Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 ... 10   Go Down

Author Topic: Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)  (Read 30478 times)

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #60 on: August 27, 2003, 08:33:20 am »

>>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.


Yep, I completely agree w/ you here.  The LVT/SLT wouldn't be bad if the rate were such that it just covered basic government services.  Raising it so that there is a "citizen's dividend" left over is inefficient, because the LVT will be passed to renters and consumers in the form of higher rents and prices.  So creating a citizen's dividend through higher taxes, administered by a bureaucracy, would be like transfusing blood from your right arm to your left, while spilling a little in the process.
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

Duodecimal

  • FSP Participant
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 56
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #61 on: August 27, 2003, 08:34:26 am »

Firstly, no tax is ever fair nor does any tax not distort human action. Lesser evil and lesser distortion is the only possibility.

A factory worker doesn't own the factory's product. He owns his labor, which he exchanged for a wage. The factory owner consumes that labor and produces the final product, which is the property of the factory owner. (The factory workers are free to form a syndicate where they own the factory, and they would be can do so in a free market, so in that case they would own their product. But otherwise, it's not the case.)

All taxes distort markets since they are all restrictions on free choice - even your SLT. Jason pointed out how it distorts land use, even (and especially) if it goes by your equal distribution proposal. If those who wish to conserve land are granted non-taxable status, that there is a distortion that affects economic growth without regard over whether people benefit more from a woodland or, say, a hospital.

What about socially beneficial operations that operate at very low margins? Will they be granted non-taxable status as well? If so, who gets to determine whether a particular land use is taxable or not? If to keep such corruptability from creeping into the system it is decided that all land is equally taxable, then all land owners must find a way to generate revenue from their holdings in order to pay the tax. This has consequences for those who want to conserve pristine land and virgin forests (which I suppose is a goal of geo-libertarians?).

That's a problem I have with any government system: any power is a target for corruption, whether it's to decide taxable status or the level of taxation for given land uses. If the system is to be kept simple, so that all landowners are taxed equally regardless of land use, then conservation is attacked unless the government appropriates land as public (probably from people who can't afford to pay taxes). Government ownership of land is another opportunity for corruption - who may buy it? Who will get to use it?


The whole Georgist system hinges on the philosophy that since man doesn't create something, it is a common heritage. But man does create land, and continues to do so, and will do more of it as technology advances. Island airports in Hong Kong and Japan, and a significant amount of land in the Netherlands, are all man-made. These exceptions to the rule will be less so more and more as time passes. An entity that creates land has every right to appropriate it and an SLT on that land would be every bit as unjust as any other tax since it is not common heritage but labor's fruit.

There is nothing special about land, any more than there's anything special about any other form of property. All resources are limited, everything has a finite supply, whether it's land, energy, pens, telephones, labor, credit, apartments - everything. Man can manufacture land, he can manufacture atmosphere (we don't need to on Earth but we can do it in Lunar corridors when we need to). Man can not create energy, he can only convert it. Does that mean we have to have an SET? Man can not create matter either, so technically everything is therefore a common heritage, every atom, every photon.

There is no logical foundation to segregate land from anything else.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2003, 08:40:09 am by Duodecimal »
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 #62 on: August 27, 2003, 09:40:52 am »

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.

I dunno.  It just seemed to follow from discussing LVT as a replacement for other government-collected taxes.   However, reading Underwater's plan and seeing what the Ardens have done, I realize that a private corporation that owns the land as a sort of land trust could provide many of the benefits.  In fact, the corporation could perform all the normal functions of local government, with the joint ownership of the citizens providing the tie that binds, as well as the negation of the exploitive problems that a purely profit-driven privatization would bring.

Quote
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!

Why do that?  Just charge the bare minimum needed!  Let everyone have reasonable rents.  In the real world, escaping the overarching taxes of state and federal government won't be possible (at least for a while), so the whole scheme has to be tailored to maximize the leverage available from LVT towards local administration, rather than the grander benefits of broad-based tax abolition.

:)

RS

Logged
Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #63 on: August 27, 2003, 10:17:03 pm »

Quote
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.

BillG: I must be a glutton for punishment! Oh well, here goes...
Jason, the point is you may get to choose your loandlord but you don't get to choose NOT to pay your rent - right? It is coercive because you have to live and produce somewhere??? If I had a piece of land I could grow my own food and make my own clothes...If I don't have access to land I can't make it (no matter what Duo says to the contrary...)

Quote
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.

BillG: Like?

Quote
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.

