By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUG. 20, 2014
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUG. 20, 2014
Posted on August 23, 2014 at 02:27 PM in common good, commons, cui bono?, Earth for All, economic rent, financing services, government's role, land includes, land monopoly capitalism, Natural Public Revenue, natural resource revenues, natural resources, privatization, windfalls | Permalink | Comments (0)
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I posted this comment elsewhere, and thought it worth sharing here:
I've not read far into the book yet -- and it is available online as a PDF file -- but by the time I was into the first chapter, it was clear that Dr. Piketty's economic education, extensive as it might be, entirely omitted the ideas of the classical economists who described a 3-factor economy: land, labor and capital. Piketty, like nearly everyone educated in economics in the past 40 to 80 years, writes as if there were only two factors -- labor and capital -- treating land as if it were a mere subset of capital, with no reason to recognize it as differentiated.
Land -- not only urban sites, but also the other things the classical economists would recognize as Land, such as water rights, oil, electromagnetic spectrum (our airwaves which we all say belong to the American people, but which are in reality owned by corporations), landing rights at busy landlocked airports, geosynchronous orbits, urban street parking, the value of dozens of other non-renewable natural resources -- is completely different in character from that which is created by labor. To fail to recognize that difference lies at the bottom of our inequality problem.
That which individuals and corporations produce is rightly individual property. That which the community and nature produce is rightly common property, belonging to all of us. Conflating Capital and Land leads us to permit the privatization of that which is rightly our common treasure.
You might be interested to know that the Landlord Game, invented by 1902, was intended to teach this concept. You have probably played Monopoly, which was based on this game, played with very different rules.
Explore the ideas of Henry George. Between 1885 and 1900 or so, everyone knew the name and many well understood his ideas. You might start with "Social Problems" or the more analytical "Progress and Poverty," or his speeches, "The Crime of Poverty," "Thou Shalt Not Steal," among others, online at http://www.wealthandwant.com. See also http://lvtfan.typepad.com.
Dr. Piketty and others whose education in economics has omitted George's ideas should not be treated as experts; they've mixed apples and oranges and not noticed that what they've created impoverishes the vast majority of us -- and enriches a few. (Parenthetically, consider who donates heavily to our universities.)
Posted on August 08, 2014 at 10:31 PM in a wedge driven through society, capital gains are land gains, classical economists, Earth for All, ecosystem services, fixing the economy, Henry George, income concentration, inherited wealth, land different from capital, land value created by community, land, labor and capital, location, location, location, make land common property, Monopoly and The Landlord's Game, Monopoly and The Landlord's Game , one solution for many problems, Piketty, privatization, Progress and Poverty, reaping what others sow, rich people's useful idiots, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, trickle-down economics, urban land value, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (1)
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This appeared in the Freeport News, and I thought it worth sharing:
Why is it so hard to understand the justice and benefits of capturing
the community created value of land for the community?
Classical economists such as Adam Smith and Henry George, defined
land as all free gifts of nature (urban land, harbors, etc.).
These get value because people, both local and foreign, want them
for personal or commercial use.
So, no matter who 'owns' the gift of nature (land) there is a location
value called economic rent which is exclusive of any production on or
from that location.
When economic rent goes into private hands (i.e., beaches are given away
to corporations, land values are uncollected) legitimate government
revenue is lost and taxes like the proposed VAT are applied to the
Not only is land speculation rewarded but building houses, trading goods
and services, etc. are punished by taxes.
Naturally people try to avoid these taxes by smuggling and other forms
When economic rent goes to honest government it encourages better
use of locations as there is no tax penalty to build or work.
It reduces pollution and pays for infrastructure that helped create the
economic rent in the first place.
Why is this so difficult to understand? Why is there so much ignorance
of it and opposition to it?
– John Fisher
Quite belatedly, I found an interesting article on Taxi Medallions and Rent-Seeking. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the sidebar and the article's primary content; read the sidebar first.
Why did I include in the "categories" for this post "all benefits go to the landholder"? Because a taxi medallion is a privilege, which, in classical economics, is another form of "land." Read the sidebar!
There is an easy solution: auction off those privileges for limited periods of time. Lather, rinse, repeat!
The sidebar quotes Adam Smith "... the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce," which leads me to think about Henry George's axiom that
"The fundamental principle of human action — the law that is to political economy what the law of gravitation is to physics — is that men seek to gratify their desires with the least exertion." [Progress & Poverty Book III, Chapter 6 — The Laws of Distribution: Wages and the Law of Wages]
One quote from the body of the article:
Studies of economic losses due to rent-seeking and the resulting monopolies have produced figures ranging from 3 to 12 percentage points of national output for the US.
All of these are possible reasons why the city of Milwaukee might want to limit the number of cab permits, but they do not imply that the existing owners must have a permanent right to them.
The city could simply auction 321 licences every year or two and capture all of the economic rents for itself. Another argument is that a permit acts as a pension for drivers that would otherwise not have a business they could sell on retirement. But that is true only for the first, lucky generation of owners.
Posted on January 25, 2013 at 01:14 PM in a wedge driven through society, all benefits go to landholder , capital gains are land gains, economic rent, FIRE sector, income concentration, landlordism, monopoly -- not the game, natural resource revenues, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, rent-seeking, rentier, toll-takers, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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As soon as I see landed property established, then I see unequal fortunes, and from these unequal fortunes must there not necessarily result different and opposed interests, all the vices of riches, all the vices of poverty, the brutalisation, the corruption of civil manners?
—Jean Jacques Rousseau, "Douies sur L'Otdre Naturel."
Posted on January 09, 2013 at 12:37 AM in all benefits go to landholder , Earth for All, enclosure, income concentration, natural resources, Occupy Wall Street's values, private property in land, privatization, privilege, special interests, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The only point where I do not find myself in complete accord (and that is perhaps more due to your comparative silence than anything else) is that I attach relatively more importance to the initial injustice done by the permitted monopoly of raw material in a few hands. It seems to me that individualism, in order to be just, must strive hard for an equalisation of original conditions by the removal of all artificial advantages. The great reservoir of natural wealth that we sum up as land (including mines, etc.) ought, it seems to me, to be nationalised before we can say that the individual is allowed fair play. While he is thwarted in obtaining his fair share of the raw material, he is being put at a disadvantage by artificial laws.
—Grant Allen, Letter to Herbert Spencer, 1886, in "Grant Allen, A Memoir," by Edward Clodd.
Posted on January 08, 2013 at 12:06 AM in as much and as good, charity and justice, commons, Earth for All, economic justice, equal freedom, equal opportunity, equality, inherited wealth, land includes, land monopoly capitalism, landlordism, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, natural resource revenues, natural resources, pay for what you take, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights | Permalink | Comments (0)
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In our society, established upon a very rigorous idea of property, the position of the poor man is horrible; he has literally no place under the sun. There are no flowers, no shade, no grass but for him who possesses the earth. In the East these are the gifts of God, which belong to no man. The proprietor has but a slender privilege; nature is the patrimony of all.
—Ernest Renan, "Life of Jesus," Chapter X.
Posted on January 07, 2013 at 12:01 AM in Earth for All, ecosystem services, inherited wealth, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, natural resources, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights, reaping what others sow, sharecropping, slavery, theft, time making wrongs into rights | Permalink | Comments (0)
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As to that which is produced by Nature, without any aid from human industry, I mean the land, since its vast extent provided enough for all, in the early times when the human race was small, in numbers, men appropriated at first as much as they thought they had need of; the rest was left in common.
