The newest issue of Progress, an Australian Georgist publication, is online here. The motto is "Sharing the Earth So All May Prosper."
There is a lot of good material, and I'll share some of the things that caught my eye.
- An article about a film entitled "Real Estate 4 Ransom" which I commend to your attention, wherever you live. (I'll keep you posted on the film itself.)
- “Economist James Galbraith has noted that only 12 out of 15,000 economists in the US noticed the US$8 trillion dollar housing bubble” (page 6)
- We propose a change in the tax mix so that future infrastructure pays for itself by expanding the tax base without increasing the tax burden. (page 9)
- Infrastructure adds enormous value to land in prime locations according to proximity and serviceability.
Land Value Capture (LVC) is a simple technique to recycle the publicly funded windfall gains that accrue to land owners. Importantly, these windfalls are captured over the life-cycle of the infrastructure, such that one generation is not hit with the total infrastructure costs (ie as per the current preference for Developer charges). (page 10)
- Windfall gains from infrastructure add up to several times the cost of the infrastructure to surrounding properties. We propose that a sufficient contribution from this windfall be recycled back to the government so that other infrastructure projects can be funded without substantially burdening one generation over another.
At present land speculators baulk at paying barely 10% of the land bounty (windfall gain) back to the community via government’s Land Tax, Council Rates, Stamp Duties and Capital Gains. (Page 11)
- “Henry George did more than draw ‘the deadly parallel of riches and misery.’ He recast the science of political economy by working out the natural laws of the distribution of wealth. He destroyed the current academic theory of wages and capital. He amplified and extended Ricardo's law of rent. He dug to the root of the wealth distribution.” (John Dewey, quoted on page 22)
- If you could choose the sort of society that you were to be born into, would you choose one in which the distribution of wealth is guaranteed to be equal? (page 28 -- and don't miss the illustration cartoon on "trickle-down economics"!!)
- The world faces a series of worsening crises, climate instability, rising energy costs, economic apartheid, and erosion of democratic institutions.
What is required is not a set of technical instruments that try to resolve these, one at a time. We need a new social philosophy that addresses all these crises simultaneously. (page 38)
- All 17th century authors took it for granted that God had given the earth to
all people in common, not just to those who had claimed title to a part of it. Starting with that premise, the difficulty lay in justifying private ownership of nature. They saw that private property in land or ocean or other gifts of nature was an obvious usurpation of the rights of the rest of humanity. Private ownership was deemed a necessary evil to achieve more productive use of nature, but it was clearly an evil, never an institution that was good in itself. (page 39)
- The idea of charging a fee for the use of nature and sharing the revenue equally might seem like a proposal that would not be threatening to powerful interests, but it is. The wealthy at present take a disproportionate share of the common stock of resources, both renewable and non-renewable, and they aim to keep it that way. (page 40)
- “Ironically, what comes closest to being sacred in modern societies are individual rights, private property, and personal freedom.” (page 41)
- “It seems that most people are concerned only with the future of their own children, not with the next generation as a whole.” (page 43)
A lot of good material -- and I've barely mentioned the graphics!