Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 ... 10   Go Down

Author Topic: Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)  (Read 30359 times)

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2003, 10:00:53 pm »

Quote
Is it moral or immoral to appropriate unowned land?  Sometimes it might be immoral, but surely in some cases it is moral.

BillG: If we regard human beings as having equal moral worth, then it is morally wrong for some to be masters and others slaves...

Not owning any land doesn't make me a slave.  Many landowners are worse off financially than I am.

Quote
All land is monopolized, since new land cannot be created or imported. The landlords give you choice: which plot of land do you wish to be located in?

That's a weird definition of monopolization.  By that standard, everything is monopolized.  "The soap manufacturers give you a choice: which bar of soap do you wish to buy?"

Quote
You the tenant have no choice as to having to live on some land. Your only choice is which monopolist will take the rent that naturally and properly belongs to you in the first place as a member of the community.

Why does land naturally and properly belong to me as a member of the community?  What about soap?  Should every member of the community be provided a bar of soap?  If not, what makes land different from every other commodity?  (And let's not go back to the erroneous assumption that land is uniquely uncreated. ;))

Quote
Quote
John Locke thought unowned land could be appropriated by the first comer so long as its productive capabilities were not wasted, and so long as everyone else who could not appropriate the land was better off for it - because of the productive use of the land made by the appropriator.

BillG: John Locke said (quote) "God gave the world to men in common....He that leaves as much [land] for another to make use of does as good as take nothing at all."

Exactly - but if you interpret Locke's proviso in the stringent way that you do below, a contradiction emerges, which Nozick identified:

Quote
Hence John Locke's proviso that one has "property" in land only to the extent that there is "enough, and as good left in common for others."  When there is not, land begins to have rental value. Thus, the rental value of land reflects the extent to which Locke's proviso has been violated, thereby making community-collection of rent, through Land Value Taxation (LVT), a just and necessary means of upholding the Lockean principle of private property.

The problem with this view is that if any private appropriation could eventually result in leaving "not enough and as good" land for future appropriators, then the prior private appropriation that forced this situation was also wrong, and so on all the way back to the beginning.  So no private appropriation is possible.  But clearly Locke did not believe this, b/c he thought private appropriation was both possible and desirable.  The answer lies in Locke's discussion of how the development of money affects the proviso.  As Nozick teased out, the development of a money system reduces the impact of the proviso, because many people can earn a good living without owning land, as would be necessary in an agricultural barter economy.  In modern capitalist systems, the only effect of the proviso then is to provide a justification for relief programs for those who fall below the standard of living that they would enjoy in a society without private appropriation of land: the primeval hunter-gatherer society.  These are the people harmed by private appropriation, and the residue of the primeval common right to land creates a right to some level of assistance from the nearby community.

Quote
Quote
In some circumstances, extreme inequalities in land ownership, usually resulting from historical conquest, as in Latin America and parts of Asia and Africa, can be harmful - but the proper solution here is a comprehensive redistribution of private land rights, rather than the SLT.

BillG: What do you consider extreme? Does "usually resulting from historical conquest" apply to Britain?  

It probably applies to Ireland and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland still; in Britain, a comprehensive redistribution of land would probably cause more problems than it would solve, especially since it would be impossible to sort out those harmed and benefited by the Anglo-Saxon and Norman conquests.

Quote
So to answer your "proper solution" - "SLT" is a comprehensive redistribution of private land rights !!!!

I disagree.  There are inherent problems in calculating the SLT and in distributing the revenues raised by it.  I would much rather simply redistribute land titles and let the new private owners retain full property rights in them.

Quote
Quote
Certainly, a rate approaching 95% could never be justified as a fee for recognizing the deed and enforcing it.

BillG: It is not necessary for efficiency for the pure land rent to belong to the individual title holder. Economists use the term "economic rent" for payments beyond what is needed to put a factor of production to efficient use. Land rent is economic rent, since the land is already there, and for real estate, the amount of land within some boundary line is fixed. So when rent is used for the public finances, it does not reduce the quantity of land.

