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Re: [LandCafe] Re: Marx, Engel and Morris on George

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  • John David Kromkowski
    ... Do you think maybe his death might have had just a little bit more to do with the defeat of the Single Tax movement ? (Answer: of course!) I favor some
    Message 1 of 87 , Dec 18, 2012
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      On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM, roy_langston <roy_langston@...> wrote:

      It was mainly Henry George's failure to understand the economic, moral, and political necessity of the UIE that defeated the Single Tax movement in the 19th century.

      Do you think maybe his death might have had just a little bit more to do with "the defeat of the Single Tax movement"? (Answer: of course!)

      I favor some kind of version of UIE (the exact nature can be worked out politically whether it is a personal exemption or household exemption or property tax credit and the exact size of it), but the history is more complicated.

      First, on a national level in the US you'd have to do it as a tax apportioned among the states - do able, but there are details to work out and even by George's time the institutional history of how to do it was already being lost. A UIE or not doesn't fix that problem.

      Second, at the state and local levels - uniformity clauses in the State Constitutions as well as the debate between the "Cooley" view and Dillon's rule (regarding how much authority and the source of authority localities had/have) were obstacles, regardless of a UIE and also because a UIE butts up against most interpretations of uniformity clauses.  Do you even know what city was the first to enacted land value taxation and when and what happened?  Hyattsville, MD.  You can't constitutionally do a UIE in many states and amending constitutions is a complicated process.

      Third, there was a continuing contretemps between urban (poor, immigrant, ethnic, catholic) and rural (WASPy, landed and racist know nothings). Land value taxation represented (maybe more perception than reality) a threat to the rural big estate owners who liked keeping blacks as poor share-croppers - heaven forbid that they should own some land of their own.  Why would powerfully landed interests allow the legislators they had paid for allow LVT with or without UIE.  

      Fourth Land Taxers, mistakenly thought that a progressive income tax would get at the rent - in a back door kind of way that seemed more fair in light of the tenet of ability to pay (and in fact, the progressive income tax does get at some rent collection but not in a very efficient and directed way - because it does get at the land holders - who defer "income" (and thus do not have actual taxable income - a clearly REALIZED GAIN over which they have dominion) until they sell or die in which case we are now dealing with inheritance taxation.  A tactical choice was made long after HG was dead.

      The problem Roy is that we do not live in a philosopher kingdom where you are the king.

      George was a practical fellow, there is no evidence whatsoever that George was fundamentally opposed to coupling UIE with LVT.

      JDK
    • Harry Pollard
      It all depends on what you are writing and who will be the reader. Unfortunately, modern schooling isn t great at producing readers so material must be made
      Message 87 of 87 , Dec 30, 2012
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        It all depends on what you are writing and who will be the reader.

        Unfortunately, modern schooling isn't great at producing readers so material must be made simple for them. Which point doesn't throw out other writing which may be more complicated as it conveys more subtle directions..

        Harry


        ********************
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        The Henry George School
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        On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:55 AM, John <burns-john@...> wrote:
         

        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Harry Pollard <harrypollard0@...> wrote:
        >
        > However, I suppose the short sentence is now
        > the thing, which may or may not be an improvement.

        Harry, tabloid newspapers use short sentences. People are familiar with that. So, you have to write to what they can easily understand. If they have to do double-takes they lose interest. It is that simple. Churchill realised that a long time ago. His books on WW2 and super easy to understand. The proof readers would highlight parts of the book(s) and he would override them. In the end they thanked him for teaching them how to write simple English.


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