Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections

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Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« on: February 19, 2010, 01:40:39 PM »
For those unfamiliar with the issue of land value taxation, please see the following two introductory articles:

------------------------------------

http://landvaluetax.org/what-is-lvt/

What is Land Value Taxation?

Land Value Taxation is a method of raising public revenue by means of an annual charge on the rental value of land.

Although described as a tax, it is not really a tax at all, but a payment for benefits received. It would replace, not add to, existing taxes.

Properly applied, Land Value Tax would support a whole range of social and economic initiatives, including housing, transport and other infrastructural investments. It is an elementary fiscal measure that would go far towards correcting fundamental economic and social ills.

The value of every parcel of land in Britain would be assessed regularly and the land value tax levied as a percentage of those assessed values.

"Land" means the site alone, not counting any improvements. The value of buildings, crops, drainage or any other works which people have erected or carried out on each plot of land would be ignored, but it would be assumed that all neighbouring properties were developed as at the time of the valuation; other things being equal, a vacant site in a row of houses would be assessed at the same value as the adjacent sites occupied by houses.

The valuation would be based on market evidence, in accordance with the optimum use of the land within the planning regulations. If the current planning restrictions on the use were altered, the site would be reassessed.

The advantages...

A NATURAL SOURCE OF PUBLIC REVENUE. All land makes its full contribution to the Exchequer, allowing reductions in existing taxes on labour and enterprise.

A STRONGER ECONOMY. If we tax labour, buildings or machinery and plant, we discourage people from constructive and beneficial activities and penalise enterprise and efficiency. The reverse is the case with a tax on land values, which is payable regardless of whether or how well the land is actually used. It is a payment, based on current market value, for the exclusive occupation of a piece of land. In the longer term, this fundamentally new and different approach to revenue raising will stimulate new business and new employment, reducing the need for costly government welfare.

MARGINAL AREAS REVITALISED. Economic actitivities are handicapped by distance from the major centres of population. Conventional taxes such as VAT and those on transport fuels cause particular damage to the remoter areas of the country. Land Value Tax, by definition, bears lightly or not at all where land has little or no value, thereby stimulating economic activity away from the centre - it creates what are in effect tax havens exactly where they are most needed.

A MORE EFFICIENT LAND MARKET. The necessity to pay the tax obliges landowners to develop vacant and under-used land properly or to make way for others who will.

LESS URBAN SPRAWL. Land Value Taxation deters speculative land holding. Thus dilapidated inner-city areas are returned to good use, reducing the pressure for building on green-field sites.

LESS BUREAUCRACY. The complexities of Income Tax, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and VAT are well known. By contrast, Land Value Tax is straightforward. Once the system has settled down, landholders will not be faced with complicated forms and demands for information. Revaluation will become relatively simple.

NO AVOIDANCE OR EVASION. Land cannot be hidden, removed to a tax haven or concealed in an electronic data system.

AN END TO BOOM-SLUMP CYCLES. Speculation in land value - frequently misrepresented and disguised as "property" or "asset" speculation - is the root cause of unsustainable booms which result periodically in damaging corrective slumps. Land Value Taxation, fully and properly applied, knocks the speculative element out of land pricing.

IMPOSSIBLE TO PASS ON IN HIGHER PRICES, LOWER WAGES OR HIGHER RENTS. Competition makes it impossible for a business producing goods on a valuable site to charge more per item than one producing similar goods on less valuable land - after all, producers and traders at different locations are paying different rents to landlords now, yet like goods generally sell for much the same price and employers pay their workers comparable wages. The tax cannot be passed on to a tenant who is already paying the full market rent.

[Continued…]


http://wealthandwant.com/HG/ST_what_why_1890.html

The Single Tax: What It Is and Why We Urge It

by Henry George

An article published in The Christian Advocate in 1890 and thereafter reprinted in various magazines in the United Stated and England.

I shall briefly state the fundamental principles of what we who advocate it call the Single Tax.

We propose to abolish all taxes save one single tax levied on the value of land, irrespective of the value of the improvements in or on it.

What we propose is not a tax on real estate, for real estate includes improvements. Nor is it a tax on land, for we would not tax all land, but only land having a vaue irrespective of its improvements, and would tax that in proportion to that value.

Our plan involves the imposition of no new tax, since we already tax land values in taxing real estate. To carry it out we have only to abolish all taxes save the tax on real estate, and to abolish all of that which now falls on buildings or improvements, leaving only that part of it which now falls on the value of the bare land, increasing that so as to take as nearly as may be the whole of economic rent, or what is sometimes styled the “unearned increment of land values.”

That the value of the land alone would suffice to provide all needed public revenues—municipal, county, State, and national—there is no doubt.

To show briefly why we urge this change, let me treat (1) of its expediency, and (2) of its justice.

[Continued…]

------------------------------------

Below, in no particular order, are common objections to land value taxation, with rebuttals by me to each one:

Isn't land ownership the foundation of property rights, and thus of a free society?

No, self-ownership is. That is to say, the foundation of property rights (and the freedom which flows from those rights) is the property each person has in himself and, by extension, in the fruits his labor.

    "Though the earth, and all inferior creatures be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself."

-- John Locke, 2nd Treatise of Government, Ch. 5


    "The property which every man has in his own labour, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable."

-- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Bk 1, Ch. 10, Pt 2


    "The property rights that each citizen has in himself are the foundation of a free society."

-- James Bovard, Freedom In Chains, p. 86


    "Libertarianism begins with self ownership."

-- David Bergland, Libertarianism In One Lesson, 7th ed., p. 35


    "There is only one fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action--which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life…Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life."

-- Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pp. 321-2


    "The right of life and liberty--that is to say, the right of the man to himself--is not really one right and the right of property another right. They are two aspects of the same perception--the right of property being but another side, a differently stated expression, of the right of man to himself. The right of life and liberty, and the right of the individual to himself, presupposes and involves the right of property, which is the exclusive right of the individual to the things his exertion has produced."

-- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher, p. 210


Won’t the land value tax (LVT) make all land the "property" of the government (and thereby make us all "serfs" of the government)?

No, because the government will have no authority to dictate when, how, or by whom land itself is used; it will have only the authority to ensure that the rent of land goes to everyone on an equal basis, since all individuals have an equal right of access to land.

Henry George puts it this way on page 8 of The Condition of Labor:

    “We do not propose to assert equal rights to land by keeping land common, letting any one use any part of it at any time. We do not propose the task, impossible in the present day of society, of dividing land in equal shares; still less the yet more impossible task of keeping it so divided.

    We propose—leaving land in the private possession of individuals, with full liberty on their part to give, sell or bequeath it--simply to levy on it for public uses a tax that shall equal the annual value of the land itself, irrespective of the use made of it or the improvements on it....We would accompany this tax on land values with the repeal of all taxes now levied on the products and processes of industry--which taxes, since they take from the earnings of labor, we hold to be infringements of the right of property.”

The only alternative to George's proposal is to treat land as the unconditional property of a mere subset of the population. The problem with this alternative is that, when taken to its logical conclusion, we find that the fruits of individual labor must inevitably be treated as conditional property for everyone else. Why? Because no one can produce wealth in the first place unless he or she first has access to land. Consequently, since all land is legally occupied, and since producing more land isn't an option, those who don't have titles to land cannot legally access the earth -- and thus cannot legally sustain their own lives -- unless they first "consent" to pay a portion of their earnings to those who do have titles to land. (This is why geolibertarians regard landed property as the “mother of all entitlements.”)

Land itself does not originate from labor; thus, "property" in land does not originate from labor, but from the law that confers ownership to an individual or group. Landed property is therefore -- in the words of Albert Jay Nock -- “law-made property,” and hence fundamentally distinct from “labor-made property.”

To compel a non-privileged subset of the population to pay rent to a privileged subset for mere access to the earth is therefore to elevate law-made property above labor-made property. And since the latter is an extension of self-ownership, to elevate the former above the latter is to strike a blow at the very foundation of property rights:

    "Disregard of the equal right to land necessarily involves violations of the unequal right to wealth."

-- Max Hirsch, Democracy vs. Socialism, p. 372

To this some might object that the LVT does just that -- compels one group to pay rent to another group for mere access to the earth. While this objection may sound logical at first, it is fatally flawed. Why? Because it ignores a universal law of today's economy: the fact that land rent gets paid either wayregardless of whether or not it gets diverted into the public treasury.

Thus, it is not a question of “if” land rent gets paid, but to whom and on what basis.

If it is paid exclusively to titleholders on the basis of the earth on which all must live yet which none produced being the exclusive, unconditional property of those titleholders, then, for reasons given above, the property that non-titleholders have in themselves and in the fruits of their labor is thereby violated. If, on the other hand, it is paid to the community on the basis of the individual members of that community each having an equal right to land, then said property right (the right to one's self and the fruits of one's labor) is thereby upheld for everyone -- both titleholder and non-titleholder alike.

Another common objection is that, if government taxes the economic “rent” of land, it automatically becomes the owner of land. This objection is based on the myth that the terms "rent collector" and "owner" are synonymous. While many rent collectors do, indeed, own the property on which they collect rent, there are, nevertheless, thousands of private rental agents and property managers all over the country who routinely collect rent on properties they do not own. Thus, one does not have to be an "owner" to be a "rent collector."  Government is no exception to this rule.

That doesn't mean the government of, say, North Korea does not assert ownership over the land on which it collects rent. It does. But it is not merely the authority to collect land rent, but the authority to dictate how land is used, that makes the North Korean government an "owner" of land. Critics of the LVT repeatedly insist that you can't have one authority without the other, but as mentioned above, the rent-collection services provided by non-owning rental agents and property managers prove just the opposite.

This becomes easier to understand once you realize that "property" refers, not to a single right, but to a bundle of rights -- the right to rental income being only one of them. The other rights include the right to possess, use, exclude, and transfer title. As any lawyer will tell you, those rights can be transferred in whole or in part.

    "The concept of a bundle of rights comes from old English law. In the middle ages, a seller transferred property by giving the purchaser a handful of earth or a bundle of bound sticks from a tree on the property. The purchaser, who accepted the bundle, then owned the tree from which the sticks came and the land to which the tree was attached. Because the rights of ownership (like the sticks) can be separated and individually transferred, the sticks became symbolic of those rights."

-- Fillmore W. Galaty, Wellington J. Allaway, & Robert C. Kyle, Modern Real Estate Practice, 14th ed., p. 16

This is precisely why, in the U.S., it is possible for city councilmen to collect a portion of land rent through property tax levies, yet be lawfully excluded from the land itself by whoever holds title to that land. Although the local government in this case has a legal right to a certain percentage of the land's rental value, the titleholder has all the other rights of the aforementioned "bundle." 

Not only will the titleholder retain those rights under a geolibertarian system, those rights will be strengthened by (a) the fact that he will no longer be taxed for being productive, thus making it far easier for him to afford whatever the rental charge is, and (b) the fact that the law will require any and all surplus revenue to be distributed equally as a Citizen’s Dividend. (The latter will provide a built-in incentive for citizens to bring enormous pressure to bear on government to limit its spending, since less wasteful spending will mean a greater surplus, and thus a higher dividend.)


Since people need food to sustain their lives, and since food, like land, is in limited supply, could not the same argument for taxing the value of land be used to justify taxing the value of food?

No, because (a) while food is in "limited" supply, it is not in fixed supply; and (b) with food starvation is not the only alternative to purchasing it from others, whereas with land it is.

With food, one can always produce instead of buy. Not so with land. Some might counter that one can always produce to earn the wages needed to acquire land, but this presupposes the very issue in question – access to land. While it is true people can always acquire land by earning the wages needed to rent or purchase it, one cannot earn wages to begin with unless one first has access to land, which brings us right back where we started.

Food is a product of labor; land is not. Thus, the notion that one has an exclusive right to the fruits of one’s labor is incompatible with the notion that there is a common right to the value of those fruits, while it is not incompatible with the notion that there is a common right to the value of land.


Won’t the LVT increase the price of land the way sales taxes increase the price of consumer goods?

No, just the opposite.

As Henry George explains here, in order for a tax to drive up the price of something, it must either decrease supply or increase demand. Does the LVT decrease the supply of land? No, because the supply of land is fixed. Thus, the only way it can increase the price is by increasing demand. Yet not even those who oppose the LVT argue that it increases demand, so it follows that the LVT does not increase the price of land, since it neither decreases supply nor increases demand.

In fact, it actually lowers the price of land by reducing the amount of privately pocketed rent that can be capitalized into a sale price.

Expressed in mathematical terms, the price of land p equals the annual rent r divided by the interest rate i, or:

                            p = r / i

If there is a tax rate t on the price of land p, then p equals the rent divided by the sum of the interest rate and the offsetting tax rate, or:

                            p = r / (i + t)

Thus, if the rent is $1,000, the interest rate is 10%, and the tax rate 40%, then the price would be 1,000/(.10 + .40), or $2,000. Without the tax, the price would be 80% higher -- $10,000. (More on this here and here.)

This is why there is no long-term benefit to cutting the LVT, because people in general, and the working poor in particular, end up paying back in higher rents and land prices what they presumably get from the tax cut. (The working poor of California had to find this out the hard way after the passage of Proposition 13.)

Unfortunately, because the property tax fuses the tax on land values with the tax on improvements, people have a tendency to equate one with the other, and thus falsely assume that a lower tax on land value yields the same benefits as a lower tax on improvements. It in fact has the opposite effect. A lower tax on improvements rewards people for putting land to productive use, which means more jobs and higher wages; a lower tax on land value rewards people for holding land out of use, which means less jobs and lower wages.

Single Tax advocate, Robert De Fremery, had this to say on the subject:

    "At the opposite extreme of the claim that land value taxation is wrong because landholders would be the only ones paying taxes is the claim that landholders would be paying no taxes at all. It is claimed that they would merely raise their rents in proportion to the increase in taxes falling on their lands. But this is one thing all reputable economists agree can not be done. If site A (land only) in the heart of a city is worth $1,000 per month to whoever uses it, while site B (land only) on the outskirts of the city is worth only $100.00 per month, then site A is worth only $900.00 more per month than is site B. A change in the amount of taxes falling on these two landholders cannot affect the relative value of these sites. Suppose, for example, that an attempt were made to get $2,000 and $200.00 per month respectively for these two sites just because each landholder were required to pay taxes of $1,000 and $100.00 respectively to the city. Obviously, the tenants in site A would move to lower cost land. Site A is not worth $1,800 more per month than site B. If it were, the landholder would be getting it in today's market. Although a tax on land values affects the price of land, it cannot affect its rental value. There is no disagreement among professional economists on this point."

-- Rights vs. Privileges, pp. 38-39
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 01:41:44 PM »
Isn’t the LVT based on Karl Marx's labor theory of value?

No. Karl Marx’s labor theory of value asserts that the exchange value of something is determined by the labor expended to produce it. Henry George flat-out rejected this view:

    "It is never the amount of labor that has been exerted in bringing a thing into being that determines its value, but always the amount of labor that will be rendered in exchange for it."

Why, then, do some mistakenly identify Marx's labor theory of value as being one of the core premises of the LVT? Because many LVT advocates often describe land value as being created by the community, and, in so doing, sacrifice clarity for brevity. What they actually mean is this: It's not that members of the surrounding community create land value itself, but that they create (or rather “produce”) the goods and services which give rise to that value.

As any real estate appraiser will tell you, the value of land is the value of “location.” And what determines the value of location? The degree to which people in the surrounding marketplace compete for access to that location, due primarily to the proximity it affords to such things as nearby schools, libraries, hospitals, parks, shopping malls, etc. -- all of which are provided mostly if not entirely by people other than the individual titleholder.

Hence Max Hirsch’s conclusion that:

    "The value of labour-products is the measure of the service which their rightful owner has rendered to the community. The value of land is the measure of the service which the community is expected to render to the owners of land."
-- Democracy vs. Socialism, p. 348

And hence Robert De Fremery’s observation that:

    “The difference between publicly created and privately created values, once seen, is never forgotten. Both result from the competitive bidding within society for the right to consume or use something. But it is of utmost significance that privately created values result from competitive bidding for goods and services produced by man, whereas publicly created values result from competitive bidding for something no man produced--the land upon which we live and work and whose value increases as the community in which it is located grows. In the one case men are bidding for goods and services produced by each other as private individuals. In the other men are bidding for the important right to use part of the earth's surface. In the one case you have privately created values. In the other you have a publicly created value.”


Isn't the LVT based on the Marxist idea that the right to land is a collective right?

No, it is based on the Lockean idea that the right to land is an equal right.

By that I mean: the idea that an individual has "property" in land only to the extent that there is, in the words of John Locke, "enough, and as good left in common for others."  In that sense, the right to land is not a collective right, but an individual right that exists independently of the collective (i.e., society). The “equality” of this right is merely a limitation that arises from the presence of others with like rights.

By contrast, a collective right to land dictates that an individual has no right to use any land unless society has granted him such right.

With the equal right to land, one does not require the consent of society to use land. The right to the use of land belongs at birth to each individual. So while the consent of others is not needed, it is, nevertheless, necessary that in the exercise of that right, one does not infringe upon the equal right of others -- i.e., violate Locke's proviso that there be "enough, and as good left in common for others." And since the rental value of land provides an accurate measure of the extent to which said proviso has been violated, "others" should be compensated in accordance with that value.

       http://www.grundskyld.dk/23-Perplex-Ch4.html
       http://geolib.com/sullivan.dan/commonrights.html

At the same time, of course, taxes on wages, sales, houses and capital goods should all be abolished, since they violate the exclusive right that each individual has to the fruits of his own labor.

It is, of course, an age-old tradition among royal libertarians to rail self-righteously against the notion that all individuals have an "equal" right to land (and hence to its rental value). Yet what they either fail to realize or refuse to admit to is that, in so doing, they are rejecting (in effect) the most fundamental "property right" of all -- that of self-ownership -- because one cannot even be a "self" in the first place unless one occupies a naturally-occurring geographic location on the globe.

In short, to "be" is to be -- "somewhere."

