How We Can Actually Win

Clearly, the obvious ways for achieving the reform have failed. Revolutions, politics, democracy, journalism, the education system, not-for-profit organizations, etc., nothing has worked.

The reason is social brainwashing, by being so pervasive, and the antidote is repeated exposure to the truth. The antidote is the purpose of this program: TAX LAND NOT MAN. The intention is to raise money to advertise land value taxation, The Land Tax Ad Fund.

The social brainwashing is, of course, everywhere and affects us through every component of our lives, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The Physical: our time and energy are consumed by work/school, play, sleep and sustenance.

The Mental: the information we have is mostly day-to-day, but even the philosophies we have to cope with things, though often very enlightening, are usually, at best, humorous.

The Emotional and Spiritual: when we are young, desires such as for sex and friendship keep us interested in life so we expend our energy in cooperative ways to prevent disruptions of our normal personal development. Then, when we become inelastic (around age 30), we can only make the most of who we have become.

All of this works together to distract us from the fact that most of us are slaves to a few of us. In the past, that was, in general, a tolerable tragedy (though unthinkable suffering has taken place and is occurring right now).

Today, humanity is in a new situation. We must evolve or we will die off. We can see that empires and peoples have come and gone on this planet and now that our society is global, if we fail, Earth will become as an anthropological curiosity.

The reform necessary to free the poor and save our ecosystem is now actually required for this planet’s little crop of humanity to “make it”.

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM

By advertising the simple logic and benevolence of the cause to the widest possible audience *on the ground* in the United States (real world physical ads, including posters and handouts), a great many people of various origins and languages will become aware of how this can be accomplished in their home countries EVEN MORE EASILY than it can here!

Competition from other, smaller nations will force larger nations like the US and “the first world” to adopt the shift to land value taxation also. This is how justice will prevail.

The powers that be, seeking to preserve the status quo, are preparing to institute global financial government and cement the revenue stream from workers to landlords. They will seek to limit nations’ ability to de-profit natural resource speculation. They will attempt to prevent land value taxation.

To prevent this and to counteract this, nations must enact land value taxation, but this will require the awareness of the masses. The leaders of the nations own the press and education systems, so the people will have to circulate the information amongst themselves.

TAX LAND NOT MAN intends to be a great facilitator of this social epiphany. The constant reminders about the effects of land value taxation (especially, the decentralization of land ownership), societies can maintain the political momentum necessary to overthrow landed interests and establish a fair and, therefore, peaceful system allowing everyone equal access to land.

5 Responses to How We Can Actually Win

  1. David Harold Chester says:

    Without having a true understanding about how our social system actually works we are only able to get a small glimpse of the significance of the land within the Big Picture. Land Value Taxation is a very poor way of naming and describing the changes that need to be made, because this subject is far broader than merely introducing the wrong-doing of the landlords and banks who support them. Mostly we tend to think in microeconomics ways about what is a macro- subject because it is not what individuals acting as speculators do but about what governments have failed to recognize as the onlt way for advancement in helping everybody.

    If you want to better understand about our social system it is necessary to examine how it functions as a whole. My recent book is unique in that it is the only analytic means for presenting this in logical and numerical terms (as well as algebraic ones for those who can appreciate the short-hand of mathematics). Read “Consequential Macroeconomics” as the means to getting this better understanding and then see the small but significant part that land holders play. Write to me at chesterdh@hotmail.com for a free e-copy and then you can better appreciate that the problem is broader and needs a solution that even the land lords can accept.

  2. David Harold Chester says:

    An alternative (but equivalent) to LVT which has less opposition from the landlords.

    Much as I applaud the Single Tax idea of Henry George for having great ethical principles at heart, I find after more than 50 years in our Movement that its introduction is simply not practical. Apart from use of the word “Tax”, which in any case no politician wants to propose, we must eliminate the offense that our proposals for LVT causes to landlords. Obviously they will strongly oppose the proposal for having to pay a new tax (or anything else we might like to call it). The problem then is not to have to fight them, nor try to convince them on moral grounds, but how to make them want to pay for land access rights or revenues.