Right, that's the view relying on the inelasticity of supply of land.  But it's impossible in practice to separate out what part of land rent is economic rent.  Take again the example of forestland that was cleared centuries ago for pasture.  What is the value taxed here?  The value of the land as if it were forest, or the value of the land as pasture?  If the former, there's a real calculation problem; if the latter, you're taxing an "improvement" and theoretically discouraging future improvements.
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

LeopardPM

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2248
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2003, 10:42:08 pm »

BillG,
What would be the effect(positives/negatives) of utilizing this method in regard to any resource?  Not just land, air, or water - but to oil, gold, minerals, etc?  or does it only work for land?


michael
Logged
nothing to say...

underwater

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 257
  • A Normal Geolibertarian
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2003, 11:21:32 pm »

I am glad to see this Georgist discussion! I consider myself to be a geolibertarian and believe that the Georgist doctrine comes closest to elucidating a system of "fair" or "just" taxation. Of course, I doubt that Georgist politics can or should be forced down upon people. One of my goals is to create a corporation in the Free State that owns land. Then, people can rent land from the corporation by buying land-shares that entitle them to occupy a piece of land in exchange for rent (i.e. a negative dividend). Rent revenue might go towards improving the community by hiring security, paving roads, lighting streets, and so on. Some of the rent will be put in a special fund that will be used to charter future corporations. Thus, the first voluntary Georgist community, if successful, will spawn other communities which in turn will spawn even more until the whole Free State experiences a peaceful (and decentralized) Georgist revolution. Of course, this might not happen  :-[ - but at least the idea can be tested in the marketplace of ideas!

Also, note that the "ownership" in my Georgist land company is based on ownership of shares not ownership of land. A land-share would basically give you a voting right in the company. Thus, the community (or shareholders) decides how the collected rent should be allocated. BillG's group might focus on social spending while another group might focus more on infrastructure. In any case, a "nation" of these communities could form with the "federal government" taxing all the separate communities for rent. The taxation of communities and not individuals at the federal level would allow people to effectively protest excessive taxes through non-payment with less fear of reprisals.
Logged
- I will only vote for people that live in my local community and that are willing to meet with me to discuss the issues.
- I will only pay a tax (preferably a LVT) that is levied by my local community and spent on local infrastructure improvements and security.
- To me, FedGov does not exist.

LeopardPM

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2248
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2003, 01:32:12 am »

Underwater,
wow, sometimes I just plain don't understand - what you are proposing is totally available to you and others in a true free market, as you pointed out so efficiently.  Though I am no georgist (as I understand it), I do support your right to attempt to implement your ideas as long as no force or coercion is involved.  This is where I think you differ from the other Georgists in this thread - they do not welcome the competition in the 'marketplace of ideas' and feel the need to use the force of government to enact suck a system.  I like your approach much better and it sounds no different then homeowners associations etc that would crop up in a libertarian society.

Keep it up sir!  Tho, I think both Rhythm and c5367 will disagree with you... I want to see their reasons if they do...

michael
Logged
nothing to say...

RhythmStar

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1886
  • Imagine there's no Heaven.
    • RhythmStar Records
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2003, 03:39:49 pm »

I am glad to see this Georgist discussion! I consider myself to be a geolibertarian and believe that the Georgist doctrine comes closest to elucidating a system of "fair" or "just" taxation. Of course, I doubt that Georgist politics can or should be forced down upon people. One of my goals is to create a corporation in the Free State that owns land. Then, people can rent land from the corporation by buying land-shares that entitle them to occupy a piece of land in exchange for rent (i.e. a negative dividend). Rent revenue might go towards improving the community by hiring security, paving roads, lighting streets, and so on. Some of the rent will be put in a special fund that will be used to charter future corporations. Thus, the first voluntary Georgist community, if successful, will spawn other communities which in turn will spawn even more until the whole Free State experiences a peaceful (and decentralized) Georgist revolution. Of course, this might not happen  :-[ - but at least the idea can be tested in the marketplace of ideas!

Also, note that the "ownership" in my Georgist land company is based on ownership of shares not ownership of land. A land-share would basically give you a voting right in the company. Thus, the community (or shareholders) decides how the collected rent should be allocated. BillG's group might focus on social spending while another group might focus more on infrastructure. In any case, a "nation" of these communities could form with the "federal government" taxing all the separate communities for rent. The taxation of communities and not individuals at the federal level would allow people to effectively protest excessive taxes through non-payment with less fear of reprisals.


Sounds like an excellent idea!  

Have you done any research on the Arden Georgist colony in Deleware?