— PUFENDORF, Law of Nature and Nations (1672) Book IV., Chap. 4, Sec. 6.
Pigou, a key bridge figure in the history of his field, was one of the earliest classical economists to notice that markets do not always produce the best possible social outcomes. The pollution generated by a factory imposes costs on those who live downstream or in the path of its airborne emissions. The risks assumed by banks leading up to the recent financial crisis imposed costs on just about everybody. Market transactions often generate what economists call “externalities” — side effects, sometimes positive but often negative, that affect people who do not participate in the transaction.
Pigou, having recognized the problem, was the first to propose a solution. Society should tax the negative externalities and subsidize the positive ones. This simple notion — if you want less of something, tax it — is why his ideas periodically bubble up in the service of combating a recognizable cost to society, like pollution. We think that his approach offers an answer to another great problem of our time: inequality.
Does the extreme degree of inequality in America today really create, as Pigou would put it, negative externalities? Does the fact that hedge-fund manager Mr. Jones rakes in 100 or 1,000 times what office manager Mrs. Smith earns impose costs on everybody else? Plenty of Americans think not. Defenders of our skewed income distribution point out that a free-enterprise system requires some inequality. Unequal rewards give people an incentive to work hard and acquire new skills. They encourage inventors to invent, entrepreneurs to start companies, investors to take risks. It’s fine in this view that some people get astronomically rich. As Mitt Romney likes to say, “I’m not going to apologize for being successful.”
On the other side, many of us have a gut feeling that inequality has gone too far. Our times are reminiscent of the Gilded Age’s worst excesses. Hence the popularity of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s slogan, “We are the 99 percent.”
LVTfan here: Wouldn't it be better to prevent the inequality by such measures as treating the natural creation as our common treasure, instead of permitting its privatization and then taxing back what is taken? Treating the natural creation, and that which the community creates by its presence and its investment in public goods -- schools, roads, libraries, etc. -- as our COMMON treasure would create equal opportunity for all, a much better idea than permitting some to capture it and then taxing some of their booty back after the fact. When we let some reap what others sow, and then take back a share after the fact, we're still permitting them to reap which deprives the sowers of that right. Whether it be nature doing the sowing, or the community as a whole, no good can come of permitting the privatization of that. Henry George, in "Progress and Poverty" and "Social Problems" showed the logical, efficient, just way to do better.
Posted on November 15, 2012 at 07:10 PM in equal opportunity, FIRE sector, Henry George, income concentration, municipal ownership of utilities, natural monopolies, natural resource revenues, natural resources, Occupy Wall Street's values, one solution for many problems, pay for what you take, population, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, rent-seeking, toll-takers, user fees, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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It isn't just urban land that is the subject of speculation. Rural farmland can also be speculated upon, to the private benefit of individuals, and the loss of ... the rest of us, the community!
StarWatch investigation: State paid twice what some I-69 land was worth
To secure path for I-69, INDOT offered $7M for property appraised at $3.34M
Written by Ryan Sabalow and Tim Evans | 7:47 PM, Nov 10, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In 2006, Barry Elkins paid $850,000 for about 200 acres in Monroe County owned by former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight.
|$4,250 per acre
Elkins told a local newspaper he had no plans to develop the land. He said he also was quite aware state officials planned to acquire at least some of the property for the new I-69 freeway project.
Nonetheless, Elkins told a reporter: "It's a heck of a piece of ground."
Turns out, it produced a heck of a profit, too.
In July, state highway officials paid Elkins $2.41 million for an easement covering 140 of the 200 acres. That's almost four times the $658,800 that state appraisers said the easement was worth.
|$17,214 per acre for the 140 acres.
$658,800 is $4,705 per acre.
The $2.41 million represents a profit of $1.56 million since 2006, still leaves the owner with 60 acres with no easement and 140 acres with an easement. The $1.56 million profit in 6 years on an $850,000 investment is 84%! Quite a return! For what effort?
What did society get in return?
According to I-69 cost estimates INDOT provided this summer, $162.6 million in state and federal funds were spent on right-of-way purchases along the new stretch of freeway.
He said the property payments also haven't caused the project to go over budget. He said the I-69 project is 25 percent under budget estimates. Officials this summer pegged the cost of the Evansville-to-Bloomington project at $1.5 billion.
The land Elkins bought from Knight wasn't the only Monroe County
property along I-69's path that he sold to the state for far more than
its fair market value. He and two co-owners also got $348,600 for a
27-acre property appraised at $194,625; and $795,956 for 58 acres
appraised at $278,295.
As for the former Knight property, the state purchased the easement to create an "environmental mitigation site" to make up for damage to forests, wetlands, wildlife habitat and other natural resources caused by the new freeway.
After the $2.41 million payday -- which was nearly three times the amount Elkins paid Knight for the entire 200 acres -- Elkins still owns the picturesque expanse of undeveloped pasture and woods about eight miles southwest of Bloomington.
The easement forbids any development on 140 acres of the land but allows Elkins to use it for "low-impact" recreational activities such as hiking, photography and hunting.
And he doesn't have to pay property taxes.
One might reasonably ask what valuation Elkins was paying property taxes on before the transactions.
One might reasonably ask how much the labor costs on this project were -- what men and women got paid for their hours of labor put into building the highway, and then compare that to Mr. Elkins' and others' receipts as passive landholders!! Quite amazing that we treat the "rights" of landholders as more sacred than we make the rights of the community or of those who work.
One might reasonably wonder how soon the communities along the route of this new highway will revalue their land, and whether the communities will collect more from those whose land benefited from the presence of this highway (and less from those whose properties were in reality negatively impacted, should that be the case). In general, the aggregate benefits will far exceed the aggregate negative impacts, and would likely be enough to pay all the costs of the construction.
Mr. Elkins' free lunch did not come out of thin air. And likely, his heirs will continue to enjoy the benefit of it.
THIS is how wealth concentrates. This is why we are forced into taxing wages, and sales, and other things we have no business taxing!
Posted on November 15, 2012 at 06:46 PM in absentee ownership, capital gains are land gains, common good, cui bono?, ecosystem services, financing infrastructure, free lunch, inherited wealth, land appreciates buildings depreciate, land speculation, land value created by community, location, location, location, popular ignorance of land economics, pork spending, private property in land, privatization, public spending, reaping what others sow, special interests, toll-takers, transportation, unearned income, unearned increment | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The game’s true origins, however, go unmentioned in the official literature. Three decades before Darrow’s patent, in 1903, a Maryland actress named Lizzie Magie created a proto-Monopoly as a tool for teaching the philosophy of Henry George, a nineteenth-century writer who had popularized the notion that no single person could claim to “own” land. In his book Progress and Poverty (1879), George called private land ownership an “erroneous and destructive principle” and argued that land should be held in common, with members of society acting collectively as “the general landlord.”
