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Gas tax in USA - with CiDi now

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  • Paul Metz
    Why don t American georgists and BIGers enter this debate to propose a revenue neutral, high gasoline tax ? It must be high to be effective for fuel saving and
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 10, 2007
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      Why don't American georgists and BIGers enter this debate to propose a revenue neutral, high gasoline tax ?
      It must be high to be effective for fuel saving and it must be revenue neutral to be politically acceptible and avoid perverse social impact.
      This can be solved with a Citizens Dividend, extension of the Alaska Permanent fund, etc.
       
      The Ford CEO also supports the gas tax, finally ....
       
      Paul Metz
       
       

      Bush Rejects Gas Tax as Way to Shore Up Bridges

      NYT  -  August 10, 2007

      WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 — President Bush spoke out Thursday against increasing the gasoline tax, an idea being discussed as a potential part of a new Congressional plan to shore up the nation’s bridges after the deadly collapse in Minneapolis.

      In his last major news conference before his summer vacation, Mr. Bush also criticized Democrats in Congress more generally, questioning their priorities and motives on topics like economic policy and their perjury accusations against Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

      Asked about the gasoline proposal, which could amount to an increase of 5 cents a gallon under schemes floating around Congress, Mr. Bush said, “Before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities.”

      The comments prompted angry volleys from Democrats, underscoring how sour relations have become between Mr. Bush and the Congressional Democrats as both take a summer break seven months after promising to work together.

      Representative Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois, said he would use reports that the nation’s bridges were in overall disrepair to insist that the president match emergency spending on Iraq with emergency spending on bridges.

      Representative James L. Oberstar, Democrat of Minnesota and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, suggested this week that a tax increase might be needed to finance a proposed trust fund to repair bridges in the Federal Highway System, A large percentage of the bridges have been identified as having structural problems.

      Mr. Oberstar raised the possibility of a temporary 5-cent-a-gallon tax. The idea has some bipartisan support.

      Representative Don Young, Republican of Alaska and former chairman of the transportation panel, said he could possibly support such a tax. Mr. Young has previously voiced support for increasing the gasoline tax.

      Mr. Bush, relaxed and primed for his vacation, scolded Congress for what he called its poor management of transportation financing.

      ____________________________

      Ford CEO Says Fuel Economy Standards Are Market Distorting

      August 09, 2007 — By Tom Krisher, Associated Press - ENN

      TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan -- Ford Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Alan Mulally said that federal regulations to improve fuel economy will cut into automakers' profits by pushing them to build more small cars than demand warrants.

      "You're trying to force-feed the market rather than being market driven," he said Wednesday during a panel discussion at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City.

      "I've never seen a market-distorting policy like CAFE," he said, referring to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. He said some of the standards being discussed in Washington are not achievable under present technology.

      He also seemed to favor an increase in the gasoline tax floated by Democratic U.S. Rep. John Dingell, although he said after the discussion that he wasn't endorsing such an increase but that it should be part of the debate.

      Several automakers, including Ford, opposed a Senate fuel economy increase included in an energy bill that would increase the requirements 7.5 miles per gallon to 35 mpg by 2020. House and Senate negotiators are expected to consider the changes next month.

      Automakers have supported a more moderate increase in the standards that would raise fuel efficiency requirements to 32 to 35 mpg by 2022.

      Automakers are currently required to meet a fleetwide average of 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for sport utility vehicles and small trucks. The car standard has not changed since 1989, though the truck requirements have been increased slightly by the Bush administration.

      Mulally said Ford favors higher fuel economy, energy independence and being good stewards of the environment.

      "The auto industry can't solve energy independence and it can't solve global warming, but we absolutely want to be part of the solution," he said.

      A gasoline tax would be a more market-driven solution to solving the oil independence problem instead of CAFE, which has not worked, Mulally said.

      "If we're really going to work on this, then the way you get at it is you make an economic decision just like they do in Europe, where the prices are seven, eight, nine dollars a gallon, and our behavior would change dramatically," Mulally said during the panel discussion.

      _______________________________________________________________________
       
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    • Fred Foldvary
      ... Georgists should oppose a tax on gasoline because we are single-taxers who only want to tax land, not goods. A gasoline tax is a sales tax, and
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 11, 2007
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        --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:

        > Why don't American georgists and BIGers enter this
        > debate to propose a
        > revenue neutral, high gasoline tax ?

