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Re: Semantics and welfare - formerly legitimate LVT criticism

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  • roy_langston
    ... Harry has become confused. We are definitely discussing the general subject of exemptions, because there is no other way to understand specific
    Message 1 of 229 , Mar 21, 2013
      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Pollard" <harrypollard@...> wrote:

      > We aren't discussing the general subject of exemptions, but the specific idiosyncratic rent exemption advocated by Roy.

      Harry has become confused. We are definitely discussing the general subject of exemptions, because there is no other way to understand specific exemptions.

      > However, he often supports it by pointing to all the other exemptions that permeate the tax system.

      That claim is false. I have done no such thing. Harry is just makin' $#!+ up again. What I have done is point to a VERY SMALL NUMBER of exemptions that are SIMILAR to the UIE, inasmuch as they are UNIVERSAL and INDIVIDUAL, such as the universal individual income tax exemption, and identified the fact that far from being "idiosyncratic," they are widely and correctly recognized as just, efficient, beneficial, and necessary to the implementation and proper economic and societal function of the relevant taxes.

      > All he is pointing out that it is possible to grant
      > an exemption - about which there is no argument.

      That is another bald fabrication on Harry's part. I am pointing out the moral, factual, economic, and logical reasons why a UNIVERSAL, INDIVIDUAL LVT exemption is also just, efficient, beneficial and necessary to the impementation and proper function of LVT.

      > Whether one should grant an exemption is another matter.

      But all rational, competent, and honest tax theorists recognize both the benefits and the political necessity of universal individual exemptions from certain broad-based taxes. For example, on purely pragmatic grounds, it would be idiotic to levy a tax that, for lack of an exemption, reduced the least affluent in society to destitution.

      > A lot of political discussion from both major parties at the moment is about
      > ending the loopholes in our tax system. The loopholes are exemptions, the
      > mess that's the result of kowtowing to lobbyists and special pleading. I doubt they will dare to do much to change the system.

      So the question is, why would Harry try to pretend that a UNIVERSAL individual exemption is in any important respect similar to special exemptions extended only to exclusive, privileged, and politically connected interests?

      > So, these exemptions will continue to be a mess in the tax system.

      But not universal individual exemptions.

      > As would be Roy's idiosyncratic exemption.

      No, that is a claim lacking any factual or logical basis.

      -- Roy Langston
    • roy_langston
      ... Very simply: a geoist economy will likely distribute exclusive tenure more widely (i.e., a larger fraction of the population will end up as direct
      Message 229 of 229 , Apr 1, 2013
        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Pollard" <harrypollard@...> wrote:

        > HP > Let's not pursue this. Ownership in a full rent collection economy is fine and harms no-one.
        >
        > RL: Not so. Once it is conceded that land is owned as the fruits of one's
        > labor are owned, how does one justify taxing one and not the other?
        >
        > In a Georgist economy, how on earth does ownership of land harm anyone, whereas "security of tenure", which you favor, doesn't?

        Very simply: a geoist economy will likely distribute exclusive tenure more widely (i.e., a larger fraction of the population will end up as direct landholders). But if people OWN land in a Georgist economy, they have a very good reason to VOTE AGAINST that Georgist economy, thus voting themselves a privilege of pocketing "their" land's rent.

        It is going to be monumentally difficult to implement a geoist economy. In fact, it may be the most difficult task that will ever be accomplished by human beings. It is therefore crucial that the implementation make it even more difficult to undo than it is to do.

        > You apparently see
        > no practical difference between security of tenure and ownership.

        OTC, because it so resembles leasehold tenure, I don't see how one can honestly call secure, exclusive land tenure in a geoist economy "ownership."

        > Neither the "fruits" nor land should be taxed. However, in a Georgist
        > economy, if your location benefits from the surrounding community, you will
        > pay that advantage back to them. This isn't a tax. It's a fee - you pay for what you get.

        It's true that unlike income tax or other taxes, land rent recovery is a voluntary, market-based, value-for-value transaction. It is the only possible way government can be made self-financing. But all that claiming "it's not a tax" will get is a popular perception of disingenuousness.

        -- Roy Langston
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