Thus, assuming everyone agrees with Michael Badnarik when -- in his book, Good to be King -- he defines a "right" as "something you can do without asking for permission," it follows that, whenever anyone suggests or implies that only those with land titles have a "right" of access to the earth on which all must live yet which none produced, that person is essentially saying that the countless millions without land titles have no "right" to life itself.

    "Place one hundred men on an island from which there is no escape, and whether you make one of these men the absolute owner of the other ninety-nine, or the absolute owner of the soil of the island, will make no difference either to him or to them.

    "In the one case, as the other, the one will be the absolute master of the ninety-nine--his power extending even to life and death, for simply to refuse them permission to live upon the island would be to force them into the sea.

    "Upon a larger scale, and through more complex relations, the same cause must operate in the same way and to the same end--the ultimate result, the enslavement of laborers, becoming apparent just as the pressure increases which compels them to live on and from land which is treated as the exclusive property of others. Take a country in which the soil is divided among a number of proprietors, instead of being in the hands of one, and in which, as in modern production, the capitalist has been specialized from the laborer, and manufacturers and exchange, in all their many branches, have been separated from agriculture. Though less direct and obvious, the relations between the owners of the soil and the laborers will, with the increase of population and the improvement of the arts, tend to the same absolute master on the one hand and the same abject helplessness on the other, as in the case of the island we have supposed. Rent will advance, while wages will fall."
-- Henry George, Progress and Poverty, pp. 347-8

That, incidentally, is largely why I regard the Austrian School's aristocratic concept of "liberty" to be a sick joke.

    “The Austrian School came into existence when a bunch of Viennese rent-gouging landlords didn’t want rent control on the rents they could gouge out of their tenants in old Vienna, so they hired a bunch of scribblers--and that’s the Austrian School.”
-- Webster Tarpley, World Crisis Radio broadcast, 9/27/08, 1st hour


Isn't the very concept of taxing land values rooted in Marxism?

No, it's rooted in classical liberalism, which long predates Marx.

The right-wing reactionaries who blindly insist otherwise are -- whether they realize it or not, and whether they have the intellectual honesty to admit it or not -- essentially accusing many of the Founding Fathers of being Marxists:

------------------------------------

http://savingcommunities.org/foundersplan/whyfounders.html

Why America's Founders Wanted a Property Tax on Land Value, And NOT a Sales Tax!

Why a Land Value Tax?

Land for ordinary citizens

William Penn wanted to keep aristocrats from grabbing up land as they had in Europe. He declared Pennsylvania a "commonwealth" where each landholder would pay a modest rent that "would put an end to taxes, leave not a beggar, and make the greatest bank for national trade." The first tax in Pennsylvania was a land value tax.

Thomas Jefferson also saw that land monopoly made ordinary Europeans poor, while cheap land made Americans rich. He also proposed taxes on real estate to prevent land grabbers from driving land prices up.

Keeping taxing power local

Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government taxed each state on its land value. Each state would tax each county, and citizens would never have to deal with state or federal tax collectors. Our founders did not trust strong central governments. They believed that people govern their own communities better than powerful states can govern them.

[Continued...]

------------------------------------


Isn't concentrated ownership of land moral and just, so long as it's the result of "voluntary" transactions?

No, because if only some people "own" the earth, then only some have a "right" to live upon it.

All individuals must have access to the earth in order to exercise their right to sustain their own lives. Thus, to allow the earth to become the unconditional property of a relative few is to deny this right to everyone else, since it makes the latter obligated at birth to pay the former for mere access to the planet -- as if the former were responsible for the earth’s very existence.

While the private appropriation of land rent may seem harmless at a micro-level, at a macro-level it constitutes an entitlement scheme whereby Group A receives payment from Group B, even though Group A renders no service in return. In that sense, it violates the fundamental right that the members of Group B have to the fruits of their own labors.
    "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed."
-- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Bk 1, Ch. 6
    “Given a stationary population and private ownership of all land, improvements in manufacturing methods do not, in the long-run, increase the earnings of labour and capital, but are absorbed by rent.”
-- Max Hirsch, Democracy vs. Socialism, p. 446
    "I am using the word wages not in the sense of a quantity, but in the sense of proportion. When I say that wages fall as rent rises, I do not mean that the quantity of wealth obtained by laborers as wages is necessarily less, but that the proportion which it bears to the whole produce is necessarily less. The proportion may diminish while the quantity remains the same or even increases."
-- Henry George, Progress and Poverty, p. 216

If some people fail to see this, it is because they, in the words of Henry Hazlitt, "overlook the woods in their precise and minute examination of particular trees." In this case they overlook the effect that the private appropriation of land rent has on the economy as a whole in their precise and minute examination of particular transactions, and how these transactions benefit particular individuals or groups. Overall, the payment of land rent to the few at the expense of the many imposes on the latter artificially high costs of living, on the one hand, and artificially low wages, on the other.

To learn more about why the current land market is anything but "voluntary," read the following article by Fred Foldvary:

       http://www.progress.org/fold239.htm


As a general rule, taxation is wrong since it involves the use of force. Is a tax on land rent an exception to this?

Yes, for the simple reason that "force," as such, is neither good nor bad. If used to defend one's person or property from aggressors, or to enforce payment of a rightful debt, it is a good thing. If used to harm the person or property of a non-consenting other, or to enforce payment of a wrongful debt, it is a bad thing.

A tax on wages or capital-goods returns implies that the income one receives in return for the exertion of one's labor or the use of one's capital goods belongs (at least in part) to others. This conflicts with the basic libertarian principle that you have an exclusive right to the fruits of your labor.

A tax on land rent (or "rent" for short) implies that the income one receives for the value of the land one holds belongs to others. Since land itself (a) is not the fruit of anyone's labor, and (b) is that to which all have an equal right of access; and since the rent of land (a) is not a return to either labor or capital goods, and (b) reflects the extent to which Locke's proviso has been violated, a "tax" on rent does not conflict with the principle that you have an exclusive right to the fruits of your labor, but is in fact a just and necessary means of upholding that right.

Thus, the part of one's income that is taken via the taxation of wages, sales, houses and capital goods constitutes the enforcement of a wrongful debt, whereas the part of one's income that is taken via the taxation of rent constitutes the enforcement of a rightful debt.

As Henry George puts it on page 46 of Property In Land: "As to what constitutes robbery, it is...the taking or withholding from another of that which rightfully belongs to him. That which rightfully belongs to him, be it observed, not that which legally belongs to him." [Emphasis original]

Still, right-wing critics will argue, a tax on rent involves the use of force, and is therefore wrong. The problem with this argument becomes evident when they are presented with the scenario of a tenant no longer able to pay a titleholder for the value of the land he is using, and then asked whether or not it would be legitimate to use force to remove the tenant from the titleholder's land. They typically answer “yes” to this question, and when pressed for an explanation, finally concede that yes, there is such a thing as a legitimate use of force when it comes to upholding a rightful debt.

The dispute, then, is not over whether force, in and of itself, is right or wrong, but whether the debt in question is right or wrong -- i.e., whether or not the taxation of land rent conflicts with the libertarian principle that each person has property in himself and, by extension, in the fruits of his labor. Geolibertarians hold that it does not so conflict, since land rent, as mentioned before, is not a return to either labor or capital goods.

Land rent (as the term obviously implies) is in fact a return to land -- meaning the percentage of one's income one could receive simply by renting out the land one holds to someone else. Yet to whom does land’s rental value rightfully belong?  Since this value derives, not from what the individual titleholder does, but from the growth and activity of the surrounding community -- and since it reflects the extent to which "others" are denied access to land they wish to use, and to which they have an equal right of access -- it follows that this value is rightfully owed to these others, while wrongfully owed to titleholders.

In that fundamental sense, the LVT is not a fee for using land, but a fee for the government-enforced privilege of denying use of that land to everyone else. The more valuable the privilege, the higher the fee. That's why it's called the benefits received principle, and hence why the upper and upper-middle class titleholders who rail hysterically against the LVT are essentially saying that (double standard alert!) they should not be required to pay for the benefits they receive, but that working class non-titleholders should be required to pay -- not once, but twice -- for the benefits they receive. 


Won’t the LVT make it more difficult to acquire land, especially for poor people?

No, because land rent, as explained earlier, gets paid either way -- regardless of whether or not it gets diverted into the public treasury.

Even when you pay the sale price of land, you are paying land rent, since the sale price is simply capitalized rent (i.e., the rental value divided by the interest rate). And since land is fixed in both supply and location, decreases in land value taxation are invariably capitalized by titleholders into higher rents and land prices. Thus, people in general, and the working poor in particular, end up paying back in higher rents and land prices what they presumably get from the tax cut; and pay back even more in terms of (a) a lower margin of production (and thus lower pre-tax wages), and (b) a heavier reliance on wage and sales taxes. 

So, once again, it is not a question of if land rent gets paid, but to whom and on what basis -- to a mere subset of the population, on the basis of the earth on which all must live yet which none produced being exclusively "owned" by that subset; or to everyone equally, on the basis of the earth being that to which all have an equal right of access? Georgists and geolibertarians believe it should be the latter, since that is the only just and practical way of establishing true equality of opportunity without enforcing “equality of outcome” in the process.

As for the poor people that right-wing ideologues, limousine liberals and foundation-funded poverty pimps all laughingly profess to care so much about, the LVT will actually make it much easier for them to acquire land, since it will (a) greatly reduce the “rack-renting” to which land speculation invariably gives rise, and (b) dramatically increase wages both by raising the margin of production and by reducing (and eventually eliminating) the need for either wage or sales taxes.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 01:43:00 PM »
Won’t the LVT discourage production?

No, because the value of land has no reference to a cost of production; it is purely a function of demand.

This, among other things, led Adam Smith to conclude that:

    “Both ground-rents and the ordinary rent of land are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Though a part of this revenue should be taken from him in order to defray the expenses of the state, no discouragement will thereby be given to any sort of industry....Ground-rents and the ordinary rent of land are, therefore, perhaps, the species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax imposed upon them."

-- The Wealth of Nations, Bk 5, Ch. 2, Pt 1

Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul A. Samuelson, reached the same conclusion roughly two centuries later:

    “The striking result is that a tax on rent will lead to no distortions or economic inefficiencies. Why not? Because a tax on pure economic rent does not change anyone's behavior. Demanders are unaffected because their price is unchanged. The behavior of suppliers is unaffected because the supply of land is fixed and cannot react. Hence, the economy operates after the tax exactly as it did before the tax--with no distortions or inefficiencies arising as a result of the land tax."

-- Economics, 16th ed., p. 250

What is even more "striking" is that Samuelson's remarks are only half-true. Not only will a tax on rent lead to no distortions or economic inefficiencies, it will actually stimulate the economy by (a) lowering the entrance barrier into the marketplace (the “entrance barrier” being speculative rents and land prices), and (b) encouraging much more efficient use of land within that marketplace. A well-documented case in point is the overall success of the "split rate" property tax (whereby land values are uptaxed and improvements proportionately downtaxed) in over a dozen localities throughout Pennsylvania:

       http://www.earthrights.net/docs/success.html
       http://savingcommunities.org/issues/race.html

It is the taxation of the other two factors of production -- labor and capital goods -- that penalizes and discourages production. Thus, it follows that the more we shift the tax burden off those two factors and onto land values, the more prosperous the economy will be overall.

Henry George put it this way:

    “To abolish that taxation which, acting and reacting, now hampers every wheel of exchange and presses upon every form of industry, would be like removing an immense weight from a powerful spring. Imbued with fresh energy, production would start into new life, and trade would receive a stimulus which would be felt to the remotest arteries. The present method of taxation... operates upon energy, and industry, and skill, and thrift, like a fine upon those qualities. If I have worked harder and built myself a good house while you have been contented to live in a hovel, the taxgatherer now comes annually to make me pay a penalty for my energy and industry, by taxing me more than you. If I have saved while you wasted, I am mulct, while you are exempt. If a man build a ship we make him pay for his temerity, as though he had done an injury to the state; if a railroad be opened, down comes the tax collector upon it, as though it were a public nuisance; if a manufactory be erected we levy upon it an annual sum which would go far toward making a handsome profit. We say we want capital, but if any one accumulate it, or bring it among us, we charge him for it as though we were giving him a privilege. We punish with a tax the man who covers barren fields with ripening grain, we fine him who puts up machinery, and him who drains a swamp....

    “To abolish these taxes would be to lift the whole enormous weight of taxation from productive industry. The needle of the seamstress and the great manufactory; the cart horse and the locomotive; the fishing boat and the steamship; the farmer's plow and the merchant's stock, will be alike untaxed....Instead of saying to the producer, as it does now, ‘The more you add to the general wealth the more shall you be taxed!’ the state would say to the producer, ‘Be as industrious, as thrifty, as enterprising as you choose, you shall have your full reward! You shall not be fined for making two blades of grass grow where one grew before; you shall not be taxed for adding to the aggregate wealth.’”

-- Progress & Poverty, pp. 434-5


There are some who still insist that the LVT will discourage production since the value of land cannot be separated from the value of houses, buildings and other improvements. Is that true?

No, it has long been common practice in the real estate industry to assess land separately from improvements:

    "Land value represents the present market value of the land. It does not include the value of improvements. Land value is arrived at through an analysis of current sales of comparable land in the general area. It is computed separately because land is not depreciable."

-- William L. Ventolo, Jr., Ralph Tamper & Wellington J. Allaway, Mastering Real Estate Mathematics, p. 115

The only people on the entire planet who blindly insist otherwise are brainwashed Austrian School types.


Some people claim there are documented examples of land being produced. Doesn't this refute the idea that land is in fixed supply?

No. Those who claim otherwise are confusing two different senses of the word land. In the every day sense, land usually refers merely to the dry surface of the earth; in the economic sense, however, it refers not just to the dry surface of the earth, but to the entire material universe -- excluding humans and their products. In other words, land is not merely matter that occupies space; it is space. While matter can certainly be manipulated within that space, space itself cannot be added to or subtracted from. This is precisely why the value of "land" is often and more accurately described as the value of "location."

    "The essential feature of land is that its quantity is fixed and completely unresponsive to price."

--  Paul A. Samuelson & William D. Nordhaus, Economics, 16th ed., p. 248


    "Land has no production cost; it is a 'free and nonreproducible gift of nature.'  The economy has only so much land, and that is that. Of course, within limits any parcel of land can be made more usable by clearing, drainage, and irrigation. But these are capital improvements and not changes in the amount of land itself."

-- Campbell R. McConnell & Stanley L. Brue, Economics, 14th ed., p. 604


    "Land, which is the earth's surface, is immobile. It is true that some of the substances of land are removable and topography can be changed, but still that portion of the earth's surface always remains. The geographic location of any given parcel of land can never be changed. It is rigid and fixed."

-- Wade E. Gaddy & Robert E. Hart, Real Estate Fundamentals, 4th ed., p. 9


    "Remember: No one is making any more land."

-- William H. Pivar, Real Estate Investing From A To Z, revised edition, p. 3


Won’t the LVT hurt farmers?

No, it will help farmers. In the first place, the LVT will fall primarily on urban land, not rural land, since land values are concentrated primarily in urban areas. In the second place, the increased cost of paying a higher tax on land values will be more than offset by (a) the savings incurred from paying lower taxes on everything else, (b) the reversal of urban sprawl (and thus of the inflationary pressure that sprawl has long imposed on the value of farmland), and (c) the increase in income that will result from both a higher margin of production and the resultant surge in overall economic activity.

For supportive empirical evidence, see the following:

       http://www.earthrights.net/docs/pa-farmers.html
       http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Gaffney_RBPTatCFLO.html
 
For a more exhaustive treatment of the underlying principles, see:

       http://www.econlib.org/library/YPDBooks/George/grgPP38.html#Book IX, Chapter 3
       http://archive.org/stream/socialproblems83geor#page/296/mode/2up


Since labor products such as houses, cars and computers are all composed of matter, and since humans are no more the “creators” of matter than they are the “creators” of land, doesn’t it follow that humans don’t really “create” anything, and that LVT advocates are therefore wrong in saying there’s a fundamental distinction between “labor-made” property and “law-made” property?

Believe it or not, I’ve actually encountered this objection many times over the years. It exemplifies the sort of mental gymnastics to which royal libertarians routinely resort in their desperate attempt to justify economic free-riding by overprivileged landlords.

The objection is, of course, ridiculous on its face, because -- as any professional real estate appraiser will tell you -- land, by definition, exists independently of human exertion, whereas labor products (as the term itself implies) do not.

What makes houses, buildings and countless other labor products fundamentally different from land is not that people “create” those things, but that they produce them:

    "We speak of productive work. What is productive work? We make things. How do we make them? Man does not create them. Man cannot create something out of nothing. All the things that we call making are producing; bringing forth, not creating.

    "Men produce coal by going down under the ground, hewing out the coal, and bringing it to the surface of the earth; they produce fish by going to the lough, or river, or ocean and pulling the fish out; they produce houses by bringing together timber and stones and iron into the shape and form of a house; they produce cloth by taking the wool of a sheep or the fibers of a plant and bringing them together in a certain connection; they produce crops by opening the ground and putting in seed and leaving it there for the germinating influences of nature--always a bringing forth, never a creation, so that human exertion--that is to say labor upon land, is the only way that man has of bringing forth those things which his needs require and which are necessary to enable him to sustain life. Land and labor--these are the two necessary and indispensable factors to the production of wealth."
-- Henry George, The Land for the People, paragraphs 4 & 5
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 01:44:34 PM »
Didn't Austrian economist Murray Rothbard refute the LVT?

No, but not for lack of trying. Rothbard's argument against the LVT is fatally flawed for at least two reasons -- one moral, the other economic. From a moral perspective, it completely ignores the unjust interference that the overextension of law-made property imposes on labor-made property. From an economic perspective, it is based on a false understanding of what conditions are necessary for land to have rental value.

