Make your plans to attend the 2014 CGO Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach, California July 8 to 11, 2014. The CGO staff has negotiated an affordable super deal for CGO participants. See the photo of the hotel building below.
The 2014 CGO Conference in Newport Beach, California, July 7-12, 2014
Start saving money for your trip to the 2014 CGO Conference in Newport Beach, California, on July 8-11, 2014. The conference will take place near the Wayne Orange County Airport. The fun doesn’t have to end with the conference though. Why not make your trip a vacation?
Visit: world class museums, two presidential libraries, beaches, aquariums, arboretums, botanic gardens, vineyards, missions, whale watching, La Brea Tar Pits, Santa Catalina Island, Queen Mary, Hollywood, Getty Villa, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, Balboa Park and USS Midway.
There are also many amusement parks nearby including: Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld and Universal Studios.
Dine in the ethnic neighborhoods of: Olvera Street, Little Tokyo, Korea Town, China Town and Little Saigon.
Here is a map with important locations in bold: http://bit.ly/17eSWEB
Fred Harrison has launched a new website, feeling strongly that the lexicon of the Georgist movement, particularly the word “tax”, is stifling progress. Though the site is still under construction, you may visit it at: http://sharetherents.org/.
The following statement, released a few days ago by Harrison, contains his rationale for the site:
I have launched a new initiative for economic justice on www.sharetherents.org This is based on the audit of my performance. I came to realise that there was never a chance of succeeding with the language and strategies that I inherited when I first walked into the London headquarters of the British Georgist movement back in the 1960s. So I celebrate my departure from the past with a homage to the activist who, in the 1880s, successfully launched the first global reform movement.
It was towards the end of a decade-long campaign to help the people of Russia that I realised why we had failed. I identified two reasons. First, the rent-seeking culture had become so deeply embedded that it would never allow fiscal reform anywhere in the world. Second, our tools undermined our ambitions. I share my reflections in case they are of value to others. I have road-tested them in China (last month) and the United States earlier this month). I was left encouraged.
(1) The assumption that ours is a rational society. If I and my colleagues strained hard to explain the integrity of land value taxation to policymakers and the media, reason would ultimately prevail. On the basis of deep historical research, I now understand that under no circumstances can the Georgist paradigm be negotiated into existence. I describe what I call the statecraft of greed in The Traumatised Society and in Ten Theses being serialised on www.sharetherents.org The agents of power have to be bypassed.
(2) The concept of “land value taxation” obstructs progress. I no longer use it. Here’s why:
(i) land: emphasis on this word distracted me from the other half of what people were excluded from when land was enclosed. Rent is the value of the services of both nature and society. People were excluded from society when they were deprived of their rights of access to the commons. By failing to demand the restoration of the right to create an authentic democratic culture, the void was left for other ideologies to fill.
(ii) land value: this term concedes the right to privately own the capitalised value of rent. This strengthened people’s determination to avoid public claims on “their” asset values.
(iii) taxation: “tax” shuts down people’s minds. Denial is the default position. I was embarked on Mission Impossible. And: by threatening a tax on “their” land, I implicitly conceded that government would only recover a part of the rent (a 100% charge would be resisted as confiscation, as a “taking”). I allowed myself to be co-opted by the rent-seeking agenda!
(3) Language By talking about “increases in the value of their land”, I misrepresented economic reality. The value of their land did not increase. It was the value of public services that were further enhanced by tax-funded investments. Derelict governments allowed land owners to capture enhanced rents. I reinforced rent-seeking by endorsing the myth that “their” land increased in value.
(4) Objectivity My books presented an objective account of land value taxation without the passion that is required to reconstruct communities on the basis of freedom and justice. I ought to have offered visions of the future that might flow from the recovery of the community’s rents. Restoration of an authentic democratic culture would lead to ways of living significantly different from those bequeathed by the predators. My objectivity lacked the inspiration needed to overcome the despair and denial which, I now recognise, helps people to cope with the perverse laws of the land. Over the course of four generations, the Georgist paradigm was dumbed down.
(5) The Shift We need a culture shift (facilitated by a tax shift) to control the geopolitical trends that pose an existential threat to humanity. I am exploring ways to mobilise people beyond the methods employed by most NGOs (which seek to ameliorate painful symptoms rather than alter the foundations of a corrupted social system).
Georgists from around the world pitched in to our Russian campaign. It was a wonderful exercise in collaboration. I do not want that effort to have been wasted. Failure to save the people of Russia will not have been in vain if the lessons are learnt. Today, in China, the World Bank is once again pushing to privatise land and rent. Reasoned discourse with the international financial institutions and sovereign governments will not yield change: their mandate is to protect the rent-seeking culture.
We need to foster what Mason Gaffney calls a Great Awakening: a renewal of humanity’s moral/spiritual heritage, the kind that preceded great reforms of the past. The way to achieve this is to excise the mind-bending language bequeathed to us by the culture that was incubated by the predators of the past. Their vitriolic values have all but erased the last traces of decency in our communities.
I am optimistic, for this reason. The next generation of activists will be unique in the history of our species. So far, humans have lived according to the rules of territoriality. This was a necessary evolutionary strategy. Territoriality, however, has been rendered obsolete. Time and space are overcome by clicks on keyboards. Cell phones mobilised tens of thousands of people into the squares of Arab cities, and their sheer numbers was sufficient to overthrow those who exercised monopoly power. But they were not equipped with the knowledge of what it would take to lay the foundations for a better future: hence the re-assertion of rent-seeking in Egypt by the military, the owners of one of the country’s largest landed estates.