Magie called her invention The Landlord’s Game, and when it was released in 1906 it looked remarkably similar to what we know today as Monopoly. It featured a continuous track along each side of a square board; the track was divided into blocks, each marked with the name of a property, its purchase price, and its rental value. The game was played with dice and scrip cash, and players moved pawns around the track. It had railroads and public utilities — the Soakum Lighting System, the Slambang Trolley — and a “luxury tax” of $75. It also had Chance cards with quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson (“The earth belongs in usufruct to the living”), John Ruskin (“It begins to be asked on many sides how the possessors of the land became possessed of it”), and Andrew Carnegie (“The greatest astonishment of my life was the discovery that the man who does the work is not the man who gets rich”). The game’s most expensive properties to buy, and those most remunerative to own, were New York City’s Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Wall Street. In place of Monopoly’s “Go!” was a box marked “Labor Upon Mother Earth Produces Wages.” The Landlord Game’s chief entertainment was the same as in Monopoly: competitors were to be saddled with debt and ultimately reduced to financial ruin, and only one person, the supermonopolist, would stand tall in the end. The players could, however, vote to do something not officially allowed in Monopoly: cooperate. Under this alternative rule set, they would pay land rent not to a property’s title holder but into a common pot—the rent effectively socialized so that, as Magie later wrote, “Prosperity is achieved.”
Readers of this blog know that Lizzie Magie had created her game and started to promote it by the Fall of 1902.
“Monopoly players around the kitchen table”—which is to say, most people—“think the game is all about accumulation,” he said. “You know, making a lot of money. But the real object is to bankrupt your opponents as quickly as possible. To have just enough so that everybody else has nothing.” In this view, Monopoly is not about unleashing creativity and innovation among many competing parties, nor is it about opening markets and expanding trade or creating wealth through hard work and enlightened self-interest, the virtues Adam Smith thought of as the invisible hands that would produce a dynamic and prosperous society. It’s about shutting down the marketplace. All the players have to do is sit on their land and wait for the suckers to roll the dice.Smith described such monopolist rent-seekers, who in his day were typified by the landed gentry of England, as the great parasites in the capitalist order. They avoided productive labor, innovated nothing, created nothing—the land was already there—and made a great deal of money while bleeding those who had to pay rent. The initial phase of competition in Monopoly, the free-trade phase that happens to be the most exciting part of the game to watch, is really about ending free trade and nixing competition in order to replace it with rent-seeking.
Posted on October 25, 2012 at 03:25 PM in cui bono?, Henry George, income concentration, Jefferson, land monopoly capitalism, landed gentry, landlordism, location, location, location, Monopoly and The Landlord's Game, Monopoly and The Landlord's Game , municipal ownership of utilities, poverty machine, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rent-seeking, toll-takers, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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We permit absolute possession of the soil of our country, with no legal rights of existence on the soil to a vast majority who do not possess it.
— PROF. ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE, Malay Archipelago (1869), Vol. II., p. 464.
The common ownership of mines necessarily followed, with an allotment of lands to anyone who wished to live by tilling the land; but not a foot of the land was remitted to private hands for purposes of selfish pleasure or the exclusion of any other from the landscape.
— W. D. HOWELLS, A Traveler from Altruria, Chap. XI., p. 271.
Equity, therefore, does not permit property in land. For if one portion of the earth's surface may justly become the possession of an individual and may be held by him for his sole use and benefit as a thing to which he has an exclusive right, then other portions of the earth's surface may be so held; and eventually the whole of the earth's surface may be so held; and our planet may thus lapse into private hands.
— HERBERT SPENCER, in 1850, Social Statics, Chap. IX.
Posted on October 05, 2012 at 12:23 AM in a wedge driven through society, all benefits go to landholder , as much and as good, commons, commonwealth, corruption of economics, cui bono?, Earth for All, economic rent, enclosure, equal freedom, equality, FIRE sector, government's role, income concentration, land different from capital, land includes, land monopoly capitalism, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, money in elections, monopoly -- not the game, natural resources, no victims, poverty machine, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rent-seeking, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, the disenchanted, the right to life, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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In the early ages of society it would have been impossible to maintain the exclusive ownership of a few persons in what seems at first sight an equal gift to all (the land) — a thing to which everyone has the same claim.
— WALTER BAGEHOT (1826-1877), Economic Studies, Essay I., Part I., p. 31.
Posted on October 04, 2012 at 12:17 AM in a wedge driven through society, as much and as good, commons, commonwealth, corruption of economics, cui bono?, Earth for All, ecosystem services, income concentration, is this socialism?, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, natural resources, political economy, private property in land, privatization, property rights, rent-seeking, rich people's useful idiots, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, the right to life, time making wrongs into rights, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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"The wages problem resolves itself into a very simple question, viz.: Which is the better for a community — to have 10,000,000 men earning $2.50 a day, with hours that enable them to read and rest and pass a fair proportion of their time with their families, and at the same time have no millionaires, or to have those 10,000,000 men working fifteen hours a day at $1.50, and have a few score millionaires?"
The Standard was devoted to issues like this, and makes excellent reading in this decade and century.
It might be worth noting that in those days when one spoke of a millionaire, the reference was to someone whose assets totalled over $1 million. Today, it is commonly used to refer to someone whose annual income is over $1 million. But you'll notice what workmen's wages were in 1887 -- $1.50 a day is $468 per year*, and likely didn't leave much, if anything, for savings. [6 days a week.]
So which IS better for the community? The families making $1.50 or $2.50 a day are spending nearly every penny of that, just in order to get by. The millionaires can only spend so much on the necessities of daily life, plus some generous amount on luxuries. The rest they will invest, one way or another, and the wise ones, in our current structure, will "invest" in land -- particularly choice urban sites -- and natural resources, since we as a society are so generous about letting the owners of these assets keep most of what those assets earn, despite them having nothing to do with having created those assets, and being in no position to create more in response to demand, which will naturally increase with population!!
THAT is the problem with our current "generosity."
The spending of the 10 million on the necessities of daily life creates jobs for a lot of other people. (The portion that goes to their landlords in payment for the right to occupy bits of urban -- or other -- land, DOESN'T create any jobs; it simply enriches the landlord. I don't begrudge the landlord the portion that relates to the building, or to services he provides, such as, say, a doorman in the city.)
Posted on October 02, 2012 at 06:23 PM in a wedge driven through society, better cities, common good, cost of living, cui bono?, employment, FIRE sector, fixing the economy, government's role, Henry George, highest salaries, popular ignorance of land economics, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rent-seeking, The Standard, toll-takers, urban land value, wages, wages driven down | Permalink | Comments (0)
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That any human being should dare to apply to another the epithet "pauper" is, to me, the greatest, the vilest, the most unpardonable crime that could be committed. Each human being by mere birth has a birthright in this earth and all its productions; and if they do not receive it, then it is they who are injured, and it is not the "pauper," oh, inexpressibly wicked word! — it is the well-to-do who are the criminal classes.
— RICHARD JEFFERIES, The Story of My Heart, Chap. X., p. 122.
Posted on October 02, 2012 at 12:56 AM in charity and justice, commons, commonwealth, corruption of economics, Earth for All, economic justice, economic rent, ecosystem services, enclosure, equality, is this socialism?, land appreciates buildings depreciate, land different from capital, land includes, landlordism, make land common property, Natural Public Revenue, natural resource revenues, natural resources, no victims, pay for what you take, poverty machine, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rich people's useful idiots, socialize, socializing risk and privatizing profit, the right to life, usufruct | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Of course, whilst another man has no land, my title to mine, your title to yours, is at once vitiated.
— R. W. EMERSON, Man, the Reformer, Miscellanies, p. 190.
