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Re: From Today's Boston Globe

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  • roy_langston
    ... No, that can t happen, as I ve already proved to Harry so many times. Wages are determined by the productivity of labor on marginal land. Paying the rent
    Message 1 of 199 , Feb 22, 2013
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Pollard" <harrypollard@...> wrote:

      > If the "land-grabbing foreign companies" were paying their full economic
      > rent (along with everyone else) involuntary poverty would end as wages rose from present subsistence.

      No, that can't happen, as I've already proved to Harry so many times. Wages are determined by the productivity of labor on marginal land. Paying the rent to the community doesn't change the fact that the most productive users will push the margin outward onto land the least productive users can't survive on. Harry's long-standing claim that rent recovery would increase wages to the point of ending poverty is nothing but an anti-economic fantasy, a figment of his imagination without a shred of fact or logic to support it.

      > That's a major reason for rent collection.

      But to the extent that it ever applies, it only applies where large amounts of good land are being held out of production for speculation. That's simply not the situation in these countries, where the land-grabbing foreign companies are often using the land more productively than the native users they displace.

      > Also, if the rent was collected, why would the foreign companies want to land-grab?

      Same reason any land user wants to use land: to get the benefits of productive use. The situation in Ethiopia is fairly representative: Indian companies have acquired vast tracts of land, and are using it to grow flowers for export markets. Their flower growing operations are far more productive than the typical Ethiopian subsistence farmers they have displaced. There is nothing in this situation that would result in the displaced Ethiopians getting higher wages if the Indian companies (and everyone else) were paying the full land rent to the community. They need the UIE because they can't afford the market rent.

      > Roy believes that when full rent is being collected, there would be little or no change in subsistence level wages.

      That is a clear implication of the Law of Rent, as Henry George demonstrated.

      > That's why he wants to provide welfare for the poorest with his exemption.

      Harry has decided to continue his long-standing policy of deliberately making false statements about what I have plainly written. He knows -- because I have informed him of the fact dozens fo times -- that the reason for the UIE is to restore the equal individual right to liberty, and that its effect of relieving poverty is only a natural side effect of restoring justice.

      Welfare is a means-tested cash payment restricted to those with low incomes. The Universal Individual Exemption (UIE) is not means tested, is not a cash payment, and is independent of income. Harry knows this, of course, but has deliberately decided to continue making false statements about it. Harry is fully aware -- because I have informed him of the fact dozens of times -- that the only real parallel to the UIE is the universal individual income tax exemption. He chooses to ignore that fact, as it does not suit his purpose of disinformation.

      > He denies it's welfare, but I haven't noticed him suggesting Trump will love the exemption.

      ?? It's difficult to discern what Harry imagines he thinks he might be talking about by such a statement. How on earth could Trump's opinion be relevant to a question of fact? Why on earth would Trump love a policy that would secure everyone free access to economic opportunity beyond his control?

      > He thinks that with full rent collection, present extortions wouldn't change

      As I have explained to Harry many times, and he always ignores, full rent collection would eliminate the present extortion by government of taxes on economic activity.

      > and lowest wages would remain at subsistence levels.

      Because that is what the Law of Rent dictates.

      > Georgist theory suggests that full collection of economic rent will reduce present rack-rents

      No, that is only Pollardian "theory." Georgist theory does not erroneously claim that present rents are rack-rents.

      > by springing loose land presently held from the market by
      > speculation.

      All land is available to the market. That is what "fixed supply" means. While land rent recovery would release a lot of speculative landholdings to productive use, it would also enable a lot of people who can't now afford to pay for land up-front to use more. The removal of tax burdens on economic activity would also enable large amounts of currently idle land to be taken up for productive use.

      > With full collection, present landholders would be unable to enforce their
      > rack-rent premium and tenants would pay only their rent to the community.

      Where is Harry's evidence that large amounts of land in Third World countries where this land grabbing is going on are being held vacant for speculation? Where is his evidence that land now actually in use would not command any rent?

      > We should see the return of rent-free and unused land to cities as they contract.

      Such claims are absurd. Lots of people would like to use more land. They just can't afford to pay for it up-front. If the money they currently pay in taxes were left in their hands, they could use it to pay for the land they would prefer to be using.

      > Rent is measured classically from "the best available rent-free
      > land" though in present circumstances, practically there isn't any.

      There's lots. It's just really bad.

      > When people move inward to fill the empty central areas, as we can expect,
      > city boundaries may remain the same. Within these boundaries I can visualize unused rent-free land.

      Harry can visualize lots of impossible things.

      > The important results of the full collection of rent are the economic consequences not the revenue.

      Yet the economic consequences Harry claims -- crashing rents and soaring wages -- have never been observed anywhere fuller rent collection has been tried.

      > These results make the so-called exemption unnecessary and not worth discussing.

      The UIE (or second best, an equivalent CD) is necessary morally and politically as well as economically. What's really not worth discussing is Harry's bizarre and anti-economic rack-rent theory.

      -- Roy Langston
    • walto
      ... Right. Both almost surely true. ... And the truths find there way in there too! W
      Message 199 of 199 , Mar 5, 2013
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        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@...> wrote:
        > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@> wrote:
        > >
        > > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > So you are saying that the existence of the Flat Earth Society DOES make the spheroidal shape of the earth disputable?
        > >
        > > My degree of confidence is roughly the same as that in my above judgment regarding your personality. Put it this way: is it possible I'm wrong about either the shape of the earth or your arrogance? Sure, I could be wrong about pretty much every proposition that seems obvious to me--that is the nature of human fallibility. But it's really, really doubtful in both cases.
        > So you claim the earth's spheroidal shape is not only disputable, but about as disputable as your opinion of my personality?

        Right. Both almost surely true.

        > "A sick man dreams nothing so dreadful that some philosopher isn't saying it." -- Marcus Terentius Varro
        > -- Roy Langston

        And the truths find there way in there too!

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