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Georgism

Reasoning
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3/31/2011 10:25:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Will someone please convince me that Georgism is in error?
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
LaissezFaire
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3/31/2011 10:41:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
http://mises.org...
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
LaissezFaire
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3/31/2011 11:58:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:57:34 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 3/31/2011 10:41:07 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
http://mises.org...

Could you elaborate/paraphrase?

Which do you want me to do, elaborate or paraphrase?
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
LaissezFaire
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4/1/2011 12:08:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:58:50 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:57:34 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 3/31/2011 10:41:07 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
http://mises.org...

Could you elaborate/paraphrase?

Which do you want me to do, elaborate or paraphrase?

If paraphrase--it's not very long. You can just skip the 2nd half ("A Reply to Georgist Criticisms"), which is a response to responses to the 1st half.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
TheAtheistAllegiance
Posts: 1,251
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4/1/2011 12:42:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 12:08:14 AM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:58:50 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:57:34 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 3/31/2011 10:41:07 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
http://mises.org...

Could you elaborate/paraphrase?

Which do you want me to do, elaborate or paraphrase?

If paraphrase--it's not very long. You can just skip the 2nd half ("A Reply to Georgist Criticisms"), which is a response to responses to the 1st half.

Well, even the first half is pretty long. If it doesn't bother you, I'd just like a small paragraph that sums up the main points of the article.
LaissezFaire
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4/1/2011 12:51:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 12:42:28 AM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 4/1/2011 12:08:14 AM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:58:50 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:57:34 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 3/31/2011 10:41:07 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
http://mises.org...

Could you elaborate/paraphrase?

Which do you want me to do, elaborate or paraphrase?

If paraphrase--it's not very long. You can just skip the 2nd half ("A Reply to Georgist Criticisms"), which is a response to responses to the 1st half.

Well, even the first half is pretty long. If it doesn't bother you, I'd just like a small paragraph that sums up the main points of the article.

Georgism is the idea that people can't rightfully own land. They can own other property, and can own improvements they make to the land, but not the value of land itself, because the Earth was given by God to mankind in common. They argue that landlordism is illegitimate. So there should be a 100% tax on land rent. Rothbard points out that: 1) a 100% tax would collect no revenue 2) this effective nationalization of all land would lead to chaos, because without market prices, land could not be allocated to its most efficient use. Without prices to coordinate the market, land could not possibly be used efficiently--allocation of use would effectively be random (or, more likely, based on one's political connections).

I forget how Rothbard replied to their moral point about property in land, but my response would be that all property rights are use-rights. My right to property in my body means I have the right to use my body however I please, as long as I don't infringe on another's rights. My right to use my car means I have the right to use (drive) it wherever I want. And if I homestead land, improving on it, I have acquired the right to continue using that land. There's no difference between this use-right and use-rights in any other sort of property.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
TheAtheistAllegiance
Posts: 1,251
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4/1/2011 9:09:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 12:51:21 AM, LaissezFaire wrote:

Georgism is the idea that people can't rightfully own land. They can own other property, and can own improvements they make to the land, but not the value of land itself, because the Earth was given by God to mankind in common. They argue that landlordism is illegitimate. So there should be a 100% tax on land rent. Rothbard points out that: 1) a 100% tax would collect no revenue 2) this effective nationalization of all land would lead to chaos, because without market prices, land could not be allocated to its most efficient use. Without prices to coordinate the market, land could not possibly be used efficiently--allocation of use would effectively be random (or, more likely, based on one's political connections).

I forget how Rothbard replied to their moral point about property in land, but my response would be that all property rights are use-rights. My right to property in my body means I have the right to use my body however I please, as long as I don't infringe on another's rights. My right to use my car means I have the right to use (drive) it wherever I want. And if I homestead land, improving on it, I have acquired the right to continue using that land. There's no difference between this use-right and use-rights in any other sort of property.

Okay, thanks. I would agree.
TheAtheistAllegiance
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4/1/2011 9:11:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 12:58:41 AM, FREEDO wrote:
All ideologies are hubbub. Made up rules about what is right and wrong. So silly.

It's all arbitrary, but so is the very foundation of human emotion. Nonetheless, humans still desire happiness, and using land rights to allocate resources helps to serve that end, or that's at least the reason I support them.
Greyparrot
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4/1/2011 9:29:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Not allowing ownership of land means higher overall rents and food prices as the resources cannot be efficiently allocated. Everyone suffers.
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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4/1/2011 10:37:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 12:51:21 AM, LaissezFaire wrote:
Georgism is the idea that people can't rightfully own land.