BillG: Well, what creates the demand for land? answer: rising populations in a specific local & public infrastructure investments. Falling populations - falling land values.

There you go again - you are equating products which we create via human labor that can't be monolpolized with something that is not created by anyone and can be monopolized...

Quote
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.

BillG: No, if something that has an inelastic supply is monopolized it creates economic rent. The economic rent of an inelastic supply of money is called (drumroll please) INTEREST. When the feds pull back on the money supply interest rates go up...

Quote
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.

BillG: I would agree if it weren't possible to monopolize land (think what it would be like if air could be monopolized!). I would agree if our "free market" system had a way to account for "externalities" (read pollution) so that buyers and sellers would be be properly informed rather than "socializing the effects" resulting in declining health (increasing medical costs) for us all. And talk about unworkable (like your critique of "objective" pricing - doesn't the market create an objective price?) how anyone can suggest with a straight face that individuals should be required to prove exactly who damaged you when we are talking about airborne carcinogens is beyond me!

Now get this...coming from a Green no less - differential rewards should come exclusively from whatever (dare I say God-given) talents we bring to bare, using all of our faculties (mind & body), in mixing our labor with nature...

Quote
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

BillG: Like?

Quote
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.

BillG: Silly me...I forgot to mention there is a wooded vacant lot (same size) right next to me that just went on the market for $110K...hmmm - sounds about right, huh?

Quote
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.

BillG: How about this instead...all collected land value rents (appraised & collected via private companies and recently sold properties) are re-distributed and then people pay a head count for essential services (police, courts, jails, etc) Now when re-valuations occur the incentive will be for citizens to keep as much $ as possible in their pocket...

Quote
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.

BillG: The hell with the best tax system - I am making the claim that it is morally right and infact essential to creating a just society based on liberty for all.

So, if I can offer valid historical and current proof to my claims of the benefits of LVT from a team of geo-libertarians would the FSPers grant the opportunity at the proper time & place?
Logged

LeopardPM

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2248
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #64 on: August 27, 2003, 10:58:49 pm »

I don't see a problem, BillG -you are free to voice your opinions and state your case... I find it very interesting...

Quote
Posted by: BillG (not Gates)  Posted on: Today at 08:17:03pm  
Quote
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.
 

BillG: I must be a glutton for punishment! Oh well, here goes...
Jason, the point is you may get to choose your loandlord but you don't get to choose NOT to pay your rent - right? It is coercive because you have to live and produce somewhere??? If I had a piece of land I could grow my own food and make my own clothes...If I don't have access to land I can't make it (no matter what Duo says to the contrary...)


who is preventing anyone from 'access to land'?  Has anyone ever been denied that ability to purchase a piece of land if the owner agreed to the transaction?  It seems that in saying so, you also say you are being 'denied' your own personal Limosine soley because you may not be able to afford it.

I still don't agree that it is even possible to monopolize all land, or that land is finite (no, I am not a flat-worlder...lol)... I discused this before but it was ignored, I figure becaue I must not know what I am talking about.....

How is any other 'natural' commodity different from land in the first place?  If you say that 'land' is finite, then obviously gold, iron, plutonium, etc are also finite and should be considered 'common'.

When I try to break down your proposal it comes across like this:  a method of taxation on property owners with a different idea for distributing the funds (different as opposed to the current method)

Quote
I am making the claim that it is morally right and infact essential to creating a just society based on liberty for all.

Here is the foundation: You claim that everyone has a right to land... so do I.
When I say 'right to land' I mean: the ability to own, in every sense of the word, a piece of property on which I can do with as I please, without outside interference.  If I am forced to pay, for the duration of my life, my childrens lives, and so on, a 'tax' on a piece of property, then I really don't 'own' it at all - I am just renting it, and renters disrespect property to a much greater extent than owners ever did.  It seems that your proposal is: By being born, I am forced to pay for my living on this earth for the rest of my life, with no recourse available to me ever!  If an analogy could be made, I would say that the free market treats people more like indentured servants, whereas Georism treats people as slaves... at least I can produce my way out of servitude in the free market... I can't break the chains in Georism.

thank you, and, hang in there BillG, I do respect your tenacity and persuasive arguments with Jason, it seems to be pushing both of you to really be clear and concise in your posts and is helping me greatly...

off to the sidelines again,
michael

ps: still think that saying land is finite constitutes a very narrow view of humankind and our abilities...
Logged
nothing to say...

