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Re: [LandCafe] Government too pays rent

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  • Fred Foldvary
    ... If the charge is a voluntary user fee, that s fine. But it s not clear what you refer to as a new tax . How would the military be paid for? Fred Foldvary
    Message 1 of 57 , Aug 31, 2004
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      --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:
      > simply pay it to the shareholders, i.e. the citizens -

      > Then the new tax (or charge) will be revenue
      > neutral from the beginning,

      If the charge is a voluntary user fee, that's fine.

      But it's not clear what you refer to as a "new tax".

      How would the military be paid for?

      Fred Foldvary
    • Dan Sullivan
      ... That is a different definition of voluntary from the one Fred is using. Contracts are voluntary, but not charitable. Thus, a voluntary payment to
      Message 57 of 57 , Sep 2, 2004
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        On 1 Sep 2004 at 11:53, Paul Metz wrote:

        >
        > Paul Metz to Fred Foldvary and other visitors:
        >
        > 1. No, voluntary payments are charity: always welcome, never
        > structural.

        That is a different definition of voluntary from the one Fred is using.
        Contracts are voluntary, but not charitable. Thus, a voluntary payment to
        government secures the blessings of government, including enforcement of
        one's land title. Some anarchist theorists argue that government could
        function on such a basis. It would not punish those who did not pay taxes,
        but would not serve them either.

        It raises interesting problems, and Fred alluded to one. The military (ideally)
        protects everyone in its jurisdiction. It cannot protect one without protecting
        another, and this undermines (but does not entirely negate) the anarchist
        theory of government by contract. Such problems are legion. For example,
        the fire department is rarely protecting the house into which it is pumping
        water, but is destroying that house in order to protect the neighboring
        houses. Thus, the fire department of one's neighbor must have both the right
        and the duty to douse one's burning house, whether or not one has
        subscribed to that fire department.

        All this is rather utopian, except in the context of the land-trust movement.

        > 2. In most cases the LVT will be a new tax. Of course it would be
        > ideal to start with a high rate and substitute one or more existing
        > taxes. Then the state budget remains equal, not only for military,
        > also for education, justice, and many other essential state services.

        As a practical matter,in the United States LVT has been most successfully
        advanced at the local level as a substitute for other taxes. Some states
        make this easier than others. I understand that England has been resistant,
        not only to LVT, but to local options generally. Thus, things might be quite
        different there. Each country has its own peculiarities. Here in Pennsylvania,
        even each county has its own peculiarities.

        Thus, there is no perfect approach. Just go sell it however they will buy it, so
        long as it does not include violations of principle.

        > My proposal to pay the land dividend to citizens is an alternative,
        > which would overcome the broad resistance to a new, additional tax.
        > And it would recognise that land is a 'common' from which all citizens
        > should share the fruits, as Henry George proposed.

        That is a combination of two very radical concepts, and has little chance of
        succeeding by direct frontal attack. Some ways to sneak it in are to have
        LVT-funded per-capita vouchers, for such things as health care, education
        or payments to senior citizens (to offset the burden of higher real estate
        taxes on seniors).

        > A third approach is to introduce LVT and use its revenue for
        > investments in infrastructure. This meets the same resistance
        > mentioned above. It is probably more acceptable and also sufficient
        > for this purpose to catch the land value GAINS resulting from specific
        > infrastructure investments.

        My experience is that it is tough enough to sell a new taxing scheme without
        also selling a new spending scheme. Proposing LVT as an alternative to
        some other tax is usually the way to go. It also starts you off with an instant
        constituency -- the people who oppose that other tax.
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