        Georgists should oppose a tax on gasoline because we
        are single-taxers who only want to tax land, not
        goods. A gasoline tax is a sales tax, and
        anti-Georgist.

        Fred Foldvary
      • Paul Metz
        Fred, This is a narrower definition than I have seen with others and I believe it misses important aspects. The value of extractable resources and the quality
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 11, 2007
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          Fred,

          This is a narrower definition than I have seen with others and I believe it
          misses important aspects. The value of extractable resources and the quality
          of the environment and atmosphere are not included in the value of the
          landsurface. Therefore their use and resulting depletion and pollution are
          not protected by LVT, justifying additional policies - and these can very
          well be fiscal and trading types instead of command-and-control measures.

          A gasoline tax can be designed as a carbon tax, by taxing the inputs of
          coal, oil and natural gas into national economies. It is not a sales tax and
          it is georgist. At the time of Henry George land was equivalent with nature,
          today more scarcities than only landsurface are visible.

          Some name LVT the Location Value Tax to make this limitation visible. This
          is fine - it can no longer be a single tax.

          Can we have more votes, please ?

          Paul Metz

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Fred Foldvary [mailto:ffoldvary@...]
          Sent: zaterdag 11 augustus 2007 17:53
          To: Paul Metz; LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: Jeffery J. Smith ( Forum on Geonomics ) ; Alanna Hartzok ( Earth Rights
          Institute )
          Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Gas tax in USA - with CiDi now

          --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:

          > Why don't American georgists and BIGers enter this
          > debate to propose a
          > revenue neutral, high gasoline tax ?

          Georgists should oppose a tax on gasoline because we
          are single-taxers who only want to tax land, not
          goods. A gasoline tax is a sales tax, and
          anti-Georgist.

          Fred Foldvary
        • Fred Foldvary
          ... Correct. But land is not just the surface of the earth. Land in economics means all natural resources. There LVT also taxes the economic rent of all
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 12, 2007
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            --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:

            > The value of extractable
            > resources and the quality
            > of the environment and atmosphere are not included
            > in the value of the landsurface.

            Correct.
            But land is not just the surface of the earth.
            Land in economics means all natural resources.
            There LVT also taxes the economic rent of all material
            land, including coal, oil, gas, and minerals.

            > A gasoline tax can be designed as a carbon tax, by
            > taxing the inputs of coal, oil and natural gas into
            national economies.<

            Gasoline is a product made from the natural resource
            of oil. LVT properly taxes only the economic rent of
            the natural resource, not the capital goods made from
            these resources, as the capital goods are also made
            with labor. If you tax gasoline, you are also taxing
            labor and capital.

            The pollution from vehicles, power plants, factories,
            etc., are dumps into land (the atmosphere, ocean,
            etc.) and therefore should be taxed. But this is a
            tax on emission outputs, not the inputs.

            Likewise, coal as an input should not be taxed.
            LVT should be on the extraction, taxing the economic
            rent of the coal, and also on the pollution from using
            coal. Taxing the input is not a tax on land, and it
            does not stimulate non-polluting methods of using
            coal.

            > It is not a sales tax

            A tax on the purchase of gasoline is clearly a sales
            tax.
            A pollution tax is not a sales tax.
            A tax on the economic rent of the extraction is not a
            sales tax, as the extraction as such is not yet a sale
            and the tax is not based on the selling price but only
            on the rent portion of the price.

            Fred Foldvary
          • Paul Metz
            I have some doubts about these statements. It is not that simple, I believe. 1. You suggest that e.g. oil royalties are unnecessary as the value of the oil
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 13, 2007
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              I have some doubts about these statements. It is not that simple, I believe.


              1. You suggest that e.g. oil royalties are unnecessary as the value of the
              oil will be included in the land value. No, when oil production starts,
              nobody knows how much will be ultimately extracted. It is better to keep
              these 2 separate.

              2. A carbon tax is intended to be a pollution tax, a.o. for the potentially
              emitted CO2. So it is indeed not a sales tax. When, however, it is
              administratively more efficient to tax the (fossil fuel) input instead of
              the (much more difficult to measure CO2) output, why not do that ?
              And how would you integrate the emission trade arrangements and the
              electromagnetic spectrum into a land value ?