    To achieve this there should be introduced a gradual change in the way that land is being owned, which should be introduced by new laws. Whenever a site or prospect of land is being offered for sale (possibly with its buildings, etc.,) and whenever ownership of such a site is being transferred between family members (and on which an inheritance-tax would normally be paid), the change is that government automatically buys the land at its current normal nominal price. This is done simultaneously when the buildings are sold in the usual way or their ownership is being transferred. (The courts shall be empowered to settle the land-value, if/when doubt is expressed–land-value maps being publicly accessible.)

    The previous landlords or their heirs will no longer have any political objection, since the money from the land sale will greatly exceed the subsequent annual lease-fee (see below) for access rights to this land. This change will also eliminate the (hated) inheritance-tax. It is imagined that this process of land sales and governmental purchases will be spread over at least 40 years.

    Immediately when the site belongs to the government, this land must be offered for lease to the new or bequeathed owner of any buildings thereon. The lease-fee should be set according to normal amounts of rent for other similar sites, (and again the courts should decide when there is disagreement.) The above “first refusal” for this leasing offer is most necessary, because any buildings of practical use and value on the site, will still be sold or bequeathed as items of durable capital goods, as before.
    However, access to the site and its buildings should be denied by the government until the site is leased by someone who can then (and normally would) have purchased (or been given) the building in the usual way. All taxes that are applied to subsequent building developments should be abolished at this time.

    A new owner would acquire the building property more cheaply than before, because it is now without the price of the land under and around it. Such a buyer can then give for hire (rent-out) any building for access and use, as if it were any other item of durable capital goods. In the unlikely event of the leaser not owning the buildings, his/her incoming land rent (from the building owner), shall not exceed the out-going lease-fees by more than 2% (say). Should nobody initially lease the site and its buildings (if any), because of there being no demand for their use, the buildings may be pulled down by the next (eventual) leaser, who will be free to re-develop the site (and would naturally want to do so).

    The government should borrow the money for site purchase, or can even offer national redeemable bonds to raise money for it. As the lease money begins to flow to the government, it uses this to:

    a) repay part of its loan for site purchase, which may be extended,
    b) purchase more sites as and when they become available,
    c) cover the interest on the loan and on the new bonds and their eventual redemption, and eventually
    d) reduce other kinds of taxation.

    It will be appreciated that over the long term the lease fees are equivalent to LVT, but due to the greed of landlords (who behave as if they were capitalists), their income from land sales will satisfy them better than their being taxed. Eventually nearly all the land would then be leased from the government.

    Nationally leased land, in countries like Hong Kong, is close to 100%. This approach is known to be most successful, for the rate of growth of prosperity. Also when the previous landlords have more money to spend, most of it will be invested in durable capital goods, making production costs lower as obsolescent durable items are more easily replaced and so the national prosperity will grow also from the government’s investment in land values.

    This proposal is not land nationalization (at least no more than what currently applies), since no additional regulations are placed on how the land is to be used.
    Because the selling of land is a natural process which is (if anything) encouraged by the land returning to public benefit, the resulting lower priced buildings will become more easy to sell and this will not place such a limitation on their owners who wish to better develop the sites.

    Prepared by: David Harold Chester chesterdh@hotmail.com

  3. Adam Jon Monroe says:

    Thank you for your comment, Mr. Chester.

    It was very nice of you to expound so generously on your vision of how things should go.

    I remain of the opinion that we simply need to follow the advice of the classical economists and eliminate the taxation of individuals except for according to their land value ownership. This would allow us equal access to land and freedom to the full value of all our labor.

    In order to have the correct relationship between nature and society, we need to tax for the use of resource instead of taxing the amount of wealth produced. Then, nature’s harmony and generosity will be experienced by everyone.

  4. David Harold Chester says:

    My original wording of this slogan was:
    TAX TAKINGS NOT MAKINGS; TAX LAND NOT PEOPLE!
    It was after my claim for LVT:

    The Most Socially Just Tax

    Our present complicated system for taxation is unfair and has many faults. The biggest problem is to arrange it on a socially just basis. Many companies employ their workers in various ways and pay them diversely. Since these companies are registered in different countries for a number of categories, the determination the general criterion for a just tax system becomes impossible, particularly if it is to be based on a fair measure of human work-activity. So why try to do this when there is a better means available, which is really a true and socially just method?

