In celebration of Henry George’s 176th birthday, Lawrence Bosek tried valiantly to get Google to feature Henry George on their website (Google Doodle), but alas they did not. You can help Lawrence by writing to Google (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking if they will feature George next year.
Ida B. Wells was featured on a Google Doodle recently. If you had clicked her Google Doodle that day, you would have seen that she was listed as a supporter of Henry George, with a link to his Wikipedia page. With so many people visiting Google, it greatly boosted the number of people visiting George’s Wikipedia page too. Imagine if everyone saw George’s face on Google next year!
What did you like about this year’s conference organized by the Council of Georgist Organizations and the International Union for Land Value Taxation? That’s what we asked this year’s attendees. Here are their responses, edited for brevity.
This is a response to “Space and the city,” an article in The Economist. More people than ever are seeking to move to cities, and rent is skyrocketing as a result. The problem has always been land speculation, under-using prime locations. In the late 19th century, it meant that there was artificially limited space available for housing, as many tenement dwellers …
In this great comic, Chris Tolworthy explains how politicians and technocrats use obfuscatory language to distract us from the real issues. He presents a reform that would naturally hold those in power accountable and solve many of the world’s seemingly intractable problems.
“At the end of this online course, you’ll be left with a comprehensive understanding of how the real estate market works, how it affects the economy, and most importantly, how to predict the next real estate crash and economic depression.”
Mike Curtis has compiled his many years of teaching material into a trenchant, bare-bones, step by step guide to Georgism. This clean, attractive and professional new website is a good place to point people who want to thoroughly understand the mechanics of Georgist economics “without having to read Progress and Poverty.”
This year’s joint Council of Georgist Organizations and International Union for Land Value Taxation conference will take place near Detroit (Southfield, Michigan) starting August 4th, 2015.
Tuesday, August 4th: Michigan Cities Day
Samantha Harkins, director of the Michigan Municipal League Foundation, and other Michigan leaders, will lay out the situation in Michigan.
David Triggs (Thames Water) and Dave Wetzel (Transport for London) discuss Who should pay for water and transit?
Mason Gaffney (University of California, Riverside) will explain how moving away from real estate tax has impeded Michigan’s recovery.
Ted Gwartney, who implemented Georgist assessments in Southfield almost half a century ago, will show how ending the under-assessment of land made Southfield successful. Also, Gwartney summarizes paper by Mark Skidmore (University of Michigan and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy) on Detroit’s financial problems.
Joshua Vincent, (director of the Center for the Study of Economics) will show why Pennsylvania’s LVT cities bounced back from the collapse of Big Steel, and how Michigan cities could bounce back from the collapse of Big Automotive.
Wednesday, August 5th: Education and Movement Building
Heather Wetzel, of London (UK), speaking on the myth that subsidies go to the poor
Paul Martin of Managua, Nicaragua on education among indigenous peoples
Education roundtable with Lindy Davies, Jacob Shwartz-Lucas, Edward Miller, Mike Curtis and Karl Fitzgerald
Thursday, August 6th: Field Trip
Detroit’s Museum of History
Belle Isle urban park on the river between the US and Canada
Detroit’s blight and redevelopment
Friday, August 7th: International Focus
Gordon Abiama of Nigeria on securing equal resource rights in the third world
Karl Fitzgerald of Australia on determining total resource rents
Bill Batt on deadweight losses
Saturday, August 8th: Socializing
Alanna Hartzok on what she learned while running for Congress
Ed Dodson speaking on Francis Neilson, a prominent Georgist during the 1st half of the 20th century, toasts and remembrances at our our annual Farewell lunch
This year’s conference is an usual length, but there is more time than ever for personal conversation over the hotel’s excellent full breakfast and manager’s reception, both of which are free to hotel guests.The full conference brochure will be out by the end of April. If you would like a hard copy, please contact Sue & Scott Walton, Conference Administrators at:email@example.com
Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center
The Henry George Birthplace has been busy adding more publications to their digital historical archives. Especially interesting are the “Tax Facts” which was an early Georgist California-based publication. Begun in May, 1922., William C. de Mille, wrote in the first issue . Wyn Achenbaum believes that the entire collection is now available via the birthplace website and Google Books. If you know of other issues not yet available, please let us know.
In this recently posted recording of Winston Churchill, addressing his countrymen over radio in 1909, explains the benefits of the People’s Budget. The budget of course included a measure to heavily tax land value. Thanks goes to Peter Smith for making this recording available to all.
Sprawl costs US more than a trillion dollars a year.
Sprawl is an enormous problem, according to a new study by the New Climate Economy, it costs the US economy more than $1 trillion every year. Yet, as Georgists, we know that the infrastructure that is currently wasted on sprawl could, if spent in line with the Henry George Theorem, bring in more than the cost of that infrastructure. We could fund all kinds of environmentally friendly activities with that money or pay it out as a citizen’s dividend.
You can read more about the study here. The next time you’re in a discussion online and people don’t seem to understand how big of a deal sprawl is, or why the Georgist remedy would help so much, referencing this study may prove helpful.
Martin Adams has found a publisher and restructured many aspects of his previous book, Sharing the Earth. The new book is titled Land – A New Paradigm for a Thriving World. Below is the book’s press release:
What if we lived in a world where everyone had enough? A world where everyone mattered and where people lived in harmony with nature? What if the solution to our economic, social, and ecological problems was right underneath our feet?
Land has been sought after throughout history. Even today, people struggle to get onto the property ladder; most view real estate as an important way to build wealth. Yet, as readers of this book will discover, the act of owning land—and our urge to profit from it—causes economic booms and busts, social and cultural decline, and environmental devastation.
Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World introduces a radically new economic model that promises a sustainable and abundant world for all. This book is for those who dream of a better world for themselves and for future generations.
Thanks to Matt Leichter from the LVT Facebook group for sharing this story. Stiglitz explains that savings is not the real source of growing inequality in the world, the untaxed rising value of land is.
“There’s some debate about this, but I think most readers of Thomas Piketty’s book (Capital in the Twenty-First Century) get the impression that the accumulation of wealth — savings —is responsible for the rise in inequality and that there is, therefore, in a way,a link between the growth of the economy — the accumulation of capital— on the one hand and inequality and wealth. My paper begins with the observation that in fact, you cannot explain what has happened to the wealth/income ratio by that analysis. A closer look at what has gone on suggests that a large fraction of the increase in wealth is an increase in the value of land, not in the amount of capital goods.”
You can get paid to live in different areas of United States. “These areas are often suffering from low population or low economic growth, and they’re looking for people like you to help create vibrant communities. These areas often also have low costs of living, meaning you not only get paid to move, but you also save money once you settle in.” The article mentions Detroit (near this year’s CGO) and Alaska (Permanent Fund).
Here’s more good press from Jesse Myerson, who wrote a very popular article last year about the economic reforms that millennials should support. Land value taxation is listed as such a reform in both articles. Myerson discusses racially discriminatory land policies and then posits that the Georgist remedy would help lift black people out of poverty.
“…we must shift from taxing labor and toward taxing monopoly and land rents. The American political economist Henry George, whom [Martin Luther] King cited in his economic advocacy, famously proposed a 100 percent land-value tax as the only tax capable of ensuring equality amid economic development. As the board game Monopoly (invented by George devotees) makes clear, even when everyone starts with equal money, private rent extraction inevitably directs all funds into a few hands. George saw taxing the full rental value of land as the only way to develop an economy equitably—that is to say, without producing poverty constantly. “