The land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
— Exodus, XX., 12.
Any settlement of the land of a country that would exclude the humblest man in that country from his share of the common inheritance would be not only an injustice and a wrong to that man, but moreover would be an impious resistance to the benevolent intentions of the Creator.
— BISHOP OF MEATH, Letter to Clergy and Laity, April 2, 1881.
Posted on September 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM in a wedge driven through society, absentee ownership, as much and as good, Christian ethics, commons, commonwealth, Earth for All, economic justice, enclosure, equal opportunity, equality, government's role, landed gentry, Landlord's Prayer, landlordism, make land common property, private property in land, privatization, privilege, the land question, the right to life, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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That which is yet wanting on your part to be done is this, to see that the oppressor's power be cast out with his person; and to see that the free possession of the land and liberties be put into the hands of the oppressed commoners of England.
— JERRARD WINSTANLEY, Epistle Dedicatory to Oliver Cromwell, in
The Law of Freedom in a Platform, or True Magistracy Restored.
Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:56 AM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , commons, commonwealth, Earth for All, free land, landed gentry, landlordism, monopoly -- not the game, private property in land, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, sharecropping, special interests, the right to life, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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"But how is it that you allow these chiefs — landlords, don't you call them? — to taboo the soil, and prevent you all from even walking on it? Don't you see that if you choose to combine in a body, and insist upon the recognition of your natural rights — if you determined to make the landlords give up their taboo, and cease from injustice, they'd have to yield to you? And then you could exercise your natural right of going where you pleased, and cultivate the land in common for the public benefit, instead of leaving it as now, to be cultivated anyhow, or turned into waste, for the benefit of the tabooers?"
— GRANT ALLEN, The British Barbarians (Words spoken by Bertram).
Posted on September 12, 2012 at 12:50 AM in absentee ownership, common good, commons, commonwealth, Earth for All, ecosystem services, employment, enclosure, ending poverty, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, natural resources, one solution for many problems, pay for what you take, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, sharecropping, the land question, the right to life, toll-takers, underused land, unemployment and underemployment, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The nobility and gentry and even those holy men, the abbots, not content with the old rents that their farms yielded, nor thinking it enough that they, living at their ease, do no good to the public, resolve to do it hurt instead of good. . . . As if forest and parks had swallowed up too little of the land, those worthy countrymen turn the best inhabited places into solitude.
— SIR THOMAS MORE, Utopia (1516), Book I.
Posted on September 08, 2012 at 12:39 AM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , commons, Earth for All, enclosure, landed gentry, landlordism, poverty, poverty machine, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rent-seeking, rich people's useful idiots, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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A great landholder may legally convert his whole property into a forest or hunting ground, and expel every human being who has lived upon it. In a thickly populated country like England, where almost every acre has its owner and occupier, this is a power of legally destroying his fellow-creatures; and that such a power should exist, and be exercised by individuals, in however small a degree, indicates that as regards true social science, we are still in a state of barbarism.
— ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE,The Malay Archipelago, Chap. 40. Final Note to the book. (1869)
The post below this one, "Mitt Romney's 'Fair Share' " refers to his fair share of the costs of providing public goods.
But perhaps an equally important question is the nature of one's fair share of the output of our economy and the output of the earth. Some of the former output is the result of individual efforts, and one ought to be able to keep that portion. But at the same time we must recognize how much comes from the division of labor, from drawing down on the non-infinite supply of non-renewable natural resources on which all of us today must depend and on which future generations of human beings must rely. Those who draw down more than their legitimate share owe something to the rest of the community. Our wealthiest tend, we suspect, to use many, many times their legitimate share, and the median American likely draws far more than their share, when one considers the planet as a whole.
Perhaps "legitimate" is not the right word here. It refers to what is permissible under current law. (The word gets misused a lot -- see the discussion on "legitimate rape," which seemed to be about the circumstances under which a woman has a right to make a specific very personal, decision, and when it is considered by some to not be left to her and is the province of government, legislators or others.)
What is one's "fair share" of natural resources? America is using a hugely disproportionate share of the world's resources. Are we entitled to it because we're somehow "exceptional"? Because "our" God is somehow better than other nation's Gods? Or do we genuinely believe that all people are created equal, and intend to live our lives accordingly?
Our output of greenhouse gases exceeds our share of the world's population. This is not without consequences for the world, and for peace on earth.
We ought to be re-examining our incentives so that they move us in the direction we ought to be going, which is, to my mind, using less. We can build transportation infrastructure which will permit many more of us to move around with less impact on the environment. We can fund that through collecting the increases in land value that infrastructure creates. We can correct the incentives which cause us to use today's inferior technologies to extract natural resources from the earth in ways which damage the environment, as if ours was the final generation, or the only one worth serious consideration.
Better incentives could reduce, eliminate, even reverse urban sprawl. I refer specifically to land value taxation as a replacement for the existing property tax, particularly in places where assessments are for one reason or another not consistent with current property values -- e.g., California and Florida, parts of Delaware and Pennsylvania which currently use assessments from the 1970s, and many other places where assessments are simply out of whack with current reality!) We should be replacing sales taxes, wage taxes, building taxes with taxes on land value and on natural resources. Most of that value is flowing generously into private or corporate pockets, to our detriment. It concentrates wealth, income, and, of course, political power.
Collecting the rent, instead of leaving the lion's share of it to be pocketed by the rent-seekers, would go a long way to making our society and our economy healthier. Eliminating the privilege of privatizing that which in a wisely designed society would be our common treasure would make our society a better place in which to live, a place in which all could thrive and prosper without victimizing their fellow human beings.
Posted on September 04, 2012 at 11:30 AM in all benefits go to landholder , America in the world, as much and as good, common good, commons, commonwealth, corporations, cui bono?, Earth for All, economic justice, economic rent, ecosystem services, environment, equal freedom, equal opportunity, equality, fruits of one's labors, greenhouse gases, incentive taxation, incentives, income concentration, infrastructure, inter-generational equity, land includes, land rent, land value created by community, land value taxation, Natural Public Revenue, natural resource revenues, natural resources, oil, pay for what you take, payroll tax, popular ignorance of land economics, privatization, privilege, property tax, property tax reform, Proposition 13, prosperity, special interests, sprawl, tax reform, toll-takers, unburdening the economy, unearned income, untaxing buildings, untaxing production, user fees, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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A major theme of the underlying political debate in the United States is the role of the state and the need for collective action. The private sector, while central in a modern economy, cannot ensure its success alone. For example, the financial crisis that began in 2008 demonstrated the need for adequate regulation.
Moreover, beyond effective regulation (including ensuring a level playing field for competition), modern economies are founded on technological innovation, which in turn presupposes basic research funded by government. This is an example of a public good – things from which we all benefit, but that would be undersupplied (or not supplied at all) were we to rely on the private sector.
Conservative politicians in the US underestimate the importance of publicly provided education, technology, and infrastructure. Economies in which government provides these public goods perform far better than those in which it does not.
But public goods must be paid for, and it is imperative that everyone pays their fair share. While there may be disagreement about what that entails, those at the top of the income distribution who pay 15% of their reported income (money accruing in tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens may not be reported to US authorities) clearly are not paying their fair share. ...
