6, 2012, Next to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the Camp Hill Radisson We want your participation. But our schedule fills up quickly. If you want to be on the program, notify us immediately. We will start scheduling in early December. Your member organization can hold a meeting at the conference. Let us know right away and we will find time for you. Also, if you let us know who your meeting participants are likely to be, we will try not to schedule two meetings for the same participants.


9. At the Margin: Quips and Quotes Some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property. - Maria Edgeworth No man acquires property without acquiring with it a little arithmetic also. - Ralph Waldo Emerson What we call real estate - the solid ground to build a house on - is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests. - Nathaniel Hawthorne


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 Jon 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 Fourteen, Number Five, December 1, 2011