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Re: Fred Harrison does not say "Land Value Tax"

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  • roy_langston
    ... Of course, that echoes the old Georgist slogan, Lower taxes right down to the ground. ... Plus it s _literally_ low-tax, as the Universal Individual
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 3 12:30 PM
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, ADuffield1@... wrote:

      > Compiling an LVT briefing paper for Scottish Liberal Democrats last
      > year, I coined the term 'Lo-Tax' (Location Taxation) which ALTER has now adopted as a euphemism for the reform we seek.

      Of course, that echoes the old Georgist slogan, "Lower taxes right down to the ground."

      > For once, such a
      > term allows us - rather than our opponents - to hijack the language of economics, helping talk of a Lo-Tax economy to take a slightly
      > different slant.

      Plus it's _literally_ low-tax, as the Universal Individual Exemption ("UIE") would enable governments to slash spending on poverty relief, pensions, public employees' wages, etc. This is another reason why the UIE is politically far superior to the Citizens' Dividend ("CD"): the UIE is tax not collected in the first place, while the CD is tax collected and then redistributed. The UIE thus enables a straight-up net tax reduction of around 15%-20% relative to the CD.

      > Fred Harrison's triple dilemma - which I think we share - seems to be that:
      >
      > a) it is fatal to talk about LVT as a tax (which of course it isn't),
      > yet if we try to call it anything else it is portrayed as a tax in
      > sheep's clothing by our opponents;

      Land taxes have been considered taxes throughout history, so I doubt there is any point in claiming LVT isn't one. What is the evidence that it is "fatal" to talk about LVT as a tax? Honest people know we have to have taxes. The point surely is that with LVT, people are no longer DOUBLE-taxed: i.e., they no longer have to pay taxes to fund desired public services and infrastructure, and then pay private landowners for access to the same services and infrastructure their taxes just paid for.

      > b) the 65% of (western) people who now have a stake in land (i.e. the
      > postage stamp-sized plot on which their home sits) are unwilling to
      > engage with any new tax - especially one on the property 'investment' they hold in lieu of a pension;

      That's the big one, and we need to deal with it very skillfully, yet directly and unapologetically. As I see it, there are a number of ways to address homeowners' entirely valid concerns:

      1. The loss of their asset value under LVT is largely illusory, because landowners' other future tax liabilities will be commensurately reduced. The only reason LVT appears to make any but the biggest landowners less wealthy is that people can't be owned, so their future tax burden does not attach to any asset. If people could capitalize their future tax liabilities against the value of an asset called, "My Future," they would see that the total value of their land and their future would typically INCREASE with LVT. AFAIK the endowed Georgist organizations have never even tried to explain this point in their promotional literature.

      2. The UIE (or, second best, a CD), combined with the removal of the excess burden of other taxes, will reduce people's net cost of living to the point where they will no longer need the nest egg of their land to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Again, this is a point where the Georgists have all dropped the ball merely because Henry George didn't understand why the UIE is just as necessary to justice as LVT.

      3. The Recent Purchase Exemption ("RPE") ensures that newer homeowners won't suffer significant financial injustice just because they purchased their land recently: most of the money they paid the previous owner and haven't yet had time to recoup through the benefits of occupation and use will come off their LVT liabilities.

      4. There's every likelihood they will move before retiring, so they will be able to buy at lower prices, not just have to sell at lower prices, and their increased real disposable incomes will enable them to afford better housing.

      5. Etc. Any more ideas?

      > c) LVT, however it is dressed up and patiently explained as a
      > REPLACEMENT for deadweight taxation, is nonetheless viewed and
      > castigated as an ADDITIONAL fiscal burden by opponents and those who have already closed their minds.

      IMO this is not a major issue. It's easy to point out the dishonesty of claiming that a proposal to eliminate bad taxes is actually a proposal to add more taxes: "What? That's like claiming a weight-loss diet is actually food you are supposed to eat in ADDITION to all the fattening food you already eat. So it's just stupid, dishonest garbage. Stop insulting our intelligence."

      > Despite this, I also contend that on balance, for the 65% mentioned above, lower taxation
      > per se is a more attractive proposition that its fiscal opposite.

      Yes, and LVT+UIE+RPE is lower tax AND lower cost of living. Most working people could expect a doubling or tripling of their real disposable incomes.

      > Lo-Tax is thus a semantic way of hitching LVT to a more populist policy
      > ideal. It calls a spade a spade (even though we know its a shovel); it
      > sounds to the home-owning 65% that it might be something they should
      > support; and it suggests a lower overall level of tax than the status
      > quo (which would be true under an LVT regime for the same revenue
      > raised).
      >
      > The neo-classicists have twisted enough economic language. Playing them at their own game may be the best way forward!

      I don't know; it might be worth a shot.

