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US ENGINEERING VS ... ALL THE OTHER GUYS

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  • Paul Metz
    Dave, thanks. Of course Henry George was right. My remarks and suggestion are trying to remind the practitioners who still believe that LVT makes carbon and
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 13, 2006
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      Dave, thanks. Of course Henry George was right. My remarks and suggestion are trying to remind
      the practitioners who still believe that LVT makes carbon and other pollution and natural resource
      use taxes, like oil and mineral mining royalties and fishing and other hunting charges redundant.
       
      The Polluter and ultimately the User Pays Principle - agreed in the OECD in 1974 and perhaps later
      also at UN level - is in fact an application of the same logic. The OECD and UN failed to recognise the
      economic human right to an equal share of these revenues for the shareholders of Earth, all citizens.
       
      It would be interesting to have also some quotes from Henry George that go beyond LVT for financing
      the state, public services and communities to real social justice by paying a dividend to the citizens.
       
      Paul Metz

      Therefore, my second addition is that we should update Henry George's
      definition of "land" and extend it to "nature" or "the planet", i.e. land +
      all natural and environmental resources. To be clear: burning fossils
      reduces the availability of land, so landholders are planetary stakeholders.
      And LVT-promoters should modernise themselves to promoters of the full range
      of social-ecological tax reform.

      nb

      Henry George's definition of "LAND"

      The term land necessarily includes, not merely the surface of the earth as
      distinguished from water and the air, but the whole material universe
      outside of man himself, for it is only by having access to land, from which
      is very body is drawn, that man can come in contact with or use nature. The
      term land embraces, in short, all natural materials, forces, and
      opportunities" (
      <http://www.schalkenbach.org/library/george.henry/ppcont.html> Progress and
      Poverty, p. 38).

      Dave

      Dave Wetzel
      Vice-chair, Transport for London  
       
       

      []  -----Original Message-----
      From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
      Paul Metz
      Sent: 09 March 2006 11:27
      To: 'Edward Dodson'; 'snswalton'; 'Land-Cafe-Group'
      Subject: [LandCafe] US ENGINEERING VS ... ALL THE OTHER GUYS




      Paul Metz adds:

      As a Dutchman - usually proud to be - I must confess that the picture of one
      of the many nice protective works on our coast has a backside.
      Recently a report unveiled that a major control system to close half-open
      dams in case of heavy weather has serious failures. This risk was kept
      secret for years and is still without any foreseeable repair. This flaw
      increases the flood risk for more than a million citizens living behind
      dikes and below sealevel by a factor 100.

      A LVT offers a fair financing mechanism to develop and manage land also in
      this respect of security. Engineers are just good soldiers, doing their jobs
      usually well - and always potential victims of bad governance and politics,
      which we in the Landcafe aim to combat. The cartoons indeed blame the
      "leaders" not the soldiers, Sue.

      The perspective makes our effort urgent: it takes much time to convince
      majorities in many parliaments and then implement better land management.
      The predicted sea level rise by up to 7 meter this century will eliminate
      many cities and large areas of economically used land along the coasts of
      all continents .... and that is just one of the many damaging impacts of our
      addiction to oil (now admitted by the president of the USA) - and also to
      coal and natural gas. However, some are much more addicted than many others,
      and good governance should and can take that into account by a.o. fair
      taxation, which makes the polluter/user pay and the citizen benefit.

      Therefore, my second addition is that we should update Henry George's
      definition of "land" and extend it to "nature" or "the planet", i.e. land +
      all natural and environmental resources. To be clear: burning fossils
      reduces the availability of land, so landholders are planetary stakeholders.
      And LVT-promoters should modernise themselves to promoters of the full range
      of social-ecological tax reform.

      Ed responding...
      Sue, you wrote:

      Sorry, but I do not think this is funny!
      As I type this my younger brother, David, is in New Orleans building a dam
      for the US Corp of Engineers.  He's a senior engineer for Kewit.
      The project must be done by 6/1/06.  He does not get to go home to Fort
      Worth until it's done.  So he & his new bride and their dog Max have moved
      into a trailer at the job site.  David says the US Corp of Engineers is very
      bright group of engineers.  The current team on duty includes people from
      Pittsburgh & Johnstown, PA.

      The Corp of Engineers did not mess things up-the politicans did!

      Ed here:
      Sue, as often happens, there are very dedicated people trying to accomplish
      good things under very difficult circumstances. And, as has most likely been
      the case, the scientists and engineers have been warning of the almost
      certain disaster waiting to happen because bad politics resulted in bad
      decisions.

      The other day I heard a scientist interviewed regarding the Mississippi
      delta. He indicated that human interference has prevented the natural
      processes of flooding to deposit sediment and build up the land. His opinion
      was that to offset the ongoing sinking of the land further and further below
      sea level would require the largest building project ever undertaken.

      So, Sue, while these cartoons both amuse and upset at the same time, they do
      indicate that in the U.S. there is a serious problem (primarily political,
      as you say) of burying our heads in shifting sand. That is what these types
      of cartoons do; they make us look for the causes. Even now, the plan is to
      spend billions of dollars to correct problems only to the extent of
      sustaining a level 3 hurricane. Would I return to Louisiana if I had any
      other choice? Not likely.

      Perhaps the most appropriate public policy decision where New Orleans and
      similarly situated cities and towns are concerned is to remove to higher
      ground now rather than later. In the long run, this may be the only policy
      decision that makes sense for the long term.








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