              Paul Metz


              --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:

              > The value of extractable
              > resources and the quality
              > of the environment and atmosphere are not included
              > in the value of the landsurface.

              Correct.
              But land is not just the surface of the earth.
              Land in economics means all natural resources.
              There LVT also taxes the economic rent of all material
              land, including coal, oil, gas, and minerals.

              > A gasoline tax can be designed as a carbon tax, by
              > taxing the inputs of coal, oil and natural gas into
              national economies.<

              Gasoline is a product made from the natural resource
              of oil. LVT properly taxes only the economic rent of
              the natural resource, not the capital goods made from
              these resources, as the capital goods are also made
              with labor. If you tax gasoline, you are also taxing
              labor and capital.

              The pollution from vehicles, power plants, factories,
              etc., are dumps into land (the atmosphere, ocean,
              etc.) and therefore should be taxed. But this is a
              tax on emission outputs, not the inputs.

              Likewise, coal as an input should not be taxed.
              LVT should be on the extraction, taxing the economic
              rent of the coal, and also on the pollution from using
              coal. Taxing the input is not a tax on land, and it
              does not stimulate non-polluting methods of using
              coal.

              > It is not a sales tax

              A tax on the purchase of gasoline is clearly a sales
              tax.
              A pollution tax is not a sales tax.
              A tax on the economic rent of the extraction is not a
              sales tax, as the extraction as such is not yet a sale
              and the tax is not based on the selling price but only
              on the rent portion of the price.

              Fred Foldvary
            • Fred Foldvary
              ... I did not suggest anything about oil royalites. I said that gasoline taxes are not land-value taxes. ... If the purpose of taxing fuel is to reduce the
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 14, 2007
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                --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:
                > 1. You suggest that e.g. oil royalties are
                > unnecessary as the value of the
                > oil will be included in the land value.

                I did not suggest anything about oil royalites.
                I said that gasoline taxes are not land-value taxes.

                > 2. When,
                > however, it is
                > administratively more efficient to tax the (fossil
                > fuel) input instead of
                > the (much more difficult to measure CO2) output, why
                > not do that ?

                If the purpose of taxing fuel is to reduce the
                pollution, then if we do not know how much pollution
                there is from a source, it is pointless to tax the
                fuel.

                > And how would you integrate the emission trade
                > arrangements and the
                > electromagnetic spectrum into a land value ?

                What does the spectrum have to do with emissions?
                The spectrum is a separate resource and its economic
                rent should be taxed as having its own rent.
                The economic rent of the spectrum can be obtained from
                sales, or if there are few sales, from periodic
                bidding for rights to use.

                Fred Foldvary
              • Paul Metz
                Fred, Great, now we agree. But in your previous mail you wrote: But land is not just the surface of the earth. Land in economics means all natural resources.
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 14, 2007
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                  Fred,

                  Great, now we agree. But in your previous mail you wrote:

                  "But land is not just the surface of the earth.
                  Land in economics means all natural resources.
                  There LVT also taxes the economic rent of all material
                  land, including coal, oil, gas, and minerals."

                  And the spectrum and atmosphere are also natural resources.

                  Paul

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Fred Foldvary [mailto:ffoldvary@...]
                  Sent: dinsdag 14 augustus 2007 15:21
                  To: Paul Metz; fred@...; LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: 'Jeffery J. Smith ( Forum on Geonomics ) '; 'Alanna Hartzok ( Earth
                  Rights Institute ) '
                  Subject: RE: [LandCafe] Gas tax in USA - with CiDi now

                  --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:
                  > 1. You suggest that e.g. oil royalties are
                  > unnecessary as the value of the
                  > oil will be included in the land value.

                  I did not suggest anything about oil royalites.
                  I said that gasoline taxes are not land-value taxes.

                  > 2. When,
                  > however, it is
                  > administratively more efficient to tax the (fossil
                  > fuel) input instead of
                  > the (much more difficult to measure CO2) output, why
                  > not do that ?

                  If the purpose of taxing fuel is to reduce the
                  pollution, then if we do not know how much pollution
                  there is from a source, it is pointless to tax the
                  fuel.

                  > And how would you integrate the emission trade
                  > arrangements and the
                  > electromagnetic spectrum into a land value ?