    Adam Smith’s (“Wealth of Nations”, REF. 1) says that land is one of the 3 factors of production (the other 2 being labor and durable capital goods). The usefulness of a particular site of land is expressed by its purchase price and in the amounts that tenants willingly pay as rent, for its access rights. Land is often considered as being a form of capital, since it is traded similarly to other durable capital goods items. However it is not actually man-made, so rightly it does not fall within this category. Indeed, the land was originally a gift of nature (if not of God), for which all the people in the region should have equal rights for sharing in its opportunities for residence, accessibility and use.

    However over many years, as communities became established and grew, the land has been traded as if it was an item of durable goods and today it is often treated as a form of capital investment. It is apparent that for a particular site, its current site-value greatly depends on location and is related to the community density in its region, as well as the size and natural resources that it can provide. Such bounty, often manifest in the exploitation of rivers, minerals, animals or plants of specific beauty and use are available only after infrastructural developments have made possible access to the particular place. Consequently, much of the land value is created by man within his society, by his need and ability to reach it and take from it materials, plants and live creatures, as well as the opportunities it provides for working space near to people. These advantages should logically and ethically be fairly returned to the community, for its general use within the government, as explained by Martin Adams (in “LAND” REF 2.).

    However, due to our existing laws, the land is owned and formally registered and its value is traded, even though it can’t be moved to another place, like other kinds of capital goods. This right of ownership gives the landlord two big advantages over the rest of the community. He/she can determine how it may be used, or if it is to be held out of use for speculative reasons, until the city grows and the site becomes more valuable. Secondly the land owner enjoys the rent from a tenant or its equivalent if he uses the land himself. Speculation in land values and its rental earnings are encouraged by the law, in treating a site of land as personal or private property—as if it were an item of capital goods, although it is not, see Prof. Mason Gaffney and Fred Harrison: “The Corruption of Economics”, REF. 3.

    Regarding taxation and local community spending, the municipal taxes we pay are partly used for improving the infrastructure. This means that the land becomes more useful and valuable without the landlord doing anything—he/she will always benefit from our present tax regime from which the land value grows. This also applies when the status of unused municipal land is upgraded and it becomes fit for community development. When this news is leaked, after landlords and banks corruptly pay for this valuable information, speculation in land values is rife.

    There are many advantages if the land values were taxed instead of the many different kinds of production-based activities such as earnings, purchases, capital gains, home and foreign company investments, etc., (with all their regulations, complications and loop-holes). The only people due to lose from this are those who exploit the growing values of the land over the past years, when “mere” land ownership confers a financial benefit, without the owner doing a scrap of work. Consequently, for a truly socially just kind of taxation to apply there can only be one method–Land-Value Taxation.
    Consider how land becomes valuable. Pioneers and new settlers in a region begin to specialize and this slowly improves their efficiency in producing specific goods. The land central to the new colony is the most valuable, due to its easy availability and least transport needed. After an initial start, this distribution in land values is created by the community. It is not due only to the natural land resources. As the city expands, speculators in land values will deliberately hold potentially useful sites out of use, until planning and development have permitted their more intensive use and for their values to grow. Meanwhile there is fierce competition for access to the most suitable sites for housing, agriculture, manufacturing industries, transport byways, etc. The limited availability of the most useful land means that the high rents paid by tenants make their residence more costly and the provision of goods and services more expensive.

    Entrepreneurs find it difficult or impossible to compete with the big organizations who have already taken full advantage of their more central sites. The greater cost of access, or the greater expense in transportation from less costly outlaying regions, discourages these later arrivals. It also creates unemployment, causing wages to be lowered by the land monopolists, who control the big producing organizations, and whose land was previously obtained when it was relatively cheap. Consequently this basic structure of our current macroeconomics system, works to limit opportunity and to create poverty, see above reference.

    The most basic cause of our continuing poverty is the lack of properly paid work and the reason for this is the lack of opportunity of access to the land on which the work must be done. The useful land is monopolized by a landlord who either holds it out of use (for speculation in its rising value), or charges the tenant heavily for its right of access. In the case when the landlord is also the producer, he/she has a monopolistic control of the land and of the produce too, and can charge more for this access right than what an entrepreneur, who seeks greater opportunity, normally would be able to afford.