In Libertarian Party at Sea on Land, LP activist Dr. Harold Kyriazi explains why Rothbard's attack on the LVT was misguided at best. The following is from pages 57-61 of that book (all emphasis original):

------------------------------------

The only well-known libertarian writer whom I know to have explicitly, and at great length, opposed the idea of community collected user fees for natural resources is Murray Rothbard, which is odd, given his admiration for Albert Jay Nock and Frank Chodorov, who, in turn, revered Henry George. Rothbard apparently had extensive discussions with Georgists:

    If every man owns his own person and therefore his own labor, and if by extension he owns whatever property he has "created" or gathered out of the previously unused, unowned "state of nature," then what of the last great question: the right to own or control the earth itself? ... It is at this point that Henry George and his followers, who have gone all the way so far with the libertarians, leave the track and deny the individual right to own the piece of land itself, the ground on which these activities have taken place. (pp. 33-34, For a New Liberty.)

The following is taken from his The Ethics of Liberty.

    (p. 50, footnote 2): A modified variant of this "Columbus Complex" holds that the first discoverer of a new island or continent could properly lay claim to the entire continent by himself walking around it (or hiring others to do so), and thereby laying out a boundary for the area. In our view, however, their claim would still be no more than to the boundary itself, and not to any of the land within it, for only the boundary will have been transformed and used by man.

With this statement, Rothbard may seem to have carried the "first use" doctrine to its illogical extreme. (If walking over some land constitutes transformation and use, then is it just one's footprints that one owns? Or does one's rightful claim extend out to all the underbrush one has cleared away? Or, can one claim land as far as the eye can see? This is the very definition of the word "arbitrary.") But in his defense, to convert the claim into actual ownership would, Rothbard would say, require actual use (though we're again faced with the question of what constitutes "use" -- see p. 79, "Anti-Rothbard..."). For example, earlier, in a Robinson Crusoe paradigm, he stated that Crusoe's "true property--his actual control over material goods--would extend only so far as his actual labor brought them into production. His true ownership could not extend beyond the power of his own reach."

What, then, would Rothbard say about large American corporations owning, but not using, millions of acres of land, as some now do? He gives us his answer in an essay he wrote on Henry George's Land Value Tax idea, entitled "The Single Tax: Economic and Moral Implications" (FEE "Special Essay Series," 1957). Here are a few examples from that work:

    Well, what about idle land? Should the sight of it alarm us? On the contrary, we should thank our stars for one of the great economic facts of nature: that labor is scarce relative to land...Since labor is scarce relative to land, and much land must therefore remain idle, any attempt to force all land into production would bring economic disaster. Forcing all land into use would take labor and capital away from more productive uses, and compel their wasteful employment on land, a disservice to consumers.

Of course, LVT would and could do no such thing, as those who strive to put idle land into productive use would have to bid against other land users for labor, and only the best uses of labor and land would win out. Thus, rather than forcing all land into use, LVT would discourage all but the most productive use of land, just as any market tends to allocate resources most wisely. Another thing that would happen is that the earnings of labor would increase due to increased competition for it, and (ideally) none of the produced wealth would go to landowners qua landowners. Let me rephrase Rothbard's last sentence in a way that makes sense: Forcing land users to pass over ideal idle land and utilize marginal land instead, is wasteful of human labor and natural opportunities, a disservice to all mankind and a boon only to landlords and land speculators.

But here's the most embarrassing passage:

    A 100% tax on rent would cause the capital value of all land to fall promptly to zero.

Correct.

    Since owners could not obtain any net rent, the sites would become valueless on the market.

False! They'd be valueless only to those market participants who wish only to speculate in land, not to those who wish to use land in some productive endeavor.

    From that point on, sites, in short, would be free.

Wrong again. While it's true there'd be no sale price for vacant land, one would still have to pay the ground-rent to use it.

    Further, since all rent would be siphoned off to the government, there would be no incentive for owners to charge any rent at all.

Wrong yet again. He's assuming the LVT would be set by an actual ground-rent charged by the landlord, rather than being an assessed value that would have to be recouped. And, I might add, total rental costs would tend to decrease as additional units come on the market as the monopoly stranglehold on land loses its grip.

    Rent would be zero as well, and rentals would thus be free.

He continues to pound a straw man.

    The first consequence of the single tax, then, is that no revenue would accrue from it.

He took a wrong turn, and just keeps going!

    Far from supplying all the revenue of government, the single tax would yield no revenue at all! For if rents are zero, a 100% tax on rents will also yield nothing.

Rothbard then goes on to state,

    Compelling any economic goods to be free wreaks economic havoc...the result is to introduce complete chaos in land sites.

Completely false. Even if LVT were applied at a national level, and there were no competition among municipalities for residents, people would still bid on the leases of occupied property, providing price information. (For more on this, see p. 97, "How would LVT work?")

In Power and Market: Government and the Economy (second edition, 1977), Rothbard went even further into the realm of irrationality in his attempt to refute Georgist land theory (p. 131):

    Contrary to Georgist doctrine, however, the land problem does not stem from free-market ownership of ground land.

I know of no Georgist who would ever use the phrase "free-market" in conjunction with our current, individual monopoly market in land.

    It stems from failure to live up to a prime condition of free-market property rights, namely, that new, unowned land be first owned by its first user, and that from then on, it become the full private property of the first user or those who receive or buy the land from him.

It is an obvious fiction that any use, however small or large the effort, should grant full private ownership for all time, unless we're talking about a make-believe world with unlimited land where access to all of it is instantaneous (i.e., where travel time is zero). This fiction ignores the fact that someone who, for example, puts up a fence and lets a cow graze, is much less the rightful "owner" of land than one who builds an industrial plant or a shopping mall. (For more on this, see p. 79, "Anti-Rothbard...")



------------------------------------

In his contribution to Critics of Henry George: Volume 2 (see Chapter 31 of that book), Dr. Kyriazi provides an even more devastating critique of Rothbard’s fallacy-ridden arguments against Henry George’s Single Tax.

See also the following article by Gene DeNardo:

       http://www.nolanchart.com/article6921.html (A Critique of Murray Rothbard's Critique of the Georgist Argument.)


Isn't land less important in today's economy than it was decades ago?

No. To understand why, simply ask yourself the following question. If the importance of land has indeed gone down, then why was the inflation-adjusted price of land so much higher in, say, 2006 than it was 50 years beforehand?

The answer is obvious: because, as the economy and population grow -- and as this, in turn, results in increasing numbers of people with higher incomes competing for access to the same amount of land -- the “importance” of land (as reflected in rents and land prices) grows along with them.

It is, of course, true that land values have recently dropped in many areas due to the collapsing real estate bubble. But as economist Fred Foldvary explains here, the speculation-driven real estate market tends to experience such price contractions about every 18 years, only to resume its former upward trend. If you made a historical chart depicting fluctuations in land values over the past century (adjusting for inflation), you’d notice an upward trend, not a downward one.


Are land values capable of generating the revenue needed for the legitimate functions of government?

The answer to this question depends on (a) how you interpret national income figures, (b) what you consider to be the "legitimate" functions of government, (c) the extent to which a reduction in taxes on labor and capital goods will drive up the rental value of land (and thus revenue capacity), and (d) the extent to which shifting to a land-based tax system will increase economic output (and thus the tax base).

With respect to national income figures, many economists accept (seemingly without question) the Commerce Department's claim that land rent makes up only 2% of the national income. Assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, that means a land-based tax system could yield no more than a few hundred billion in annual revenue.

Not all economists, however, subscribe to the belief that rent constitutes only 2% of the national income. For instance, in The Losses of Nations (1998), economist Fred Harrison explains how a study by Wall Street economist Michael Hudson revealed that the revenue capacity of land is actually about 14% of the national income, or what in 2009 would’ve amounted to approximately $1.7 trillion in annual revenue.

With respect to the "legitimate" functions of government, there are some who consider all current expenditures (including such things as corporate welfare and imperialist wars of aggression) to be "legitimate," in which case the LVT will need to generate well over $3 trillion in annual revenue for all levels of government. On the other hand, there are some who consider "legitimate" only those expenditures that go toward protecting individual rights (e.g., defending our national borders from military invasion, enforcing laws against force and fraud, adjudicating civil disputes, etc.) and toward maintaining some form of basic social safety net (particularly if provided with a minimum of bureaucracy, as a Guaranteed Income would do), in which case the LVT will need to generate no more than half of what is currently spent at the federal, state and local levels.

With respect to the reduction of taxes on labor and capital goods (“capital” for short), and the effect this has on the rental value of land, economists throughout history have observed that, when said taxes are lowered, land rents tend to rise proportionately. Why? For the simple and obvious reason that, the more people can afford to pay for access to a fixed quantity of land, the more titleholders are able to charge higher rents. If, for instance, the payroll tax were abolished, most of the resultant increase in take home pay would eventually be absorbed by higher rents. Thus, it follows that the more the tax burden on labor and capital is reduced, the more the revenue capacity of land is raised by a comparable amount. (Economist Mason Gaffney explains this more thoroughly in Ch. 7 of The Losses of Nations.)

And finally, with respect to economic output, it is common knowledge that, all else being equal, an increase in output means an increase in tax revenue (regardless of the tax system in place). It is also common knowledge that, all else being equal, an increase in output means an increase in the rental value of land (regardless of whether land rent is collected publicly or privately). The question thus arises: to what extent will a land-based tax system increase output, and hence the tax base? On page 147 of The Losses of Nations, economist Nicolaus Tideman estimates that

    "...a shift to public collection of rent as the principal source of public revenue in the U.S. in 1993 would have increased the output of the U.S. economy by $1,602 billion above its actual level for 1993, implying that the U.S. economy is producing only 77 percent of what it could produce with a better tax policy."

All that being said, if you take the Commerce Department at its highly suspect word on rent being only 2% of the national income; if you believe that current tax revenue outlays at all levels of government should be maintained; and if you ignore the extent to which both economic output and the rental value of land will skyrocket in the absence of taxes on labor and capital, then you will undoubtedly conclude that land rent is not an adequate source of public revenue.  

If, on the other hand, you agree with Dr. Hudson's conclusion that rent is approximately 14% of the national income (if not more), then even if you oppose a moderate reduction in overall spending; and even if you ignore the increase in both economic output and land values that would accompany any significant decrease in the taxation of labor and capital, the LVT will still allow for the abolition of the federal individual income tax. But if you believe that $1.7 trillion could easily fund the legitimate functions of government, and if you realize the extent to which both economic output and the rental value of land would increase in the absence of taxes on labor and capital, then you will almost certainly conclude, as I have, that land rent is a more than adequate source of revenue for all levels of government.


How will the LVT be implemented?

In short, the same way it is now.

Critics of the LVT are fond of pretending that land values are not already being taxed, when in fact they are (albeit to a limited extent) by existing property taxes. The machinery for the LVT is already in place. Thus, all that is necessary to implement the LVT locally is to exempt houses, buildings and other improvements from taxation, and thereby focus existing property taxes on land values only. In this way the property tax will be converted to a land value tax.

As for state and federal taxation, geolibertarians advocate a bottom-up system whereby a portion of the LVT-revenue generated locally is sent to the applicable state governments, and a portion of that, in turn, to the federal government.

    "The question naturally arises: How should Federal, state, and local governments obtain the rental value of land? The practical answer is that we should return to the constitutional provision that requires our Federal government to apportion direct land taxes among the states according to their respective populations. The states, in turn, should obtain this revenue and the revenue for their own support by apportionment among their counties, in the way Nebraska, Texas, Montana, and a number of other states still do. The counties, as agents of the states, should collect their revenue, and the revenue needed by state and Federal governments, from the rental value of their lands, using existing property tax collection machinery. These changes would reverse the trend of the last 50 years. Instead of lower levels of government becoming increasingly dependent upon higher levels of government for aid, thereby losing their independence, the higher levels of government would return to dependence upon the lower. That is as it should be if we wish to preserve our liberties."

-- Robert De Fremery, Rights vs. Privileges, pp. 39-40


Ideally, this will be phased in over a period of years. That is, as the LVT is moderately increased each year, taxes on everything else are proportionately decreased.

This process will continue until all taxation is abolished save for that upon on land rent, at which point we will finally be operating under Henry George’s Single Tax.

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
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Offline phosphene

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 02:38:55 PM »
i was under the impression that most Americans actually own "real estate" not "land"
"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."--Joshua

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 04:02:03 PM »
i was under the impression that most Americans actually own "real estate" not "land"

Then you were under a false impression, because real estate, by definition, includes land:

-------------------------

real estate

Definition

A piece of land, including the air above it and the ground below it, and any buildings or structures on it.



-------------------------

That means it's literally impossible to own the former and not the latter.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline michaelsuede

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 04:26:35 PM »
That's a hell of an Orwellian master piece there.

My question is, what right does government have to any of my labor?

By taxing property, the government is making two claims.

1.  It owns that property, and if I fail to pay rent, it will remove me.

2.  It owns part of my labor, as I must labor to pay the dictated rent.

The government has no right to either.

Government supposedly derives its power from the consent of the governed.

I do not give my consent.  Therefore, the government has no right to impose itself upon my labor through taxation.



Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 04:48:47 PM »
That's a hell of an Orwellian master piece there.

That's a hell of a mindless, knee-jerk reaction to it.  ::)

Quote
My question is, what right does government have to any of my labor?

None. That is precisely why I call for abolishing taxes on wages, sales, houses and capital goods.

Quote
By taxing property, the government is making two claims.

No, by invoking the word "property," you are merely begging the very question at issue -- whether the earth on which all must live yet which none produced can be rightfully regarded as the exclusive, unconditional "property" of a mere subset of the population (i.e., those with land titles).

Quote
1.  It owns that property, and if I fail to pay rent, it will remove me.

That, of course, is one of the very objections I addressed above. It would help if you would actually take the time to read something before reacting to it.

Quote
2.  It owns part of my labor, as I must labor to pay the dictated rent.

Again, if you had bothered to read what I wrote before reacting to it, you'd know that the value being taxed has nothing to do with your "labor." If it's the value of people's "labor" I wanted to tax, I'd be defending wage and sales taxes.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline michaelsuede

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 04:55:14 PM »
That's a hell of a mindless, knee-jerk reaction to it.  ::)

None. That is precisely why I call for abolishing taxes on wages, sales, houses and capital goods.

No, by invoking the word "property," you are merely begging the very question at issue -- whether the earth on which all must live yet which none produced can be rightfully regarded as the exclusive, unconditional "property" of a mere subset of the population (i.e., those with land titles).

That, of course, is one of the very objections I addressed above. It would help if you would actually take the time to read something before reacting to it.

Again, if you had bothered to read what I wrote before reacting to it, you'd know that the value being taxed has nothing to do with your "labor." If it's the value of people's "labor" I wanted to tax, I'd be defending wage and sales taxes.

I did read it.

So where does government acquire its right to my labor?

If government has the right to tax me, it is implicitly stating it has a right to my labor.

I do not give my consent.

If I wanted government to have my money, I would give it to government as I would any other charity.



Offline iclozm

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2010, 06:22:56 PM »
I did read it.

So where does government acquire its right to my labor?

If government has the right to tax me, it is implicitly stating it has a right to my labor.

I do not give my consent.

If I wanted government to have my money, I would give it to government as I would any other charity.

I agree.

Quote
Another common objection is that, if government taxes the economic “rent” of land, it automatically becomes the owner of land. This objection is based on the myth that the terms "rent collector" and "owner" are synonymous. While many rent collectors do, indeed, own the property on which they collect rent, there are, nevertheless, thousands of private rental agents and property managers all over the country who routinely collect rent on properties they do not own. Thus, one does not have to be an "owner" to be a "rent collector."  Government is no exception to this rule.

That doesn't mean the government of, say, North Korea does not assert ownership over the land on which it collects rent. It does. But it is not merely the authority to collect land rent, but the authority to dictate how land is used, that makes the North Korean government an "owner" of land. Critics of the LVT repeatedly insist that you can't have one authority without the other, but as mentioned above, the rent-collection services provided by non-owning rental agents and property managers prove just the opposite.

Regardless of how one may manipulate what the word ownership means, or if you call this tax your "protection to use your property how you wish" none the less, it still makes the land susceptible to government seizure for not paying your part. Thus you still "own" the land but the rent collector may let someone else use it, what good does that do? This does not protect property. There should be no tax on property whatsoever. The power to tax an item is the power to take the taxable item away, prevent its purchase, prevent it sale, basically the right to it.

LVT in my opinion still gives the illusion of ownership just as the current system does except makes your local government the tyrant, although does apportion taxes as the Constitution states thus alleviating that tyrannical aspect of taxation. Which is easier to put in check, but still no real property rights are there when you HAVE to pay your government fee.
"The status quo is rationalized by a complacent majority, which refuses to see the obvious: that the state is nothing but an illusion created by a minority to live at others' expense." Dr. Jesus Huerta De Soto

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 01:02:48 PM »
Regardless of how one may manipulate what the word ownership means, or if you call this tax your "protection to use your property how you wish" none the less, it still makes the land susceptible to government seizure for not paying your part.

You're still not looking at the big picture. Not having the LVT means making land susceptible to monopolization by rent-seeking aristocrats, and, consequently, to parasitic rack-renting. This is precisely why many of the Founders and original classical liberals supported the LVT instead of a sales tax:

       http://savingcommunities.org/foundersplan/whyfounders.html

You also continue to ignore how and why elevating law-made property above labor-made property inevitably results in countless millions of landless wage-earners having no real "ownership" of either themselves or the fruits of their labor, since, as explained earlier, one cannot even be a "self" in the first place without access to land (to "be" is to be -- "somewhere"); and if you have no right of access to land (a "right" being, in the words of Michael Badnarik, "something you can do without asking for permission"), then by definition you have no right to live upon it.

This, quite frankly, is why I regard the Austrian School's aristocratic concept of "liberty" to be a sick joke.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2010, 01:05:12 PM »
I've been calling myself a "geolibertarian" since September 1997, and the following essay is the primary reason why:

-------------------------------

http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html


Are you a Real Libertarian, or a
ROYAL
Libertarian?


by Dan Sullivan, founder, Geolibertarian Society, and
former chair, Libertarian Party of Allegheny County, (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania


We call ourselves the "party of principle," and we base property rights on the principle that everyone is entitled to the fruits of his labor. Land, however, is not the fruit of anyone's labor, and our system of land tenure is based not on labor, but on decrees of privilege issued from the state, called titles. In fact, the term "real estate" is Middle English (originally French) for "royal state." The "title" to land is the essence of the title of nobility, and the root of noble privilege.