RS
« Last Edit: August 26, 2003, 03:40:22 pm by RhythmStar »
Logged
Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #50 on: August 26, 2003, 08:16:05 pm »

Quote
BillG,
What would be the effect(positives/negatives) of utilizing this method in regard to any resource?  Not just land, air, or water - but to oil, gold, minerals, etc?  or does it only work for land?

michael

BillG: How about for starters the problems in the Middle East viz. Iraq Oil revenues? (notice the reference to land reform...)

From Fareed Zakaria's (the "other" Yale graduate...)Newsweek article: "How to Wage Peace" - 4/21/03

http://www.fareedzakaria.com/articles/newsweek/042103.html

Read under The Curse of Oil
"But perhaps the best approach is to create a national trust--with transparent and internationally monitored accounting--into which all oil revenues flow. These revenues could be spent only in specified ways: on, for example, health care and education. The World Bank has been experimenting on such a model with Chad, the tiny oil-rich African state. Alaska is another successful version of this model. Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation          points out that Alaska distributes its oil revenues directly to its residents, bypassing the corruption usually created by leaving it in the hands of governments or oligarchs. This is a variation of land reform, redistributing wealth broadly, which was crucial in spurring democracy in Japan and almost all other feudal societies."
« Last Edit: August 26, 2003, 09:17:43 pm by BillG (not Gates) »
Logged

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #51 on: August 26, 2003, 09:11:42 pm »

Quote
Not owning any land doesn't make me a slave.  Many landowners are worse off financially than I am.

BillG: It has nothing to do with whom is richer than whom...the point is that you have to live or produce wealth somewhere, right? And if you have to pay rent out of your wages (some people pay up to 50% of their income on rents) what is the difference between that and having to pay taxes on what you make - the landlord becomes the government. By collecting land values - landlords will have to now optomize it's use creating a housing supply & quality this state (NH) has never seen (remember no taxes on buildings) in the areas that we want it...downtowns w/ resulting drop in rents, creating more walkable, livable cities and getting people out of their cars (remember the war in Iraq?). We will have to change the zoning laws to allow infilling but we will seriously alleviate the sprawl issue. Now after minarchist government (2/3 less right) is paid for (courts, police, etc) the remainder should be returned to the rightful owners - those that created the land value in the first place - the citizens of the local community directly as the populations rise or through residual effects of public infrastructure investments (you could get rid of all these to by making new landowners pay for the infrastructure by collecting increase land values). One could take the "citizens dividend" (land values being only one source of the dividend) and apply it towards the rent living potential rent free!  

Quote
That's a weird definition of monopolization.  By that standard, everything is monopolized.  "The soap manufacturers give you a choice: which bar of soap do you wish to buy?"

BillG: Geesh - what college did you get your Phd from?  ;)
Since soap can be created (or imported) unlike land it can never be monopolized...

Quote
Why does land naturally and properly belong to me as a member of the community?  What about soap?  Should every member of the community be provided a bar of soap?  If not, what makes land different from every other commodity?  (And let's not go back to the erroneous assumption that land is uniquely uncreated. )

BillG: Like my good friend Ronald Reagan use to say (god bless his frail mind!) "There you go again"...
Not LAND Jason - land VALUE (in the form of rent)!!! Yes, title to land should remain in private hands and passed down to heir, etc...

The rationale for the equal ownership of RENT is that no human being created what was provided by nature, and therefore as equal beings, we are equally entitled to natural opportunities and benefits that nature affords.

Quote
I disagree.  There are inherent problems in calculating the SLT and in distributing the revenues raised by it.

prior thread:
Quote
Well, of course the government can send you a bill with a number on it; the question is whether that number can generally be accurate

BillG: As I had said in one of my other posts when you get a bill for your taxes in NH you are shown a value for your buildings and a value for your land. I have a unique perspective on this because I have recently built a home (GC'd it), sold it and purchased another home all with the last 5 yrs.

Built home in '96 for $75/sqft x 3000 sqft =210K
Land was 90K so house cost 300K

sold house in '02 for 450K so 150K profit in mostly land value over 5 yrs...how much do you think material and labor prices have risen in 5yrs with inflation running at about 2-4%??? (maybe 25K - tops)

Now I just bought a house for 400K and it is also 3000 sqft @ $100/sqft replacement cost (not GC'd myself) = 300K so my land value is 100K.

