Georgist Economic Philosophy; Graham Hart ..Georgist Economic Philosophy; Graham Hart

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REFERENDUMS  TO  REGAIN  CONTROL  OVER  MONEY

The third and final part of Georgist Economic Philosophy

By GRAHAM HART

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Originally published September 1987 by THE GEORGIST EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, INC., 10 Broome Street, South Perth, Western Australia, 6151; Telephone (08) 9367 5386 (international +61 8 9367 5386); Fax (08) 9367 4547 (phone first); E-mail: georgist@multiline.com.au, or write your COMMENTS on our VISITORS' FORM.
Internet address: http://www.multiline.com.au/~georgist

CONTENTS of Part 1
1. Human Rights 6. Misappropriated Rent
2. The Land 7. Natural Public Revenue
3. Wealth 8. Involuntary Unemployment
4. Rental Value of Land 9. Wealth Producers
5. Exclusive Occupation 10. Full Employment Restored


Statue, Mayor Tom Johnson

What book does he hold?

 

 

At the turn of the 20th century, the "Single Tax" movement was one of the most vital and influential forces of the progressive era.   Single tax Mayors and Legislators were elected in a number of states, most notably Mayor Tom L. Johnson of Cleveland.   A statue of Johnson in Cleveland today shows him holding the book that inspired his political career: Progress and Poverty.

 

 

 

Picture by courtesy of
Henry George Institute of New York State, U.S.A.



CONTENTS of Part 2
11. Monopoly and Speculation 16. Australian Land for Australians
12. Site Revenue Collection 17. Encourage Land Use--Discourage Speculation
13. Freedom of Information 18. Australia--Populate or Perish
14. Banking and Money in a Prosperous Economy 19. Democratic Elections
15. Three-Year Phasing-in Period 20. Proportional Representation

CONTENTS of Part 3
21. Governments Should Consult the People 27. Transitional Hardship
22. By-Elections 28. The Public Service
23. "Taxation--the Power to Destroy" 29. Protective Tariffs
24. Taxation Must be Abolished 30. Artificial Wage Fixing
25. The Family--the Central Unit of Society 31. Economic Recovery
26. Site Rent Revenue--Potential 32. Social Justice and Responsibility

Georgist Economic Philosophy; Graham Hart_ Georgist Economic Philosophy; Graham Hart


REFERENDUMS  TO  REGAIN  CONTROL  OVER  MONEY

The third and final part of Georgist Economic Philosophy

By GRAHAM HART

21. Governments should consult the People

  The people should be consulted by referendum, at election times, on all important matters, with pros and cons fairly stated.  In the past, the people have only been consulted when a grab for more power has been the issue.  In most cases, wisely, the people have rejected such moves.

22. By-Elections

  The cost of by-elections could be saved under Proportional Representation.  The defeated candidate with the highest number of votes at the last election would be declared elected.

23. "Taxation--the Power to Destroy"

  Dismantling the Taxation Structure needs careful examination.  There are about 70 different taxes at present.  We propose only one method of rasiing public revenue, which is not a tax, because there is value in exchange for rentals charged.

  Each different tax calls for an army of officials for assessment, collection, and the prevention of evasion and avoidance.   Also there are the unpaid costs imposed on industry with another army of people engaged in dealing with the tyranny of government and the ruthless methods used to extract the last drop of blood.  The land "tax" is cheaply and easily collected, and is impossible to evade.

  A particular tax must be eliminated in order to achieve any saving in collection costs to the nation.  A low rate of tax would cost as much to collect as any greater amount.

  In the process of elimination, Payroll and Fringe Benefit taxes must be Number One, because these must be paid, irrespective of whether a profit is made or not, and firms not making profits must borrow to pay taxes.  To tax a firm for organising employment, when 600,000 Australians [written in September 1987] are out of work, must surely be an invention of the Devil.

  Stamp taxes must be Number Two.  This impost forces young people buying a house to pay, ultimately, about three times the amound that reaches the Treasury.  It causes farmers, small businessmen and others heavily in debt to pay a tax they cannot afford in changing their securities if better borrowing terms are offering.

  Fuel taxes in a country with such vast distances to travel can only be described as midnight madness.  Increasing transport costs have the effect of driving people to live in more densely populated areas, closer to the workplace, increasing land rents, and depriving their children of a more healthy environment.

  All forms of taxation aimed at consumers hurt the poor and those on fixed incomes more than the wealthy.  Taxes on consumption restrict production just as effectively as direct taxes on employment and industry, and reduce the opportunities for employment.

  Space will not permit a complete examination of all the methods of raising public revenue by taxing income and productivitiy.  These are exposed in other literature available through our headquarters.