I have to disagree with the second sentence of this next paragraph. And I think Stiglitz knows better, if he stops to think about it:
Democracies rely on a spirit of trust and cooperation in paying taxes. If every individual devoted as much energy and resources as the rich do to avoiding their fair share of taxes, the tax system either would collapse, or would have to be replaced by a far more intrusive and coercive scheme. Both alternatives are unacceptable.
The billionaire investor Warren Buffett argues that he should pay only the taxes that he must, but that there is something fundamentally wrong with a system that taxes his income at a lower rate than his secretary is required to pay. He is right. Romney might be forgiven were he to take a similar position. Indeed, it might be a Nixon-in-China moment: a wealthy politician at the pinnacle of power advocating higher taxes for the rich could change the course of history.
But Romney has not chosen to do so. He evidently does not recognize that a system that taxes speculation at a lower rate than hard work distorts the economy. Indeed, much of the money that accrues to those at the top is what economists call rents, which arise not from increasing the size of the economic pie, but from grabbing a larger slice of the existing pie.
Those at the top include a disproportionate number of monopolists who increase their income by restricting production and engaging in anti-competitive practices; CEOs who exploit deficiencies in corporate-governance laws to grab a larger share of corporate revenues for themselves (leaving less for workers); and bankers who have engaged in predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices (often targeting poor and middle-class households). It is perhaps no accident that rent-seeking and inequality have increased as top tax rates have fallen, regulations have been eviscerated, and enforcement of existing rules has been weakened: the opportunity and returns from rent-seeking have increased.
Today, a deficiency of aggregate demand afflicts almost all advanced countries, leading to high unemployment, lower wages, greater inequality, and – coming full, vicious circle – constrained consumption. There is now a growing recognition of the link between inequality and economic instability and weakness.
There is another vicious circle: Economic inequality translates into political inequality, which in turn reinforces the former, including through a tax system that allows people like Romney – who insists that he has been subject to an income-tax rate of “at least 13%” for the last ten years – not to pay their fair share. The resulting economic inequality – a result of politics as much as market forces – contributes to today’s overall economic weakness.
Posted on September 04, 2012 at 09:58 AM in common good, commons, cui bono?, economic rent, ecosystem services, financing education, financing health care, financing infrastructure, financing services, financing Social Security, FIRE sector, fixing the economy, government's role, highest salaries, income concentration, infrastructure, land includes, land rent, land value created by community, money in elections, Natural Public Revenue, natural resource revenues, natural resources, political economy, popular ignorance of land economics, privatization, privilege, public spending, reaping what others sow, rent, defined, rent-seeking, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, Stiglitz, tax reform, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, unearned income, urban land value, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The vacant land belongs to the landless. The simple fact that the one is vacant and the other landless is of itself the highest proof that they should be allowed to come together. Alas, what a crime against nature that they should be kept apart.
— GERRIT SMITH, Smith's Speeches in the U. S. Congress, p. 247 (1854).
The earth in its natural uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race.
—THOMAS PAINE, Agrarian Justice (1797), Paine's Writings, Vol. III,, p. 329.
Posted on September 02, 2012 at 12:21 AM in commons, commonwealth, Earth for All, enclosure, equal freedom, equal opportunity, free land, government's role, land speculation, landlordism, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, one solution for many problems, private property in land, privatization, privilege, prosperity, the right to life, underused land, unemployment and underemployment, usufruct | Permalink | Comments (0)
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As I listen to the 2012 party platforms, I am reminded of what they ought to be focused on, embodied pretty well in this platform from 1886-87.
PLATFORM OF THE UNITED PARTY.
Adopted at Syracuse August 19, 1887.
We, the delegates of the united labor party of New York, in state convention assembled, hereby reassert, as the fundamental platform of the party, and the basis on which we ask the co-operation of citizens of other states, the following declaration or principles adopted on September 23, 1886, by the convention of trade and labor associations of the city of New York, that resulted in the formation of the united labor party.
"Holding that the corruptions of government and the impoverishment of labor result from neglect of the self-evident truths proclaimed by the founders of this republic that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, we aim at the abolition of a system which compels men to pay their fellow creatures for the use of God’s gifts to all, and permits monopolizers to deprive labor of natural opportunities for employment, thus filling the land with tramps and paupers and bringing about an unnatural competition which tends to reduce wages to starvation rates and to make the wealth producer the industrial slave of those who grow rich by his toil.
'“Holding, moreover, that the advantages arising from social growth and improvement belong to society at large, we aim at the abolition of the system which makes such beneficent inventions as the railroad and telegraph a means for the oppression of the people and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power. We declare the true purpose of government to be the maintenance of that sacred right of property which gives to every one opportunity to employ his labor, and security that he shall enjoy its fruits; to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, and the unscrupulous from robbing the honest; and to do for the equal benefit of all such things as can be better done by organized society than by individuals; and we aim at the abolition of all laws which give to any class of citizens advantages, either judicial, financial, industrial or political, that are not equally shared by all others."
We call upon all who seek the emancipation of labor, and who would make the American union and its component states democratic commonwealths of really free and independent citizens, to ignore all minor differences and join with us in organizing a great national party on this broad platform of natural rights and equal justice. We do not aim at securing any forced equality in the distribution of wealth. We do not propose that the state shall attempt to control production, conduct distribution, or in any wise interfere with the freedom of the individual to use his labor or capital in any way that may seem proper to him and that will not interfere with the equal rights of others. Nor do we propose that the state shall take possession of land and either work it or rent it out. What we propose is not the disturbing of any man in his holding or title, but by abolishing all taxes on industry or its products, to leave to the producer the full fruits of his exertion and by the taxation of land values, exclusive or improvements, to devote to the common use and benefit those values, which, arising not from the exertion of the individual, but from the growth of society, belong justly to the community as a whole. This increased taxation of land, not according to its area, but according to its value, must, while relieving the working farmer and small homestead owner of the undue burdens now imposed upon them, make it unprofitable to hold land for speculation, and thus throw open abundant opportunities for the employment of labor and the building up of homes.
While thus simplifying government by doing away with the horde of officials required by the present system of taxation and with its incentives to fraud and corruption, we would further promote the common weal and further secure the equal rights of all, by placing under public control such agencies as are in their nature monopolies: We would have our municipalities supply their inhabitants with water, light and heat; we would have the general government issue all money, without the intervention of banks; we would add a postal telegraph system and postal savings banks to the postal service, and would assume public control and ownership of those iron roads which have become the highways of modern commerce.
While declaring the foregoing to be the fundamental principles and aims of the united labor party, and while conscious that no reform can give effectual and permanent relief to labor that does not involve the legal recognition of equal rights, to natural opportunities, we nevertheless, as measures of relief from some of the evil effects of ignoring those rights, favor such legislation as may tend to reduce the hours of labor, to prevent the employment of children of tender years, to avoid the competition of convict labor with honest industry, to secure the sanitary inspection of tenements, factories and mines, and to put an end to the abuse of conspiracy laws.
We desire also to so simplify the procedure of our courts and diminish the expense of legal proceedings, that the poor may be placed on an equality with the rich and the long delays winch now result in scandalous miscarriages of justice may be prevented.
And since the ballot is the only means by which in our Republic the redress of political and social grievances is to besought, we especially and emphatically declare for the adoption of what is known as the “Australian system of voting,” an order that the effectual secrecy of the ballot and the relief of candidates for public office from the heavy expenses now imposed upon them, may prevent bribery and intimidation, do away with practical discriminations in favor of the rich and unscrupulous, and lessen the pernicious influence of money in politics.