When I look at my tax bill it says buildings 270K and land 80K and I pay a tax rate of $25/1000 or $8,750- make sense right?

Here is what a simple tax shift would look like...

on land $100/1000 so $8,000 (90%)
on buildings $2.77/1000 so $750 (10%)

what is so difficult about that????

I'll take up the Nozick/Locke question another time...I'm beat! You are making my karma numbers look bad because of your monopoly position within this organization   ;D
« Last Edit: August 26, 2003, 09:17:08 pm by BillG (not Gates) »
Logged

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2003, 09:47:10 pm »

Quote
Not owning any land doesn't make me a slave.  Many landowners are worse off financially than I am.

BillG: It has nothing to do with whom is richer than whom...the point is that you have to live or produce wealth somewhere, right? And if you have to pay rent out of your wages (some people pay up to 50% of their income on rents) what is the difference between that and having to pay taxes on what you make - the landlord becomes the government.

I get to choose my landlord, not my government.  There are lots of expenditures that are not discretionary, just like rents (food, clothing).  The analogy with taxation only holds moral force if rent were demonstrated to be coercive.

Quote
By collecting land values - landlords will have to now optomize it's use creating a housing supply & quality this state (NH) has never seen (remember no taxes on buildings) in the areas that we want it...downtowns w/ resulting drop in rents, creating more walkable, livable cities and getting people out of their cars (remember the war in Iraq?). We will have to change the zoning laws to allow infilling but we will seriously alleviate the sprawl issue.

I agree with the goals here, but I don't see how the SLT accomplishes all of this.  Prior to the 1950s, home and work did tend to be integrated into a single community, but the difference between then and now does not have to do with land taxation.  The secret of returning to that sort of arrangement then probably has to do with other factors.

Quote
Now after minarchist government (2/3 less right) is paid for (courts, police, etc) the remainder should be returned to the rightful owners - those that created the land value in the first place -

They create value for the land by demanding it, in the same way that demand creates monetary value for other goods & services. But it would be passing strange to reward customers for the value that they place on products, and not the owners and producers who offer goods & services for public use.

Quote
BillG: Geesh - what college did you get your Phd from?  ;)
Since soap can be created (or imported) unlike land it can never be monopolized...

So something is monopolized if it has inelastic supply?  That's certainly a far cry from the dictionary definition.  Note that inelastic supply doesn't automatically entail economic rents.  Often it can be good to have a relatively inelastic supply of something, such as money.

Quote
The rationale for the equal ownership of RENT is that no human being created what was provided by nature, and therefore as equal beings, we are equally entitled to natural opportunities and benefits that nature affords.

I think it is more desirable to encourage people to take maximum opportunity of the benefits afforded by nature, which will naturally result in differential rewards.

Quote
BillG: As I had said in one of my other posts when you get a bill for your taxes in NH you are shown a value for your buildings and a value for your land. I have a unique perspective on this because I have recently built a home (GC'd it), sold it and purchased another home all with the last 5 yrs.

Built home in '96 for $75/sqft x 3000 sqft =210K
Land was 90K so house cost 300K

sold house in '02 for 450K so 150K profit in mostly land value over 5 yrs...how much do you think material and labor prices have risen in 5yrs with inflation running at about 2-4%??? (maybe 25K - tops)

Now I just bought a house for 400K and it is also 3000 sqft @ $100/sqft replacement cost (not GC'd myself) = 300K so my land value is 100K.

When I look at my tax bill it says buildings 270K and land 80K and I pay a tax rate of $25/1000 or $8,750- make sense right?

Here is what a simple tax shift would look like...

on land $100/1000 so $8,000 (90%)
on buildings $2.77/1000 so $750 (10%)

what is so difficult about that????

In the last case you're using replacement value for the home rather than market value.  It's a subtle distinction, but it does enter into the economics.  There are plenty of aspects of a home that may give it value (or reduce its value) relative to a replacement home of the same size built on the same property.  So when you bought the house for 400K, we don't really know what part of that value comes from the land if there were no house.  Of course, the whole point of appraising things (not just land) is to figure out what a market price for something should be without actually figuring out by putting it up for sale.  I'm sure the science has advanced to a point where egregious errors would be unlikely, and the SLT, relying as it does on land appraisals, might not distort markets terribly if appraisals were independent of gov't influence.  If, however, gov't controlled valuations (and this has been a problem w/ property taxes in some jurisdictions, so it would presumably arise w/ the SLT as well), we could see revaluations whenever gov't needed revenue, which would not only increase effective tax rate but also could lead to severe distortions in property markets.

