Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Roy and Fred

Expand Messages
  • Harry Pollard
    Roy, You said in your reply to Fred: A worker who has bad work habits (always arrives late) and has difficulty following instructions will have a low wage
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 27, 2013
    • 0 Attachment

      Roy,

       

      You said in your reply to Fred:

       

      > A worker who has bad work habits (always arrives late) and has difficulty following instructions will have a low wage even with all barriers gone.”

      “Bingo! And there are actually quite a few such workers. So THEY WILL STILL BE POOR, and Harry's claim of an end to poverty is refuted.”

       

      When one refers to poverty, it is involuntary poverty that is the question. So obvious as not to require the adjective.

       

      If someone in a free society wants to live off scraps gleaned from garbage cans that is his business.

       

      The problem concerns those who want to live a worthwhile existence but must scrape by on barely enough to survive. Of course, they get welfare and would under your scheme of exemptions, but that merely hides the situation – doesn’t end it.

       

      Harry

       

      From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of roy_langston
      Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 12:17 PM
      To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [LandCafe] Re: From Today's Boston Globe

       

       

      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Fred Foldvary wrote:

      > > From: roy_langston
      >
      > > 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.
      >
      > Actually there is more than a shred of logic.
      >
      > Harry's point was made by Henry George, that land speculation that holds land out of its most productive current use,
      > pushes the margin of production out, lowering wages.

      But land speculation is rent seeking behavior, which diverts other resources away from production as well. If a land speculator doesn't do any productive work, that's less worker competition for the available sites, bringing the margin back in. Moreover, assuming there are also taxes on labor and/or capital to finance the subsidy to speculative landowning, the excess burdens of those taxes will prevent some measure of production, implying that otherwise marginal and even some quantity of otherwise supermarginal land will be left unused. It is easy to construct examples showing how taxes on labor and capital can reduce total production to the point of pulling the margin in: the land's productivity has to be quite high before a producer can overcome the burden of taxes on labor and capital and use it profitably.

      > Collecting the full economic rent pushes the margin back to the area such that all land is used to maximum productivity.

      It's not a cet. par. situation. Collecting the full economic rent presumably displaces taxes on wages and capital, enabling worse land to be used profitably. It also frees up land speculators' time to compete for the available sites. That pushes the margin back out again.

      > That raises wages relative to the speculative margin.

      How? Wages are determined by labor's productivity on marginal land. If all land is used to maximum productivity, the least productive land in use is still going to produce less than subsistence for the least productive workers.

      > The claim that poverty would still exist implies that even with LVT, production will keep pushing the margin to subsistence wages.

      Exactly. What would stop the most productive users of the worst land from bidding for it? A couple of trappers might both be willing to pay for exclusive use of 100 sq.mi. of land that is too poor even for ranching or forestry. There goes the margin.

      > That claim is empirical, hence not warranted merely by economic logic.

      Not so. One can plausibly assume, a priori, that there is a distribution of land productivity and another of labor productivity. How those distributions are likely to interact can be examined logically. We just don't know how it will play out in practice, as we don't actually know the distributions.

      > The least productive land in use might, for example, be for grazing by cattle, and there could be ranches at the margin where the wage is above subsistence,
      > if the ranchers own enough land to raise enough cattle to have that wage.

      What's stopping the most productive of them from bidding up the rent to take advantage of economies of scale, pushing the less productive out onto worse land? And more to the point, how are workers who aren't productive enough to outbid anyone for better land supposed to outbid the most productive prospective rancher for the worst ranch land, and then make a living ranching it?

      My point is actually made by all LVT advocates, who correctly point out that LVT pushes each land parcel into the hands of its most productive prospective user. That means the least productive prospective users are all SOL.

      > Consider a newly settled economy.
      > Settlers want to claim as much land as possible, but they will stop when the marginal product of land, as used by one worker, is zero.

      Are you assuming an LVT system? If so, the settlers will only be trying to obtain the exact land of which they are the most productive prospective users. And if not, they will not pay any attention to marginal product, and just grab all the land they can hold.

      > At that margin, wages could still be above subsistence, if there is still enough productive land for that population.

      That assumption holds well enough in a newly settled economy where the available supplies of labor and capital can't utilize all the available good land. We are not now in that situation, or anywhere close to it, as proved by the fact that the corporate land grabbing in Third World countries is typically engaged in by corporations who don't hold the land idle for speculation, but rather use it more productively than the local populations they displace did.

      > How much the wage level would be with full LVT is an empirical question.  Whether it would be at subsistence cannot be known from logic.

      I agree. The effect of full land rent recovery on wages is even likely to be different in different jurisdictions, depending on their current taxes, economies, etc. Harry's claim that wages would necessarily be well above subsistence is therefore entirely unsupportable.

      > Also, the "wage level" is for generally unskilled but somewhat competent workers.
      > A worker who has bad work habits (always arrives late) and has difficulty following instructions will have a low wage even with all barriers gone.