      > Lo-Tax: lowering taxes by taxing locations.

      "Lower taxes right down to the ground."

      -- Roy Langston
    • David Brooks
      Hear! Hear! David Brooks Freedom, the only end On 04-Feb-13 5:20 AM, Harry Pollard wrote:   John, Back in the 50 s I had made a distinction between Georgists
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 3 6:41 PM
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        Hear! Hear!

        David Brooks
        Freedom, the only end
        On 04-Feb-13 5:20 AM, Harry Pollard wrote:
         
        John,

        Back in the 50's I had made a distinction between Georgists and land-value taxers. This point I publicized and my courses concentrate on the Georgist attempt to proceed toward a society of 'Liberty and Justice for All" rather than pushing a better tax proposal. The latter seems to me to be rather a bloodless policy which places us in the same category as the other tax reformers but with perhaps a more difficult reform for people to understand (than,for example, the flat tax).

        Harry

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


        On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 12:05 AM, John <burns-john@...> wrote:
         

        Fred Harrison speaking. He said he wasted 40 years of his life promoting LVT. He said Land Value Tax is a forbidden word to him. He approaches the matter from a different angle.

        https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM



      • walto
        Ooooooh. As everybody knows, I simply *LOVE* these bi-monthy discussions of naming conventions. May it go on for at least a couple of weeks! W
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 4 7:05 AM
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          Ooooooh. As everybody knows, I simply *LOVE* these bi-monthy discussions of naming conventions.

          May it go on for at least a couple of weeks!

          W
        • John
          ... Excellent comment Ed.
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 4 10:03 AM
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            --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Ed" wrote:
            >
            > Roy Langston wrote:
            >
            > Fred often strikes me as being a bit impatient: "We have to do this
            > now." Just because he hasn't succeeded _yet_ doesn't mean he was
            > wasting his time. He was raising consciousness. As Edison said, "I
            > haven't failed. I now know 9,000 things that won't work." We also
            > know some things that won't work, like the Georgist Single Tax.
            >
            > This is a struggle that began more than 5,000 years ago. Even if we
            > don't win it in our lifetimes, it doesn't mean we won't win.
            >
            > Ed Dodson here:
            > The great urgency and concern expressed by Fred I share. Our footprint
            > on the planet is heavy. Our numbers are increasing at a rate far
            > greater than our progress in social organization toward just
            > societies. The evidence indicates (at least to Fred and some of us)
            > that we are running out of time to accomplish change peacefully and
            > before billions of people are swallowed up by the conflicts now on the
            > horizon.

            Excellent comment Ed.
          • John
            ... Nice one Andrew. I was aware of the term Lo-Tax but never knew it was nailed down by Alter.
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 4 10:29 AM
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              --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, ADuffield1@... wrote:
              >
              > Compiling an LVT briefing paper for Scottish Liberal Democrats last
              > year, I coined the term 'Lo-Tax' (Location Taxation) which ALTER has
              > now adopted as a euphemism for the reform we seek. For once, such a
              > term allows us - rather than our opponents - to hijack the language of
              > economics, helping talk of a Lo-Tax economy to take a slightly
              > different slant.
              >
              > Fred Harrison's triple dilemma - which I think we share - seems to be
              > that:
              >
              > a) it is fatal to talk about LVT as a tax (which of course it isn't),
              > yet if we try to call it anything else it is portrayed as a tax in
              > sheep's clothing by our opponents;
              >
              > b) the 65% of (western) people who now have a stake in land (i.e. the
              > postage stamp-sized plot on which their home sits) are unwilling to
              > engage with any new tax - especially one on the property 'investment'
              > they hold in lieu of a pension;
              >
              > c) LVT, however it is dressed up and patiently explained as a
              > REPLACEMENT for deadweight taxation, is nonetheless viewed and
              > castigated as an ADDITIONAL fiscal burden by opponents and those who
              > have already closed their minds.
              >
              > I contend that most people who bother to vote in so-called democratic
              > elections will at least have passing familiarity with the concept of a
              > low-tax economy - typically lower personal tax with correspondingly
              > smaller state expenditure - although it is rarely ever given much
              > definition by politicians (they don't need to!). Despite this, I also
              > contend that on balance, for the 65% mentioned above, lower taxation
              > per se is a more attractive proposition that its fiscal opposite.
              >
              > Lo-Tax is thus a semantic way of hitching LVT to a more populist policy
              > ideal. It calls a spade a spade (even though we know its a shovel); it
              > sounds to the home-owning 65% that it might be something they should
              > support; and it suggests a lower overall level of tax than the status
              > quo (which would be true under an LVT regime for the same revenue
              > raised).
              >
              > The neo-classicists have twisted enough economic language. Playing them
              > at their own game may be the best way forward!
              >
              > Lo-Tax: lowering taxes by taxing locations.