                  What does the spectrum have to do with emissions?
                  The spectrum is a separate resource and its economic
                  rent should be taxed as having its own rent.
                  The economic rent of the spectrum can be obtained from
                  sales, or if there are few sales, from periodic
                  bidding for rights to use.

                  Fred Foldvary
                • BGreen
                  ... similarly if the issue for a gas tax is to address global climate change then we should have periodic bidding for the use of our common asset as a carbon
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 14, 2007
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                    --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Fred Foldvary <ffoldvary@...> wrote:

                    > What does the spectrum have to do with emissions?
                    > The spectrum is a separate resource and its economic
                    > rent should be taxed as having its own rent.
                    > The economic rent of the spectrum can be obtained from
                    > sales, or if there are few sales, from periodic
                    > bidding for rights to use.
                    >


                    similarly if the issue for a gas tax is to address global climate
                    change then we should have periodic bidding for the use of our common
                    asset as a carbon sink up to the sustainable yield (Locke's proviso).

                    the net effect is that the costs born by those who are required to
                    purchase the "pollution permits" will pass the costs down to the end
                    user which will be a gasoline tax in kind but not in name.

                    bg
                  • Emer O'Siochru
                    Dear all, Land covers all natural resources. The argument has moved on from a single tax, but the principle is the same. We at Feasta oppose a carbon tax
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 14, 2007
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                      Dear all,

                      'Land' covers all natural resources.  The argument has moved on from a single tax, but the principle is the same.  We at Feasta oppose a carbon tax because the government does not own the right to use the atmosphere, people do.  LVT is not a tax but strictly speaking a rent that belongs to the people and not to government - although government mediates the transaction.  Georgists should not support a carbon tax.  Instead, we research and campaign for a tradable Green House Gas Emissions quota for all emissions, starting with transport.  See http://www.feasta.org/energy.htm  for paper on using cap and share for transport in Europe and others on why it is a more efficient and equitable fiscal mechanism than the Cap and Trade or as it expresses here - the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) - or -  a carbon tax.  See capandshare.org for the campaign material. 

                      Cap and Share evolved in part at least, from Georgist thinking and we are hoping its acceptance may open the way to LVT.

                      Emer O'Siochru
                      Feasta; Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
                      Dublin, Ireland


                      On 8/11/07, Fred Foldvary <ffoldvary@... > wrote:

                      --- Paul Metz <metz@...> wrote:

                      > Why don't American georgists and BIGers enter this
                      > debate to propose a
                      > revenue neutral, high gasoline tax ?

                      Georgists should oppose a tax on gasoline because we
                      are single-taxers who only want to tax land, not
                      goods. A gasoline tax is a sales tax, and
                      anti-Georgist.

                      Fred Foldvary


                    • Peter Maxwell
                      Hello, long time LandCafe lurker here, delurking to talk chemistry. ... But we do know how much of the pollutant in question, carbon dioxide, will be produced
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 14, 2007
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                        Hello, long time LandCafe lurker here, delurking to talk chemistry.

                        On 15/08/2007, at 1:20 AM, Fred Foldvary wrote:
                        > If the purpose of taxing fuel is to reduce the
                        > pollution, then if we do not know how much pollution
                        > there is from a source, it is pointless to tax the
                        > fuel.
                        But we do know how much of the pollutant in question, carbon dioxide,
                        will be produced from a given quantity of a given fossil fuel, as
                        burning the fuel will convert nearly every atom of carbon in the fuel
                        to carbon dioxide. A small proportion leaves the engine/furnace/kiln/
                        whatever as carbon monoxide, soot, and a number of uncombusted
                        hydrocarbons, but these are even worse pollutants, and for the most
                        part they then end up being converted into carbon dioxide by natural
                        processes anyway.

                        So taxing gasoline is equivalent to (but much, much cheaper than)
                        taxing carbon dioxide emissions from each car. Fred has a point
                        about the oil/gasoline distinction though. Imagine two refineries.
                        Refinery A turns only 80% of its oil into gasoline, the rest being
                        consumed on site to power the refining process. Refinery B uses more
                        capital or more electricity, and thereby uses less oil to make the
                        same amount of gasoline. A carbon tax should apply to the oil rather
                        than the gasoline, so that Refinery A pays for its larger emission of
                        carbon dioxide. In general it makes sense to tax the fossil carbon
                        at a point as far upstream in its production as possible, at least as
                        far as the point where it becomes for all practical purposes
                        committed to use as fuel.