      Bingo! And there are actually quite a few such workers. So THEY WILL STILL BE POOR, and Harry's claim of an end to poverty is refuted. With the UIE, by contrast, even if the least productive workers can't make enough to live on, they still get guaranteed free, exclusive access to economic opportunity, so they can agree to share that access to their exempt portion of the good land with better workers in return for a share of the resulting increased production, and thus live at a more sustainable level above subsistence.

      > All we can say for LVT is that a "prosperity tax shift" would at first raise wages relative to today's wages.

      Quite likely, based on the resulting temporary construction boom alone. But what happens when all the rentiers have to get a job, and capital starts looking for new opportunities?

      > What we do know from economic analysis is that if the margin moves to subsistence wages,
      > the rent is raised, and the equal distribution of that rent will normally give everyone a good income.

      There is no doubt that land rent could fund a fairly generous CD. But then taxes will be needed to fund government, and the least productive again won't be able to afford them.

      > Therefore it is not just the wage level, but the equal sharing of rent, that is the benefit of LVT.

      But if you analyze how that equal sharing of rent would have to work in practice, you end up with something that looks a lot like the UIE. Desired public services and infrastructure still have to be paid for. People who want access to them (i.e., almost everyone) will have to, in effect, return some or all of their CDs to government to fund those services and infrastructure. So they get access to good land, but don't have much or any of their CDs left. How is that result really that different from everyone just having a UIE, other than the high likelihood that with CDs, significant numbers of people are very likely to misuse them, and end up permanently deprived of access to economic opportunity? At least the UIE keeps them within reach of economic opportunity, against the day when they smarten up enough to take advantage of it.

      -- Roy Langston

    • roy_langston
      ... So? Were you laboring under an erroneous apprehension that that was somehow relevant? Low-productivity workers with poor skills, work habits, and/or etc.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 27, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Pollard" <harrypollard@...> wrote:

        > You said in your reply to Fred:
        >
        > "> A worker who has bad work habits (always arrives late) and has difficulty
        > following instructions will have a low wage even with all barriers gone."
        >
        > "Bingo! And there are actually quite a few such workers. So THEY WILL STILL BE POOR, and Harry's claim of an end to poverty is refuted."
        >
        > When one refers to poverty, it is involuntary poverty that is the question. So obvious as not to require the adjective.

        So? Were you laboring under an erroneous apprehension that that was somehow relevant? Low-productivity workers with poor skills, work habits, and/or etc. don't "volunteer" to be poor. They just don't have it in them to earn enough money to not be poor, and that also means not enough to pay the market rent for access to opportunity.

        > If someone in a free society wants to live off scraps gleaned from garbage cans that is his business.

        And if they don't, but don't have what it takes to compete with the most productive for the good land, you claim that means they have "volunteered" to be poor, and in fact INTEND to be poor.

        Grotesque.

        > The problem concerns those who want to live a worthwhile existence but must scrape by on barely enough to survive.

        Which LVT alone doesn't fix.

        > Of course, they get welfare and would under your scheme of exemptions,

        No, they wouldn't under my scheme of exemptions, as I have already proved to you multiple times, and you always ignore.

        > but that merely hides the situation - doesn't end it.

        Actually, the UIE _does_ effectively end it.

        -- Roy Langston
      • Harry Pollard
        Roy, There is so much you don t know, but you are so busy preening yourself, declaring your rightness while asserting you have proved something when you
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 28, 2013
        • 0 Attachment

          Roy,

           

          There is so much you don’t know, but you are so busy preening yourself, declaring your rightness while asserting you have proved something when you haven’t that you are unlikely to learn anything.

           

          A major result of full collection of Rent is that wages of those at the bottom of the heap will rise from subsistence. There should be a shortage of labor as a consequence of freeing land from speculation and releasing it to the market.

           

          Wages generally will rise.

           

          Among your sillies is the idea that low ability people should be able to compete for good land – presumably higher rent land. You said:

           

          “And if they don't, but don't have what it takes to compete with the most productive for the good land, you claim that means they have "volunteered" to be poor, and in fact INTEND to be poor.”

           

          The “good land” doesn’t supply a free lunch. It enables more able people to do things not possible on lower rent land. But, if the user is not able to take advantage of the good location, he will rapidly go broke. Including the people you are worried about.

           

          Less able people in a Georgist society will not need welfare help of any kind. They will have a reasonably good life with the possibility of saving against contingencies. If they work hard, they will be able to live well.

           

          With present land speculation and rack-rents they must work hard for subsistence level wages – to which is added welfare of various kinds.

           

          When land speculation and rack-renting is ended, welfare will be unnecessary – including your much touted “exception”.

           

          Unfortunates and those who encounter bad luck will easily be handled by private charity something not possible now..

