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Chris, I do enjoy your provocative approach.
If you research the history of land ownership, you'll see that it is not bargaining that you'll find but forceful taking. You are also incorrect about redistribution. The collection of economic rents is 'redistribution' of created wealth by land owners. To collect it and return it to those who created it in the first place, is not 'redistribution' but 'restoration'.
I'd suggest you look into proposals around LVT and LVC. It does not involve the state seizing the land - it would not be necessary or desirable.
Funny comments around the deficit. Would a society based on objectivist principles (in the Rand/Kelley tradition), which has a minimal government, create deficits of the sort we have today? Would it have bailed out failed banks? Or subsidized the car industry? Of course not. So with respect, look again.
Not at all Chris. I am being consistent. My opposition to those who collect unearned income must be well known on these boards by now.
Maybe we should be asking why 70% of the land in this country is owned by 1% of the population.
With 99% of the population having only 30% of the land between them, no wonder land costs are ridiculously high for the masses. It is a virtual monopoly of land ownership. Not only that, but the collection of high economic rents (whether capitalised or not), is driving down wages and interest (as Henry George defines it) especially of the poorest, deterring the very things this country needs most of all - work and enterprise.
A small minority of landowners are free to collect a fortune in economic rent from the land, claiming more unearned income than anyone on benefits. This could be addressed with a single Land Value Tax, or Land Value Covenants, but ironically this remedy is bitterly resisted. The entitlement culture is to blame.
None of the current policy proposals will work. None of the political parties have the balls to confront the land owning elite. In the case of the main parties, it may be hard to distinguish the two groups from one another at times.
Erin, may I suggest you try to show others the same respect and understanding that you believe you deserve. Lead by example.
I don't know your personal circumstances. It may help us to better appreciate your situation if you were to tell us how it is. What have you been doing to increase your earnings? What steps are you taking, or have you considered taking, to better live within your means? How do you spend your benefits now?
I've lived on next to nothing before, and it made me driven to be independent by working harder, going after opportunities etc. Is this something you can relate to?
It'll sort itself out eventually.
Just to reply to your farming example earlier..
The only way LVT could make farming uneconomical would be if the land value has been incorrectly assessed. I'm assuming the farmer is competent and productive in making that point. If no one can farm the land without making a loss, the LVT is incorrect. Do you see my point?
Remember LVT was supposed to be a single tax. When applied properly, the farmer would pay no fuel duty, no VAT, no sales tax, no income tax, no council tax etc etc. It should make it easier for the farmer to make a living than it is now.
Hi Mr Bone
I don't have all the answers, this is just me mulling it over but here goes. Say you set the LVT based on the land use. So for example designated farmland would be assessed on the market for farmland. This would produce a lower liability than the neighbouring suburban land. It would also leave some room for controlled planning.
You could have exempt land such as parkland, public buildings and so on. I think it would depend on the extent to which it attracts economic rent, as to whether you would exempt it or not.
Clearly changing publicly owned parkland to a development plot would require adequate compensation and consent by the community to whom it belongs. It would immediately attract a higher LVT. This would encourage the developer to move quickly to get the new development finished.
It is not really that complex. It would be better if lvt was introduced as a single tax, though LVCs may be superior to LVT. Hopefully Geonomics will also reply to me re my question above.
Thanks for the quotes.
To make it easier for your audience to distinguish between when your points start and when the points made by others end, I would strongly advise using quotation marks.
My point was not about what the proceeds of LVT should be spent on. That is really a whole different topic, one which can easily get us all fired up. The shortcomings of the remedy are really about how it does not tackle all of the consequences of the original injustice.
Let me be as clear as possible. The 'original injustice' of private property in land, can be broken down into two aspects. 1) The aspect of land owners collecting economic rents, making us all have to work harder to create wealth. Then 2) the aspect of the landless who have no access to "what is freely provided by nature" - who are consequently forced to be dependent on everyone else. E.g. relying on benefits and/or charity.
The LVT tackles 1) but it does not tackle 2). By tackling 1), more opportunities may present themselves to the landless.
For the landless, it is still a reactive existence - they are dependent on taking up an opportunity offered to them by someone else, rather than making their own living. A large number of the unemployed, and the homeless too, who cannot 'find' work, are at the same time denied access to what is freely provided by nature. They are prevented from trying to make their own living instead.
To highlight this issue, consider that in the UK, 70% of the land is owned by 1% of the population. Forget the Gini coefficient. This should be the mark of wealth equality. Link: http://www.uklanddirectory.org.uk/land-usage.asp
An LVT does not remedy this injustice of private property in land. I have seen no satisfactory answer to the question of how private property in 'land' can be established to begin with, unlike man-made property like homes, gardens, commodities etc.
Maybe you can tell me how 'Geonomicists' answer this question?
Michael, let's try to keep a respectful exchange as I am sure you are a mature adult.
Let's say for arguments sake you live in a 2 bed social home in Hammersmith & Fulham. It's costing £100pw. If you move into a private sector one bed, the likely rent will be around £300. So the rent cost has increased by £200 per week. However you have now got a spare 2 bedroom social home.
Say someone is waiting for a 2 bed and is renting privately, they'll be paying maybe £450pw for the pleasure. If they then go into the 2 bed social home, that would reduce the rent cost by £350 per week. If you take the whole transaction together, taking the two households together, the total rent paid to the private sector will reduce by £150 per week.
Makes sense to me to go ahead with the policy. Also it seems to me, that the result will be the private sector taking in less rather than more, depending on the pathway into the newly freed up social homes.
Perhaps that is something you can find agreeable too, given that you do not like the idea of private landlords profiting from housing those in need or on low incomes.
Thanks for your comment Geonomics.
I have some sympathy for George's writings. I also have some reservations about LVT.
George makes a compelling case to show how private property in land is unjust (and by 'land', George is talking about the collection of unearned economic rents). You made a point about this in an earlier comment.
George's remedy did not seek to do away with private property in land. He presented LVT as an effective remedy, even though an LVT requires private property in land to continue, ironically (otherwise, who pays it?).
The injustice George identified was how land was originally taken by force, and how land ownership has enslaved those who have no land of their own, by forcing down their wages and interest to the point they are effectively slaves (or in modern times, become the inter-generational welfare-dependent jobless).
George's remedy does not restore the lack of access to land. A landlord who owns a lot of land, can still use that land in an enterprising way. He has the land, and so already possesses an opportunity. An LVT gives him an incentive to take it. However someone who wants to start up a business of their own, or go self employed must still obtain 'land' somehow, and must still ask permission from those who already control it - whether they are using it or not.
An LVT might end the private financial gains from private property in land, but it does not liberate what "is freely supplied by nature", for the enjoyment of all. The justice of the remedy will depend on how the LVT collected will be used. It is not an inherent feature of the LVT that it will be spent on initiatives, which will be for the benefit of the community who made the LVT possible to begin with.