The royal free lunch

When the state granted land titles to a fraction of the population, it gave that fraction devices with which to levy, and pocket, tolls on the fruits of the labor of others. Those without land privileges must either buy or rent those privileges from the people who received the grants or from their assignees. Thus the state titles enable large landowners to collect a transfer payment, or "free lunch" from the actual land users.

The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent.

-- Carlyle

Tortured rationalizations

According to royal libertarians, land becomes private property when one mixes one's labor with it. And mixing what is yours with what is not yours in order to own the whole thing is considered great sport. But the notion is filled with problems. How much labor does it take to claim land, and how much land can one claim for that labor? And for how long can one make that claim?

According to classical liberals, land belonged to the user for as long as the land was being used, and no longer. But according to royal libertarians, land belongs to the first user, forever. So, do the oceans belong to the heirs of the first person to take a fish out or put a boat in? Does someone who plows the same field each year own only one field, while someone who plows a different field each year owns dozens of fields? Should the builder of the first transcontinental railroad own the continent? Shouldn't we at least have to pay a toll to cross the tracks? Are there no common rights to the earth at all? To royal libertarians there are not, but classical liberals recognized that unlimited ownership of land never flowed from use, but from the state:

A right of property in movable things is admitted before the establishment of government. A separate property in lands not till after that establishment.... He who plants a field keeps possession of it till he has gathered the produce, after which one has as good a right as another to occupy it. Government must be established and laws provided, before lands can be separately appropriated and their owner protected in his possession. Till then the property is in the body of the nation.


"But we're used to it"

A favorite excuse of royal libertarians is that the land has been divided up for so long that tracing the rightful owners would be pointless. But there can be no rightful owners if we all have an inalienable right of access to the earth. It is not some ancient injustice we seek to rectify, but an ongoing injustice. The piece of paper granting title might be ancient, but the tribute levied on the landless goes on and on.

One might as well have accepted monarchy under the excuse that whatever conquest led to monarchy occurred centuries ago, and that tracing the rightful monarchs would be pointless. Indeed, landed aristocracy is the last remnant of monarchy.

Phony Laissez Faire

After conquest and confiscation have been effected, and the State set up, its first concern is with the land....In its capacity as ultimate landlord, the State distributes the land among its beneficiaries on its own terms.

-- Albert J. Nock, Our Enemy the State, p. 44

The English free-trader Cobden remarked that "you who free the land will do more for the people than we who have freed trade." Indeed, how can anyone speak of free trade when the trader has to pay tribute to some favored land-entitlement holder in order to do business?

This imperfect policy of non-intervention, or laissez-faire, led straight to a most hideous and dreadful economic exploitation; starvation wages, slum dwelling, killing hours, pauperism, coffin-ships, child-labour--nothing like it had ever been seen in modern times...People began to say, if this is what State abstention comes to, let us have some State intervention.

But the state had intervened; that was the whole trouble. The State had established one monopoly--the landlord's monopoly of economic rent--thereby shutting off great hordes of people from free access to the only source of human subsistence, and driving them into factories to work for whatever Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. Bottles chose to give them. The land of England, while by no means nearly all actually occupied, was all legally occupied; and this State-created monopoly enabled landlords to satisfy their needs and desires with little exertion or none, but it also removed the land from competition with industry in the labor market, thus creating a huge, constant and exigent labour-surplus.
[Emphasis Nock's]

-- Albert J. Nock, "The Gods' Lookout" February 1934

State land vs. common land

The distinction between common property and state property is lost on royal libertarians. Common property is that to which we all have inalienable rights. State property is that which the state actually owns, and can dispose of as it sees fit. For example, a public right of way is literally a right of way. Under principles of common law, nobody, not even the king, could close a traveled road and make it private property. A state maintenance truck, on the other hand, is state property, which can be sold if it no longer suits state purposes.

The earth, therefore, and all things therein, are the general property of all mankind, from the immediate gift of the Creator.

-- William Blackstone

It is a royal libertarian notion, and not a classical liberal ideal, to treat land as state property, for if land did not rightfully belong to the state, how could the state have granted it to favored citizens?

Classical liberals, not royal libertarians, are the ones who deny the state's right to appropriate the earth and allocate it to privileged individuals on favored terms. Classical liberals are also who hold the key to abolishing taxation, by suggesting that the community (not the state) charge a user fee to landholders based on the value of the land.

The ultimate user's fee

Classical liberals recognized that exclusive access to land, and especially to more land than one was using, was a privilege that should be paid for, thereby eliminating the need for taxes. It is not a fee for using land, but a fee for the state privilege of denying use of that land to everyone else.

Men did not make the earth....It is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property....Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.

-- Tom Paine, Agrarian Justice, paragraphs 11 to 15

Another means of silently lessening the inequality of [landed] property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise.

-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, Oct. 28, 1785

Today's land value tax advocates consider graduated land value tax to be unnecessary and problematic, leading to artificial subdivision (and phony subdivision) of land. The point is that Jefferson, to whom libertarians pay homage, considered land monopoly a great evil and land value tax a remedy, as did many other classical liberals:

Both ground-rents and the ordinary rent of land are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Though a part of this revenue should be taken from him in order to defray the expenses of the state, no discouragement will thereby be given to any sort of industry....Ground-rents and the ordinary rent of land are, therefore, perhaps, the species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax imposed upon them.

-- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Bk 5, Ch. 2, Pt 1

Suppose that there is a kind of income which constantly tends to increase, without any exertion or sacrifice on the part of the owners: those owners constituting a class in the community, whom the natural course of things progressively enriches, consistently with complete passiveness on their own part. In such a case it would be no violation of the principles on which private property is grounded, if the state should appropriate this increase of wealth, or part of it, as it arises. This would not properly be taking anything from anybody; it would merely be applying an accession of wealth, created by circumstances, to the benefit of society, instead of allowing it to become an unearned appendage to the riches of a particular class.

Now this is actually the case with rent. The ordinary progress of a society which increases in wealth, is at all times tending to augment the incomes of landlords; to give them both a greater amount and a greater proportion of the wealth of the community, independently of any trouble or outlay incurred by themselves. They grow richer, as it were in their sleep, without working, risking, or economizing. What claim have they, on the general principle of social justice, to this accession of riches? In what would they have been wronged if society had, from the beginning, reserved the right of taxing the spontaneous increase of rent, to the highest amount required by financial exigencies?


-- John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy, Bk 5, Ch. 2


Two different kinds of indirect taxation

One of the most perverted twisting of concepts is reflected in what Hamilton called "indirect taxation." To him, and to many royal libertarians, indirect taxation is "hidden" taxation, as a value-added tax or sales tax that is buried in the price of purchased goods. This kind of indirectness is hardly admirable, and is similar to the kind of indirectness involved in chicanery and duplicity. Small wonder Jefferson called Hamilton a monarchist.

The Articles of Confederation embodied an entirely different concept of indirect taxation. The United States was to levy a tax, not on individual property holders, but on each state, based on its aggregate land value. The assumption was that each state would levy a similar tax on each county, and so on down to the individual. In this way, the individual would never have to face a federal tax agent directly, and if the federal government did not have the full support of the states, it could not bully them as easily as it could bully individuals.

Unfortunately, states did not support the federal government to its satisfaction from the beginning (being strapped from the war). Rather than working things out patiently, Hamilton introduced power-centralizing measures into the new Constitution. One was the other kind of indirect taxation, the mosquito-bite kind that you don't see happening. Royal libertarians trumpet this covert taxation as a virtue over direct real estate taxation, even when it means that "free trade" is being taxed.

Socialist Confusions

The classical liberal distinctions between land, labor and capital were greatly confused by socialists, and particularly Marxists, who substituted the fuzzy abstract term, "means of production," for all three factors. They also blurred the distinction between common property and state property, for socialists believed, as royalty also believed, that they were the people.

Today, the confusions between land and capital and between state property and common property are shared by socialists and royal libertarians, and only classical liberals keep these distinctions clearly defined. Yet royal libertarians frequently duck the land issue by charging that it is the classical liberals, not the royal libertarians, who have embraced socialist ideas.

Blocking Locke

John Locke is often misrepresented by royal libertarians, who quote him very selectively. For example, Locke did say that:

Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.

But Locke condemned anyone who took more than he needed as a "spoiler of the commons":

...if the fruits rotted, or the venison putrified, before he could spend it, he offended against the common law of nature, and was liable to be punished; he invaded his neighbour's share, for he had no right, farther than his use called for any of them, and they might serve to afford him conveniences of life.

The same measures governed the possession of land too: whatsoever he tilled and reaped, laid up and made use of, before it spoiled, that was his peculiar right; whatsoever he enclosed, and could feed, and make use of, the cattle and product was also his. But if either the grass of his enclosure rotted on the ground, or the fruit of his planting perished without gathering, and laying up, this part of the earth, notwithstanding his enclosure, was still to be looked on as waste, and might be the possession of any other.


Locke also restricted appropriation of land by the proviso, ignored by royal libertarians, that there must be

still enough, and as good left; and more than the yet unprovided could use. So that, in effect, there was never the less left for others because of his enclosure for himself: for he that leaves as much as another can make use of, does as good as take nothing at all.

Now if the situation is that there is enough free land, and as good, left after you take and cultivate your land, than your land has no market value, for who would pay you for land that is not better than land that can be had for free? So, besides the fact that Locke's justification of privatizing land is far more limited than royal libertarians portray it to be, it is irrelevant to the question of land value tax, as it applies only to land that has no value.

Furthermore, Locke based his scenario on pre-monetary societies, where a landholder would find that "it was useless, as well as dishonest, to carve himself too much, or take more than he needed." With the introduction of money, Locke noted, all land quickly became appropriated. Why? Because with money, those who can take more land than they have personal use for suddenly have reason to do so, as between them they will have taken all the land, and others will have to pay rent to them. So, with the introduction of money, the Lockean rationale for landed property falls apart, even according to Locke. And while Locke did not propose a remedy specifically for to this problem, he repeatedly stated that all taxes should be on real estate.

The tragedy of the common misunderstanding

In their search for excuses to deny any common right to land, royal libertarians are fond of citing Garrett Hardin's work, "Tragedy of the Commons." Or at least they cite the title, which is all most royal libertarians are familiar with. Hardin is himself an advocate of land value taxation, and has criticized misinterpretations of his work with the lament that "The title of my 1968 paper should have been "The Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons.'" [Emphasis Hardin's]

Thoughtful Libertarian Party leadership

Fortunately, the bias toward royal libertarianism has been shaken off by many of the philosophical leaders of the party. Founder David Nolan supports land value tax as the only tax that does not fall on productivity, and the late Karl Hess often described land value tax as the one tax to levy until the state could be abolished entirely. It is mostly the von Miseans, the Objectivists, and the wishful thinkers who adopt the royal rationalization that they can hoard all the land to themselves with impunity.

The red, red herring

Royal libertarians are fond of confusing the classical liberal concept of common land ownership, particularly as espoused by land value tax advocate Henry George, with socialism. Yet socialists have always been contemptuous of George and of the distinction between land monopoly and capital monopolies. However, Frank Chodorov and Albert J. Nock (the original editors of The Freeman) were both advocates of George's economic remedies as well as lovers of individual liberty.

The only reformer abroad in the world in my time who interested me in the least was Henry George, because his project did not contemplate prescription, but, on the contrary, would reduce it to almost zero. He was the only one of the lot who believed in freedom, or (as far as I could see) had any approximation to an intelligent idea of what freedom is, and of the economic prerequisites to attaining it....One is immensely tickled to see how things are coming out nowadays with reference to his doctrine, for George was in fact the best friend the capitalist ever had. He built up the most complete and most impregnable defense of the rights of capital that was ever constructed, and if the capitalists of his day had had sense enough to dig in behind it, their successors would not now be squirming under the merciless exactions which collectivism is laying on them, and which George would have no scruples whatever about describing as sheer highwaymanry.

-- Albert J. Nock "Thoughts on Utopia"


Von Mises misses

Ludwig von Mises acknowledged in several places wholly unique distinctions between land and capital, but in his zeal to denounce land value tax, stated that,

Classical economy erred when it assigned land a distinct place in its theoretical scheme. Land is, in its economic sense, a factor of production, and the laws determining the formation of the prices of land are the same that determine the formation of other forms of production.

Or, paraphrasing Jay Leno, go ahead and buy up the land; we'll make more. The difference between land and capital is huge, and explains why the cost of silicon chips goes down as demand goes up, while the cost of Silicon Valley goes up as demand goes up. There is no natural monopolization of capital, but, with state sanction, there is monopolization of land. But von Mises would sooner obscure these distinctions in socialist fashion than to embrace a proposal he mistakenly thought to be socialist.

In his first edition of Human Action, von Mises attacked land value tax as based on the socialist principle that legitimate property flows only from labor. But that is also a libertarian principle, a classical liberal principle, an Austrian principle, and even the von Misean principle behind private property! So, by the third edition, von Mises changed his text to read that land taxers claim legitimate property flows only from manual labor.

This is much more logically consistent, but factually incorrect. It is a correct assessment of what many socialists believe, but it is not a correct assessment of what land taxers believe. Henry George, the most prominent land taxer of all, wrote in his magnum opus, Progress and Poverty,

Thus the term labor includes all human exertion in the production of wealth, and wages, being that part of the produce which goes to labor, includes all reward for such exertion. There is, therefore, in the political-economic sense of the term, no distinction as to the kind of labor, or as to whether its reward is received through an employer or not....

George also defended the ownership of property that flows from the employment of capital.

Perhaps von Mises was biased by his location in Europe, where classical liberalism had not fared as well as in America. He might also have first seen land value tax in the Communist Manifesto, and not realized that it was there as a socialist ploy to co-opt support from classical liberalism. (Marx expressed contempt for land value tax as a reform in its own right, and openly stated that his support of it was only to draw people to what he really wanted, which was to control capital.) If this is where von Mises got his first exposure to the idea, it would not be surprising to see him close his mind to it.

Ayn Rand comes sooo close!

Ayn Rand made arguments against perpetual intellectual property that are remarkably similar to arguments against perpetual landed property. She also saw the distinction between land and capital in terms of common vs. private property, but fell back into confusion at other times. She rightly chastised the Encyclopaedia Brittanica's definition of capitalism for confusing land and capital, which she quoted as follows:

Fundamental to any system called capitalist are the relations between private owners of nonpersonal means of production (land, mines, industrial plants, etc., collectively known as capital) [emphasis Rand's]

Then she quoted a John Galt speech in Atlas Shrugged in which Galt stated sarcastically, "A factory is a `natural resource', like a tree, a rock or a mud puddle."

By Jove, I think she's...

But are the heroes of Atlas Shrugged real capitalists? The inventor John Galt is, and perhaps Hank Rearden of Rearden Metals is, too, although one wonders where he got his ore and fuel. But Taggart Railways enjoys extremely valuable right-of-way privileges from the state. (Once land is parceled out, it is virtually impossible to build a railroad without either land value tax or eminent domain.)

Then there is Francisco D'Anconia, who owned the world's richest copper deposits, and who took delight in blowing up his mines and driving the price of copper through the roof--something that would not work nearly as well for a capitalist as for a resource monopolist, as there is no way competitors can make copper ore that doesn't already exist, and, buried or not, D'Anconia's copper ore still belonged to him.

The economics of Galt's Gulch

Most revealing of all is the Randian utopia, Galt's Gulch, which was financed entirely from, yes, land rents. Midas Mulligan owned the whole place, and was, in essence, the government. All the common services, from Galt's magic energy machine to Hank Rearden's village railroad, to their defense system (some sort of jammer that made the valley invisible to passing planes) were financed from ground rents collected by Mulligan from the landholders. Although politically Galt's Gulch was a monarchy, economically it was a Georgist Single-Tax community, with all community services paid for from the rent of land.

Who has the authority to collect land rent?

Many libertarians struggle with the legitimate question of how any governing body achieves rightful jurisdiction in a community, and we join them in opposing collection by such super-statist organizations as the United Nations, which is substantially a federation of tyrannies. However, royal libertarians raise the question selectively and rhetorically in regard to community collection of land rents. They acknowledge that there must be courts to settle, among other things, property disputes. It seems rather obvious that whatever entity has authority to rule on who gets the land also has authority to rule on who gets the land rent.

Fear of a funded government

There is also a well founded libertarian concern that land rent could provide funds enough to support a corrupt and oppressive government. Most libertarian supporters of the governmental collection of land rent therefore fall into two camps. One would give the people power to limit how much money the government can take, but would stipulate that all such money come entirely from ground rents and natural resource severance royalties. The other would take the full rent, but would stipulate that the government can still only spend what the citizens authorize it to spend. The rest would be distributed on a per-capita basis.

Ending excuses for big government

Much of the government spending to which libertarians strenuously object is made necessary by its taxing productivity instead of land values.

The property tax falls mostly on improvements, so less housing is built, giving the government an excuse to build public housing. Profits are taxed, leading to less employment and giving government an excuse to spend money on economic stimulus projects. Family income is taxed to the point that they have difficulty buying a house or sending their children to college, so government institutes subsidized mortgages and student loans.

Even the indirect effects are substantial. Land speculations gone sour chew up inner cities, so poor people turn to crime (if drug selling and prostitution be crimes) and the government gets an excuse to beef up the police state.

Politically connected real estate interests see that they can buy up land in the boondocks for a pittance and then get other taxpayers to build them a superhighway, increasing the value of their holdings by orders of magnitude. With land value tax they would have ultimately paid for their own highway or more likely would not have had it built in the first place.

Even welfare increases do not stay in the hands of welfare recipients, but are quickly greeted by higher rent demands from ghetto landlords. (The War on Poverty did little to end poverty, but it did a lot to enrich absentee owners of poor communities.)