    A wise and sensible government would recognize that this problem of poverty derives from lack of the opportunities to work and earn. It can be solved by the use of a tax system which encourages the proper use of land and which stops penalizing everything and everybody else. Such a tax system was proposed about 140 years ago by Henry George, a (North) American economist, but somehow most macro-economists seem never to have heard of him, in common with a whole lot of other experts. (I would guess that they even don’t want to know, which is even worse!) In “Progress and Poverty”, REF. 4, Henry George proposed a single tax on land values without other kinds of tax on earnings, sales of produce, services, capital-gains etc. This regime of land value tax (LVT) has 17 features which benefit almost everyone in the economy, except for landlords, tax collectors and banks, who/which do nothing productive and find that land dominance and its capitalistic exploitation have their own (unjust) rewards.

    17 Aspects of LVT Affecting Government, Land Owners, Communities and Ethics
    Four Advantages for Government:

    1. LVT, adds to the national income as do other taxation systems, but it should replace them. The author has shown in REF.5, that taxation of any kind is beneficial to the country as a whole due to its national income providing for more work too, but that when the tax applies to land the topology and spread of its effects are about 3 times as beneficial as when the same amounts of income are taken directly from labor.
    2. The cost of collecting the LVT is less than for all of the production-related taxes–tax avoidance becomes impossible, because the sites are visible to all and who owns each site is public knowledge. The army of tax collectors who are opposing a similar set of lawyers, are no longer busy with tax loop-holes in the law, so the number of people more productively employed will grow and the penalty on the country of having complicated taxation is less.
    3. Consumers pay less for their purchases due to lower production costs (see below). They can buy more goods and enjoy a raised standard of living. This creates greater satisfaction with the management of national affairs and more prosperity.
    4. The national economy stabilizes—it no longer experiences the 18 year business boom/bust cycle, due to periodic speculation in land values (see below). The withholding of unused land is eliminated see item 7, so there is less need for the complications of frequent land sales, with developers searching and buyers hunting for unused sites.

    Six Aspects Affecting Land Owners:
    5. LVT is progressive—this tax depends on the site area as well as its position. The owners of the most potentially productive sites pay the most tax per unit of area. Urban sites provide the most usefulness and their owners will pay at greater rates, whilst big rural sites have less value and can be farmed appropriately, to meet their ability to provide useful produce. Small-holder farming closer to population centers becomes more practical, due to local markets and reduced distribution costs.
    6. The land owner pays his LVT regardless of how his site is used. A large proportion of the present ground-rent from the tenants (who do use the land properly), becomes transformed into the LVT, with the result that the land has less sales-value but retains a significant “rental” value.
    7. LVT stops speculation in land prices, because the withholding of land from its proper use is not worthwhile.
    8. The introduction of LVT initially reduces the sales price of sites, even though their rental value can grow over a longer term. As more sites become available, the competition for them is less fierce and entrepreneurs have more of a chance to get started.
    9. With LVT, land owners are unable to pass the tax on to their tenants as rent hikes, due to the reduced competition for access to the additional sites that come into use.
    10. Speculators in land values will want to foreclose on their mortgages and withdraw their money for reinvestment. Therefore LVT should be introduced gradually, to allow these speculators sufficient time to transfer their money to company-based shares etc., and simultaneously to meet the increased demand for produce (see below, items 12 and 13).

    Three Aspects Regarding Communities:
    11. With LVT, there is an incentive to use land for production, transport or residence, rather than it being vacant and held unused.
    12. With LVT, greater working opportunities exist due to cheaper land and a greater number of available sites. Consumer goods become cheaper too, because entrepreneurs have less difficulty in starting-up their businesses, and because they pay less ground-rent–consequently demand grows, whilst unemployment and poverty decrease.
    13. Investment money is withdrawn from land and placed in durable capital goods. This means more advances in technology and cheaper goods too because the effectiveness of labor has been raised.

