(2013 July) Contents


Volume Fifteen, Number Twelve
July 17, 2013


1. Announcement: CGO and IU Conferences
2. Good Press: The Economist Magazine’s Pro-Land Tax Article
3. Video: William F. Buckley on LVT
4. Crowdfunding: The End of Poverty
5. Opinion: Two Georges and a Spencer
6. Opinion: Noam Chomsky: Who Owns The Earth?
7. Likeable Link: Manhattan East Village Apartment -$10
8. Likeable Link: Unpaid Rent Can Get You Thrown in Prison in Arkansas
9. Social Media: Letter from the Editor

About The Georgist News

1. (2013 July) Announcement: CGO and IU Conferences

The Georgist News wants to remind you that what we are advocating is nothing short of remarkable. Success will mean a world where the interests of individuals and society as a whole are aligned, a world where everyone has enough to eat, a world where everyone enjoys a clean and safe environment, a world where everyone is free to realize their true potential.

There are two Georgist conferences coming up. The first is this month in London (the IU). The next is in Pittsburgh, PA in August (CGO). They are both having a final call for registrations. So, please do so now! Meeting face to face is important for creating a successful movement. When people meet in person, they feel a greater sense of trust and willingness to cooperate than they would if they only communicated via phone or the Internet. To be successful as a movement, we need to unite our efforts. We need to meet in person.

Jacob will be in London starting this Friday July 20th, a few days before the conference, to meet with local Georgists and George-curious individuals as part of his role as outreach coordinator with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. Please contact Jacob if you would like to meet with him.

During the CGO Conference’s two social media sessions on August 9th, Jacob Shwartz-Lucas and Edward Miller, hope to do several spontaneous Google Hang-Outs to involve those who can’t make the conference.  The sessions will be held from 9:30-10:45 am and from 3:15-4:45 pm eastern daylight time, so be sure to tune.  For more information please contact Jacob at: jacobshwartlucas@gmail.com

In addition, If you’re making your travel plans for this year’s CGO conference in Pittsburgh, please remember the Georgist Education Workshop! It’s happening from 2 to 5 pm that afternoon (the opening reception is at 7:30 that evening).

Those of you who read Progress and Poverty some time ago, or once took a class at a Henry George School, will appreciate this session — which is sponsored by the Henry George Institute. Four envelope-pushing presenters will demonstrate new concepts and techniques:

– Ed Dodson on expanding on the vital, yet oft-ignored, influence of land policy in US history.

– Bob Jene on the economics of farmland preservation.

– Mike Curtis and Lindy Davies on enhancements to Henry George’s theory of the boom/bust cycle that help to explain current phenomena.

– Lindy Davies on making Georgist curricula more compatible with mainstream economics without compromising its main ideas.

We hope to see you at the conferences!


2. (2013 July) Good Press: The Economist Magazine’s Pro-Land Tax Article

“A pure land tax, one without regard to how land is used or what is built on it, is the best sort.”

An article published late last month in The Economist praised the land tax. Even though the term “land tax” was used, land value tax was implicit as part of a more general discussion on ad valorem property taxes. Such an endorsement in the most popular economics magazine in the world is an exciting development. Click here to read the full article.


5. (2013 July) Opinion: Two Georges and a Spencer

” [George] Smith discusses Henry George’s allegation that Spencer’s later views on land ownership were intellectually dishonest.”

In part one of Smith’s analysis of the tension between Henry George and Herbert Spencer, Smith makes the case that Henry George misinterpreted Herbert Spencer’s early views. Herbert Spencer made a full reversal from his stance that land should be nationalized. Yet, Spencer never truly explained this reversal and George accused him of dishonesty as a result. Smith does not explain this reversal either, but he promises to in part 2 of this article. Smith is a neo-libertarian and disagrees with both George and the early Spencer, but due to the fact that Spencer played such a pivotal role in shaping the U.S. libertarian movement, Smith likely feels the need to defend Spencer’s integrity.


6. (2013 July) Opinion: Noam Chomsky: Who Owns the Earth?

In a recent article posted on truth-out.org entitled Who Owns the Earth? Noam Chomsky points out that modern borders were created through colonial methods of divide and conquer, horrific acts of violence that project division and hostility into the present.

“Almost all borders have been imposed and maintained by violence, and are quite arbitrary. The Lebanon-Israel border was established a century ago by the Sykes-Picot Agreement, dividing up the former Ottoman Empire in the interests of British and French imperial power, with no concern for the people who happened to live there, or even for the terrain. The border makes no sense… Surveying the terrible conflicts in the world, it’s clear that almost all are the residue of imperial crimes and the borders that the great powers drew in their own interests.”


Earlier in the article he states:

“If Palestine ever gains independence in something like the terms of the overwhelming international consensus, its borders with Israel will likely erode through normal commercial and cultural interchange, as has happened in the past during periods of relative calm.

That development could be a step toward closer regional integration, and perhaps the slow disappearance of the artificial border dividing the Galilee between Israel and Lebanon, so that hikers and others could pass freely where my wife and I crossed 60 years ago.”

It’s hard not to draw a parallel between Chomsky’s sentiments and the Georgist philosophy, to see the practical application that would uphold everyone’s right to the commons whilst maximizing the commercial and cultural exchange necessary to create peace in the region.

Dan Sullivan explains how LVT would be applicable to extra-national rent sharing in the middle east, comments that are equally applicable to all countries where tensions run high along borders.

“The Jewish National Fund owns 95% of Israel and leases it out (at well below market value, which is why leases sell like deeds, as they do in Arden). The JNF could increase the rents and share those rents with all residents of Israel/Palestine, and this would solve the problem. Palestinians, who tend to hold the least valuable land, would quickly become loyal supporters of Israel.”

-Dan Sullivan (personal correspondence)


8. (2013 July) Likeable Link: Unpaid Rent Can Get You Thrown in Prison in Arkansas

“Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, you probably have enough common sense and moral fortitude to not go out of your way to kick a homeless person when you see one on the street. If so, pat yourself on the back, because there are some American legislators who are using every tool in their toolbox to make “poverty” the new “murder.”

Read more here.

9. (2013 July) Social Media: Letter From the Editor

Dear Georgist News readers,

My name is Jacob Shwartz-Lucas and I will be editing The Georgist News moving forward. I hope you enjoy the content I have provided this month. I mean to supply you with a digest of the most interesting happenings from social media and the greater web in a format with fewer bells, whistles, and other complications than other Georgist websites. The reason for this is that many of our readers, especially those accessing our page from rural areas of the world, have slow connections.The goal is to keep everyone in the know and to create a more inclusive online community. Feel free to reach out to me at any time to submit articles you would like to appear in the News or to get more involved in the Georgist movement both on and off-line. Please join our many facebook groups starting with the rapidly growing LVT discussion group, and add me as a friend.

Jacob Shwartz-Lucas