Elizabeth

  • Former FSP Vice President
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1650
  • Someone has to ask the tough questions...
    • Free State Project
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2003, 10:42:29 am »

LIBERTARIANISM AND LAND VALUE TAXATION
John H. Beck
Professor of Economics
Gonzaga University

I.  LIBERTARIAN FOLLOWERS OF HENRY GEORGE
   For some libertarians any tax is illegitimate (Feser 2000).  However, one tax that has received some support from libertarians who advocate a limited government financed by taxation is a tax on land values.  The most famous advocate of land value taxation is Henry George, the author of Progress and Poverty (1879).  Yeager (1984) identifies several libertarian views shared by Henry George, including his opposition to protectionist trade policy, his rejection of socialism, and his defense of natural rights including property rights.  Several prominent libertarians in the early twentieth century were influenced by Henry George, including Albert Jay Nock, author of Our Enemy the State (1935), and Frank Chodorov, who became the director of the Henry George School of Social Science and editor of the Freeman in 1937 (Nash 1996, 11-14; Raimondo 1993, 114-129).  Maurice Allais, one of four future Nobel prize winners attending the first meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947, declined to sign the society's Statement of Aims because its defense of private ownership of land conflicted with his Georgist ideas (Hartwell 1995, 42).  This illustrates that Georgist ideas about land ownership and taxation have frequently been divisive among libertarians.  Yeager (1984, 160) notes that Murray Rothbard rejected George's moral and economic arguments for land value taxation, although Rothbard applauded George's discussion of patents and copyrights as well as his advocacy of free trade.

II.  ARGUMENTS FOR LAND VALUE TAXATION
   There are both equity and efficiency arguments for land value taxation.  The equity argument is that land is given by nature and the value of the land was not created by human effort.  Furthermore, increases in the value of land are caused by public services and economic development in the neighborhood, not by the effort of the landowner.  For example, the construction of an interstate highway will increase the value of land near a highway interchange as this becomes a more desirable site for business development.  Therefore, it is argued, because the landowner has done nothing to deserve the gain from his ownership of land, the government should capture this gain through taxation and use it for the benefit of all members of society.  However, as discussed in section IV below, there are also equity arguments against replacing the current system of property taxation with a tax only on land values.
   The efficiency argument for land value taxation is that, unlike almost all other taxes, it does not discourage productive activity or distort choices among consumer goods.  A tax on wages discourages work effort.  The property tax on improvments discourages construction and other improvements.  Tariffs on imported goods discourage international trade.  But the supply of land is fixed, given by nature.  A tax on the value of land (based on its potential use), will not discourage the landowner from making the land available.  The owner must pay the same tax regardless of what he does or does not do with the land.  It should be noted that the method of assessing land values is crucial; changes in the market value of land attributable to permanent improvements to a site should not be included in the taxable land value.
Logged

Elizabeth

  • Former FSP Vice President
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1650
  • Someone has to ask the tough questions...
    • Free State Project
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2003, 10:43:34 am »

continued



III.  POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS
   Advocates of any tax reform proposal need to consider likely sources of opposition and support and to devise strategies to minimize opposition and build a coalition of supporters.
   Opponents of land value taxation have often charged that this would shift the burden of taxation to farmers, who own large areas of land (Peirce 2003, 6).  Although in fact family farmers might benefit from an increase in the tax rate on land value offset by a reduction in the tax on improvements (Wenzer 1999, 239-268), a reform strategy assuaging farmers' fears would have greater chance of success.  Limiting land value taxation to urban areas rather than adopting it as the "single tax" for all state and local government revenues would eliminate opposition from farmers.
   Environmentalists are not often allies of libertarians, but land value taxation is one issue which both might support.  Environmentalists support replacing the property tax on improvements with land value taxation in urban areas because it would encourage more development in urban centers and discourage sprawl (Durning and Bauman 1998, 57-65; Wenzer 1999, 205-223).

