The Council of Georgist Organizations has made contact with both Henry George & Mark Twain, or rather their post mortem representatives here on earth, David Giesen and Dan Sullivan respectively. In honor of Henry George’s 175th birthday, they have agreed to let this year’s CGO attendees listen in on their fireside chat. Keep an eye out for the CGO conference brochure, to be mailed April 15th.
Mason Gaffney and Mary Cleveland team up for an article on solving California’s water crisis.
“If you make something free, you will get waste and shortages!”
“The Environmental Defense Fund has proposed a “market” solution to the water problem: transform water licenses into secure and transferable property — and let the market work its wonders! This is equivalent to “cap and trade,” which gives secure “pollution rights” to polluters based on their pollution history… it would invite speculators to grab up water licenses and hold them by wasting water… most owners of water licenses wouldn’t sell, but would rather keep on operating the old inefficient way. “Transferable water licenses” would lock in a system under which every subsidy and giveaway engineered by pork-barrel politics becomes sacrosanct, perpetual property, and taxpayers forever incur ongoing costs.”
This shocking video (see link below) demonstrates just how many people China plans to push into cities in the coming years. The figure will astound you. One can’t help being reminded of China’s “Great Leap Forward”, and the possibility that this initiative might have similar results.
Landlords are having a free for all in the UK with the current “let to buy” scheme.
“The apparent exception to the state’s pandering to rentiers is the government’s Help to Buy scheme. You have not understood the full meaning of the word “disgrace” until you have understood its effects. Help to Buy no longer encourages the building of new homes or affordable homes. It does nothing to stop its potential landlords using taxpayer guarantees to buy homes to rent. (One third of the council homes sold to tenants by Margaret Thatcher are now owned by buy-to-let landlords. Why should it be different this time?) Albert Edwards, of Société Générale, described the use of taxpayers’ money to fund “Help to Buy” as a “moronic policy that stands head and shoulders above most of the stupid economic policies I have seen implemented”.”
“He [the tenant] demanded money. Lots and lots of money. Flabbergasted and unwilling to be held hostage, the Zeckendorfs [landlords] began demolishing the building anyway. They hoped to drive Herb [the tenant] out from all the construction hassle and noise. Herbert was undeterred.
After living in a construction zone for over a year, Herbert’s stubbornness finally paid off in 2005. Admitting defeat, the Zeckendorfs caved and made an offer Herbert could not (and did not) refuse. In order to finally get Herbert to leave his decrepit 350 square foot apartment, they offered him a one time cash buyout of… get ready for it… $17 million.”