My point in critiquing the SLT is not to single it out as worse than other tax systems - they all have their hazards and disadvantages - but to debunk the idea that it is the best tax system under all reasonable circumstances.


Quote
You are making my karma numbers look bad because of your monopoly position within this organization   ;D

Heh... I dunno, my karma wasn't too hot either before we shut it off! ;)
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

RhythmStar

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1886
  • Imagine there's no Heaven.
    • RhythmStar Records
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2003, 09:50:50 pm »

>>live rent free

Why collect more in LVT than the Minarchist government needs to operate?  Wouldn't it be better to let that money stay in the non-government economy?   Once you start letting the government take in more than it needs, you start to create problems.

Also, I think the claim that LVT is not passed on to tenants is incorrect.  I know that I would charge my tenants every penny of LVT, plus the rental value of my improvements.  I am pretty sure others would do likewise.  In fact, unless landholders did that, you would create a pernicious free-loader class of tenants, who could vote in any sort of government program they wanted, secure in the knowledge that the landholders would somehow pay for it!   By passing the full LVT plus improvement rents onto the tenants, then you have a self-limiting governor built into the system -- the LVT will stay low, because the majority of tenants will not want higher tenant rents!

BTW, that's pretty funny about the soap question.  I guess Jason is having trouble making the functional distinction between Common Property (what God made) and Private Property (what humans made).   It seems to simple, but I guess it's one of those paradigm-shift things like Kuhn talks about.  Until you make the paradigm shift, it just doesn't make sense, as it conflicts with your inner dictionary.  

Hopefully, this will wear off after a while.  :)

RS
« Last Edit: August 26, 2003, 09:52:04 pm by RhythmStar »
Logged
Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2003, 10:15:14 pm »

>>live rent free

Why collect more in LVT than the Minarchist government needs to operate?  Wouldn't it be better to let that money stay in the non-government economy?   Once you start letting the government take in more than it needs, you start to create problems.

<snip>

BTW, that's pretty funny about the soap question.  I guess Jason is having trouble making the functional distinction between Common Property (what God made) and Private Property (what humans made).   It seems to simple, but I guess it's one of those paradigm-shift things like Kuhn talks about.  Until you make the paradigm shift, it just doesn't make sense, as it conflicts with your inner dictionary.  

Hopefully, this will wear off after a while.  :)

RS

BillG: The question is who is the rent going to go to - make no mistake it WILL be collected by someone! If it goes into private hands like it has for centuries we will never get at the huge inequity problems that we have in this country around government granted privledge and the stealing from the commons and the POLITICAL CLASS that it creates. This is fundamentally why I am opposed to government stewardship of our commonwealth. Because the Replicrats continue to steal it - you remember the golden rule...those who have the gold rule!

So why do you keep on assuming the economic rent collected has to go into the hands of government? An independent third party does the assessments (like we do in NH) the money goes into a independent trust fund w/dividends going directly to the citizens equally.

My fall back position is collect the money - support the minarchist gov't and throw the rest of the money in the ocean! I am completely and drop dead serious on this - we would still be better off as a society than to allow the rent to go to private landowners!

BTW - Georgist call what you are referring to viz. "paradigm shift"...seeing the cat!

http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/gilchrist_neil_seeing_the_cat.html
http://www.earthsharing.org.au/cat.html

I'll get back to you on why it is not passed on to tenants...

Can someone carry the torch here please - this guy Jason is killing me!!! I am new to these parts - what is his role in the FSP, anyway?
« Last Edit: August 26, 2003, 10:18:16 pm by BillG (not Gates) »
Logged

RhythmStar

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1886
  • Imagine there's no Heaven.
    • RhythmStar Records
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2003, 11:20:11 pm »

Jason is the Chairman and Founder of the FSP.  A young Yale Phd and generally good guy, despite not being a Georgist. :)

On the bright side, I think we can all agree that some kind of uniform Single Tax would be far preferable to the current system.  Particularly if society as a whole were to adopt some other Single Tax,  Georgist colonies like Arden, only less compromised, might be formed.  If under something like the 'freehold' concept, such communities could perhaps opt out of the non-LVT tax system and just pay some kind of community 'user fee', the basic economic soundness of the LVT wouldn't be too disturbed.