           

          Harry

           

          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of roy_langston
          Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:16 PM
          To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Roy and Fred

           

           

          --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Pollard" wrote:

          > You said in your reply to Fred:
          >
          > "> A worker who has bad work habits (always arrives late) and has difficulty
          > following instructions will have a low wage even with all barriers gone."
          >
          > "Bingo! And there are actually quite a few such workers. So THEY WILL STILL BE POOR, and Harry's claim of an end to poverty is refuted."
          >
          > When one refers to poverty, it is involuntary poverty that is the question. So obvious as not to require the adjective.

          So? Were you laboring under an erroneous apprehension that that was somehow relevant? Low-productivity workers with poor skills, work habits, and/or etc. don't "volunteer" to be poor. They just don't have it in them to earn enough money to not be poor, and that also means not enough to pay the market rent for access to opportunity.

          > If someone in a free society wants to live off scraps gleaned from garbage cans that is his business.

          And if they don't, but don't have what it takes to compete with the most productive for the good land, you claim that means they have "volunteered" to be poor, and in fact INTEND to be poor.

          Grotesque.

          > The problem concerns those who want to live a worthwhile existence but must scrape by on barely enough to survive.

          Which LVT alone doesn't fix.

          > Of course, they get welfare and would under your scheme of exemptions,

          No, they wouldn't under my scheme of exemptions, as I have already proved to you multiple times, and you always ignore.

          > but that merely hides the situation - doesn't end it.

          Actually, the UIE _does_ effectively end it.

          -- Roy Langston

        • dwspain8
          Well said Harry, sounds to me like a pure note right on key. DS
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 28, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            Well said Harry, sounds to me like a pure note right on key.

            DS


            > Roy,
            >
            >
            >
            > There is so much you don't know, but you are so busy preening yourself,
            > declaring your rightness while asserting you have proved something when you
            > haven't that you are unlikely to learn anything.
            >
            >
            >
            > A major result of full collection of Rent is that wages of those at the
            > bottom of the heap will rise from subsistence. There should be a shortage of
            > labor as a consequence of freeing land from speculation and releasing it to
            > the market.
            >
            >
            >
            > Wages generally will rise.
            >
            >
            >
            > Among your sillies is the idea that low ability people should be able to
            > compete for good land - presumably higher rent land. You said:
            >
            >
            >
            > "And if they don't, but don't have what it takes to compete with the most
            > productive for the good land, you claim that means they have "volunteered"
            > to be poor, and in fact INTEND to be poor."
            >
            >
            >
            > The "good land" doesn't supply a free lunch. It enables more able people to
            > do things not possible on lower rent land. But, if the user is not able to
            > take advantage of the good location, he will rapidly go broke. Including the
            > people you are worried about.
            >
            >
            >
            > Less able people in a Georgist society will not need welfare help of any
            > kind. They will have a reasonably good life with the possibility of saving
            > against contingencies. If they work hard, they will be able to live well.
            >
            >
            >
            > With present land speculation and rack-rents they must work hard for
            > subsistence level wages - to which is added welfare of various kinds.
            >
            >
            >
            > When land speculation and rack-renting is ended, welfare will be unnecessary
            > - including your much touted "exception".
            >
            >
            >
            > Unfortunates and those who encounter bad luck will easily be handled by
            > private charity something not possible now..
            >
            >
            >
            > Harry
            >
            >
            >
            > From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            > Of roy_langston
            > Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:16 PM
            > To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Roy and Fred
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com <mailto:LandCafe%40yahoogroups.com> , "Harry
            > Pollard" wrote:
            >
            >> You said in your reply to Fred:
            >>
            >> "> A worker who has bad work habits (always arrives late) and has
            > difficulty
            >> following instructions will have a low wage even with all barriers gone."
            >>
            >> "Bingo! And there are actually quite a few such workers. So THEY WILL
            > STILL BE POOR, and Harry's claim of an end to poverty is refuted."
            >>
            >> When one refers to poverty, it is involuntary poverty that is the
            > question. So obvious as not to require the adjective.
            >
            > So? Were you laboring under an erroneous apprehension that that was somehow
            > relevant? Low-productivity workers with poor skills, work habits, and/or
            > etc. don't "volunteer" to be poor. They just don't have it in them to earn
            > enough money to not be poor, and that also means not enough to pay the
            > market rent for access to opportunity.
            >
            >> If someone in a free society wants to live off scraps gleaned from garbage
            > cans that is his business.
            >
            > And if they don't, but don't have what it takes to compete with the most
            > productive for the good land, you claim that means they have "volunteered"
            > to be poor, and in fact INTEND to be poor.
            >
            > Grotesque.
            >
            >> The problem concerns those who want to live a worthwhile existence but
            > must scrape by on barely enough to survive.
            >
            > Which LVT alone doesn't fix.
            >
            >> Of course, they get welfare and would under your scheme of exemptions,
            >
            > No, they wouldn't under my scheme of exemptions, as I have already proved to
            > you multiple times, and you always ignore.
            >
            >> but that merely hides the situation - doesn't end it.
            >
            > Actually, the UIE _does_ effectively end it.
            >
            > -- Roy Langston
            >
            >
            >
            >
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.