In support or these aims we solicit the co-operation of all patriotic citizens who, sick of the degradation of politics, desire by constitutional methods to establish justice, to preserve liberty, to extend the spirit of fraternity, and to elevate humanity.
Posted on August 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM in corruption in government, economic justice, employment, ending poverty, equal freedom, equal opportunity, equality, facilitating commerce, fixing the economy, fruits of one's labors, government's role, land speculation, land value created by community, monopoly -- not the game, municipal ownership of utilities, natural monopolies, Natural Public Revenue, Occupy Wall Street's values, one solution for many problems, poverty, poverty's cause, private property in land, privatization, privilege, prosperity, reaping what others sow, sufficiency of land rent, tax reform, technological advances, The Standard, toll-takers, unearned increment, unemployment and underemployment, untaxing buildings, untaxing production, wages, wages driven down | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The right of inheriting property is a law of men; it was established for their welfare and can only be continued on that condition. He who, at the beginning of society, staked out a piece of ground, and threw there some seed which nature had spontaneously produced elsewhere, could never have obtained on this title alone the exclusive right of holding the ground for his descendants forever.
— NECKER (afterward Louis XVI's Minister of Finance), Essay on the Corn Laws (1775),
Oeuvres Completes, Vol. I., p. 142.
It was in vain anyone repeated, "I built this well; I gained this spot by my industry." Who gave you the boundaries? it might be objected, and what right have you to demand payment of us for doing what we did not require of you? Are you ignorant that numbers of your fellow-creatures are starving for want of what you possess in superfluity?
— J. J. ROUSSEAU, Essay on the Origin of Inequality Among Men, Part II., p. 20.
You are in this world as strangers. Go north or south or east or west, and wherever you stop you will find a man to chase you away crying, "This is mine." And after you have gone through all the countries of the world, you will come back knowing that there is nowhere a poor bit of land where, as a matter of right, your wife can bring forth her firstborn, where you can rest after tilling the soil or where your children can bury your bones.
— THE ABBE LAMENNAIS, Paroles d'un Croyant (1834), Chap. IX.
"This dog belongs to me," said these poor children; "that place in the sun is mine!" Behold the beginning of all usurpation upon earth!
— BLAISE PASCAL, Pensees, Article VI., Sec. 53.
from The Standard, January 22, 1887:
Ingersoll on the Land Question
Robert G. Ingersoll before Secular Union.
No man should be allowed to own any land that he does not use. Every body knows that — I do not care whether he has thousands or millions. I have owned a great deal of land, but I know just as well as I know I am living that I should not be allowed to have it unless I use it. And why? Don’t you know that if people could bottle the air they would? Don’t you know that there would be an American air bottling association? And don’t you know that they would allow thousands and millions to die for want of breath if they could not pay for air. I am not blaming any body. I am just telling how it is. Now, the land belongs to the children of nature. Nature invites every babe that is born into this world. And what would you think of me, for instance, tonight, if I had invited you here — nobody had charged you anything. but you had been invited — and when you got here you had found one man pretending to occupy a hundred seats, another fifty, and another seventy-five, and thereupon you were compelled to stand up — what would you think of the invitation?
I can easily imagine a great proprietor of ground rents in the metropolis calling attention to the habitations of the poor, to the evils of overcrowding, and to the scandals which the inquiry reveals, while his own income is greatly increased by the causes which make house-rent dear in London, and decent lodging hardly obtainable by thousands of laborers.
— PROF. THOROLD ROGERS, Work and Wages, Chap. XX., p. 550.
Efforts should be made to prevent the increase of value which is occasioned by the growth of the population of towns enriching private individuals.
— The REV. W. MOORE EDE, Honorary Canon of Durham, The Church and Town Problems, p. 88, note.
Posted on August 07, 2012 at 12:01 AM in a Manhattan acre, a wedge driven through society, absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , better cities, buildings depreciate, congestion, cost of living, cui bono?, Earth for All, fixing the economy, housing affordability, human nature, income concentration, land monopoly capitalism, land rent, land value created by community, landed gentry, landlordism, location, location, location, playing by the rules, popular ignorance of land economics, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, rich people's useful idiots, toll-takers, urban land value | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The ordinary progress of a society which increases in wealth is at all times to augment the incomes of landlords — to give them both a greater amount and a greater proportion of the wealth of the community, independently of any trouble or outlay incurred by themselves. They grow richer as it were in their sleep, without working, risking or economizing. What claims have they, on the general principles of social justice, to this accession of riches?
— JOHN STUART MILL, Principles of Political Economy, Book V., Chap. 2, Sec. 5
Posted on July 31, 2012 at 12:07 AM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , cui bono?, Earth for All, economic rent, FIRE sector, income concentration, justice of the single tax, land appreciates buildings depreciate, land rent, land share of real estate value, land value created by community, landed gentry, landlordism, location, location, location, Natural Public Revenue, Occupy Wall Street's values, poverty machine, private property in land, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, rent-seeking, socializing risk and privatizing profit, technological advances, trickle-down economics, urban land value, wages driven down, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Unrestricted private property in land gives to individuals a large proportion of the wealth created by the community at large.
— PROF. ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE, Land Nationalization, Chap. VIII., pp. 235-2.
Posted on July 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , capital gains are land gains, corporations, cui bono?, Earth for All, economic rent, fixing the economy, free lunch, justice of the single tax, land monopoly capitalism, land value created by community, landed gentry, Landlord's Prayer, landlordism, make land common property, political economy, private property in land, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, rent-seeking, special interests, toll-takers, unearned income, urban land value, windfalls | Permalink | Comments (0)
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When I came across this article, 111 years old, I thought of the Ipswich, Massachusetts, trust established in 1650 by the gift of a fine 32-acre piece of land by a forward-thinking resident. His stated intention was that the land be kept by the town, forever, for the benefit of the public schools. Alas, it was poorly managed for a number of years, perhaps decades, and this appears to have been transformed, remarkably, into an excuse for the eager TENANTS to buy the land (and at less than half what I calculate it to be worth -- click on the "Little Neck Feoffees of Ipswich" link at left to see all my posts on the topic).
The tradition of school lands has served many communities very well. Part of Chicago was rented out to tenants and the revenues used to fund the city's schools.
But some fast-talkers appear to have convinced the powers-that-be in Ipswich, Mass., (including, remarkably, some judges and perhaps the state A.G.!) that "forever" is just temporary, and other investments are superior to the revenue from land and natural resources for funding public spending. (Not!) And the land will be there forever; a few decades of poor management is, in the long run, a triviality; the same would not be true of any of the substitute investments the Feoffees and their highly-compensated investment advisors will come up with.
(The first-quoted writer was the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)
Star, Putanga 7209, 21 July 1901, Page 7
The Land and the People
The Lands Sub-Committee submitted the following report at the last annual meeting of the Progressive Liberal Association: --
General Francis Walker, in "First Lessons in Political Economy," says: -- "It certainly is true that any increase in the rental value or selling value of land is due, not to the exertions and sacrifices of the owners of the land, but to the exertions and sacrifices of the community. It certainly is true that economic rent tends to increase with the growth of wealth and population, and that thus a larger and larger share of the products of industry tends to pass into the hands of the owners of land, not because they have done more for society, but because society has greater need of that which they control."