[Continued...]

-------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline MonkeyPuppet

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2010, 01:38:01 PM »
My first , and admittedly knee-jerk, reaction to this was "NO!", but after actually reading the information, it makes a lot more sense.

The current system is broken and has proven to be both ineffectual for the preservation of liberty, and has allowed the beast to run amok given the general ignorance of how a proper union of independent Republics should function.  I have no problem with indirect taxation at the federal level with regard to imports and exports, but it becomes quite destructive when turned inward.  However, I would prefer the coupling of LVT and the abolition of corporate person-hood.

For anyone having trouble "getting it" and poo-poo'ing the ideas set forth, read it again... it'll hit you like a ton of squishy bricks.

Income Tax: Shattering The Myths
w w w . original intent . o r g

The 1911 in .45 ACP... don't leave home without it!  Safety first!!

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 04:56:35 PM »
http://savingcommunities.org/issues/taxes/sales/destroyscommerce.html

Sales Tax Destroys Commerce

by Dan Sullivan

Pennsylvania has virtually no shopping malls within 15 miles of Delaware, even though population density in that area is higher than anywhere else in Pennsylvania (and, for that matter, higher than in Delaware). Why the dearth of shopping malls? Because Pennsylvania has a 6% sales tax (7% in Philadelphia), and Delaware has no sales tax at all.

[Continued...]


http://www.progress.org/fold130.htm

Taxes: 19th-century Sales versus 21st-century Rent

by Fred E. Foldvary
The Progress Report
2000

The sales tax is a 19th-century tax that is becoming ever more unsuited for our global mobile 21st century economy. There is no logical or economic reason whatsoever for taxing sales. Yet there are those who advocate expanding this antiquated tax and forcing high transaction taxes on the global commerce of the internet.

It is unfortunate, and may even be a tragedy, that some USA tax reformers, seeing the evil of the income tax, advocate shifting to a national sales tax. This misguided movement for consumption and sales taxes is splitting the tax-reform movement and diverting energy and time away from realistic and beneficial tax reform.

[Continued...]


http://web.archive.org/web/20100325150804/http://fairtaxfraud.com/book.asp

What it's all about: The Book

The Book, "The FairTax Book", written by right-wing radio talk show host Neal Boortz, is the basis for and Bible for a recent right-wing cult-like movement to replace the current US tax code with a national sales tax. We suggest you familiarize yourself with it by purchasing or borrowing the book from your local library. We want you to be as informed as possible so that you can make a logical decision based on facts, and not on party loyalty or hype.

We consider the FairTax to be nothing more than a smokescreen for a huge tax cut to the wealthiest Americans and a gigantic tax increase for everyone else to make up for it. As you read, ask yourself what you would get from this plan if it was ever made into law. With critical thinking you will find that the FairTax is not only a lie and a scam, but it will throw many Americans into permanent poverty. We believe the FairTax plan taxes hard work - the sweat of our brows and the toil of our labor - while at the same time it makes free welfare money (inheritances, gifts, and capital gains), that wasn't worked for and wasn't earned, completely tax free.

The FairTax increases the size of government making all who sell or trade part of the Big Brother network. This new tax bill gives the government additional powers to rule the poor and literally grants additional rights to the wealthiest people in America. George Orwell would have been proud.

The FairTax is ANTI-FAMILY. The FairTax penalizes poor families for buying food, clothes, shelter, and medical care by taxing all the basic necessities of life. These things are NOT taxed right now (and shouldn't be) but they ARE HEAVILY TAXED under the FairTax plan. Remember this when you get barraged by a FairTax supporter that says the prebate will give you a portion of this additional tax back and you should be grateful to the new Big Brother Government for giving you anything back. The FairTax bill penalizes those who live paycheck to paycheck taxing every dollar spent to make ends meet while UN-TAXING the rich and wealthy who live off of inheritances, trusts, gifts, and old money.

[Continued...]


http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/fairtax.htm

The FAIRTAX: A TROJAN HORSE FOR AMERICA?

By Claire Wolfe & Aaron Zelman

“Abolish the IRS!”

So goes the cry. And who could disagree? The income tax is unAmerican in the most profound way, punishing people for being successful. The tax code is vast and incomprehensible. The agency that enforces it is universally loathed.

Yes, let's abolish the IRS. And the income tax.

Unfortunately, the statement that usually comes next begins, “And replace it with ...” And there a new round of troubles begin.

Over time, proposals have included replacing the graduated income tax with a flat tax, a VAT (value added tax), or some form of consumption tax. For several years now, the buzz has been growing for a national sales tax. While other “abolish the IRS” reforms have languished, the national sales tax has, as they say, developed legs.

The most durable proposal for a national sales tax – called the FairTax – is promoted by an organization called Americans for Fair Taxation (AFT) (http://www.fairtax.org). A bill to implement that tax (H.R. 25; Senate Bill 1943)(1) was introduced in Congress early in the 108th Congress. The so-called “Fair Tax Act” has 54 co-sponsors as of this writing, plus the outspoken support of both Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. President George W. Bush expressed cautious support for the act in response to a pre-screened questioner at one of his campaign events. In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Republican Party convention, Bush strongly advocated a total revamp of the U.S. tax system. Although he made no specific proposal, his language was similar to that of the FairTaxers. And at the moment, the FairTax is the only serious tax-revamp proposal on the Congressional table.

Finally, many, many ordinary freedom-loving people, weary of the present outrageous system, are cheering the FairTax as a great improvement.

But it's not.

The FairTax is not only not an improvement. We believe it's UnFair, dangerous, and a disaster in the making.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 05:01:36 PM »
http://www.progress.org/views/editorials/foldvary-make-labor-day-real-untax-wages/

Make Labor Day Real: Untax Wages!

by Fred E. Foldvary
The Progress Report
September 01, 2003

In the United States, the holiday honoring workers is Labor Day, which falls on the first Monday in September. This year, 2003, Labor Day is September 1. Elsewhere in the world, May 1 is a common labor holiday.

Why is labor so celebrated, and why is labor not really honored? Why is labor feted in form, but little honored in substance? Why do those who decry the oppression of labor fail to advocate the reform that would best benefit labor?

Labor union leaders want legislation requiring workers in particular industries to be union members. They want the state to enforce picket lines and strikes. They seek laws mandating minimum wages, double pay for overtime work, pay for parental leave, and unemployment insurance. But the one law they do not call for is the abolition of taxes on wages.

Those who fancy themselves to be "progressive" complain about the flight of jobs to foreign countries. They criticize the government for high unemployment. They rally against sweatshop labor. They blame corporations for the exploitation of labor. But I never hear them call for the elimination of taxes on wages.

The single most important reform that labor would benefit from is to have wages free of all taxes. That includes not just income taxes on wages earned but also the taxation of wages when they are spent; value-added and sales taxes are just as much takings from wages as taxes on income. If you have to pay $10 to be in a room, it does not matter whether you have to pay the $10 when you enter or leave the room. The bottom line is that you have paid $10.

Governments all over the world tax labor heavily. It is as though labor were some kind of crime or evil that has to be punished. Taxing wages does not just reduce the take-home pay of the worker. Part of the cost is also borne by the employer. If the supply of labor were completely fixed and rigid, labor would bear all the tax. But in fact, with higher wages, more people want to work. So employers cannot arbitrarily lower the wage offer; they will not get enough labor if the wage they offer is too low. So some of the tax on labor is paid by employers as higher labor costs. They must offer somewhat higher wages to get the labor they need.

The cost of taxes on wages is shared by the employer and the employee. There is a tax wedge between the cost of labor to the employer and the net wage kept by the worker. Labor is made more expensive while workers have lower after-tax wages. With higher labor costs, there is less employment, less production, less investment, less growth, and more poverty.

The wage tax is the source of almost all the evil that befalls labor. The self-employed also must pay a wage tax. A self-employed worker implicitly pays himself a wage out of his profit, since if he were employed by another, he would earn that wage. The opportunity cost, the best wage foregone by not working for someone else, is the wage that a self-employed worker pays himself. Taxes on wages create a barrier to self-employment, reducing the options of workers who work for companies. It is easier for a boss to exploit labor if the workers cannot easily quit and be self-employed. Barriers to self-employment skew power to employers.

Besides the obvious, explicit taxes on wage, there are also hidden taxes that are substantial even if not apparent. Out of his wage the worker must pay rent for his dwelling. Land values and site rents get pumped up because the financing for public works come from wages rather than land rent. A worker-tenant gets implicitly taxed again when he pays a higher rental for his dwelling because his landlord is being subsidized in the form of higher land rent.

But that's not the end of it. The rent subsidy to landowners incites them to buy more land, and speculative demand adds to the user demand. Land prices get driven up so high the worker must live far from work in the urban fringes and then commute long distances. The worker is taxed again. We have taxed-again workers, taxed again and again and again.

Taxes on wages are not just bad economics. The wage tax is a moral evil. A worker has a moral right to his own body, time, skills, and life. If not, he is a slave. Therefore, a worker has a moral right to the products and earnings of his labor. The taxation of wages is therefore an evil theft of his labor.

The majority of the people in all countries are workers. The best policy for workers to elevate wages, reduce unemployment, increase worker security, and improve labor conditions is to eliminate taxes on wages. The ultimate resources are land and labor, so the ultimate tax is on land and labor. If taxes there must be, to untax labor, we must shift all taxation to land rent.

Why is it that we see unions and progressives demand more money wages from employers, but not the shift of taxes from wages to rent? Why is the wrath of labor directed to their employers and not to their government representatives who tax their wages away?

If taxation were shifted from wages to rent, there would be a loss of land value to the owners of the most valuable real estate, commercial and industrial land. To protect their interests, the landed interests indoctrinate the masses to think that the conflict is between labor and capital. They tuck land into capital and mask rent in profits and interest. Faced with high housing costs, people seek subsidies, which further pump up land values at the expense of wages.

But labor advocates can't see beyond the immediate appearances, the companies which hire workers. They don't look beyond treatments of effects. They can't be bothered to investigate ultimate causes.

If we want to be honest, we should change "Labor Day" to "Landowner Day," because labor policy benefits land owning instead of labor, and labor leaders do little to change this. Have a happy Landowner Day!
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2010, 01:13:27 PM »
Since the value-added tax (VAT) has been in the news lately, and since most Americans seem to know little if anything about this horrendous tax -- and thus how it compares with other taxes -- I thought I’d start off by posting the following excerpt (all emphasis original):

-------------------------------

“One proposal is to substantially reduce or replace personal and corporate income taxes with a tax on consumption. One such tax is the value-added tax (VAT), which is like a retail sales tax except that it applies only to the difference between the value of a firm’s sales and the value of its purchases from other firms. For example, Intel would pay the VAT—say, 7 percent—on the difference between the value of the microchips it produces and sells and the value of the materials used to make the chips. Compaq, IBM, and other firms which buy the chips and other components to make personal computers would subtract the value of these materials from the value of their sales of personal computers. They would then pay the 7 percent tax on that difference—on the value they added.

“Economists reason that since the VAT would apply to all firms, sellers could shift their VATs to buyers in the form of higher prices without loss of sales to other firms. Final consumers, who cannot shift the tax, would end up paying the full VAT as 7 percent higher prices. So a VAT would amount to a national sales tax on consumer goods.”

-- Campbell R. McConnell & Stanley L. Brue, Economics, 14th ed., pp. 657-8

-------------------------------

There’s a widely propagated myth concerning the VAT that is revealed in the above quote:

“Economists reason that since the VAT would apply to all firms, sellers could shift their VATs to buyers in the form of higher prices without loss of sales to other firms.”

The establishment economists who employ this argument are obviously counting on the gullible masses to ignore or overlook the obvious questions it begs: If, due to the VAT-caused spike in prices, retail stores experienced a consequent drop in sales, wouldn’t this force them to reduce how much they purchase from the producers of what they’re attempting to sell? And wouldn’t that, in turn, trigger the very “loss” in sales -- and hence in available “investment” dollars -- from which the process of “shifting” the VAT to consumers would allegedly protect mining, agricultural and manufacturing firms?

One doesn’t have to have a degree in economics to see clearly that the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes!”

So we see that, contrary to popular belief, the VAT penalizes and discourages not just “consumption,” but production as well. It is a tax on -- as Robert De Fremery would put it -- the “privately created values” of labor and capital goods (“capital” for short). Only in the Orwellian fantasy world of economic snake-oil salesmen can such a tax be imposed without penalizing production as well as consumption, and without reducing (consequently) the ability of the average firm to invest in production.

Bottom line: like the ridiculous carbon tax, the VAT is just one more glorified way of taxing labor and capital to death while leaving publicly created land values comparatively untaxed -- all so overprivileged landlords, slumlords and banklords can continue to quietly parasitize both wage-earners and productive entrepreneurs through systematic rent-gouging.

Ever notice how you never hear that particular assessment from either Keynesians or Austrians? And on the issue of monetary reform, ever notice how both groups -- despite being supposed “opposites” -- seem equally opposed (albeit for different reasons) to debt-free Greenbacks?

If so, why do you suppose that is?

Could it be that Democrat-vs.-Republican is not the only “false paradigm” within which countless people have allowed their minds and intellects to be literally enslaved via elite-funded propaganda campaigns? Could the reason why Austrians obsessively attack Keynesians -- and vice versa -- be that each group must rely heavily upon the other’s fatally flawed agenda as comparative foil against which to define its own, lest the masses they’re trying desperately to dupe notice the respective flaws in each?

Read the following and decide for yourself:

       http://www.henrygeorge.org/isms.htm
       http://www.politicaleconomy.org/gaffney.htm
       http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Andelson_HGRC.html
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2010, 10:15:08 AM »
Bottom line: like the ridiculous carbon tax, the VAT is just one more glorified way of taxing labor and capital to death while leaving publicy created land values largely untaxed -- all so overprivileged landlords, slumlords and banklords can continue to quietly parasitize both wage-earners and productive entrepreneurs through systematic rent-gouging.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/bankers-prepare-to-assault-americans-with-vat-transaction-taxes.html

Bankers Prepare To Assault Americans With VAT, Transaction Taxes

Obama: Value-added tax still on the table despite White House assurances otherwise, campaign promise not to raise taxes for families earning under $250,000 a year

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, April 22, 2010

The global banking elite are preparing to assault Americans with two huge new tax increases as President Obama contradicts the assurances of White House aides and his own campaign trail promise by asserting that a VAT tax is still on the table, as the IMF outlines a new tax on financial transactions that is being hailed as a blow to the banks yet represents another stealth tax on the people.

“President Barack Obama suggested Wednesday that a new value-added tax on Americans is still on the table, seeming to show more openness to the idea than his aides have expressed in recent days,” reports the Associated Press.

Obama’s signal that he may embrace a European-style VAT tax follows former Fed chairman Paul Volcker’s call for a value-added tax. In response, the U.S. Senate passed a nonbinding “sense of the Senate” resolution labeling any such move, “a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America’s economic recovery.”

Not happy with hitting Americans with a roughly 20% increase in living costs that a VAT tax would impose, Volcker also called for a carbon tax in the name of solving the widely discredited scam of man-made global warming, a new levy that is already being introduced at the state level.

Despite the fact that White House aides dismissed the prospect of a national sales tax only on Monday, Obama’s u-turn once again contradicts his pre-election promise that he would not raise taxes for American families earning under a quarter of a million dollars a year.

During a speech on the campaign trail, Obama promised, “No family making under $250,000 dollars a year will see any form of tax increase.”

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HE-rGGKksQ

However, the VAT tax is a flat rate levy that applies to everyone, and it will dramatically increase the cost of living for Americans already laboring under the greatest financial meltdown since 1929. As CNS News highlights, VAT is also labeled “consumption tax, because it applies to items at every stage of production. Such a tax would affect purchasers at all income levels.”

Obama’s failure to keep his promise that families would not “see any form of tax increase” has force him to lie in public addresses and claim that he only ever promised not to increase income tax on families earning under $250,000.

“And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000,” Obama said on April 10. “That’s another promise we’ve kept.”

As CNS News’ Fred Lucas points out, in addition to any future VAT tax, “The $1-trillion health care overhaul bill contains at least 12 taxes and fees that will affect households earning less than $250,000.”

In our special report on tax increases contained in the Obamacare bill, we identified dozens of tax increases, most of which would apply to families making under $250,000 a year.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2010, 09:56:03 AM »
http://www.infowars.com/obama-debt-czar-says-tax-hikes-on-the-table/

Obama Debt Czar Says Tax Hikes “On The Table”   

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, April 26, 2010

The Democratic co-chairman of President Obama’s debt commission, Erskine Bowles, told Fox News Sunday that tax hikes for Americans are “on the table,” despite Obama’s election campaign promise that no individual earning under $200,000 dollars a year would be hit with any tax increases.

Asked if he felt bound by the President’s pledge, Bowles responded, “Everything is on the table, we’re going to look at every single way to right this fiscal ship….raising revenue, we have to have everything on the table.”

Bowles also said that a European-style VAT tax, which would increase living costs by as much as 25 per cent, was also under consideration.

“I think that there are many good arguments that you could make for a value-added tax or a consumption tax as oppose to a tax on wages but I think it’s just one of the things that ought to be on the table that we ought to discuss.”

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F2ftIhPkiQ

Bowles’ suggestion that a VAT tax would supplant or be offset by a reduction in income tax is likely a ruse. People in Europe pay the highest levels of income tax in the world but they are also forced to pay VAT on most goods at a level between 15-25 per cent in addition to costly income tax rates.

VAT taxes are typically introduced at low rates in order to dampen opposition, but then gradually raised over the course of decades. For example, Denmark’s VAT tax started at 9 per cent in 1962, but today has bloated to a whopping 25 per cent.

The 18 members of the debt commission will unveil their plan by December 1.

The prospect of income tax hikes contradicts Obama’s pre-election promise that he would not raise taxes for American families earning under a quarter of a million dollars a year.

During a speech on the campaign trail, Obama guaranteed, “No family making under $250,000 dollars a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

“You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime,” Obama repeatedly vowed.