IV.  IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES
   "An old tax is a good tax."  This adage does not merely reflect the fact that people prefer the taxes to which they have grown accustomed to new, unfamiliar taxes.  The implementation of any tax reform affecting the taxation of durable assets raises serious equity issues, and land is the most durable of assets.  This is due to the phenomenon of "tax capitalization."  The value of an asset reflects the present value of the expected future income to be derived from that asset.  Anticipated future taxes reduce the expected future income and thus are "capitalized" in the value of the asset.
   To understand how tax capitalization may create inequities when unexpected tax reforms are implemented, consider an unanticipated shift from a property tax applied at the same rate to land and improvements to a tax on only land value that yields the same total revenue.  Compare the effects of this change on the values of two properties, a parking lot and a parcel with a ten-story office building.  Almost all of the value of the parking lot is the land value, but most of the value of the parcel with the office building consists of "improvements."  The market value of the office building will increase as the anticipated future taxes fall, and the value of the parking lot will fall as the tax rate on the land value increases.  When the current owners of these properties purchased them, they each paid a price that reflected the expectation that the old property tax system would continue into the future.  The unanticipated tax reform causes a "windfall gain" to the owner of the office building and a "windfall loss" to the owner of the parking lot.  Many people consider such windfalls "unfair."
   One method to ameliorate such windfalls is to implement tax reforms gradually.  For example, rather than immediately abolishing the property tax on improvements and imposing a tax on land values sufficient to raise all the desired revenue, a "split-rate" property tax might be adopted.  Under this system the land component of property values is taxed at a higher rate than the tax rate on improvements.

V.  EMPIRICAL STUDIES OF LAND VALUE TAXATION
   Pittsburgh, along with a few smaller Pennsylvania municipalities, has had a "graded" or "split-rate" property tax for several decades.  Prior to 1979, the city of Pittsburgh taxed land at twice the rate applied to structures (although county and school district property taxes applied the same rate to land and improvements).  After 1980, the city of Pittsburgh raised its rate on land to about five times the rate on structures.  This policy change provides an opportunity for researchers to test empirically whether land value taxation really does have the beneficial effects ascribed to it by theoretical analyses.  Oates and Schwab (1997) analyzed building activity in 15 "rust belt" cities from 1960 to 1989 and found a significant increase in building activity in Pittsburgh after the 1980 tax reform.  Of course such empirical studies are plagued by the difficulty of measuring the effect of a change in one variable when other variables that might affect the outcome are changing as well.  In the case of Pittsburgh, the increase in taxes on land was accompanied by large tax abatements on new structures although there was no decrease in the property tax rate applied to old buildings.  Oates and Schwab conclude that the revenue raised by the land tax increase allowed the city to grant tax abatements on new building and to avoid raising other taxes that would have discouraged economic activity in the city.  Additional studies showing the effects of the split-rate tax in Pennsylvania are Bourassa (1987 and 1990) and Cord (1983).
   Cord (1983, 172-173) briefly mentions evidence of the effects of land value taxation compared to the conventional property tax on land and improvments from Australia.  A more extensive study of the Australian experience was done by Edwards (1984), who found that the value of new housing and the housing stock was greater in Australian communities that taxed land at a higher rate than improvements than in communities with a uniform property tax on land and improvements.

VI.  CONCLUSION
   For libertarians who believe markets generally allocate resources efficiently, the best tax is one which creates the least distortion of market incentives.  A tax on the value of land meets this criterion.  Furthermore, the benefits of local government services will be reflected in the value of land within the locality.  Therefore, it may be deemed fair that landowners pay taxes to finance these services in proportion to the value of the benefits they receive.  Although Henry George advocated a tax on land values as the "single tax" to replace all other taxes, a tax on land value seems especially appropriate for municipal governments.  If a complete shift from the current property tax to a tax on land value alone seems too radical, municipal governments might reduce the property tax rate on improvements while imposing a higher tax rate on the value of land.
   Land value taxation has been under consideration in several eastern European countries.  As reported by Youngman and Malme (1999), Estonia adopted a tax on the market value of land in 1992.  Nations considering a tax structure fostering a market economy in the post-communist era may present one of the most promising opportunities for implementing land value taxation.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2003, 10:44:44 am by Elizabeth »
Logged

Elizabeth

  • Former FSP Vice President
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1650
  • Someone has to ask the tough questions...
    • Free State Project
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2003, 10:44:16 am »