On the same subject Thorold Rogers has expressed himself thus: -- Every permanent improvement, every railway and road, every bettering of the general condition of society, every facility given for production, every stimulus applied to consumption, raises rent. The land owner sleeps, but thrives."
The observant thinking man must admit that the above opinions are borne out by facts, but the importance to the community of the nationalisation of the land is unfortunately realised by comparatively few. If people would endeavour to understand its importance, there is little doubt that the majority would be forced to the conclusion that the private ownership of land is beyond question decidedly against the best interests of the State.
Cardinal Manning has said: -- "The land question means hunger, thirst, nakedness, notice to quit, labour spent in vain, the toil of years seized upon, the breaking up of homes, the misery, sicknesses, deaths of parents, children, wives, the despair and wildness which spring up in the hearts of the poor, when legal force, like a sharp harrow goes over the most sensitive and vital right of mankind. All this is contained in the land question." The opinion of the late Cardinal, expressed in such a forcible language, should at the very least induce people to study this question thoroughly. As a proof of its importance many object lessons are to be found -- as bearing upon it from a municipal point of view two may be mentioned. Doncaster in Yorkshire has no borough rate. Why? Because it is the owner of certain remunerative land; and Durban, in South Africa, for a rate of 1½d in the £ obtains the usual municipal services such as we possess in Christchurch, and in addition enjoys several others which we much desire to have. The difference is because in Durban its founders made reserve round the town which have not been alienated and have so increased in value that the rentals therefrom very nearly provide for all municipal requirements. The founders of Canterbury made a similar wise provision for Christchurch, but in an evil day the Provincial Council, when it took over the affairs of the Canterbury Association, sold the city's inheritance for a mess of pottage. It will doubtless be interesting to many to lean something of the history of the
CHRISTCHURCH TOWN RESERVES.
When constitutional government was established in Canterbury the Provincial Government took over the property of the Canterbury Association, including the town reserves of Christchurch and Hagley Park, the total area of these two being 897 acres, which, five years previoiusly, had been considered of the value of £2700. The Association had got into debt to the extent of nearly £29,000, which the Provincial Government paid with money raised on debentures, and proceeded to sell the reserves situated inside the belts. To prevent any misunderstanding as to the then estimated value of these town reserves, it is desirable to state that for the £29,000 mentioned the Association transferred to the Provincial Government all the property it possessed in Canterbury, which included other reserves than those in Christchurch, also plant, tools, survey maps and field books, which must have been value for a considerable portion of the sum named. By the deed poll of the Association these lands were to be held in trust for the purposes for which they were reserved, but a special Act of the Assembly was obtained to permit of their alienation. It has been truly said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. It is equally true with regard to reserves of land made for the benefit of the public; the people (every individual) should be ever on guard and watchful that no tampering with public reserves be allowed.
At the present day it is particularly interesting to consider what would now be the position of Christchurch if the reserves inside the belts had not been sold. What income would now be derivable therefrom?
Excluding twelve acres which were set apart by the Provincial Council as endowments for various religious bodies, the frontages of the reserves on the main streets of the city, as originally laid out in the extensions of these streets to the belts, amount to about 92,400 ft, after deducting 1¼ chains at each corner to avoid reckoning double frontages at corners. At 4s per foot frontage it would be £23,100. Bearing in mind that more than half the frontages have a depth of 5½ chains, it is estimated that if these lands were now let on building leases they would average a return of not less than 4s per foot, possibly more, and it is probably safe to say that the income therefrom would be £20,000 a year.
The statement of accounts of the City Treasurer shows that for the year ending March 31, 1901, the rates assessed amounted to £28,526 --
|General rate (omitting shillings and pence)||13,680
|Special drainage rate
obtained by a total assessment of 2s 7½d in the pound, whereas, had the town reserves not been alienated, all the municipal services rendered would probably have been obtained for a modest rate of less than 9d. in the pound.
This is surely an object lesson which should be laid to heart by every inhabitant of the colony, as well as by the citizens of Christchurch, and should demonstrate how very desirable it is in the interests of the people as a community, that all land should be owned by the community, seeing that increased values of land are derived from the exertions and sacrifices of society. It will serve to show what enormous sums society thus pays to individuals to state that it is estimated that the value of land in London is increasing at the rate of 7½ millions annually; under the system of private ownership of land this large sum is accruing yearly in London alone to private individuals, and the public who must use the land, necessarily pay interest on that sum.
The Progressive Liberal Association earnestly commends these facts to the consideration of the people of New Zealand in the hope that they will insist upon a stoppage being put to the sale of Crown lands; and as regards the granting of leases in perpetuity, which, in parting with the possession for 999 years at a rental based on the present value, hands over to individuals the unearned increment for that unconscionably long period, it is hoped that a mandate will go forth from the electors of the colony insisting upon a periodical revaluation of the unimproved value. When these have been accomplished, there will be the question of the nationalisation of all the lands in the colony to be dealt with.
"That which was created for the use of all, the use of which is absolutely necessary for the existence of every individual, should be owned and controlled for the benefit of all. The private control of land is dead against the common welfare. Justice demands this, and what justice demands must sooner or later be conceded.
Christchurch, July 29, 1901
Posted on July 29, 2012 at 09:35 AM in all benefits go to landholder , cui bono?, economic rent, financing education, land rent, land value created by community, Little Neck Feoffees of Ipswich, location, location, location, Natural Public Revenue, popular ignorance of land economics, privatization, rent-seeking, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, time making wrongs into rights | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The profit of the earth is for all.
— Ecclesiastes, V., 9.
Posted on July 29, 2012 at 12:56 AM in Earth for All, economic rent, land value created by community, make land common property, Natural Public Revenue, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rent-seeking, sufficiency of land rent, time making wrongs into rights, unearned increment | Permalink | Comments (0)
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It will be thought an intolerable thing that men shall derive enormous increments of income from the growth of towns to which they have contributed nothing — that they shall be able to sweep into their coffers what they have not produced — that they shall be able to go on throttling towns, as they are well known to do in some cases. It is impossible to suppose that the system will not be vigorously, powerfully, persistently and successfully attacked.
—JOHN MORLEY, Speech at Forfar, October 4, 1897. The Times, October 5, 1897, p. 5, column 3.
Posted on July 27, 2012 at 12:29 AM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , better cities, capital gains are land gains, cui bono?, Earth for All, economic rent, FIRE sector, income concentration, land appreciates buildings depreciate, land monopoly capitalism, land speculation, land value created by community, popular ignorance of land economics, population growth, private property in land, privatization, privilege, reaping what others sow, rent-seeking, unearned increment, urban land value | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The unqualified ownership of land thus established (viz., "in a way which in this age would be regarded as monstrous and corrupt"), enables the land-owning class to reap a wholly unearned benefit at the expense of the general community.
— FRANCIS A. WALKER, Political Economy, Part VI., Chap. 7, Sec. 418.
Has no one in California figured out that when the calf is deprived of mother's milk, starvation is inevitable?
It has taken 34 years, but it is coming about.
Feeding calves grain, or seaweed, or sunflower seeds isn't as smart as letting it consume its natural food.
Taxing wages, sales and buildings isn't as smart as collecting the lion's share -- calf's share, if you will -- of the land rent for public purposes.