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HE-rGGKksQ

As we have highlighted, even aside from any income tax hikes, Americans already face a myriad of tax increases under Obamacare, a potential VAT tax, not to mention a future consumption tax based on CO2 emissions.

As the Associated Press reported On April 1, the largest ever increase in tobacco tax, and one that would disproportionately affect the poor, was passed by Obama despite his pledge to protect lower earners.

Last week, Obama himself said that a value-added tax, which would hit Americans across the income bracket but particularly the poor and struggling middle class, was “still on the table” just days after White House aides had assured otherwise.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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The carbon tax
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2010, 06:07:41 PM »
The carbon tax has also been in the news. The economic snake-oil salesmen who shamelessly peddle this ridiculous scheme routinely claim that it will "curb emissions" while helping to "strengthen" our economy. Now, since it is the wealth-producing process of applying labor and capital to land that generates much of the man-made carbon emissions that global warming cultists incessantly wax alarmist about, what the aforementioned salesmen are essentially claiming is that -- even though labor and capital are taxed to death already -- if we tax them even more, that will magically improve our collapsing economy.  

The truth, of course, is the very opposite:

------------------------------------

http://www.prisonplanet.com/kerry-%e2%80%93-lieberman-corrupt-climate-science-used-to-destroy-us-economy.html

Kerry – Lieberman: Corrupt Climate Science Used To Destroy US Economy

Dr. Tim Ball
Canada Free Press
May 18, 2010

The Kerry – Lieberman American Power Act (APA) is a disastrous, unnecessary solution for a non-existent problem. Worse, it’s a problem that exists only in a grossly inadequate computer model whose projections have never been correct. It is predicated on the false assumption that an increase in CO2 causes a temperature increase. Every record of any duration for any period in Earth’s history shows temperature increases before CO2 increases.  The false assumption is the basis of all global warming and climate change used in the corrupted research and models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is impossible to imagine such an unjustified basis for any action, except to undermine the US economy for political gain.

It will make the US economy uncompetitive, dramatically increase the cost of living and give more power to the government. This is already proven in the failure of countries that have pursued similar alternative energies and green economies.

The name of the Act is in the deceptive tradition of climate-based energy policy. It was carbon credits, then carbon tax, cap and trade, and now the APA but they are all the same and completely unnecessary.  Carbon credits were designed as a global equalization of wealth. Developed nations had to pay for the sin of making their money by using fossil fuels and producing the planet destroying global warming. Cap and Trade appeared virtuous by capping the planet-destroying CO2 while creating trade and business opportunity. It is actually the same old tax grab with more government control. The APA invokes patriotism and implies energy independence, especially from oil. The spill in the Gulf is unfortunate but has reinforced the push. As Rahm Emmanuel, White House Chief of Staff said, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

The IPCC Provide Corrupt Scientific Basis

It provides the leverage to achieve the stated Obama administration goal of energy independence and a shift to alternative energy. However, it is much more than that because as Richard Lindzen said “Controlling carbon is a bureaucrats dream. If you control carbon you control life.”

The IPCC Reports and especially the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) are used to demonize CO2. Ironically, they provide evidence of how inadequate they are for taking such dramatic, drastic and unnecessary political action.

In the Reports what is initially included and then excluded tells the story. For example, a graph (Figure 1) showing the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was included in the 1990 IPCC Report. It was a problem for Michael Mann and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) so it disappeared in later reports and then was replaced in the 2001 Report by the corrupted ‘hockey stick’ graph, as they rewrote history.

[Continued...]


http://www.prisonplanet.com/will-the-new-green-economy-kill-the-american-dream-for-millions-of-people.html

Will The New Green Economy Kill The American Dream For Millions Of People?

The American Dream
May 21, 2010

As Barack Obama and U.S. Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman continue to try to ramrod a "green economy bill" down the throats of the American people, many Americans are openly wondering what this new green economy is going to cost all of us. After all, two new reports have just come out that clearly indicate that “climate change legislation” is really, really bad for an economy. In fact, many are projecting that the cap and trade system that Barack Obama and the Democrats wish to impose on all of us will end up killing the American Dream for millions of people. At a time when the U.S. economy is already coming apart at the seams, the last thing we need is another huge mountain of oppressive regulations heaped on to American businesses. This is especially true considering the fact that global corporations have already shown that they will ship manufacturing jobs out of the United States at the drop of a hat. The reality is that the new green economy is not going to be good for any of us, and the American people need to wake up to that fact.

First of all, before we explore the economic dangers of this new green economy, we should make it clear that carbon dioxide simply does not cause global warming.

Dr. Tim Ball, a renowned environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, has studied this for years and he says that it abundantly clear that carbon dioxide cannot possibly cause “global warming”….

“CO2 is about 1.5 the density of air. One of the great fallacies promoted by [the proponents of the global warming theory] is that CO2 is well and quickly mixed through the atmosphere. It isn’t. They also argue that the CO2 is most effective in trapping heat from the Earth (infrared) at the top of the atmosphere. This is why the computer models predicted greatest warming at the top of the atmosphere over the tropics. The problem is the actual measurements show that is not happening.”

The truth is that carbon dioxide is one of the fundamental building blocks of life. In fact, scientists tell us that there were times in the earth’s past when there were much, much higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there are now. When there is more carbon dioxide, plant life thrives and there is more food for everyone.

But the environmentalists just won’t listen. It is as if nothing will shake their blind faith in global warming. But the facts are out there for anyone with an open mind. For much more on the fraud of “global warming”, just check out the following article: “How To Save The Environment? Get Al Gore The Heck Away From It”.

In fact, even if we eliminated every single source of carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans, it would hardly make a dent in total worldwide carbon emissions. Over 95% of total carbon dioxide emissions would occur even if humans were not present on Earth.

So those who are trying so hard to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in order to “save the environment” are chasing after some sort of a fantasy.

That wouldn’t be so bad if their delusions weren’t about to crush the U.S. economy.

Analysts are calling this new green economy bill in the U.S. Senate a “job killer” that would push energy bills through the roof and would drive jobs and businesses overseas at a record pace.

So is there any evidence that those things would actually happen?

Well, yes there is.

*A leaked internal assessment produced by Spain’s Zapatero administration reveals that Spain’s “green economy” has been an absolute economic nightmare for that nation. Energy rates in Spain have “skyrocketed” and the new green economy there has lost more than two jobs for every job that it has created. All of this has pushed Spain to the brink of economic disaster. In fact, economists all over the world say that Spain is now one of the nations most likely to experience a Greek-style financial collapse.

*According to a new study by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, a state law that requires power plants, factories and other businesses to cut greenhouse gas emissions could cause energy prices to rise and prompt businesses to delay expansion or flee California.

Not that this should be shocking for anyone.

[Continued...]

------------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Cap and Trade: A Gigantic Scam
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2010, 11:10:12 AM »
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19294

Cap and Trade: A Gigantic Scam

by Washington's Blog
Global Research, May 23, 2010
Washington's Blog - 2010-05-22

As I pointed out in December:

--------------------------

According to James Hansen - the world's leading climate scientist fighting against global warming - in a interview on Democracy Now that cap and trade not only won't reduce emissions, it may actually increase them:

    The problem is that the emissions just go someplace else. That’s what happened after Kyoto, and that’s what would happen again, if—as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will be burned someplace. You know, the Europeans thought they actually reduced their emissions after Kyoto, but what happened was the products that had been made in their countries began to be made in other countries, which were burning the cheapest form of fossil fuel, so the total emissions actually increased...

See also this and this.

Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are also against cap and trade (and see this and this), as is the head of California's cap and trade program for the EPA.

Hansen also told Goodman that (notwithstanding Paul Krugman's assertions) most economists say that cap and trade won't work:

    I’ve talked with many economists, and the majority of them agree that the cap and trade with offsets is not the way to address the problem.

As I have previously pointed out:

*  The economists who invented cap-and-trade say that it won't work for global warming

*  European criminal investigators have determined that there is a tremendous amount of fraud occurring in the carbon trading market. Indeed, organized crime has largely taken over the European cap and trade market.

*  Former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Robert Shapiro says that the proposed cap and trade law "has no provisions to prevent insider trading by utilities and energy companies or a financial meltdown from speculators trading frantically in the permits and their derivatives."

*  Our bailout buddies over at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and the other Wall Street behemoths are buying heavily into carbon trading (see this, this, this, this, this, this and this). As University of Maryland economics professor and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission Peter Morici writes:

    Obama must ensure that the banks use the trillions of dollars in federal bailout assistance to renegotiate mortgages and make new loans to worthy homebuyers and businesses. Obama must make certain that banks do not continue to squander federal largess by padding executive bonuses, acquiring other banks and pursuing new high-return, high-risk lines of businesses in merger activity, carbon trading and complex derivatives. Industry leaders like Citigroup have announced plans to move in those directions. Many of these bankers enjoyed influence in and contributed generously to the Obama campaign. Now it remains to be seen if a President Obama can stand up to these same bankers and persuade or compel them to act responsibly.

In other words, the same companies that made billions off of derivatives and other scams and are now getting bailed out on your dime are going to make billions from carbon trading.

One the largest boosters for cap and trade invented credit default swaps - which were supposed to increase financial stability, but instead were a large part of the reason that the world economy crashed last year.

--------------------------

Jeanne Roberts provides an update at environmental website Celsius:

    The E.U. carbon emissions trading fraud is huge, but perhaps nothing compared to the potential for cheating that will become available in the United States once Waxman-Markey, or some similar scheme for reducing carbon emissions, emerges from the Senate to become law.

    ***

    As Bloomberg notes, a carbon trading market organized around derivatives (sometimes known as credit default swaps, or CDS) is “open to manipulation,” in the words of billionaire hedge fund investor George Soros.

    In fact, some old-school environmentalists see the whole carbon trading scheme as not a way to curb climate change, but merely a way to make the rich even richer at the expense of the rest of us. As Larry Lohmann, the founding member of the Durban Group for Climate Justice, says, “Dishonesty is rife throughout the carbon offset market.”

    In January, investigators from Belgium said that in some E.U. countries, 90 percent of the market volume in carbon trading was based on criminal activities.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Obama To Push Nightmare Carbon Tax In Oval Office Speech
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2010, 06:25:36 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-to-push-nightmare-carbon-tax-in-oval-office-speech.html

Obama To Push Nightmare Carbon Tax In Oval Office Speech

Globalists to fully exploit suspicious BP oil spill in pursuit of “green economy” fascism



Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

President Barack Obama will tonight dispense with all restraint and fully exploit the BP oil spill to push the nightmare globalist agenda of a green economy, a carbon tax on human emissions, and an army of environmental enforcers to implement total big government tyranny.

Obama will announce the acceleration towards an agenda firmly supported by the transnational oil corporations that he is claiming to be reigning in – a post-industrial revolution characterized by artificial scarcity, soaring gas and electricity prices, and a carbon tax that will cripple the economy and drastically lower the living standards of American citizens, completely eviscerating the middle class.

“His agenda is to exaggerate the significance of the oil spill crisis to massive proportions, for two reasons,” writes the Telegraph’s Gerald Warner. “The first is that, the more Americans can be persuaded to regard the accident as a monumental, historic disaster, the less his patent impotence in the face of it will appear blameworthy. His second reason is that, in accordance with the Emanuel doctrine (never let a good crisis go to waste), he sees this as an opportunity to breathe new life into his moribund Cap-and-Trade climate change legislation.”

The EPA has been busy today floating propaganda about how Obama’s cap and trade legislation would cost Americans an average of $79 to $146 per year. In reality, as we have documented, the bill would see some $2.9 trillion shaved off the economy by the year 2050 if enacted. The legislation would also reduce GDP by 6.9 percent – a figure comparable with the economic meltdown of 1929 and 1930.

This “green economy” has left Spain with a 20 per cent unemployment rate, virtually bankrupt and in need of being bailed out by the rest of Europe.

A newly leaked internal document from Spain’s Zapatero administration outlines how Spain’s “green economy initiatives” have been a financial disaster. In this so-called “green economy”, over 2.2 jobs are lost for every “green job” created.

In addition, the alarming indications that strongly suggest those closest to BP and major stockholders like Goldman Sachs exploited foreknowledge of the “accident” to position themselves financially to avoid the consequences only makes Obama’s exploitation of the disaster even more insidious.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Obama Plans To Sneak Through Carbon Tax By Stealth
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2010, 10:55:56 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-plans-to-sneak-through-carbon-tax-by-stealth.html

Obama Plans To Sneak Through Carbon Tax By Stealth

Job killing, economy wrecking, middle class destroying consumption tax to be added in lame duck session after November elections



Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, June 18, 2010

President Obama is planning to sneak through his job-killing, economy wrecking carbon tax by stealth according to the Washington Post, by passing a weakened bill and then adding in cap and trade provisions after the heat is off following the November elections.

Described as the “lame duck climate strategy,” Obama is planning to secure enough votes in the Senate to pass a weakened energy bill and then drag out the conference long enough to ensure the stronger provisions contained in the original House version are added “after lawmakers have faced voters in November, thereby cushioning the vote’s political impact.”

“Several sources familiar with the administration’s thinking confirmed it has started pressing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring up a slimmed-down energy and climate bill next month. Such a measure would pass more easily than a comprehensive climate bill, and could still be negotiated with the broader bill the House passed a year ago,” reports the Washington Post.

Knowing that the “energy bill” represents nothing less than another massive plunder of the American taxpayer and is widely unpopular, Senators will only stab their constituents in the back and vote for the more nightmarish aspects of the legislation, including a tax on the very substance they exhale, after they have secured their seats in November.

As we highlighted last week, plans to impose a carbon tax on American citizens appeared to fade after Republican Senator Lindsey Graham shockingly reversed his views on climate change, telling a press conference that the science behind man-made global warming is in question and those pushing it are alarmists who have oversold the problem.

“The Senate is expected to try and push a watered down bill with the hope of moving towards a carbon tax later on,” we reported on June 10, which is exactly the approach now being adopted by Obama.

The elite are still desperate to impose a consumption tax on Americans as part of the move towards a “post-industrial revolution” and the kind of nightmare “green economy” that has left Spain with a 20 per cent unemployment rate. In a so-called green economy, over 2.2 jobs are lost for every “green job” created.

The EPA has been busy floating propaganda about how Obama’s cap and trade legislation would cost Americans an average of $79 to $146 per year. In reality, as we have documented, the stronger provisions of the bill would see around $2.9 trillion shaved off the economy by the year 2050 if enacted. The legislation would also reduce GDP by 6.9 percent – a figure comparable with the economic meltdown of 1929 and 1930.

A carbon tax would impact almost every aspect of Americans’ lives, from higher gas prices, to soaring utility bills, to exorbitant excesses related to the “energy efficiency” of their homes. It would be enforced by an army of environmental regulators and green police poking their noses into the private affairs of citizens.

The government has aggressively exploited the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to manufacture an artificial urgency in an effort to speed the passage of cap and trade, an agenda firmly supported by the transnational oil corporations Obama is claiming to be reigning in. British Petroleum is one of the founding members of the cap and trade lobby, and has consistently “lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout, and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.”

Yesterday, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt invoked the oil spill disaster to justify passage of the carbon tax bill.

“The tragedy in the gulf underscores the need to move quickly, and the president is committed to finding the votes for comprehensive energy legislation this year,” said LaBolt.

Obama himself even went to the extreme of comparing the oil spill to 9/11, proving that he is perfectly willing to exploit the horror of nearly 3,000 dead Americans in a completely unrelated event nine years ago to underhandedly push his political agenda.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
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Harvard Professor: ‘Exploit Gulf Disaster For Carbon Tax’
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2010, 11:23:11 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/harvard-professor-exploit-gulf-disaster-for-carbon-tax.html

Harvard Professor: ‘Exploit Gulf Disaster For Carbon Tax’

Bilderberger Rogoff openly embraces nightmare scenario of hurricanes pushing oil onshore as a way of “exploiting tragedy” to create political momentum behind Obama’s dreaded green economy



Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Top elitist and Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff has shamefully called for the BP oil spill disaster to be exploited in order to create political momentum behind a carbon tax, even going to the lengths of embracing the nightmare scenario of hurricanes pushing the oil onshore as a way to create political momentum behind Obama’s dreaded “green economy”.

In an opinion piece for the Korea Times, Rogoff sensationally warns that failure to exploit the tragedy for political ends would represent a “lost opportunity,” a startling display of mercenary indiscretion, and a shining example of what we warned about from the very beginning, that elitists would waste little time in pointing to heart-rendering images of oil-covered birds and dead wildlife as part of a crass stunt to push their consumption tax agenda.

Rogoff is a Bilderberg Group member, having attended the 2006 conference of global elitists in Germany. He is also a regular attendee of Trilateral Commission meetings. Rogoff is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the group’s publication Foreign Affairs. He is currently Professor of Economics at Harvard University, having previously served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund, and at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

“The fact is, the BP oil spill is on the cusp of becoming a political game-changer of historic proportions. If summer hurricanes push huge quantities of oil onto Florida’s beaches and up the Eastern seaboard, the resulting political explosion will make the reaction to the financial crisis seem muted,” writes Rogoff, seemingly salivating about the potential of an even greater tragedy that would contribute to “rekindling interest in a carbon tax”.

Later in the article, Rogoff brazenly states that “exploiting tragedy” in the Gulf is just one way of filling the coffers of the federal government.

He goes on to laud the visual propaganda value of “high-definition images of oil spewing from the bottom of the ocean” in addition to a “blackened coastline and devastated wildlife” as a tool through which to mobilize young people into lobbying for a tax on the very substance they exhale.

Exploiting the catastrophe is necessary to “catalyze support for an American environmental policy with teeth,” writes Rogoff, noting that the cap and trade system basically amounts to the same thing as a carbon tax and is just a trick to hide the use of the incendiary word “tax”. Of course, that policy has little to do with the environment and everything to do with fattening the wallets of the people invested in the cap and trade scam, the same alarmists who push claptrap about global warming and CO2, Rogoff’s elitist buddies Al Gore, Maurice Strong and the rest of the globalists who own and run the cap and trade scheme.