The only way to prove the point is to demonstrate it.  :)

RS

(BTW, by 'compromised' I mean that Arden still has to pay DE and Fed taxes.  Still, they have done pretty well from what I can find.)
Logged
Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House

underwater

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 257
  • A Normal Geolibertarian
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2003, 11:36:02 pm »

Quote
Have you done any research on the Arden Georgist colony in Deleware?

Yes, there are more communities than just Arden:

"Between 1894-1950, seventeen land trusts were started by Georgists and referred to as Enclaves of Economic Rent. Fairhope, Alabama was the first; Arden was second and Ardencroft was number seventeen."
http://www.ardenclub.com/georgists.htm

Everyone should also read the following:

"In 1895 and 1896, a group of "single taxers" moved to Delaware from Pennsylvania with the idea of persuading the state to adopt a plan where only land, not buildings on it, would be taxed. What was done on the land was not anyone's concern, according to the group."
http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2003/02/03freestateprojec.html
Logged
- I will only vote for people that live in my local community and that are willing to meet with me to discuss the issues.
- I will only pay a tax (preferably a LVT) that is levied by my local community and spent on local infrastructure improvements and security.
- To me, FedGov does not exist.

LeopardPM

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2248
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #57 on: August 27, 2003, 03:23:14 am »

I am glad to see this Georgist discussion! I consider myself to be a geolibertarian and believe that the Georgist doctrine comes closest to elucidating a system of "fair" or "just" taxation. Of course, I doubt that Georgist politics can or should be forced down upon people. One of my goals is to create a corporation in the Free State that owns land. Then, people can rent land from the corporation by buying land-shares that entitle them to occupy a piece of land in exchange for rent (i.e. a negative dividend). Rent revenue might go towards improving the community by hiring security, paving roads, lighting streets, and so on. Some of the rent will be put in a special fund that will be used to charter future corporations. Thus, the first voluntary Georgist community, if successful, will spawn other communities which in turn will spawn even more until the whole Free State experiences a peaceful (and decentralized) Georgist revolution. Of course, this might not happen  :-[ - but at least the idea can be tested in the marketplace of ideas!

Also, note that the "ownership" in my Georgist land company is based on ownership of shares not ownership of land. A land-share would basically give you a voting right in the company. Thus, the community (or shareholders) decides how the collected rent should be allocated. BillG's group might focus on social spending while another group might focus more on infrastructure. In any case, a "nation" of these communities could form with the "federal government" taxing all the separate communities for rent. The taxation of communities and not individuals at the federal level would allow people to effectively protest excessive taxes through non-payment with less fear of reprisals.


Sounds like an excellent idea!  

Have you done any research on the Arden Georgist colony in Deleware?

RS

LOL - you said that just to spite me! j/k
Logged
nothing to say...

Duodecimal

  • FSP Participant
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 56
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #58 on: August 27, 2003, 05:44:38 am »

I'd take HR25 over SLT any time. The problem Jason posed on the impossibility of objectively pricing land (indeed, objectively pricing anything) is insurmountable.
Logged

RhythmStar

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1886
  • Imagine there's no Heaven.
    • RhythmStar Records
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #59 on: August 27, 2003, 07:02:44 am »

>>objective pricing

Why bother?  

Call me overly pragmatic, but if the land rents are going to be used for operating the Minarchist government, why not just go with the variation I suggested earlier -- a uniform land value tax derived by taking the annual budget and dividing it by the number of taxable acres?    Simplicity has its virtues.

The problem with this other tax is that it taxes goods and services.  This has all sorts of distortive effects on the economy, while doing nothing to address the fundamental issue of why our common heritage should be appropriated by individuals to begin with.  

Those things you make, or that someone else makes that you buy, these are the real property of humans.  These other things -- spectrum, air, waterways, land... they are not derived in the same way, and they should not be treated in the same way in the economy.  They are only acquired privately by force and government-granted privilege, unlike the fruits of labor, or even the formation of capital.

However, the real benefit of the LVT is in freeing labor and capital from taxation.  It amazes me that people who claim that taxes are so evil and so oppressive would elect to place them on every transaction in the marketplace, when they could choose to abolish those taxes and let the common heritage pay for the common expense of government.

:)

RS
Logged
Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 ... 10   Go Up