Back in the 19th century, Henry George provided a clear exposition which empowered the people of the street. He even animated some policy-makers (who, at the turn into the 20th century, realised that they were faced with the opportunity to change the course of history). We now need a narrative that resonates with the realities of the 21st century. Those realities cannot be adequately articulated in the idioms that pass for economic and political discourse today. My effort to scope out new concepts is but one contribution to what I hope will be a fresh start to redeem the selfless sacrifices of four generations of activists.
If you view this initiative with sympathy, please check out the Cheating Index plan and register your support: http://sharetherents.org/the-cheating-index/
19 October 2013
Sue Walton would like to ask “if anyone took pictures at the 2013 CGO conference, so we can post them on our webpage and on our Facebook page.” She would like you to submit such photographs to Lindy Davies. Lindy’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.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!
Sue Walton sends a very important bit of news for anyone attending the 2013 CGO Conference in Pittsburgh:
The CGO was notified on April 26th, that the Holiday Inn Pittsburgh Airport would be closing on July 15, 2013. The hotel was bought by Robert Morris University who will be converting the hotel into dorm rooms. The CGO officers and staff have actively been seeking a replacement hotel for the past 3 weeks and now we are pleased to announce that we have found a replacement:
THE SHERATON FOUR POINTS PITTSBURGH AIRPORT
One Industry Lane
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
The conference program remains the same. However, the hotel rate will be $95 and will include breakfast. The new hotel is $4 less per night and includes a morning breakfast. The hotel has complimentary Wi-Fi and airport shuttle as well as shuttle to service to the close-by Robinson Town Center shops and restaurants. There is a seasonal outdoor heated pool and a 24 hour fitness center, as well as a Business Center. The hotel is closer to downtown Pittsburgh and can be reached from downtown by taking the same 28X Bus to the airport and call for the hotel shuttle. Please mention that you’re attending the Georgist Conference in order to receive the special discount pricing.
You must make your CGO reservation before July 10th. (Please call the hotel at 724-695-0002 or toll-free at 1-888-627-8968.)
The CGO Officers and Staff
Georgist Education Sessions to be Featured at 2013 CGO Conference
This year’s education sessions are going to be a real part of the conference, to which all are invited. The sessions, sponsored by the Henry George Institute, will run from 2 to 6pm on Tuesday, August 6. The official opening reception is that evening at 7pm — so if conference participants wish to make these important sessions, all they have to do is arrive earlier on the first day of the conference.
Five presentations are scheduled:
—Mike Curtis on a practical method for determining true rental-value assessments in Arden, Delaware.
—Bob Jene on the practice of preserving farmland through “farm heritage trusts,” and opportunities for alliance with Georgists on this key issue.
—Ed Dodson will demonstrate his PowerPoint presentations expanding on the vital, yet oft-ignored, influence of land policy in the US history.
—Mike Curtis and Lindy Davies will engage in dialogue between Henry George’s theory of the boom/bust cycle and recent enhancements that help to explain current phenomena.
—Lindy Davies will explain some key changes in economic definitions that the Henry George Institute has adopted to make Georgist curricula more compatible with mainstream economics — without compromising its main ideas.
These sessions are part of the conference; registrants are free to attend them at no extra charge.
This year’s conference of the Council of Georgist Organizations “celebrates” the 100th anniversary of two important landmarks: Pittsburgh and Scranton becoming the first two cities in the United States to adopt a land value tax (which we do indeed celebrate) and the Wilson Administration’s implementation of the Federal Income Tax (mumble grumble).
Alex Wagner Lough is doing her doctoral dissertation on the Georgist movement in the progressive era, and will speak on the participation of Georgists in adopting the income tax and on the divisions within the Georgist movement over that issue. She suggests that passage of the income tax marks the decline of the Georgist movement, and might have caused it.
George himself vehemently opposed income tax, agreeing with David Ricardo that a revenue tax, even on rental income, would be passed on to the tenants. In Progress and Poverty, George wrote,
As to the truths that are involved in socialistic ideas I shall have something to say hereafter; but it is evident that whatever savors of regulation and restriction is in itself bad, and should not be resorted to if any other mode of accomplishing the same end presents itself. For instance, to take one of the simplest and mildest of the class of measures I refer to — a graduated tax on incomes. The object at which it aims, the reduction or prevention of immense concentrations of wealth, is good; but this means involves the employment of a large number of officials clothed with inquisitorial powers; temptations to bribery, and perjury, and all other means of evasion, which beget a demoralization of opinion, and put a premium upon unscrupulousness and a tax upon conscience; and, finally, just in proportion as the tax accomplishes its effect, a lessening in the incentive to the accumulation of wealth, which is one of the strong forces of industrial progress. (Progress and Poverty, Book VI, Chapter 1, Sec. V.)
However, Wilson’s administration, awash with Georgist leaders, proposed the 1913 income tax, and Congressman Henry George, Jr. cosponsored the legislation. Which Georgists supported the income tax, which opposed it, and the arguments and predictions they made, will be the topic of a special presentation at this year’s conference, August 6 – 10, at the Airport Holiday Inn, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania (a Pittsburgh suburb). We are excited to explore this very important but long-ignored aspect of the history of the Georgist movement.
We will also celebrate and detail the great successes of the Georgist movement in Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania cities, and will tell you more about that in an upcoming edition of The Georgist News.
Dan Sullivan, President
Council of Georgist Organizations
Sue Walton writes:
Attention all CGO & IU members, it’s that time of year to update your Georgist Registy Listing. Please send all updated information to Our Registry Editor/Computer, Lindy Davies at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lindy promises to quickly upload all changes to the CGO website.
Calling all book reviewers! The CGO would like the names of all those Georgists who have done book reviews in that last two years because we would like to honor you. Please send the name of the book and the author plus your name and contact info to: Ed Dodson email@example.com no later than February 15, 2013.