Somewhat. Some land is more valuable than other land, for a variety of reasons, location, fertility, etc.

As the land is a gratuitous gift of nature it rightfully belongs to society in common and for one man to claim the most valuable lands for himself and receive all the economic benefits of possessing that land against the world, is a usurpation of equity and a great injustice.

The solution is to levy a tax equal to this economic rent, that is to tax based on the difference between the value of the valuable land and the marginal land. This tax may either be divided as a citizen's dividend to all people or used to fund public goods, as opposed to the value being captured by a private individual.

They argue that landlordism is illegitimate.

The argument is that the landholders may use the land themselves, sell it to another or rent it out, but that, so long as they have possession of the land, they owe society for keeping the land out of the hands of other members.

So there should be a 100% tax on land rent.

Rothbard was a bit off on this point. The argument isn't that, if the land is rented, the government will take all the rent, it is that the property will be assessed and the economic rent will be taxed each year whether the holder rents the land for the same or less or doesn't rent it at all.

Rothbard points out that: 1) a 100% tax would collect no revenue

As you can see, the Single Tax will indeed collect revenue.

2) this effective nationalization of all land would lead to chaos, because without market prices, land could not be allocated to its most efficient use.

There are still market prices because the tax doesn't work the way Rothbard thought.

I forget how Rothbard replied to their moral point about property in land, but my response would be that all property rights are use-rights. My right to property in my body means I have the right to use my body however I please, as long as I don't infringe on another's rights. My right to use my car means I have the right to use (drive) it wherever I want. And if I homestead land, improving on it, I have acquired the right to continue using that land.

And we have no problem with you continuing to use the land, but if the land is particularly valuable, not due to improvements you made to it but simply as it was in nature, either due to high fertility compared to the remaining land or an ideal location, it is only just that you give back to the benefit of society the economic value of what you have taken from it.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
J.Kenyon
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4/1/2011 11:22:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 10:37:43 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 4/1/2011 12:51:21 AM, LaissezFaire wrote:
Georgism is the idea that people can't rightfully own land.

Somewhat. Some land is more valuable than other land, for a variety of reasons, location, fertility, etc.

As the land is a gratuitous gift of nature it rightfully belongs to society in common and for one man to claim the most valuable lands for himself and receive all the economic benefits of possessing that land against the world, is a usurpation of equity and a great injustice.

That sounds suspiciously like a moral pronouncement. Roderick long is displeased: http://mises.org...
FREEDO
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4/1/2011 11:38:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If the Georgism logic goes like this...

"People are entitled to what they create and they did not create land thus everyone is entitled equally to it."

...Here is my critique:

There has not been a single person in the history of the world who has ever created anything. All we have ever done is modify what has already existed. All our industries were "a gift from God" as well and, just as we modified them, so can we modify land.

Using the same Georgism logic, everyone is equally entitled to everything. However, I suppose you could pull something out of thin air like "you gain rights to it once you modify it" or something along that line.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Rob1_Billion
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4/2/2011 1:11:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/1/2011 9:11:06 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 4/1/2011 12:58:41 AM, FREEDO wrote:
All ideologies are hubbub. Made up rules about what is right and wrong. So silly.

It's all arbitrary, but so is the very foundation of human emotion. Nonetheless, humans still desire happiness, and using land rights to allocate resources helps to serve that end, or that's at least the reason I support them.

Paraphrased: property rights are morally problematic, but the ends justify the means.
gotcha.
kfc
TheAtheistAllegiance
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4/2/2011 1:29:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/2/2011 1:11:28 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Paraphrased: property rights are morally problematic, but the ends justify the means.
gotcha.

That probably depends on the circumstances. If I plot some land by myself, there isn't anything wrong with that, but if other people need some of that land to survive, and I exclude them from it, that could be morally wrong.
OrionsGambit
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4/6/2011 5:51:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
So you basically drop sales and income tax and only have property tax. Not a bad idea, I've been thinking of the same or similar tax reforms for a long time now.

However what besides "God" makes all land in the world the joint property of all men (and women too)?
Noblesse Oblige
askbob
Posts: 7,254
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4/7/2011 12:21:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 10:25:30 PM, Reasoning wrote:
Will someone please convince me that Georgism is in error?

he was overly curious.