Proposition 13 was designed to make sure that the cows' milk was kept for the Irvines, the big landowners, the commercial property owners, and the longtime homeowners, while providing a diminishing fifth of it to the calf and supplementing with grain, seaweed and sunflower seeds.
The calf's digestive system has blown up because it was deprived of its proper food, and "nourished" with stolen fake food.
Posted on July 14, 2012 at 01:56 PM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , better cities, boom-bust cycles, bubble, connect the dots, cost of living, cui bono?, direct taxation, fixing the economy, government's role, indirect taxation, land rent, land speculation, land value created by community, land value taxation, little people pay taxes, Natural Public Revenue, one solution for many problems, paying twice, popular ignorance of land economics, privatization, privilege, Proposition 13, reaping what others sow, rent-seeking, sufficiency of land rent, tax reform, teach your children well | Permalink | Comments (0)
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I came across an excellent site at http://www.resourcerentalsrevenue.org, and thought their FAQ page particularly worth sharing. The links will take you to answers.
We don't HAVE to burden ourselves and our economy with taxes which throw a wet blanket on jobs, on production, on homes. There is a better way to finance our common spending!
The following list comprises the most commonly asked questions about the concept of making land and resource rentals the source of revenue for government. As you continue this study, you will see the value from giving resources the respect they deserve and the benefits resulting from the freeing of labour, production and exchange from taxation. If you have any questions which are not covered here, or observations you would like to put to our panel, please feel free to do so by sending your question as an e-mail query and we will attempt to respond.
The inclusion of land and resources in the economic equation is central to any solution for revenue raising. A taxation solution which does not consider the nature of taxation itself and allows the continuing private monopolisation of community land and resources fails to recognise the essential role land plays in the economic equation and will not work. Land is the only element in the economic equation which is both fixed and finite. It can be monopolised. It is a unique class of asset which must be treated accordingly. If we were to wrest not the land itself, but its unimproved value from private monopolies and return the value to the community — whose very presence creates it — then we would have reduced many problems in one stroke with great benefit to production, to the environment and to the cause of individual freedom and justice.
On the subject of land and resource rents, Henry George said this:
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM in a Manhattan acre, better cities, capital gains are land gains, common good, commonwealth, connect the dots, Earth for All, equal freedom, equal opportunity, equality, facilitating commerce, financing education, financing health care, financing infrastructure, financing services, fixing the economy, government's role, Henry George, housing affordability, justice of the single tax, land speculation, land value created by community, land value taxation, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, natural monopolies, Natural Public Revenue, natural resource revenues, natural resources, one solution for many problems, opportunity, pay for what you take, popular ignorance of land economics, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights, public spending, sales taxes are wrong, special interests, sufficiency of land rent, tax reform, taxation, toll-takers, unearned income, unearned increment, unemployment and underemployment, untaxing buildings, untaxing production, user fees | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Landed monopoly has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance.
— THOMAS PAINE, Agrarian Justice, Paine's Writings, Vol. III., p. 331.
In the country the more rich people there are, the less wealth there is.
— MARMONTEL, Address in Favor of the Peasants of the North (1757), Oeuvres, Vol. X., p. 70.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM in a wedge driven through society, all benefits go to landholder , corruption of economics, cui bono?, Earth for All, ending poverty, fixing the economy, government's role, income concentration, is this socialism?, land monopoly capitalism, landed gentry, landlordism, liberty, make land common property, Occupy Wall Street's values, political economy, popular ignorance of land economics, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights, reaping what others sow, rich people's useful idiots, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, teach your children well, the land question, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, unemployment and underemployment, wages driven down, wealth distribution or concentration, wealthandwant | Permalink | Comments (0)
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The man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied —
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken cloth
Has robbed the neighboring fields of half their growth;
His seat where solitary sports are seen
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies,
While thus the land adorned for pleasure all
In barren splendor feebly waits the fall.
— OLIVER GOLDSMITH, The Deserted Village.
Posted on June 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM in all benefits go to landholder , Earth for All, enclosure, ending poverty, land monopoly capitalism, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, popular ignorance of land economics, private property in land, privatization, privilege, time making wrongs into rights | Permalink | Comments (0)
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It is a sin for man or woman
To steal a goose from off the common;
But who shall plead that man's excuse
Who steals the common from the goose?
— Old English Rhyme, quoted in Gowing's Life of Cobden, p. 120, note.
The essential principle of property being to assure to all persons what they have produced by their labor and accumulated by their abstinence, this principle cannot apply to what is not the product of labor, the raw material of the earth.
— JOHN STUART MILL, Political Economy, Book II., Chap. 2, Sec. 5.
When the "sacredness of property" is talked of, it should always be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property.
— JOHN STUART MILL, Political Economy, Book II., Chap. 2, Sec. 6.
Posted on June 09, 2012 at 12:04 AM in commons, commonwealth, cui bono?, Earth for All, economic justice, fruits of one's labors, income concentration, land different from capital, land value created by community, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights, reaping what others sow, special interests, the land question, time making wrongs into rights, unearned increment | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Grimly the same spirit (of progress) looks into the law of property and accuses men of driving a trade in the great, boundless providence which has given the air, the water and the land to men to use and not to fence in and monopolize.
— EMERSON, On the Times (1841).
As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.
— ADAM SMITH, Wealth of Nations, Book I., Chap. 6.
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM in absentee ownership, all benefits go to landholder , commons, enclosure, fruits of one's labors, human nature, income concentration, land monopoly capitalism, land rent, land value created by community, land, labor and capital, landed gentry, landlordism, make land common property, monopoly -- not the game, popular ignorance of land economics, population growth, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights, reaping what others sow, rich people's useful idiots, socializing risk and privatizing profit, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, unearned income, unearned increment, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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But the colony multiplies, while the space still continues the same, the common rights, the equal inheritance of mankind, are engrossed by the bold and crafty; each field and forest is circumscribed by the landmarks of a jealous master. . . . In the progress from primitive equity to final injustice the steps are silent, the shades are almost imperceptible, and the absolute monopoly is guarded by positive laws and artificial reason.
— EDWARD GIBBON, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,
Chap. XLIV., Sec. 2.
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM in a wedge driven through society, commons, commonwealth, Earth for All, land monopoly capitalism, monopoly -- not the game, private property in land, privatization, privilege, property rights, reaping what others sow, socializing risk and privatizing profit, special interests, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, usufruct, wealth distribution or concentration | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Wherever the ownership of the soil is so engrossed by a small part of the community that the far larger number are compelled to pay whatever the few may see fit to exact for the privilege of occupying and cultivating the earth, there is something very like slavery.
— HORACE GREELEY, Slavery at Home, in Hints Toward Reforms (1845), pp. 354-5.
Here is the fundamental error, the crude and monstrous assumption, that the land which God has given to our nation, is or can be the private property of anyone. It is a usurpation exactly similar to that of slavery.
— PROF. F. W. NEWMAN, Lectures on Political Economy (1851), Lecture VI., p. 533.
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 01:05 AM in a wedge driven through society, commons, commonwealth, Earth for All, ending poverty, land monopoly capitalism, landlordism, make land common property, political economy, popular ignorance of land economics, private property in land, privatization, privilege, rich people's useful idiots, sharecropping, slavery, special interests, teach your children well, time making wrongs into rights, toll-takers, windfalls | Permalink | Comments (0)
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