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Re: Why is no one here talking about Greece?

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  • John
    Listed from Mark Wadsworth and amended by me.. The Daily Mail outlines the advantages of Land Value Tax, but didn t know it. From The Daily Mail: Take a short
    Message 1 of 102 , Jul 3, 2011
      Listed from Mark Wadsworth and amended by me..

      The Daily Mail outlines the advantages of Land Value Tax, but didn't know it.
      From The Daily Mail:

      Take a short trip on the metro to [Athens'] cooler northern suburbs, and you will find an enclave of staggering opulence. Here, in the suburb of Kifissia, amid clean, tree-lined streets full of designer boutiques and car showrooms selling luxury marques such as Porsche and Ferrari, live some of the richest men and women in the world...

      One of the reasons [the inhabitants] are so rich is that rather than paying millions in tax to the Greek state, as they rightfully should, many of these residents are living entirely tax-free. Along street after street of opulent mansions and villas, surrounded by high walls and with their own pools, most of the millionaires living here are, officially, virtually paupers. 

      How so? Simple: they are allowed to state their own earnings for tax purposes, figures which are rarely challenged. And rich Greeks take full advantage. Astonishingly, only 5,000 people in a country of 12 million admit to earning more than £90,000 a year — a salary that would not be enough to buy a garden shed in Kifissia... 

      With Greek President George Papandreou calling for a crackdown on these tax dodgers — who are believed to cost the economy as much as £40bn a year — he is now resorting to bizarre means to identify the cheats. After issuing warnings last year, government officials say he is set to deploy helicopter snoopers, along with scrutiny of Google Earth satellite pictures, to show who has a swimming pool in the northern suburbs — an indicator, officials say, of the owner's wealth.

      Officially, just over 300 Kifissia residents admitted to having a pool. The true figure is believed to be 20,000. There is even a boom in sales of tarpaulins to cover pools and make them invisible to the aerial tax inspectors. `The most popular and effective measure used by owners is to camouflage their pool with a khaki military mesh to make it look like natural undergrowth,' says Vasilis Logothetis, director of a major swimming pool construction company. `That way, neither helicopters nor Google Earth can spot them.'

      But faced with the threat of a crackdown, money is now pouring out of the country into overseas tax havens such as Liechtenstein, the Bahamas and Cyprus.
      Greece has wealth, but the government can't get its hands on it - hence the problem. The problems of Greece can be rectified quite easily.
      1. Getting people to declare their incomes honestly is difficult
      2. Calculating the value of land that people own is relatively simple.
      3. Land cannot be taken off-shore or hidden.
      4. The location of land is known to the mm.
      5. The Daily Mail confuse 'cost to the economy' with 'the government collecting less in tax than you'd expect'.
      6. It's unnecessary to know exactly what is built on any plot of land to work out the location value of the land (not the buildings) to within a tolerable margin of error. It doesn't matter whether an individual house has a swimming pool or not or how big it is.
      Ireland are phasing in taxation of land values, after careful advice from renowned economists. Economist Fred Harrison was invited to Russia fifteen years ago with a group of Nobel economics prize winners to explain how to ease the shift to a free market economy. They were ignored in the end as greed took hold in the upper ranks of Russia, resulting in the mess they are in now. Ireland is taking note after a catastrophic financial collapse. Take note Greece.
    • roy_langston1
      ... I don t recall him saying that, and it certainly isn t true. Many people will lose, especially in the transition period. That is why we must design the
      Message 102 of 102 , Jul 18, 2011
        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" <burns-john@...>

        > Henry George was adamant that full Land Value Tax,
        > the Single Tax, would mean all would gain, no losers.

        I don't recall him saying that, and it certainly isn't
        true. Many people will lose, especially in the
        transition period. That is why we must design the
        transition to be as painless as possible for the great
        majority of landowners: those who own only the land
        under their dwellings. And that is why restoring the
        equal individual right to liberty through a universal
        individual exemption (or, second best, a CD) is crucial
        to our success. This is something Henry George either
        did not understand or did not give enough weight to, or
        the exemption would have been a central feature of his
        Single Tax advocacy.

        > All boats rise on the same rising tide.

        Er, those who can't be bothered swimming or walking are
        drowned by a rising tide.

        > * Will the corporations still be loyal to the US?

        Is a tapeworm loyal to its host?

        > * Will they do everything to get the LVT
        > implementing government out?

        Yes. And that will include assassination. Let's not
        kid ourselves on that score. This is serious business,
        and the vital interests of some very powerful and
        deeply evil people are at stake.

        -- Roy Langston
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