Thanks to Wyn Achenbaum for sending this article to the Georgist News. It details the enduring effect Henry George had on Ireland. There is also an interesting discussion of how Joseph Fels improved employment opportunities for Dubliners with his campaign to use vacant lots for urban farming. We think you’ll find it thorough and informative.
“Now Chinese authorities say they are moving to rapidly roll out property taxes nationwide, in a bid to reshape the country’s financial structure and curb some of the incentives for local governments to trammel the rights of farmers and others left behind by China’s extraordinary wealth gains.”
Michael Huemer is a libertarian writing for the Cato institute. He is a proponent of the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). In an article which can be found here, he argues against LVT from the standpoint of the best way to fund a BIG. His contention boils down to opposing redistributing what people produce in a high density area to those in a low density area. He says that the Georgist ethos of “one ought to keep what they produce” is contradicted by such spatial redistribution.
In this article, Matt Zwolinski, also writing for Cato, argues that the Georgist ethos is not inconsistent.
“Mike brings up the issue of population density to show that a large part of land’s value depends on the productive activity of other people. But, really, all of land’s economic value depends on the productive activity of other people… It’s not benefitting from the positive externalities of others’ labor that’s the problem. It’s the forcibly excluding others from doing so [the higher return available given access to the best locations].
This explains why, contra Huemer, people in low-population-density areas are entitled to compensation from people in high-population-density areas. High-population-density land is, ceteris paribus, more valuable than low-population-density land.”
“A few days ago I sent you some notes on Piketty’s current blockbuster. Reader Lindy Davies, a skilled and insightful editor, quickly recognized it was too long, technical, and divagating for many busy (and who isn’t?) readers, so he has abridged it. So here is the Reader’s Digest version, for those who might prefer it.” -Mason Gaffney
Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, has been a best-selling book on economics recently, but who has time to read it? Piketty’s thesis is that modern economies are self-destructive because they permit the income from owning property to grow faster than wages and the economy as a whole. The result is growing inequality and social unrest. Most of the book is a description of historical statistics demonstrating that simple point. But, as Mason Gaffney, a retired economist from the University of California, Riverside explains, the point really is not as simple as it might seem.
Posted August 1, 2014
THE GEORGIST NEWS
– Serving the Earth Sharing Community
1. (2014 July-August) Conference: CGO
2. (2014 July-August) Conference: Community Gone Viral
3. (2014 July-August) Video: The End of Poverty? & Hawaiian Independence
4. (2014 July-August) Good Press: Optimal Tax Theory
5. (2014 July-August) Good Press: Inequality from Quesnay to Piketty
6. (2014 July-August) At the Margin: Illegal Children -Send them back?
7. (2014 July-August) Numbers: Measuring Economic Rent
8. (2014 July-August) Movement Progress: Clifford Cobb
The Council of Georgist Organizations would like to thank its 2014 Conference sponsors and donors, especially, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, the Foundation for Economic Justice, the Henry George School of New York and Todd Engstrum, Area Sales Manager-Southern CA Reeds Inc. for the delicious ginger and root beers for our “Happy Room”.
2014 CGO Conference
Nearly 85 Georgists from North America, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia had an amazing time at the CGO’s 2014 Conference held July 7-11, 2014 at the deluxe Newport Beach Radisson hotel. The group heard speakers on land markets, parking, social media, movement building, public banking, land rent and Proposition 13. We celebrated Henry George’s 175 birthday with a visit from a 16 year old version of Mr. George (Dave Giesen) and older Mark Twain (Dan Sullivan) as our Banquet Speakers.
It’s never too late to return your 2014 CGO Conference Evaluation. By expressing your opinions, you help the Program Committee with its plans and procedures for future conferences, so please return your thoughts ASAP.
The Council of Georgist Organizations and the International Union will hold a combined conference, August 3-9, 2015 in Southfield, suburban Detroit, Michigan. Over four decades ago, Southfield implemented and benefited from land value taxation, thanks to the work of Ted Gwartney and Mayor Jim Clarkson. Watch this space for updates on the conference.
Got a topic that you would like to speak on or be part of panel at the 2015 CGO/IU conference? Then please email, CGO President Dan Sullivan at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your topic before September 2, 2014. The joint IU/CGO Conference Planning Team hopes to have 95% of its conference schedule in place by October 1, 2014.
On July 5th, 2014, over a hundred community activists met in San Francisco to discuss how to create more vibrant, prosperous, and sustainable communities incorporating Georgist principles.. The day was filled with exciting games, delicious food, stimulating conversation, and great networking opportunities for those seeking to hack San Francisco’s housing crisis. We’d like to express our gratitude to Robert Schalkenbach Foundation for sponsoring the event, and the many volunteers who were instrumental in making it an overwhelming success!
Click this link to see pictures from the conference.http://earthsharing.org/community-gone-viral/
“Hawaiian Independence for National and Global Justice will present segments from the films Hawaii A Voice For Sovereignty, The End of Poverty [commissioned by Robert Schalkenbach Foundation], and Life and Debt on July 25, 2014. The event is a community outreach for the purpose of discussions regarding national and global justice.”
Tim Worstall, a senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, has been warming up to the Georgist paradigm.
“Optimal taxation theory tells us that we should therefore eliminate capital and corporate taxation and move to a progressive consumption tax and perhaps a land value tax.”
Adam Smith and the Physiocrats “knew perfectly well where inequality came from. It was simply a fact of life that most land and other natural resources belonged to a small hereditary nobility. In England, some 2% of the population owned most of the land. This nobility, or their ancestors, gained their estates by force, favoritism, or fraud: that is, conquest, gifts from the king, or bribes to magistrates.”
Polly Cleveland in this two part article outlines what later economists thought about future poverty and inequality. Here’s a summary:
- Malthus: Higher wages → higher population → outstriping available resouces/ starvation wages
- Ricardo: Only improved technology and trade can stave off Malthusian catastrophe.
- Marx: Growing inequality→ collapse of the capitalist system → new socialist society→ equality
- George: Economy grows→ landlords amass surplus→ collapse →repeats (sans intervention)
- Clark: Inequality is a result of differences in labor and capital contribution.
- Pareto: Inequality follows natural law, the 80:20 rule (prime example land)→ nothing to fix
- Solow: Richer economies grow slower than poor ones → rising equality
- Piketty: less growth + no change in investment → capital investment exceeds growth → growing inequality
Part 1: http://dollarsandsense.org/blog/2014/07/pikettys-model-inequality-growth-historical-contxt-1.html
Part 2: http://dollarsandsense.org/blog/2014/07/pikettys-model-inequality-growth-historical-context-2.html