              Nice one Andrew. I was aware of the term Lo-Tax but never knew it was nailed down by Alter.
            • Scott on the Spot
              Harrison has not changed his message, just the way he states it - he won t say the phrase Land Value Tax, but believes in collecting the economic rent as much
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 4 12:12 PM
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                Harrison has not changed his message, just the way he states it - he
                won't say the phrase Land Value Tax, but believes in collecting the
                economic rent as much as ever. He has stern words about Occupy wasting
                its time on non-core issues and how it might lose its potential if they
                don't focus on core issues.
                --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" wrote:
                >
                > Fred Harrison speaking. He said he wasted 40 years of his life
                promoting LVT. He said Land Value Tax is a forbidden word to him. He
                approaches the matter from a different angle.
                >
                >
                https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDl\
                VM
                >
              • John
                ... Fred clearly has not changed his his message and appears not to be a Single Taxer. He tends to use the word rents meaning economic rent . This tends to
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 5 1:38 AM
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                  --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Scott on the Spot" wrote:
                  >
                  > Harrison has not changed his message, just the way he
                  > states it - he won't say the phrase Land Value Tax,
                  > but believes in collecting the economic rent as much
                  > as ever. He has stern words about Occupy wasting
                  > its time on non-core issues and how it might lose
                  > its potential if they don't focus on core issues.

                  Fred clearly has not changed his his message and appears not to be a Single Taxer. He tends to use the word "rents" meaning "economic rent". This tends to confuse the uninitiated. Most do not understand what "economic rent" is, and regard it as simple profit and think nothing is wrong with that. Fred says, "we trade in generalities and get nowhere".

                  A window of opportunity has arisen, the Credit Crunch. Fred is trying to make as much ground as possible in this window. And he has.

                  The radio link is long at 1hr 24 mins, but worth listening to.
                  https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM

                  Occupy London appears to be very interested, and its is clear few had knew of land value capture, or as Harrison says, "paying for the services you receive" and "not paying twice". Fred comes out with some flowery expletives :) The Occupy groups around the world knew there was a problem (that is obvious) They never knew the root cause or a solution.

                  Fred mentions that King, the governor of the Bank of England, stated that LVT cannot generate enough revenue without doing any calculations - typical. Bill Tideman in the USA did figures for the USA with the average American being far better off, stating the figures in dollars. That grabs people.
                • John
                  https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM Fred Harrison stated that: the concept of Land Value Tax is philosophically
                  Message 8 of 19 , Feb 5 12:03 PM
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                    https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM

                    Fred Harrison stated that:
                    "the concept of Land Value Tax is philosophically incoherent, politically stupid"

                    "If you are conceding that you are going to tax land values, you are saying to people at large, the land value belongs to you and we will tax you. People do not like tax."
                  • walto
                    ... It s obvious that it s long been very important to Fred Harrison to say stuff that is over-the-top for attention. Apparently, he thinks that saying that
                    Message 9 of 19 , Feb 6 4:06 AM
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                      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM
                      >
                      > Fred Harrison stated that:
                      > "the concept of Land Value Tax is philosophically incoherent, politically stupid"
                      >
                      > "If you are conceding that you are going to tax land values, you are saying to people at large, the land value belongs to you and we will tax you. People do not like tax."
                      >


                      It's obvious that it's long been very important to Fred Harrison to say stuff that is over-the-top for attention. Apparently, he thinks that saying that everything he's ever written is "philosophically incoherent and politically stupid" is a winning strategy both for him personally and for geoism generally.

                      I doubt it myself, BWTHDIK?

                      W
                    • John
                      ... Walto, this might be useful. why people fail to understand land valuetaxation:
                      Message 10 of 19 , Feb 6 5:19 AM
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                        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM
                        > >
                        > > Fred Harrison stated that:
                        > > "the concept of Land Value Tax is philosophically incoherent, politically stupid"
                        > >
                        > > "If you are conceding that you are going to tax land values, you are saying to people at large, the land value belongs to you and we will tax you. People do not like tax."
                        >
                        > It's obvious that it's long been very important to Fred Harrison to say stuff that is over-the-top for attention. Apparently, he thinks that saying that everything he's ever written is "philosophically incoherent and politically stupid" is a winning strategy both for him personally and for geoism generally.
                        >
                        > I doubt it myself, BWTHDIK?

                        Walto, this might be useful.
                        why people fail to understand land valuetaxation:
                        http://southcentrallibdems.org.uk/en/article/2012/611161/why-people-fail-to-understand-land-value-taxation
                      • harrypollard
                        Andrew. We don’t produce, play, or live, on land. We produce, play, or live, on locations. I’ve been arguing this for many years. I think you on to
                        Message 11 of 19 , Feb 7 10:11 AM
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                          Andrew.

