June 2017

 HIGHLIGHTS

Encouraging Progress in the UK -A Light On Land Value Tax

The U.K. snap election ended with the confusion and dissatisfaction of a hung parliament today, as the Conservative Party lost its majority and the Labour Party made significant gains. Results aside, this 51-day election campaign has been a huge test for public perceptions of Land Value Taxation. Labour’s manifesto proved hugely popular and was a major talking point of the …

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EVENT: Bridging the Right-Left Divide

July 27-31, 2017  |  St. Louis

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The Henry George Program -James Hughes: Techno-progressivism

After featuring the techno-libertarian Zoltan Istvan a few weeks prior, we spoke with professor James Hughes, a self described Techno-progressive.

Hughes is an American sociologist and bioethicist. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, which he founded with Nick Bostrom, the philosopher who strongly influenced Elon Musk.

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ACTIVISM

Rethinking the Economy

On June 10 in Toronto, Earthsharing Canada held a book launch and panel discussion about contemporary income inequality, social injustices, and ideas for economic reform with a focus on housing bubbles and unaffordability.

Watch & Listen: Sacred Water, Profane Markets

On May 19, the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation co-sponsored an event in New York with the International Union for Land Value Taxation, a United Nations ECOSOC NGO, the Center for the Study of Economics and The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Click to watch the full event.

IN THE NEWS

The Strong Case For A Land Value Tax

“Rents must stop taking the money needed for food, fuel, water and other necessities. Several parties’ manifestos gave land value tax a nod. The advantages are that land cannot be placed tax-free in an overseas bank, taxing land forces into use the 600,000 plots of unused land owned by the big builders, it is progressive, it relieves the incomes of hard working people and companies by enabling the abolition of inefficient taxes such as council tax, business rates, and stamp duty.”

Homes Sweet Homes: A Brick By Brick Breakdown Of The Housing Manifestos

“Promising to transform the Homes and Communities Agency into a centralised housing delivery body, Labour says it would establish a new Department of Housing, presumably with its own dedicated minister, and remove the crippling restrictions on councils building their own homes for rent. There is a welcome raft of measures to improve the lives of the most vulnerable, undoing a range of Tory policies that have left thousands living in precarious situations and savagely displaced long-standing communities. It would scrap the Conservatives’ ban on long-term tenancies, abolish the bedroom tax and end the right to buy, except where councils can prove that one-for-one replacements are possible, as well as reinstate housing benefit for 18- to 21-year-olds, removed under the Tories.”

Tax On Homes ‘To Treble Under Labour Plans For Land Value Tax’

“The Labour manifesto contains plans for a Land Value Tax to replace council tax, which would hit people with gardens the hardest.

The manifesto contains no detail of how the tax would be applied, but the Conservatives claim tax on the the average family home would go up from £1,185 to £3,837 per year, an increase of £2,651 or 224 per cent.

Opponents of the tax say it would cause house prices to plummet, putting homeowners at risk of negative equity and forcing families to sell off their gardens to developers to lessen their tax burden.”

We’ve Been Playing Monopoly Wrong – It’s A Protest Against The Rich

“It turns out tears, anger and frustration are intended consequences of our most contentious board game.

Monopoly is one of the most popular board games ever invented, but it originated out of a movement to inspire fear, injustice and ultimately change in the way America’s economy worked.

The United States in the mid-1800s was a landlord’s world. Workers struggled to feed their families on low pay, long hours and horrid conditions, while land owners such as JP Morgan and John D Rockefeller collected fortunes from owning industries.

A class struggle formed and out of it came economist Henry George’s book Progress and Poverty, which called for a single tax on land ownership that would be so big all other taxes could be abolished.”

Fixing The New Urban Crisis

“Clustering is the key driver of economic growth, and it is absolutely critical that we effectively harness it to create the broadest possible economic and social benefits. As we have seen, the problem here revolves around the urban land nexus: Land is scarce precisely where it is needed the most. We can’t make more land, but we can develop the land we have more intensively and efficiently.

So-called market urbanists argue that the best way to do this is by eliminating restrictive zoning and building codes that limit the market’s ability to build as needed. They make an important point: Zoning and building codes do need to be liberalized and modernized. We can no longer allow NIMBYs and New Urban Luddites to stand in the way of the dense, clustered development our cities and our economy need.”

Why Are Economists Giving Piketty The Cold Shoulder?

“When it was first published in English in the spring of 2014, Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century was a surprising bestseller. For a book that contains mathematical equations, it saw unthinkable sales, clearly resonating with readers and eventually even the political system, as it provided a respectable background to mounting dissatisfaction with the economic status quo in both the United States and Europe…

Matthew Rognlie—then a doctoral student, now an assistant professor at Northwestern—took up that line in even greater detail in an article that eventually appeared in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, to which he added that the rising capital-to-income ratio in Piketty’s data is disproportionately the result of the price appreciation of certain scarce stores of wealth, primarily housing and the land it sits on, not the quantity accumulation of productive capital that is the subject of the neoclassical theory of economic growth.”

Rognlie’s work, critiquing Piketty’s thesis, was taken up on a recent episode of The Henry George Program

Who’s In Charge Of Outer Space?

“The final frontier is starting to look a lot like the Wild West. As more companies announce ambitious plans to do business beyond Earth, serious questions are emerging about the legality of off-planet activity.

The limitless expanse around us has been a peaceful arena for the past 50 years, but the complex relationships between major space-faring powers like Russia, China and the U.S. are unlikely to remain Earthbound. A lunar land grab could make the dispute over man-made islands in the South China Sea look simple.”

JOIN OUR ONLINE COMMUNITY

Join our Facebook discussion group.

To start discussing Land Value Tax (LVT), and other ways of making a difference in the world, join our discussion group on Facebook. Here, you can ask questions about Earth Sharing, LVT, ending poverty, and protecting the environment. You will be able to talk with professors and regular people in the larger Earth Sharing community. It is also a gateway to other discussion groups, a marketplace of ideas for making the world a better place.

We don’t necessarily endorse any of the viewpoints in these discussions on Facebook, but they are thought-provoking!

BOOKS

The Annotated Works of Henry George Vol 2

Volume II of The Annotated Works of Henry George presents the unabridged text of Progress and Poverty, the most influential work. The original text is supplemented by a new index and by notes that explain textual changes George made during his lifetime, as well as his many references to history, literature, and economics.

Young George and the Dragon: An Economic Fairy Tale

Have you ever wondered why the rich get richer and the middle class and poor keep falling behind? The fault lies not in the stars but in our human created economic system!

This simple fairy tale introduces readers to an economic philosophy that, if implemented, could reverse this trend toward growing poverty and, instead, create a win-win economic and political system that promotes free enterprise prosperity, economic justice, and an ecologically sustainable future.

The story of Young George and the Dragon should be read not only by young adults but by aging politicians too! It is about time that everyone should discover the “Holy Grail of Economics”.

 

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