                        Given a general carbon tax like this, does anyone pay that
                        shouldn't? The only possibilities are:
                        - Carbon dioxide geosequestration operations attached to power
                        stations etc. A theoretical possibility, but since any such
                        operations will be large, few, and stationary (compared to say cars)
                        a carbon tax law could efficiently cover them by paying them to
                        sequester the carbon dioxide, regardless of where it comes from.
                        Whether carbon dioxide can actually ever be as well sequestered as
                        coal, and who should pay if it escapes, is another question.
                        - Carbon not used as fuel: Plastics, carbon fibre, synthetic
                        diamonds. Even if these did end up accidentally paying a carbon tax
                        the economic distortions caused would be minor because by weight they
                        are so much more valuable than coal or oil. A carbon tax of $20/
                        tonne would push up the price of coal by about $20/tonne or 25%,
                        while it would at worst push up the cost of even the cheapest
                        plastics by the same $20/tonne, or about 2%. It could also be argued
                        that those plastics eventually end up burnt or otherwise causing
                        pollution too, and of course the tax does not have any impact on
                        recycled plastic.

                        -- Peter Maxwell
                      • Dan Sullivan
                        This is wrong on several levels. First of all, land rent is what one pays for the privilege of *access* to natural resources, not what one pays for the social
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 15, 2007
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                          This is wrong on several levels. First of all, land rent is what one pays
                          for the privilege of *access* to natural resources, not what one pays
                          for the social costs created by actually extracting non-renewables from
                          the earth. The economic effects are just the opposite. That is, a tax on
                          the rental value of coal lands will hasten extraction, while a royalty on
                          the value of the extracted coal will slow extraction.

                          More importantly, "cap and trade" creates a new property class in
                          pollution privileges. It is completely and totally un-Georgist.

                          An example of how wrong cap and trade would work in the United
                          States is Duke Energy. Duke has old, nasty, inefficient coal plants,
                          burning coal from their own reserves. However, their reserves are
                          running low, and they would soon have to shift their generating
                          capacity to their nuclear and hydroelectric plants anyhow.

                          "Cap and Trade" would mean that others would be paying them, in
                          perpetuity, for giving up the right to do what they would soon be
                          unable to do anyhow. And because their plants are among the worst
                          offenders, they would be rewarded with the most generous caps to
                          trade away. This is worse than creating a private right to collect rent
                          from land -- it is creating a private right to collect rent from pollution.

                          In contrast, a tax on pollution per se would hasten Duke's conversion
                          to cleaner systems without rewarding them for having been a big
                          offender in the past. The revenue from such a tax could be used to
                          reduce productivity taxes on people and businesses that produce
                          wealth *without* polluting, or to provide additional services or even
                          to give each citizen a dividend.

                          From a matter of justice, these options are far superior to cap and
                          trade. If someone is going to pay for the privilege of polluting, why
                          should he pay someone who used to pollute? Why should he not be
                          paying the people who breathe or drink the pollution? Similarly, if he
                          is going to suck coal or oil or copper out of the ground, why should he
                          be paying others who used to do such things but do them no longer?
                          Why not pay all citizens, who each have as much right to these gifts of
                          nature as he has, but have *never* enjoyed these rights due to
                          privilege?

                          Anyone who calls cap and trade Georgist needs to re-study the
                          fundamentals.

                          -ds


                          On 14 Aug 2007 at 18:56, Emer O'Siochru wrote:

                          > Dear all,
                          >
                          > 'Land' covers all natural resources. The argument has moved
                          > on from a single tax, but the principle is the same. We at
                          > Feasta oppose a carbon tax because the government does not own
                          > the right to use the atmosphere, people do. LVT is not a tax
                          > but strictly speaking a rent that belongs to the people and
                          > not to government - although government mediates the
                          > transaction. Georgists should not support a carbon tax.
                          > Instead, we research and campaign for a tradable Green House
                          > Gas Emissions quota for all emissions, starting with
                          > transport.