continued



REFERENCES
Borcherding, Thomas E.; Patricia Dillon; and Thomas D. Willett.  "Henry George:  Precursor to Public Choice Analysis." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 57 (April 1998): 173-182.
Bourassa, Steven C.  "Land Value Taxation and New Housing Development in Pittsburgh." Growth and Change 18 (Fall 1987): 44-55.
Bourassa, Steven C.  "Land Value Taxation and Housing Development:  Effects of the Property Tax Reform in Three Types of Cities." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 49 (January 1990): 101-111.
Cord, Steven B.  "Taxing Land More Than Buildings:  The Record in Pennsylvania."  In The Property Tax and Local Finance, pp. 172-179.  Edition by C. Lowell Harriss.  New York:  The Academy of Political Science, 1983.
Durning, Alan Thein, and Yoram Bauman.  Tax Shift:  How to Help the Economy, Improve the Environment, and Get the Tax Man off Our Backs.  Seattle:  Northwest Environment Watch, 1998.
Edwards, Mary E.  "Site Value Taxation in Australia:  Where Land Is Taxed More and Improvements Less, Average Housing Values and Stocks Are Higher." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 43 (October 1984): 481-495.
Feser, Edward.  "Taxation, Forced Labor, and Theft." The Independent Review 5 (Fall 2000): 219-235.
Gaffney, Mason.  "Equity Premises and the Case for Taxing Rent."  American Economic Review 82 (May 1992): 274-279.
George, Henry.  Progress and Poverty.  New York:  Walter J. Black, 1942.
Hartwell, R. M.  A History of the Mont Pelerin Society.  Indianapolis:  Liberty Fund, 1995.
Horton, Joseph, and Thomas Chisholm.  "The Political Economy of Henry George:  Its Ethical and Social Foundations." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 50 (July 1991): 375-384.
Martin, Thomas L.  "Protection or Free Trade:  An Analysis of the Ideas of Henry George on International Commerce and Wages." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 48 (October 1989): 489-501.
Nash, George H.  The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America.  Wilmington, DE:  Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1996.
Netzer, Dick.  "On Modernizing Local Public Finance:  Why Aren't Property Taxes in Urban Areas Being Reformed into Land Value Taxes?" American Journal of Economics and Sociology 43 (October 1984): 497-501.
Nock, Albert Jay.  Our Enemy the State.  New York:  Free Life Editions, 1973.
Oates, Wallace, and Robert Schwab.  "The Impact of Urban Land Taxation:  The Pittsburgh Experience."  National Tax Journal 50 (March 1997): 1-21.
Peirce, William S.  "The Progressives and the Property Tax:  Ohio's Constitutional Convention of 1912."  Paper presented at the Public Choice Society meeting, Nashville, TN, March 2003.
Raimondo, Justin.  Reclaiming the American Right:  The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.  Burlingame, CA: Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993.
Teti, Dennis.  "The Socialist Idealism of 'Supply Side' Economics -- Henry George's Progress and Poverty." The Political Science Reviewer 14 (Fall 1984): 195-228.
Wenzer, Kenneth C. (ed.), Land-Value Taxation. M.E. Sharpe, 1999.
Whitaker, John K.  "Enemies or Allies?  Henry George and Francis Amasa Walker One Century Later."  Journal of Economic Literature 35 (December 1997): 1891-1915.
Yeager, Leland B.  "Henry George and Austrian Economics." History of Political Economy 16 (1984): 157-174.
Youngman, Joan, and Jane Malme.  "Issues in Land Taxation and Property Taxation in Central and Eastern Europe." In Proceedings, 91st Annual Conference on Taxation, pp. 137-143.  Washington, DC:  National Tax Association, 1999.
Logged

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2003, 12:19:03 pm »

Well, do we have a "closet" geo-libertarian in our midst (& on the board) or are your just trying to enlighten all sides of the issue Elizabeth?

btw - don't know if you remember our chance meeting early on in Nashua at Border's...

"what a long strange trip it's been..."
Logged

Elizabeth

  • Former FSP Vice President
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1650
  • Someone has to ask the tough questions...
    • Free State Project
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2003, 12:41:54 pm »

Well, do we have a "closet" geo-libertarian in our midst (& on the board) or are your just trying to enlighten all sides of the issue Elizabeth?

btw - don't know if you remember our chance meeting early on in Nashua at Border's...

"what a long strange trip it's been..."

No, this talk was given by a professor on the panel I attended when I spoke in Idaho.  He just finally wrote up his notes, and I thought, how timely!  I'm not a Georgist, but not out of policy, just out of ignorance.  I haven't had the time/inclunation to look into it.

I know on strike-the-root.com they get into Georgist arguments all the time -- or at least they used to, when I hung out there.

I has been a long trip... and many miles more to go!  :)
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 #70 on: August 30, 2003, 03:05:54 pm »

Elizabeth,

Just wanted to (belatedly) say thanks for the informative post regarding LVT and Libertarianism!

Reviewing all this information and the ongoing threads on the national sales tax (a.k.a. the 'Fair Tax' proposal), I think we can at least say that most of us agree that some form of Single Tax system, wherein the income tax is abolished, is the way to go.  On the points recommending one over the other, have these observations:

1) A consumption tax is more economically distortive than LVT, for all the reasons stated earlier in this thread.

2) A consumption tax requires extra rules to keep it from being regressive.  