Cap and trade was also founded and funded by big oil conglomerates – which is why transnational oil companies have been the most vehement peddlers of global warming propaganda.

Companies like British Petroleum and Exxon Mobil have been amongst the biggest promoters of man-made global warming because they are headed up by one-world globalists who understand that the carbon tax will do nothing to help the environment but will be used to bankroll the implementation of global government while swallowing up whatever deposable income impoverished Americans have left.

The government has aggressively exploited the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to manufacture an artificial urgency in an effort to speed the passage of cap and trade, an agenda firmly supported by the transnational oil corporations Obama is claiming to be reigning in. British Petroleum is one of the founding members of the cap and trade lobby, and has consistently “lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout, and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.”

The elite are still desperate to impose a consumption tax on Americans as part of the move towards a “post-industrial revolution” and the kind of nightmare “green economy” that has left Spain with a 20 per cent unemployment rate. In a so-called green economy, over 2.2 jobs are lost for every “green job” created. Electricity prices in Spain have “skyrocketed” since the implementation of these policies, according to a leaked government report.

Rogoff is merely parroting Obama in the push to hype the oil spill beyond all reasonable levels in a move to exploit an inflated crisis. In comparing the spill to 9/11, Obama signified that he was not going to let a good crisis go to waste, as his top advisor Rahm Emanuel would no doubt have reminded him.

Kenneth Rogoff is the neo-lib equivalent of neo-con Stu Bykofsky, a Philadelphia Daily News columnist who called for there to be more terror attacks in order to “restore America’s righteous rage”. In effect, Rogoff is drooling with anticipation at the total devastation a massive hurricane would bring to the region, and how out of the panic globalists could ram through their entire carbon tax agenda with little opposition.

We invite readers to politely email Rogoff and let him know that Americans will not pay a tax on the life-giving, harmless trace gas which helps plants grow in order to enrich the coffers of Al Gore, British Petroleum, Maurice Strong, Barack Obama, and the rest of the criminals pushing this fraud in a concerted effort to reduce our living standards and usher in a “post-industrial revolution” and a one world government.

Contact Rogoff at krogoff@harvard.edu.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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H0llyw00d

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2010, 11:39:34 AM »
Rogoff got an email ;)

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2010, 11:59:37 AM »
Rogoff got an email

In the new Nazi Amerika, that's all it takes to get charged with a felony these days!  ::)

       http://www.infowars.com/man-charged-with-felony-email-harassment-for-writing-senator/

Not that we should allow this to silence our rightful dissent against government corruption, just that we would be well advised to remember the old adage that there's "strength in unity," and to accordingly participate in (among other things) coordinated grassroots email/phone campaigns.

To do otherwise is to risk being the proverbial nail that sticks out above the rest.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Obama Science Czar Called For Global Carbon Tax
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2010, 10:29:34 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-science-czar-called-for-global-carbon-tax.html

Obama Science Czar Called For Global Carbon Tax

Underreported 2008 comments were made immediately prior to becoming White House science director

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
Thursday, Jul 8th, 2010

Immediately prior to his nomination as White House Science Czar, John P. Holdren called for a global carbon tax in order to “redistribute” wealth to the Southern Hemisphere.



Holdren’s comments were underreported at the time but have since garnered attention in the wake of the Democratic leadership’s new push to pass comprehensive climate change legislation.

Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, made the statement on July 3, 2008 on “Democracy NOW!”, hosted by Amy Goodman.

Holdren said: “It’s important that we have a global agreement on how we are going to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases going forward, and an agreement that will include the tropical forests, that will include ways to transfer some of the revenues from carbon taxes or carbon emission permits in the North to pay for reduced deforestation in the South.”

Watch the video:

http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/checker.aspx?v=XdZukUIrnz (John Holdren on Redistribution of Cap & Trade Revenue From U.S. to Global South)

Directly echoing Holdren’s comments, Sec. 756(c ) of the most recent climate change legislation being debated in Congress, the Kerry-Lieberman bill, legislates for “international offset credits” to be provided to countries that reduce deforestation.

In addition, Section 5004 would mandate the Secretary of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, to create a program “to provide assistance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries, in accordance with this title.”

Holdren argued during the “Democracy Now!” appearance that limits and levies on carbon emissions would create so called “green jobs”.

“The notion that this is going to be unaffordable and an economic catastrophe to address this problem is just wrong,” said Holdren.

However, precisely that scenario has unfolded in Spain, according to its own government. The “green economy” has left the country with a 20 per cent unemployment rate, virtually bankrupt and in need of being bailed out by the rest of Europe.

In this so-called “green economy”, over 2.2 jobs are lost for every “green job” created.

Electricity prices in Spain have “skyrocketed” since the implementation of such policies, according to a leaked government report.

Obama’s green economy bill has been laying in wait for almost two years now. However, the president’s stated intention to “Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050″ has not gone away.

Recent exposure of the fraud behind the climate science driving the global warming movement had seemingly scuppered Obama’s chances of pushing through the legislation, which would see some $2.9 trillion shaved off the economy by the year 2050 if enacted. The legislation would also reduce GDP by 6.9 percent – a figure comparable with the economic meltdown of 1929 and 1930.

Now, however, in the wake of the BP disaster, and a tightly controlled public relations machine managing it, Obama has seen an opportunity to gain momentum, once more wheeling out his “clean energy” rhetoric.

Other proponents of a carbon tax have flat out called for the BP disaster to be exploited in order to reinvigorate political momentum behind the policy.

Exploiting the catastrophe is necessary to “catalyze support for an American environmental policy with teeth,” writes top elitist and Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff, noting that the cap and trade system basically amounts to the same thing as a carbon tax and is just a trick to hide the use of the incendiary word “tax”.

The carbon trading scam has little to do with the environment and everything to do with vast profiteering while actively de-industrializing the developed world. As our previous research highlights, it is a is a long term policy goal of the global elite.

In his now notorious 1977 book, Eco Science, John P. Holdren wrote of a need for the U.S. to follow an agenda of “de-development” via “a stable, low-consumption economy”. The book also calls for programs of mass sterilization, one child policies and an authoritative “Planetary Regime” to oversee their implementation.

As we have previously pointed out, though the catalyst has changed throughout Holdren’s work, the endgame remains the same. In the 70’s, Holdren was busy talking up the drastic threat of global cooling, warning that it would produce giant tidal waves and environmental devastation. Holdren’s convictions about climate change have flip-flopped in order to accommodate whatever scientific fad holds sway at the time, however, his goal of depopulation and de-development remains constant.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Obama Science Czar Called For Global Carbon Tax
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2010, 11:38:36 AM »
Holdren said: “It’s important that we have a global agreement on how we are going to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases going forward, and an agreement that will include the tropical forests, that will include ways to transfer some of the revenues from carbon taxes or carbon emission permits in the North to pay for reduced deforestation in the South.” ....

Directly echoing Holdren’s comments, Sec. 756(c ) of the most recent climate change legislation being debated in Congress, the Kerry-Lieberman bill, legislates for “international offset credits” to be provided to countries that reduce deforestation.



What the eugenics-obsessed eco-fascists are counting on the masses to remain blissfully ignorant of is the fact that taxing labor and capital instead of land values is one of the very two things that caused massive deforestation in the first place:

------------------------------------

"It is incontrovertible, I think, that the rapidly-increasing destruction of the Amazon rain forest...is directly attributable to the fact that the Amazon basin is the only part of Brazil where free or cheap land is available, and this, in turn, is attributable to the fact that nearly four-fifths of Brazil's arable acreage is covered by sprawling latifundios, half of which are held by speculators who produce nothing. Were the artificial scarcity of available land in the rest of Brazil corrected, as the Georgist remedy would unquestionably do, pressure on the Amazon basin would obviously cease." [Emphasis added]

-- Robert V. Andelson, Commons Without Tragedy, p. 32

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDMenqKCXdw (A pertinent clip from The Corporation)

------------------------------------

Thus, the eco-fascists who claim that the "solution" to massive deforestation is to tax labor and capital even more via their "cap and trade" scheme (while leaving land values, as always, comparatively untaxed) are no less ridiculous and insane than someone who claims that the only way to "fight" fire is to fuel it.

I'm reminded of what Henry George once wrote in reference to the Orwellian "solutions" or "remedies" that political con artists are always peddling to anyone foolish enough to listen:

    "All such remedies begin at the wrong end. They are like putting on brake and bit to hold in quietness horses that are being lashed into frenzy; they are like trying to stop a locomotive by holding its wheels instead of shutting off steam; like attempting to cure smallpox by driving back its pustules."

As to the other primary cause of massive deforestation that eco-fascists don't want anyone to think about (lest they be recognized for the ruling-class minions they really are), that, of coure, is privately-controlled, debt-based money systems:

------------------------------------

http://web.archive.org/web/20061116031731/landru.i-link-2.net/monques/moneyeats.html

WHEN MONEY EATS THE WORLD

by John McMurtry, Professor of Philosophy
University of Guelph.

As the wheels come off the global market juggernaut, we need to understand that the unfolding collapse has been programmed into the machine. Stay the course of capital deregulation long enough and a truly momentous wreck is guaranteed. The fact is that our political and market leaderships have ensured no intelligent thought relating to the actual life needs of societies has been listened to for 15 years. "No alternative," they incanted without a break since the Reagan revolution of mindless govenment first began stripping social infrastructures by ever lower tax rates for the rich and 20% compound interest rates on public debt. Even now as the government of France pulls out of the MAI declaration of rights for unaccountable borderless capital, Ottawa is still prating about "sticking to its commitments" to the meltdown program.

The problem is a generalized mind-seizure. As money-to-more-money circuits have become increasingly autonomous, public consciousness has fetishized money demand as the sovereign authority of the world. The lifeblood of societies has been circulated away as fast as possible to "pay off deficits as a national emergency," "reduce social costs to attract investors," "cool down the employment rate to ward off currency devaluation," "deregulate the labour and resource markets economy for greater efficiencies," and so on. The litany for expropriation of societies' common heritage and infrastructure has been recited every hour for almost twenty years, and it has always and everywhere been the disguise for highly leveraged money sequences to feed on the social life substance across the planet.

But even as the meltdown progresses across continents, the unseen seat of the disease is not yet whispered—that money sequences are overloaded far beyond the capacity of social and environmental capacities to feed them, and that they increasingly attack life-serving functions to continue their decoupled cycles.

Because these money sequences are increasingly without productive outcome of any kind, redistribute more and more wealth to the economically parasitic while stripping the civil commons and the poor, and progressively demand ever more revenue extraction from social and environmental hosts, their reproduction has become increasingly incompatible with civil and planetary life
.

The overloading of the life-system by ever more ravenous money sequences is, in truth, behind every crisis people face today in the global market—behind the stressing and breaking of the planetary environment's carrying capacities, behind government debt and deficit loads and crises across the world, behind the ceaseless mergers, acquisitions and job-sheddings by corporate finance departments, behind the speed-ups of every process of work and resource extraction, behind the privatization and enclosure of evolved civil commons in every culture, and behind now the Asian meltdown and the great slump of Japan.

We need not summarize all the symptoms. But consider some figures of money-demand aggregates increasing exponentially on life systems at every level, every new unit of the escalating load requiring "more competitive performance" or "more competitive cost cutting" from individual, social and environmental life-hosts, with no limit set to what will be demanded next.

[Continued...]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2rXCEEh8SE (A pertinent clip from Money As Debt)

------------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Leaked G20 Documents Show Carbon Taxes Still High on Globalist Agenda
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2010, 11:13:10 AM »
http://www.infowars.com/leaked-g20-documents-show-carbon-taxes-still-high-on-globalist-agenda/

Leaked G20 Documents Show Carbon Taxes Still High on Globalist Agenda

James Corbett
The Corbett Report
22 July, 2010

This week The Corbett Report was sent documents purported to be the notes of an attendee of the recent Toronto G20 meeting. The documents, if genuine, show that the recent meeting once again gave the G20 a chance to discuss global government as an answer to the ongoing economic meltdown and reaffirm that carbon taxes are high on the globalists’ priority list.


The idea of funding a nascent global governmental structure through the introduction of carbon taxes is
by no means a new one.


The notes were obtained from a source inside a South African bank whose CEO was a confirmed attendee of the Toronto meeting. According to the source, they are most likely notes from a feedback session between the CEO and bank officials upon the CEO’s return from the conference.

Download the documents in PDF format via this link.

According to the documents, the delegates concluded that a process of fiscal consolidation would be the key solution to the crisis, involving country-specific ideas with central coordination…presumably by the G20 itself. Although the delegates evidently discussed the need to address the sovereign debt crisis “through cutting expenses and not through increased taxes,” that statement is immediately followed in this attendee’s notes by the idea of introducing carbon taxes.

The idea of funding a nascent global governmental structure through the introduction of carbon taxes is by no means a new one, having been proposed as a funding mechanism for a North American Union at a secret Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting in Banff, Canada in 2006.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the idea was last floated in the G20 Finance Ministers’s meeting in Scotland last year. In leaked documents from that meeting it was revealed that attendees had seriously discussed the possibility of using a carbon tax to fund an international financial body which would supposedly be entrusted to look after climate adaptation and mitigation programs.

That the carbon tax was discussed during G20 deliberations comes as no surprise. Nor does the fact that the delegates deliberated on the need “to develop Global governance structures” and the desire for “coordination across countries.” The urge to use a manufactured economic crisis to institute a new international system of governance administered by the very bankers who created the problem in the first place has likewise been noted for years.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2010, 12:00:57 PM »
It seems to me like you fine folks in USA are going to get tax hikes to match those we in Europe are burdened with. In my country of Norway we have numerous taxes, its a full-time job to keep track.

Lets see... of course its the tax on labour that you also have. For me personally its about 25%. Then if you are economically prudent and save money in the bank its the tax on your "wealth". If you inherit its also a tax on that. If you own property, more and more counties demand property taxes as where I live, from this year on. If you have stocks and make a profit, its of course a 28% tax on that. We have had a tax on CO2 since 1996! Wait for that one, and pay about $ 8 or 9 per gallon of gasoline. Then theres the VAT at 25% on EVERYTHING, except food which is 14%.

The only thing that keep the middle class able to still have a decent life is that we have strong unions and that so far wages have kept up with rising prices and taxes. Do you have that in America? I have a middle class job and make just over $ 30 an hour, plus and extra $ 8 or 9 after 5PM and then some more on week-ends. Thats what it takes to live a normal life with all the expenses and have a little extra when all is paid for.

PS. We do have almost free health care and some other hand-outs from the welfare state, but its not worth it. Not unless youre really sickly or want to live life as a parasite.

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2010, 03:21:16 PM »
I have to admit, this is the least offensive taxation method, except exempting your primary private residence from the tax (which would be even less offensive).  Otherwise one could not live labor-free in one's own home.  Let extra residence and commercial property owners have the levy.

Even the Amish use some shared infrastructure, so I don't think your idea would be workable...

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2010, 11:12:48 AM »
I have to admit, this is the least offensive taxation method, except exempting your primary private residence from the tax (which would be even less offensive).

No such exemption is necessary if we institute a Guaranteed Income:

       http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=161315.0

Quote
Otherwise one could not live labor-free in one's own home.

The problem is that the "exemption" you speak of wouldn't apply to the countless millions who (usually out of necessity rather than "choice") rent instead of own, and would consequently force landless wage-earners to pay twice for the same benefits, all so those with land titles can enjoy the benefits that accrue to the locations they occupy without having to pay even once.

That's the very sort of double standard that got us into this mess in the first place:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkfmY1PMng (Ricardo's Law ~ The Great Tax Clawback Scam)

Under the benefits received principle, everyone pays for what they receive, regardless of whether they happen to have state-issued land titles or not.

What could be more fair and just -- and hence conducive to equal librety -- than that?
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Globalists Race To Enforce Criminal Carbon Tax
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2010, 10:31:08 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/globalists-race-to-enforce-criminal-carbon-tax.html

Globalists Race To Enforce Criminal Carbon Tax

$100 Billion A Year Levy Is About Bankrolling Global Government And Lining The Pockets Of Con Artist Oil Men Soros, Strong and Gore, Has Nothing To Do With Saving The Environment



Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, August 6, 2010

Despite the failure of last year’s Copenhagen climate summit, the United Nations is pushing ahead for a global carbon tax that will bankroll the expansion of world government as globalists attempt to make Americans pay for the evisceration of their own sovereinty and future prosperity.

“Carbon taxes, add-ons to international air fares and a levy on cross-border money movements are among ways being considered by a panel of the world’s leading economists to raise a staggering $100 billion a year to fight climate change,” reports the Associated Press.

British economist Nicholas Stern called for government regulations to pave the way for a “new industrial revolution….to move the world away from fossil fuels to low carbon growth.”

The panel will present its final proposals to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in October, a month before the next climate conference meets in Cancun, Mexico.

As was revealed during the Copenhagen negotiations, the global tax that the elite are pushing for will not even go to the UN to fight carbon dioxide, the evil life-giving gas that humans exhale and plants breathe. A leaked document obtained by the London Guardian during the summit exposed the fact that the tax will do directly to the coffers of the World Bank, and this revelation led to poorer countries refusing to sign a properly binding resolution on CO2 emissions.

The UN panel’s members include billionaire globalist George Soros, who has been calling for a carbon tax for years. Soros has $811 million of his own money invested in Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company.

The fact that Soros plays both sides of the rigged game emphasizes once again the fact that the carbon tax has nothing to do with saving the environment from the mythical threat of global warming and everything to do with industrialists who own the carbon trading systems getting filthy rich while crucifying U.S. sovereignty at the altar of global government.

With electricity and gas prices set to soar following the introduction of a carbon tax, people like Soros and Al Gore, who are heavily invested in energy companies and also own huge chunks of the carbon trading market, are set to make obscene profits.

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has direct ties to both Al Gore and Maurice Strong, two figures intimately involved with a long standing movement to use the theory of man made global warming as a mechanism for profit and social engineering. Gore’s investment company, Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offset opportunities, is the largest shareholder of CCX.