                          > See http://www.feasta.org/energy.htm

                          > for paper on using cap and share for transport in Europe and
                          > others on why it is a more efficient and equitable fiscal
                          > mechanism than the Cap and Trade or as it expresses here - the
                          > European Emissions Trading System (ETS) - or - a carbon tax.
                          > See capandshare.org for the campaign material.
                          >
                          > Cap and Share evolved in part at least, from Georgist
                          > thinking and we are hoping its acceptance may open the way to
                          > LVT.
                          >
                          > Emer O'Siochru
                          > Feasta; Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
                          > Dublin, Ireland
                        • Paul Metz
                          It is surprising how the fundamentals are seen so differently. Perhaps my interpretation helps find common ground (in both meanings). 1. Emer describes the
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 15, 2007
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                            It is surprising how the fundamentals are seen so differently.
                            Perhaps my interpretation helps find common ground (in both meanings).

                            1. Emer describes the project "cap and share", which is an effort to make
                            the (by Americans invented and pushed into Kyoto) European Emissions Trading
                            System ETS more effective and fair. I have studied and commented it during
                            its development and believe it is useful. One weakness just now becomes
                            visible: the name "cap and share" claims an improvement of the traditional
                            "cap and trade". It correctly adds "share", but unfortunately deletes
                            "trade". In fact the proposal wants to stop the free allocation of the
                            quota, start auctioning them and distribute the revenue among citizens. More
                            complete description would be "cap, auction, share revenues". It is clear
                            that "share" promotes the equal right of citizens to use nature and their
                            shareholdership.
                            I believe this is georgistic, responding to todays' needs beyond land as
                            locations and like it anyhow as an improvement of the existing very infant
                            ETS.

                            2. The common ground of land tax and physical resources and pollution taxes
                            is obvious: all are natural resources, have economic value and are
                            increasingly recognised to be the "new scarcities" or "externalities" that
                            are not sufficiently managed by the current primitive economic model and its
                            instruments. Ecological tax reform and georgism offer solutions.
                            This again answers the doubts of Fred, I assume.

                            Paul Metz


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Dan Sullivan [mailto:pimann@...]
                            Sent: woensdag 15 augustus 2007 10:44
                            To: Emer O'Siochru
                            Cc: Paul Metz; LandCafe@yahoogroups.com; Jeffery J. Smith ( Forum on
                            Geonomics ); Alanna Hartzok ( Earth Rights Institute ); fred@...
                            Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Gas tax in USA - with CiDi now

                            This is wrong on several levels. First of all, land rent is what one pays
                            for the privilege of *access* to natural resources, not what one pays
                            for the social costs created by actually extracting non-renewables from
                            the earth. The economic effects are just the opposite. That is, a tax on
                            the rental value of coal lands will hasten extraction, while a royalty on
                            the value of the extracted coal will slow extraction.

                            More importantly, "cap and trade" creates a new property class in
                            pollution privileges. It is completely and totally un-Georgist.

                            An example of how wrong cap and trade would work in the United
                            States is Duke Energy. Duke has old, nasty, inefficient coal plants,
                            burning coal from their own reserves. However, their reserves are
                            running low, and they would soon have to shift their generating
                            capacity to their nuclear and hydroelectric plants anyhow.

                            "Cap and Trade" would mean that others would be paying them, in
                            perpetuity, for giving up the right to do what they would soon be
                            unable to do anyhow. And because their plants are among the worst
                            offenders, they would be rewarded with the most generous caps to
                            trade away. This is worse than creating a private right to collect rent
                            from land -- it is creating a private right to collect rent from pollution.

                            In contrast, a tax on pollution per se would hasten Duke's conversion
                            to cleaner systems without rewarding them for having been a big
                            offender in the past. The revenue from such a tax could be used to
                            reduce productivity taxes on people and businesses that produce
                            wealth *without* polluting, or to provide additional services or even
                            to give each citizen a dividend.

                            From a matter of justice, these options are far superior to cap and
                            trade. If someone is going to pay for the privilege of polluting, why
                            should he pay someone who used to pollute? Why should he not be
                            paying the people who breathe or drink the pollution? Similarly, if he
                            is going to suck coal or oil or copper out of the ground, why should he
                            be paying others who used to do such things but do them no longer?
                            Why not pay all citizens, who each have as much right to these gifts of
                            nature as he has, but have *never* enjoyed these rights due to
                            privilege?