3) A consumption tax does not produce a stable revenue stream for government, which encourages either government borrowing, or higher taxes to build up government supluses as a hedge against revenue shortfalls.  The LVT would be a very stable revenue source, allowing more effective cash management and reducing the structural incentives to raise taxes even when spending stays the same.

HOWEVER, there is no denying that switching to LVT would be overall more challenging than a consumption tax.   Not so much in urban areas, but in a large agricultural state, it might be hard to do.

:)

RS
Logged
Irony is the innate perversity of circumstance. -- William House

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #71 on: August 31, 2003, 07:44:29 pm »

Quote
HOWEVER, there is no denying that switching to LVT would be overall more challenging than a consumption tax.  Not so much in urban areas, but in a large agricultural state, it might be hard to do.

BillG: RS - not if NH is choosen as the Free State...with most taxes being raised thru the local property tax and everyone's tax bill clearly stating what the building is worth and what the land is worth...a "simple tax shift" strategy that allows different tax rates on buildings vs. land is all that is needed.

Read the bill by a current Geo-libertarian lawmaker that was voted down this year

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2003/hb0439.html
Logged

Duodecimal

  • FSP Participant
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 56
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #72 on: August 31, 2003, 07:48:21 pm »

It's a consumption tax instead of social security, medicare, income, capital gain, payroll, interest, estate, and dividend taxes.

The biggest beef I have with the geolibertarian proposed taxes is that they are based on the philosophy that no one has right to land, only 'society', and that government, as a representative of 'society', has the God-given right to tax people who use land.

We can not reconcile our differences because I believe neither in god, nor 'society', nor government. Basing the rightness of a tax on such philosophy persuades me not at all.

The reason I favor a sales tax over a land tax as the lesser of evils is because consumption, by virtue of economic theory, is not the generator of wealth. Worrying about hurting demand is nonsense because it is human nature to demand everything. No one is ever happy, either wanting more than what they have or wanting what they have to be better. Demand is always infinite as long as any supply is desirable, and don't forget that there's 20% to 30% of tax already built in to the price of all consumables by way of taxation on businesses.

A sales tax that replaces all such federal taxes will have little net effect (it's been calculated to perhaps raise average prices by 3%). What it will do is remove the burden of accounting and reporting every private detail of our working lives to the Government. What it will do is make it obvious, on every receipt, what it costs to receive government 'benefits'. There's another thread on the national sales tax, so I'll end there.

Back to the subject of this thread -  taxation on land attacks wealth generation as much as taxation on capital gains, dividends, payrolls, and income. A tax on consumption may, on the other hand, contain the debt-financed exploding beast of US consumerism by making savings immediately more worthwhile (the savings rate is negative, which will have catastrophic consequences once foreign banks start realizing that the dollar's value is not the primary concern of the FRB).

So, I suppose we can only agree to disagree.

Logged

BillG

  • Guest
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #73 on: August 31, 2003, 08:29:22 pm »

Quote
The biggest beef I have with the geolibertarian proposed taxes is that they are based on the philosophy that no one has right to land, only 'society', and that government, as a representative of 'society', has the God-given right to tax people who use land.

BillG: Wow Duo, this is a total mischaracterization...

Geo-libertarianism is based on a philosophy that no one has EXCLUSIVE right to land or better yet - everyone has...an EQUAL right to the commons - which includes land.

Quote
We can not reconcile our differences because I believe neither in god, nor 'society', nor government. Basing the rightness of a tax on such philosophy persuades me not at all.

The economic rent that results from the monopolization of land and is created by increasing populations and investments in public infrastructure will - make no mistake about it - BE collected. When the property is sold all of the economic rent is pocketed by the individual landowner. So, the pertinent question then, if you believe that the money is society's and not the individual's, how the money is collected by what entity? Frankly I don't care who (God, society, government, or the easter bunny) does the collecting as long as the rent is returned to the rightful owners...
« Last Edit: August 31, 2003, 08:37:25 pm by BillG (not Gates) »
Logged

LeopardPM

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2248
Re:Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)
« Reply #74 on: August 31, 2003, 08:50:33 pm »

...and it is exactly in the differing opinions of who these 'rightful owners' are that is the source of disagreement...

got a question: who is 'everyone' in this 'everyone is the rightful owner' - is it everyone within 1 mile of the particular property, everyone within the city? the state? the nation? the world? off-world?

just wanting to understand and define things more clearly...

michael
Logged
nothing to say...
Pages: 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 ... 10   Go Up