Curiosity killed the cat

George is a monkey and similar to a cat in the fact that it is an animal

Therefore curiosity might kill george

Since it is not preferable for george to die georgism is clearly in error.
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Darris
Posts: 6
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10/2/2013 11:31:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/1/2011 11:38:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
If the Georgism logic goes like this...

"People are entitled to what they create and they did not create land thus everyone is entitled equally to it."

...Here is my critique:

There has not been a single person in the history of the world who has ever created anything. All we have ever done is modify what has already existed. All our industries were "a gift from God" as well and, just as we modified them, so can we modify land.

Using the same Georgism logic, everyone is equally entitled to everything. However, I suppose you could pull something out of thin air like "you gain rights to it once you modify it" or something along that line.

People are entitled to the modifications and improvements to the thing but not the thing itself.
Darris
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10/2/2013 11:35:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2011 5:51:52 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
So you basically drop sales and income tax and only have property tax. Not a bad idea, I've been thinking of the same or similar tax reforms for a long time now.

However what besides "God" makes all land in the world the joint property of all men (and women too)?

A land tax is not a property tax. Property tax leads to slums because the incentive created encourages a landlord NOT to improve his or her property.
CarefulNow
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10/6/2013 11:11:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think the right-wing critique has been put to rest. The "moral pronouncement" criticism was misleading. Roderick Long was not some egoist criticizing the very idea of morality. Quite the opposite, his definition of the entitlement right of "self-ownership" has such breadth and depth as to leave nothing left to liberty. It also leaves nothing left to other entitlement rights, including the common right to land, which is of course his point. But instead of just admitting from the outset that the "self-ownership" of the individualist left is different, he spends the better part of his essay trying to win the argument semantically.

He also introduces a category I find hard to believe has any members: Proviso Lockeans. Locke's proviso was an apology for his homesteading principle, itself an apology for bourgeois property, not a serious attempt to restrict it. With the modern understanding of the locational and speculative value of land, the idea that anyone could ever have left "as much and as good in common" after removing any land from the commons is no longer taken seriously; thus, a Proviso Lockean would in effect be a communist.

Only near the end does Long reveal his prejudice that the mythical homesteader, Midas-like, by the slightest contact permanently and completely altered the land, swallowing it up into "himself" (to be surgically transplanted at death to his children or at will to buyers).

Finally, Long begins to quote the prophet Rothbard--and once begun it's apparently blasphemy to cut him off--centered around a red herring about Iowan land having nothing to do with an African or something. In fact the individualist left asserts a right to the land of precisely those who do have something to do with it: those who use or occupy it in the case of Mutualists and those give it its value (the community, not the world as Long, through Rothbard, implies) in the case of Georgists.

That said, in another thread I argued that, even granting George's assumptions, he errs when he dismisses collective land ownership, falsely asserting that it would be sufficient to recover its value through the Single Tax. My argument was the flip side of the conservative argument that land owners might have earned honestly that which they traded for land: owners of capital might have earned dishonestly (i.e. via ground rent and borrowing against future ground rent)--and indeed George's own all-devouring rent thesis implies that they earned dishonestly--that which they traded for capital (improvements included).

But there is another, practical problem with Georgism, strictly speaking, arising from what I see as George's misconception of nature as the minimal land value. In fact, many "improvements" actually diminish the value of land; surface mining, for example.

If ground rent is taxed at 100%, and movable natural resources are taxed at 0%, wouldn't landowners be perversely incentivized, not to immediately abandon their land, but rather to inefficiently convert much of it to moveable property, only after which they'd abandon it (if the tax didn't change) or collect lower rents at lower rates (if the land were reassessed according to the residual method or the "improvement" made the land the least valuable in the area)? Indeed, if the residual method were used, wouldn't any immovable means of extraction (including indirect means, such a foreman's office) be deducted from the tax, as if they were valorizing the land instead of depreciating it? And if the least valuable method were used, wouldn't landlords have incentive to combine to ruin some trivial quantity of land so as to reduce the tax on all land in the area to nearly nothing?

I understand that modern Georgists are more accepting of other taxes, and indeed land ruination could theoretically be prevented even within the single tax paradigm if only land abandonment were outlawed. But at a certain point, the reverse of Georgism (collective ownership of land and subsidization of improvements) becomes more parsimonious, in addition to being more just (as explained above).