                            Anyone who calls cap and trade Georgist needs to re-study the
                            fundamentals.

                            -ds


                            On 14 Aug 2007 at 18:56, Emer O'Siochru wrote:

                            > Dear all,
                            >
                            > 'Land' covers all natural resources. The argument has moved
                            > on from a single tax, but the principle is the same. We at
                            > Feasta oppose a carbon tax because the government does not own
                            > the right to use the atmosphere, people do. LVT is not a tax
                            > but strictly speaking a rent that belongs to the people and
                            > not to government - although government mediates the
                            > transaction. Georgists should not support a carbon tax.
                            > Instead, we research and campaign for a tradable Green House
                            > Gas Emissions quota for all emissions, starting with
                            > transport.

                            > See http://www.feasta.org/energy.htm

                            > for paper on using cap and share for transport in Europe and
                            > others on why it is a more efficient and equitable fiscal
                            > mechanism than the Cap and Trade or as it expresses here - the
                            > European Emissions Trading System (ETS) - or - a carbon tax.
                            > See capandshare.org for the campaign material.
                            >
                            > Cap and Share evolved in part at least, from Georgist
                            > thinking and we are hoping its acceptance may open the way to
                            > LVT.
                            >
                            > Emer O'Siochru
                            > Feasta; Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
                            > Dublin, Ireland
                          • Dan Sullivan
                            I was indeed referring to cap and trade, not cap and share as described below. However, there is so much effort behind cap and trade that I doubt we will ever
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 15, 2007
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                              I was indeed referring to cap and trade, not cap and share as described
                              below. However, there is so much effort behind cap and trade that I
                              doubt we will ever get to the "share" part unless we oppose quota
                              systems outright.

                              Also, I still think it is better for each country to tax the polluting
                              resources it consumes, whether those resources are taken from the
                              ground or imported. Countries that are resource-rich should do this so
                              the benefits of the resources go to their people generally and not just
                              to the resource holders, and so the heritage of resources is not so
                              rapidly depleted. Countries that are resource-poor should tax resource
                              imports to avoid becoming indebted to foreign powers. In either case,
                              if they use the revenue to offset productivity taxes, their economies
                              will benefit.

                              International measures have the defect that they end up supporting
                              international government. Although I do not oppose international
                              government in theory, we must recognize that most governments
                              contain elements of tyranny, including those that claim to be
                              democratic. (I especially include the United States.) Therefore, an
                              international government is necessarily a federation of tyrannies.

                              Until we have genuine democracy within individual governments, we
                              cannot have trustworthy international government. Just as abusive
                              husbands are often exceptionally well behaved during the courtship
                              phase of the relationship, so are international organizations well
                              behaved when they are seeking power. It is nonetheless wise to be
                              wary, and to have each country endeavor to regain control of its own
                              resources.

                              Quite often, the poorest people live in the most resource-rich nations,
                              and virtually all people would be well off if they had control of their
                              own lands and their own monetary systems. There is no point in
                              distributing wealth to them while wealth continues to be stolen from
                              them.

                              -ds

                              On 15 Aug 2007 at 12:12, Paul Metz wrote:

                              >
                              > It is surprising how the fundamentals are seen so differently.
                              > Perhaps my interpretation helps find common ground (in both meanings).
                              >
                              > 1. Emer describes the project "cap and share", which is an effort to make
                              > the (by Americans invented and pushed into Kyoto) European Emissions Trading
                              > System ETS more effective and fair. I have studied and commented it during
                              > its development and believe it is useful. One weakness just now becomes
                              > visible: the name "cap and share" claims an improvement of the traditional
                              > "cap and trade". It correctly adds "share", but unfortunately deletes
                              > "trade". In fact the proposal wants to stop the free allocation of the
                              > quota, start auctioning them and distribute the revenue among citizens. More
                              > complete description would be "cap, auction, share revenues". It is clear
                              > that "share" promotes the equal right of citizens to use nature and their
                              > shareholdership.
                              > I believe this is georgistic, responding to todays' needs beyond land as
                              > locations and like it anyhow as an improvement of the existing very infant
                              > ETS.
                              >
                              > 2. The common ground of land tax and physical resources and pollution taxes
                              > is obvious: all are natural resources, have economic value and are
                              > increasingly recognised to be the "new scarcities" or "externalities" that
                              > are not sufficiently managed by the current primitive economic model and its
                              > instruments. Ecological tax reform and georgism offer solutions.
                              > This again answers the doubts of Fred, I assume.
                              >
                              > Paul Metz
                              >
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: Dan Sullivan [mailto:pimann@...]
                              > Sent: woensdag 15 augustus 2007 10:44
                              > To: Emer O'Siochru
                              > Cc: Paul Metz; LandCafe@yahoogroups.com; Jeffery J. Smith ( Forum on
                              > Geonomics ); Alanna Hartzok ( Earth Rights Institute ); fred@...
                              > Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Gas tax in USA - with CiDi now
                              >
                              > This is wrong on several levels. First of all, land rent is what one pays
                              > for the privilege of *access* to natural resources, not what one pays
                              > for the social costs created by actually extracting non-renewables from
                              > the earth. The economic effects are just the opposite. That is, a tax on
                              > the rental value of coal lands will hasten extraction, while a royalty on
                              > the value of the extracted coal will slow extraction.
                              >
                              > More importantly, "cap and trade" creates a new property class in
                              > pollution privileges. It is completely and totally un-Georgist.
                              >
                              > An example of how wrong cap and trade would work in the United
                              > States is Duke Energy. Duke has old, nasty, inefficient coal plants,
                              > burning coal from their own reserves. However, their reserves are
                              > running low, and they would soon have to shift their generating
                              > capacity to their nuclear and hydroelectric plants anyhow.
                              >
                              > "Cap and Trade" would mean that others would be paying them, in
                              > perpetuity, for giving up the right to do what they would soon be
                              > unable to do anyhow. And because their plants are among the worst
                              > offenders, they would be rewarded with the most generous caps to
                              > trade away. This is worse than creating a private right to collect rent
                              > from land -- it is creating a private right to collect rent from pollution.
                              >
                              > In contrast, a tax on pollution per se would hasten Duke's conversion
                              > to cleaner systems without rewarding them for having been a big
                              > offender in the past. The revenue from such a tax could be used to
                              > reduce productivity taxes on people and businesses that produce
                              > wealth *without* polluting, or to provide additional services or even
                              > to give each citizen a dividend.
                              >
                              > From a matter of justice, these options are far superior to cap and
                              > trade. If someone is going to pay for the privilege of polluting, why
                              > should he pay someone who used to pollute? Why should he not be
                              > paying the people who breathe or drink the pollution? Similarly, if he
                              > is going to suck coal or oil or copper out of the ground, why should he
                              > be paying others who used to do such things but do them no longer?
                              > Why not pay all citizens, who each have as much right to these gifts of
                              > nature as he has, but have *never* enjoyed these rights due to
                              > privilege?
                              >
                              > Anyone who calls cap and trade Georgist needs to re-study the
                              > fundamentals.
                              >
                              > -ds
                              >
                              >
                              > On 14 Aug 2007 at 18:56, Emer O'Siochru wrote:
                              >
                              > > Dear all,
                              > >
                              > > 'Land' covers all natural resources. The argument has moved
                              > > on from a single tax, but the principle is the same. We at
                              > > Feasta oppose a carbon tax because the government does not own
                              > > the right to use the atmosphere, people do. LVT is not a tax
                              > > but strictly speaking a rent that belongs to the people and
                              > > not to government - although government mediates the
                              > > transaction. Georgists should not support a carbon tax.
                              > > Instead, we research and campaign for a tradable Green House
                              > > Gas Emissions quota for all emissions, starting with
                              > > transport.
                              >
                              > > See http://www.feasta.org/energy.htm
                              >
                              > > for paper on using cap and share for transport in Europe and
                              > > others on why it is a more efficient and equitable fiscal
                              > > mechanism than the Cap and Trade or as it expresses here - the
                              > > European Emissions Trading System (ETS) - or - a carbon tax.
                              > > See capandshare.org for the campaign material.
                              > >
                              > > Cap and Share evolved in part at least, from Georgist
                              > > thinking and we are hoping its acceptance may open the way to
                              > > LVT.
                              > >
                              > > Emer O'Siochru
                              > > Feasta; Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
                              > > Dublin, Ireland
                              >
                              >
                              >
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