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Re: Marx, Engel and Morris on George

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  • roy_langston
    ... and political necessity of the UIE that defeated the Single Tax movement in the 19th century. ... with the defeat of the Single Tax movement ? (Answer: of
    Message 1 of 87 , Dec 18, 2012
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, John David Kromkowski wrote:

      > On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM, 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!)

      Unlikely. While George was certainly the originator of the movement and his death was a huge blow to it, by the time he died others were capable of carrying it on. The movement had already stalled because without a UIE small landholders ("Pay rent on MY land? WTF?") and even the landless ("Pay the same rent as now? WTF?") found it too difficult to understand where their benefits lay.

      > 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.

      It helps secure the needed political support, just as the income tax required a (very large) UIE to be passed.

      > 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.

      There are many states where uniformity clauses are not an issue, and none were close to implementing LVT anyway. There are also simple ways to circumvent uniformity clauses, such as by issuing exemption vouchers rather than reducing the property tax at source. Every state already has property tax variations that violate uniformity clauses under any reasonable interpretation that would impede a UIE.

      > 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.

      Big landowners and racists were going to oppose LVT anyway. The point is, without the UIE, the much more numerous small landholders saw themselves losing their main assets under LVT, while tenants couldn't see how they would benefit: they'd still be paying just as much rent.

      > 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


      > A tactical choice was made long after HG was dead.

      Because the strategic high ground of the UIE had never been occupied.

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

      True. Which is why I have to make do with the limited powers I possess.

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

      I didn't say he was opposed to it. There just wasn't any mention of it in his writings, so it didn't make it into LVT proposals or theory.

      -- Roy Langston
    • 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..


        The Alumni Group 
        The Henry George School
        of Los Angeles
        Tujunga   CA   90243
        (818) 352-4141

        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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