                           

                          We don’t produce, play, or live, on land. We produce, play, or live, on locations.

                           

                          I’ve been arguing this for many years. I think you on to something.

                           

                          While the monopoly aspects of land are cloudier – there is a lot of land - much of the US is pretty empty – the monopoly aspects of locations are easy to see. That this monopoly aspect leads to exorbitant prices is also pretty evident.

                           

                          Also, it’s easy to see that people cause Rents.

                           

                          When I chaired London’s Young Liberals, we would soapbox all over London – including all day Sunday at Marble Arch Speaker’s Corner. The Terrible Three – Roy Douglas, David Mills, and myself kept the crowds thinking (and entertained).

                           

                          Selling the idea of LVT was easy.

                           

                          Land-values are fairly small under the house where you live, but go into the High Street and land-values zoom. Why? It’s because people congregate in the High Street. The value of land is caused by you. Why should a landholder get the values you create? We should tax it and get rid of purchase taxes (this was a while ago).

                           

                          Anyway, this is the way we did it back then and the crowds (many hundreds) seemed to have no trouble getting it.

                           

                          Then we would get on to Free Trade and that would stir up the protectionists!

                           

                          Harry

                           

                          ***********************

                          The Alumni Group

                          Henry George School

                          Of Los Angeles

                          Tujunga  CA  91042

                          (818) 352-4141

                          ***********************

                           

                          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ADuffield1@...
                          Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2013 1:06 AM
                          To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Fred Harrison does not say "Land Value Tax"

                           

                           

                          Compiling an LVT briefing paper for Scottish Liberal Democrats last
                          year, I coined the term 'Lo-Tax' (Location Taxation) which ALTER has
                          now adopted as a euphemism for the reform we seek. For once, such a
                          term allows us - rather than our opponents - to hijack the language of
                          economics, helping talk of a Lo-Tax economy to take a slightly
                          different slant.

                          Fred Harrison's triple dilemma - which I think we share - seems to be
                          that:

                          a) it is fatal to talk about LVT as a tax (which of course it isn't),
                          yet if we try to call it anything else it is portrayed as a tax in
                          sheep's clothing by our opponents;

                          b) the 65% of (western) people who now have a stake in land (i.e. the
                          postage stamp-sized plot on which their home sits) are unwilling to
                          engage with any new tax - especially one on the property 'investment'
                          they hold in lieu of a pension;

                          c) LVT, however it is dressed up and patiently explained as a
                          REPLACEMENT for deadweight taxation, is nonetheless viewed and
                          castigated as an ADDITIONAL fiscal burden by opponents and those who
                          have already closed their minds.

                          I contend that most people who bother to vote in so-called democratic
                          elections will at least have passing familiarity with the concept of a
                          low-tax economy - typically lower personal tax with correspondingly
                          smaller state expenditure - although it is rarely ever given much
                          definition by politicians (they don't need to!). Despite this, I also
                          contend that on balance, for the 65% mentioned above, lower taxation
                          per se is a more attractive proposition that its fiscal opposite.

                          Lo-Tax is thus a semantic way of hitching LVT to a more populist policy
                          ideal. It calls a spade a spade (even though we know its a shovel); it
                          sounds to the home-owning 65% that it might be something they should
                          support; and it suggests a lower overall level of tax than the status
                          quo (which would be true under an LVT regime for the same revenue
                          raised).

                          The neo-classicists have twisted enough economic language. Playing them
                          at their own game may be the best way forward!

                          Lo-Tax: lowering taxes by taxing locations.

                          Andrew Duffield

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: John burns-john@...>
                          To: LandCafe LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Sat, 2 Feb 2013 17:55
                          Subject: [LandCafe] Fred Harrison does not say "Land Value Tax"

                          Fred Harrison speaking. He said he wasted 40 years of his life
                          promoting LVT. He said Land Value Tax is a forbidden word to him. He
                          approaches the matter from a different angle.

                          https://soundcloud.com/martin-adams/fred-harrison-at-occupy-london/s-XDlVM

                        • roy_langston
                          ... Locations _are_ land. ... How astonishing... -- Roy Langston
                          Message 12 of 19 , Feb 7 12:57 PM
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                            --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "harrypollard" wrote:

                            > We don’t produce, play, or live, on land. We produce, play, or live, on locations.

                            Locations _are_ land.

                            > I’ve been arguing this for many years.

                            How astonishing...

                            -- Roy Langston
                          • John
                            ... We have title on locations.
                            Message 13 of 19 , Feb 8 3:41 AM
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                              --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "harrypollard" wrote:
                              >
                              > > We don’t produce, play, or live, on land. We produce, play, or live, on locations.
                              >
                              > Locations _are_ land.
                              >
                              > > I’ve been arguing this for many years.
                              >
                              > How astonishing...

                              We have "title" on locations.
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