    Four Aspects About Ethics:
    14. The collection of taxes from productive effort and commerce is socially unjust. LVT replaces this national extortion by gathering the surplus rental income, which comes without any exertion from the land owner or by the banks–LVT is a natural system of national income-gathering.
    15. Previous bribery and corruption for gaining privileged information about land, cease. Before, this was due to the leaking of news of municipal plans for housing and industrial development, causing shock-waves in local land prices (and municipal workers’ and lawyers’ bank accounts!)
    16. The improved use of the more central land of cities reduces the environmental damage due to unused sites being dumping-grounds, and the smaller amount of fossil-fuel use (with its air-pollution), when traveling between home and workplace.
    17. Because the LVT eliminates the advantage that landlords currently hold over our society, LVT provides a greater equality of opportunity to earn a living. Entrepreneurs can operate in a natural way– to provide more jobs because their production costs are reduced. Then untaxed earnings will correspond more closely to the value that the labor puts into the product or service. Consequently, after LVT has been properly and fully introduced as a single tax, it will eliminate poverty and improve business ethics.

    TAX LAND NOT PEOPLE; TAX TAKINGS NOT MAKINGS!

    References:
    1. Adam Smith, 1776: “The Wealth of Nations”, UK
    2. Martin Adams, 2015: “LAND– A New Paradigm for a Thriving World”, North Atlantic Books, California, USA
    3. Mason Gaffney and Fred Harrison, 2005: “The Corruption of Economics”, Shepheard-Walwyn, London, UK
    4. Henry George: “Progress and Poverty” 1897, reprinted 1978 by the Schalkenbach Foundation, New York, USA
    5. David Harold Chester, 2015: “Consequential Macroeconomics—Rationalizing About How Our Social System Works”, Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbüchen, Germany

  5. David Harold Chester says:

    A More Stealthy Georgist Cat By David Harold Chester, October 2019

    The Georgist cat is small and lean
    And often doesn’t get to be seen.
    It hides in the branches of an economic’s-tree
    So it takes a long while for you or for me,
    To appreciate its cute and original form
    That the landlords are so ready to scorn.

    The economic’s-tree has many fine branches
    (On which we contend, there are no free-lunches).
    Whilst the land-owning rich in the city all claim
    As bloated capitalists, that they’re not to blame
    For the gap that lays ‘twixt the poor and the wealthy,
    But oppose any tax to make our nation healthy.

    Have you heard the tale of a committee, that
    Thought to bell and get warning of a fat cat?
    But could not find a soul to apply this device,
    Because typically all were a council of mice!
    Our Georgist cat has a bell ready-fitted,
    (Which makes this analogy more to be pitted).

    This warning sound makes our ideals unwanted,
    For a new tax is how politicians get doubted.
    So the Georgist cat fails to catch any mice
    That pose as landlords, along with their vice.
    But how shall we silence the bell’s warning sound
    And quieten the news that our pussy’s around?

    Our Georgist feline is in serious error,
    ‘Cause its bell draws attention not only to whether
    Valuable sites can be ethically shared,
    But also the rent from a site is declared
    As the means to replace other kinds of taxation,
    Which obviously causes the landlords vexation.

    In the economic’s tree many other beasts lurk
    But are missed, after learning of Henry G’s quirk
    Through the cat-finder’s recently brilliant discovery.
    This writer seeks a new means for recovery
    From our politi-unacceptable claim,
    And stealthily project LVT once again.

    If we would but examine some more of the tree
    Alternatives are waiting there for us to see.
    Among them is hiding a far better way
    For an equivalent LVT effect, to stay
    In essence, without causing such evil offences
    To the landlords and their partitioning fences.

    When a property-owner decides to sell–quick
    The gov’ment buys its land, and not the public!
    Its occupant then leases it for a similar fee
    To the One-Tax of Henry George’s decree.
    Any buildings on-site should be sold as previously
    But without the land, on which the price grievously
    Had risen, with huge speculation in its advance
    That stopped entrepreneurs from having a chance.

    The cost of this land must be raised through new bonds
    Which the government sells and the public responds,
    ‘Though their interest-rate’s a bit lower than rent,
    Their returns are more stable than the average tenant!
    This process will take many years to complete–
    So its financial support is no great money feat.

    After the lease-fees begin to collect,
    Gov’ments can tax less, and firmly expect
    To pursue this policy without change, until
    All the lease-fees are site-rents in the national till.
    With the land properly shared, the government sees
    That site development stays with the current lessees.

    Other taxes that cause so much trouble and hate
    Are scrapped, with great pleasure to all in the state,
    Except for some bankers and the tax collectors
    Whose actions no longer apply in these sectors.

    Land-rights will be shared through this simple device,
    By a fast-growing country that takes our advice.

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