Maurice Strong, who is regularly credited as founding father of the modern environmental movement, serves on the board of directors of CCX. Strong was a leading initiate of the Earth Summit in the early 90s, where the theory of global warming caused by CO2 generated by human activity was most notably advanced.

Both Strong and Gore come from the Club of Rome clique, who in their 1991 Report, “The First Global Revolution” openly admitted how they were planning to exploit the contrived hoax of global warming in order to further their agenda.

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.,” they wrote.

Massive oil companies like British Petroleum, were amongst the founding members of the carbon trade lobby. BP has supported the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill and other so-called “green” initiatives every step of the way because, far from acting as a punishment for big polluters, they represent a financial windfall.

Transnational oil companies like British Petroleum and Exxon Mobil have been amongst the biggest promoters of man-made global warming because they are headed up by globalists who understand that the carbon tax will do nothing to help the environment but will be used to bankroll the implementation of global government while swallowing up whatever deposable income impoverished Americans have left.

The elite are still desperate to impose a consumption tax on Americans as part of the move towards a “post-industrial revolution” and the kind of nightmare “green economy” that has left Spain with a 20 per cent unemployment rate. In a so-called green economy, over 2.2 jobs are lost for every “green job” created.

A carbon tax would impact almost every aspect of Americans’ lives, from higher gas prices, to soaring utility bills, to exorbitant excesses related to the “energy efficiency” of their homes. It would be enforced by an army of environmental regulators and green police poking their noses into the private affairs of citizens.

The “green economy” is nothing more than a euphemism for an organized effort on behalf of big business and global elite to completely eviscerate the middle class and introduce levies and regulation into every area of our lives.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Fair tax is a trap: Demand NO vote on H.R. 25
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2010, 11:20:25 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/fair-tax-is-a-trap-demand-no-vote-on-h-r-25.html

Fair tax is a trap: Demand NO vote on H.R. 25

Devvy
August 9, 2010

The other night on the boob tube I caught a commercial featuring a talk show host named Neal Boortz, Michael Reagan (adopted son of former president, Ronald Reagan) and the vile Newt Gingrich. All pushing for another dangerous taxing scheme that will not cure the cancer, only continue to feed the beast.

Boortz has been on this “fair” tax bandwagon for years. It’s obvious he has zero understanding of the Federal Reserve and why such a taxing scheme would only continue to steal the fruits of our labor to fund massive government spending.

Michael Reagan is also a talk show host who, like Boortz, has zero understanding of our monetary system and its feeding artery: the IRS.

Newt Gingrich sold out this country decades ago with his votes. Besides being a serial adulterer and ethtically bankrupt, Newt Gingrich is the global master’s trophy boy. He hopes the Republicans take control of Congress in November because there’s no doubt in my mind, Gingrich is out to be president of these united States of America. We can never let that happen. Do you know Newt was caught on tape saying the ridiculous “Contract with America” was nothing but a PR tool for incoming freshmen members of Congress? Yes, that’s a fact. They were obtained by Roll Call. Old Newt pulled a fast one on faithful conservatives. His votes killed MILLIONS of jobs and sent them south of the border and overseas.

In order to understand why H.R. 25 is just another tool of tyrants, you have to go back and see where and when the problem started. Prior to 1913, we had no federal income tax. There was no unconstitutional “Federal” Reserve Banking system and there was no Seventeenth Amendment. This nation thrived in agriculture, manufacturing and industrial output.

The shadow government that has been controlling Congress for almost a hundred years had the downfall of America well planned. First, an income tax to syphon off the fruits of our labor. Even though the Sixteenth Amendment wasn’t legally ratified and did not give Congress any new power of taxation, we all know what that Gestapo criminal syndicate will do to you if you don’t voluntarily submit (with a gun to your head) to looting your earnings.

Full article here
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline africknamerican

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2010, 03:58:28 PM »
No such exemption is necessary if we institute a Guaranteed Income:

       http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=161315.0

Yes. And lest anyone think this is "welfare," it is not. It is a form of compensation for being excluded from the better locations and resources.  

Also, Geolib, it could be pointed out that under this system, people could choose to live on marginal (i.e., further from city centers & public services) and pay a pittance, or nothing, for land rent. If you really want to be left alone, you can live in the back country off the grid, and probably pay nothing when the CD is factored in. Actually, because LVT induces more compact development and halts sprawl, we might find that areas outlying from cities would become more affordable, and the margin actually contracts inward, as people find it more affordable to live closer to city centers and the public services and amenities offered. The countryside would be spared the relentless march of suburbanization, strip malls, and Big Boxes, and locations would remain cheap.

At the same time, consumption, houses & other improvements, and income from labor and (productive) investment would be totally untaxed, so most people would experience a net increase in wealth.

Quote
Under the benefits received principle, everyone pays for what they receive, regardless of whether they happen to have state-issued land titles or not.

What could be more fair and just -- and hence conducive to equal librety -- than that?

And what could be more in line with free market principles? Get what you pay for. Pay for what you get!

Offline africknamerican

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Re: Fair tax is a trap: Demand NO vote on H.R. 25
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2010, 02:02:50 PM »

Boortz has been on this “fair” tax bandwagon for years. It’s obvious he has zero understanding of the Federal Reserve and why such a taxing scheme would only continue to steal the fruits of our labor to fund massive government spending.


Yes. What we need is a total paradigm shift about taxation AND spending AND the federal ---> state ---> local hierarchy. We need to turn that hierarchy right-side up again. We need to get the federal government out of our pockets, our employment arrangements, and our personal records. We need to abolish taxes on work adn saving and investment in productive things. We need to put our local communities in charge, by putting local services first and financing them locally from the predominantly local asset known as land value. (We can let the fedgov scrape by from rents on federal lands, and we'll give them the radio spectrum rent as well ....)  I don' t know how we accomplish this, I just know that we must.

Quote
Do you know Newt was caught on tape saying the ridiculous “Contract with America” was nothing but a PR tool for incoming freshmen members of Congress? Yes, that’s a fact. They were obtained by Roll Call. Old Newt pulled a fast one on faithful conservatives.


Yes, not only do they have to deceive us, they have to deceive their junior congressmen who actually believe their job is to represent the people. It's just like a crooked sales operation, where management has to brainwash and lie to the sales force to motivate the sales force to go out and brainwash and lie to the customer. (I've spent time in such shady operations...) 



Quote
The shadow government that has been controlling Congress for almost a hundred years had the downfall of America well planned. First, an income tax to syphon off the fruits of our labor. Even though the Sixteenth Amendment wasn’t legally ratified ...


The FIT was actually conceived as a last-ditch, second-best substitute for a national land value tax. It was a mistake made out of desperation. By that time the Georgist movement had been infiltrated by socialists, becoming "progressivism." This movement was also strongly influenced by the populists, who wanted a national income tax on the super-rich. The Georgists weren't making enough headway within the State capitals to implement LVT. The "income tax" was presented as a way to accomplish much the same thing from the top down, via a different vehicle. (Tax only the top 2% or so of income earners .... most of the income you're taxing is rents from monopolies on land or resources -- much of these federal property in the first place-- or government privileges. ) By this logic, even Henry George Jr. was persuaded to support the income tax. However, the tool designed was more like a hammer than the surgical scalpel needed. A LVT would have precisely zeroed in on unearned wealth and taxed it alone. An income tax could be manipulated to grab earned wealth from work and real investment -- and that's exactly what happened later on. Around WWII, Social Security tax was added, then the taxes were extended to wage labor ... meanwhile, the original targets, monopolists, found more and more loopholes to get out of these taxes.

[ftp]
How The Income Tax Became
A Tax On Labor

Clifford Cobb and Jonathan Rowe
Redefining Progress, San Francisco, CA


In the first decade of the century, controversy over taxes gripped England. Winston Churchill articulated a novel guiding principle: "Formerly the only question of the tax gatherer was, 'How much have you got?'" Churchill said. "Now we also ask, 'How did you get it?'"

A tax system should reinforce the fundamental moral connection between contribution and reward, said Churchill. Did you earn your income through enterprise and toil, or at least by providing capital for these? Or did you reap where you did not sow--garnering profits from what nature, rather than you yourself, had created? "Was the income gained by supplying the capital which industry needs, or merely by denying, except at an extortionate price, the land which industry requires?" The issue wasn't capital versus labor, as Marxists had it. Rather it was capital and labor versus something else--unearned gain that arose from the mere ownership of land and natural resources.
 
In 1909, with Churchill's strong support, the British Parliament enacted a special tax on gains from land.

In the U.S. Congress the need to finance America's entry into the First World War spurred a similar debate. Significant support for what might be called the Churchill view did much to shape the new income tax that eventually emerged. In concept, the tax would spare the earnings of the working person and productive entrepreneur, and fall on unearned gains that arose from land and resources or the exercise of monopoly power in all its subtle forms.


The Inversion of the Income Tax
That was almost a century ago. Since then, the original vision has been turned upside down. The income tax has come to fall almost entirely upon the workers and entrepreneurs it was intended to spare. In 1918, some 85% of American households paid no income tax at all, and almost 80% of federal income tax revenue came from the top one-half of one-percent of households. Very little of the burden fell on work. By 1990, almost three-quarters of federal tax revenues came from work.
...

Continue How the income tax became a tax on labor

Offline Geolibertarian

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Globalists Plan to Dismantle Middle Class With UN Tax
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2010, 11:21:46 AM »
http://www.infowars.com/globalists-plan-to-dismantle-middle-class-with-un-tax/

Globalists Plan to Dismantle Middle Class With UN Tax

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Sunday, September 19, 2010



Globalists representing 60 nations will meet at the UN this coming week to push a tax on world financial transactions in the name of solving poverty and climate change, formally launching a massive program to bankrupt the middle class and enrich the coffers of global government.

“Spearheaded by European Union countries, the so-called “innovative financing” proposal envisages a tax of 0.005 percent (five cents per $1,000), which experts estimate could produce more than $30 billion a year worldwide for priority causes,” reports CNS News.

As Ira Stoll, editor of FutureCapitalism.com, points out, new taxes always start off small so as to not be resisted by the people forced to pay them, and are then always gradually increased.

“When people suggest taxes, they always start out ‘small,” said Stoll.

“But once the door is opened to the idea of ‘global taxes,’ you can bet they won’t end small. Never mind all the issues about whether development aid actually helps poor countries or just winds up empowering corrupt local dictators and their cronies.”

The call for a global transaction tax arrives in the aftermath of a leaked UN blueprint which outlined how elitists plan to re-brand global warming in an effort to dismantle the middle class by instituting a “global redistribution of wealth” via carbon taxes.

The aim is to “limit and redirect the aspirations for a better life of rising middle classes around the world,” in other words to reduce the standard of living for the middle classes in Western Europe and America.

However, as was uncovered during the Copenhagen summit, the program of “global redistribution of wealth” and transaction taxes largely centers around looting the wealth of the middle classes in richer countries and then using that money to bankroll the construction of world government. As the leaked “Danish text” revealed, the money generated from consumption taxes will go directly to the World Bank, not to developing countries to lower carbon emissions or alleviate poverty.

Under the terms of this proposal, poorer countries will not simply be handed the money pillaged from richer nations, instead they will be forced to accept “green loans” in the name of combating climate change, a policy that would land the already financially devastated third world with even more debt, payable to globalist institutions such as the IMF.

Even if you accept that global institutions who have proven to be completely corrupt time and time again should be empowered to steal from the rich and give to the poor, these proposals don’t even do that. This is all about bankrolling the expansion of world government and creating a giant slush fund that will be used to coerce smaller countries into allowing themselves to be ruled and regulated by a global bureaucracy funded by increasingly destitute taxpayers in the west.

We warned that globalists were embarking on a global financial transaction tax back in December when Lord Monckton obtained the draft proposals for the Copenhagen summit.

As Monckton revealed at the time, the end game is to, “Tax the American economy to the extent of 2 percent GDP, to impose a further tax of 2 percent on every financial transaction….and to close down effectively the economies of the west, transfer your jobs to third world countries.”

The tax, which was vehemently supported by President Obama in Copenhagen, will cost American families already laboring under the greatest financial collapse for generations at least $3,000 a year just for starters.

There can no longer be any denial that a world government is preparing to plunder the west by enforcing a myriad of different global consumption taxes, from financial levies to a carbon tax which will do absolutely nothing to address real environmental issues and will be used solely to expand the power of the World Bank, the IMF and the United Nations.

Allied to the global tax assault is the newly published IMF strategy document that calls for the implementation of a global currency, called the “bancor”, which will be pushed through by means of draconian regulatory measures that eviscerate sovereignty rights of nation states and hand complete economic control of the global economy over to a tiny and despotic ruling elite. The “bancor” will hand the IMF the power to manipulate exchange rates and determine the eventual collapse of the dollar.

Massive resistance must be focused around rejecting the institution of global taxes paid to the United Nations and the formation of a global currency otherwise the last tattered shreds of American sovereignty will be flushed down the toilet for good.

Alex Jones contributed to this article.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
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Offline Nailer

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2010, 08:18:47 PM »

if you bought land and paid taxes at the time of sale then that should be the only tax you ever pay on your property, one time only.

Property taxes are a way of extorting money from people to pay for corrupt politicians/police departments/ emergency services.

Somewhere hidden in a law book is a statute that makes paying yearly  property taxes null & Void..
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2010, 01:04:50 PM »
if you bought land and paid taxes at the time of sale then that should be the only tax you ever pay on your property, one time only.

Wrong, because if, subsequent to your purchase, the surrounding community provides additional or higher quality public goods that increase the location value of your land, and land values are exempt from taxation, then that means wage earners will end up paying for these goods first through the taxes that are levied (either directly or indirectly) on wages, then a second time through increased rental charges.

------------------------------------

"So why is the title above the 'twice-single' tax? Because a tax on land rent is 'single' in another way. Consider what happens if government builds a subway. Land values rise downtown because there will be more commerce, and land values rise in the suburbs because it is now much easier to commute to downtown. So people are paying higher rent or mortgage payments in order to be located where the subway is. But they also paid for the subway in the first place with taxes, since it was financed mostly from taxes that come from their wages. Folks pay twice for the subway, first through taxes, and then through rent. If the tax is the rent, then people only have to pay once."


------------------------------------

This is what makes rack-renting itself a particularly regressive and unfair "tax."

Quote
Property taxes are a way of extorting money from people to pay for corrupt politicians/police departments/emergency services.

On the contrary, taxing wages and/or sales instead of land values is a way of forcing landless workers to pay twice for the same benefits, all so that titleholders can enjoy the benefits that give their land location value in the first place without paying even once.

This is what economist Fred Harrison aptly calls "the great tax clawback scam":

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkfmY1PMng

Before posting another canned objection, please take the time to actually read my initial posts to this thread, that way I don't have to keep repeating explanations I've already given.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline iclozm

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2010, 02:27:22 PM »
Wrong, because if, subsequent to your purchase, the surrounding community provides additional or higher quality public goods that increase the location value of your land, and land values are exempt from taxation, then that means wage earners will end up paying for these goods first through the taxes that are levied (either directly or indirectly) on wages, then a second time through increased rental charges.

That would be like telling someone who purchased a stock that did well that they owe extra for capital gains because they made a profitable decision. For example you purchased a company that deals in composite material that just scored a huge contract with Boeing. You paid your capital gains tax and now owe more later because it did so well. Can you not see the abuse from those who determine the tax? What's to stop them from overvaluing EVERY persons LVT? What mechanism would stop that? LVT to me just centralizes more power to the government that cannot manage ANYTHING properly.

I'm still not buying LVT personally. If we ever were systematically change the way property rights are addressed I feel that allodial titles should be most prevalent. I am not for anyone being able to lay any form of taxation on land. If you can be taxed on any form of property, you simply DO NOT own it. You have the illusion of ownership.

However I am sympathetic to LVT's ability to curb the ability of the elite to return us to a feudal state. I do believe that some sort of system of apportionment of a small section of land should be a right of any person that wishes to upkeep property. Just like rights as self defense were granted by mother nature/god that were there before man created government, so was the land. Just as we all have rights we should all be entitled to allodial property rights. There must be some other way than centralizing more power to an already defunct government to ensure property rights for all who wish to have it.
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Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Land Value Taxation: Rebuttals to Common Objections
« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2010, 03:08:47 PM »
That would be like telling someone who purchased a stock that did well that they owe extra for capital gains because they made a profitable decision. For example you purchased a company that deals in composite material that just scored a huge contract with Boeing. You paid your capital gains tax and now owe more later because it did so well. Can you not see the abuse from those who determine the tax? What's to stop them from overvaluing EVERY persons LVT? What mechanism would stop that? LVT to me just centralizes more power to the government that cannot manage ANYTHING properly.

So you want tax-free speculative gains on land? This is the very problem the LVT tries to address. The fact is none of us created the land to begin with so why compare it to something man made like shares in a corporation?

I'm still not buying LVT personally. If we ever were systematically change the way property rights are addressed I feel that allodial titles should be most prevalent. I am not for anyone being able to lay any form of taxation on land. If you can be taxed on any form of property, you simply DO NOT own it. You have the illusion of ownership.

So the rent collector (say an agent) owns the land because they are collecting payments on it? I don't follow your logic. Land value arises largely because of location. You wanna live next to all the spiffy services provided largely by other people? You pay accordingly. This is the benefits received principle.

However I am sympathetic to LVT's ability to curb the ability of the elite to return us to a feudal state. I do believe that some sort of system of apportionment of a small section of land should be a right of any person that wishes to upkeep property.

A citizens dividend from the surplus of the land tax would allow for this..

Just like rights as self defense were granted by mother nature/god that were there before man created government, so was the land. Just as we all have rights we should all be entitled to allodial property rights. There must be some other way than centralizing more power to an already defunct government

If you've bothered to read Geolibertarian's other reform threads, you'll find he advocates the exact opposite of centralising power. The LVT would be collected at the local level first, then passed on as necessary.