24. Taxation Must be Abolished

  It is not sufficient just to collect rent for revenue.  "Taxation--the Power to Destroy" must be reduced progressively (and ultimately abolished), while the rental income from the People's Estate is being diverted to the public treasury, and simultaneously all forms of monopoly are being abolished.

  If the natural public revenue created by all Australians is not collected on their behalf, then about 70 repressive taxes, extracted at enormous cost (not only in money, but also in moral degeneration) must be imposed.

25. The Family--the Central Unit of Society

  Destruction of family life, which is the central and most important unit of society, is the highest price to be paid.  Poverty and hardship are the greatest causes of marriage failure, and innocent children suffer when their mothers are driven into the workforce.  In many cases, this is just to pay spurious interest on the family home mortgage.

  When grandparents are consigned to institutions, and teenagers are induced to leave home and "shack up" with their mates and girlfriends--then Communication between the three generations, so essential to cultural progress and survival, is lost.  The voice of experience leavening the impetuousity of youth, and the happiness which comes with love and mutual support, are ireplaceable.

26. Site Rent Revenue--Potential

  The potential revenue from site rent is enormous, more than adequate to suppor the proper functions of government.  With honest and efficient administration, a national dividend, eventually, could be expected.

  Classical economists know that taxation waste and monopolies, ultimately, are at the expense of rent, the revenue from which, therefore, would be the sum total of taxes and visible rent.  Fortunately this would be reduced by an increase in real wates and returns for the use of capital, which are determined by the law of rent.

  The general level of wages and interest (spurious interest would be eliminated) rises when the availability of land for use is increased, and rent falls; this happens when it becomes unprofitable for speculators to withhold valuable land, either totally or partially from use.

27. Transitional Hardship

  With any radical change in fiscal policy there will be some cases of hardship suffered during the transitional period.

  For example:

  Those who had retired from the workforce would benefit only as indirect taxes were abolished. But, because they are not receiving wages, they will not be benefitting from abolition of direct taxes on wages.

  Others may recently have paid a high price for a centrally-situated homesite and borrowed heavily to finance the deal; these people will benefit from the abolition of taxation and spurious interest, but land rental payments to the State may impose a strain on the family budget.  In cases of genuine hardship, rental charges could be reduced or delayed (as at present) until death or the property is sold.

  Ageing parents may be disturbed at the loss of, say, $50,000 of land price which they were planning to leave to the family--because, in a liberated economy, land price [not housing etc. price] would ultimately disappear.  However, the parents would have the pleasure of seeing in their own lifetime their children established in life, because of the saving of land price of say $30,000 [more likely $100,000 in 1997 prices] each on their homesite, plus reduced interest and lower mortgage repayments.  The saving for a family of three children could easily amount to $150,000 [1987 figures] of land price and spurious interest.  Moreover, all Australians would be living in a tax-free economy, with full employment opportunities.

  In a buoyant economy, generous care can be provided for those in genuine need, including the aged and the incapacitated, without a means test, and with the availability of part-time work for all who desire it.

[ Top of Document ] [ Foot ]

28. The Public Service

  During the past 20 years [written 1987], Australian Federal and State Parliaments have enactedc 16,631 laws and gazetted some 32,551 regulations, put into forct to control the activities of business--supported by an army of public servants for administration.

  The bureaucracy has swollen to enormous proportions, employing between 30 and 40 per cent of the workforce, and, of such, probably about half are engaged in doing useless or counterproductive work.

  Nevertheless, many public servants are dedicated and do work hard; such forms of employment, however, are soul-destroying, give little or no job satsifaction, are conducive to early retirement, and often lead to premature decease.

  Once a free economy gains momentum and nearly full employment is restored, many will retire voluntarily to take up more rewarding occupations.  This has been the experience, to some extent, during the bried boom conditions which preceded the depressions of earlier periods.

  In a free economy a gradual process of reducing the public service to manageable proportions would occur; not by ruthlessly declaring people redundant, but by natural wastage, and non-replacement of those who retire or choose to re-enter the private sector workforce.

29. Protective Tariffs

  Industries which survive only because of protective tariffs cannot suddenly be forced into insolvency.  Costs must be reduced, as proposed, and alternative opportunities for profitable investment made available.  Free trade must be preceded by land reform.
[ Globe, rotating ]

30. Artificial Wage Fixing

  The artificial wage-fixing farce cannot be dismantled until there is a natural and continuing demand for labour, with landholders competing with each other for worker; that is, in reversal of the present system under which disadvantaged industry and the workforce are obliged to compete for the right to use land, and pay exorbitant land price premiums for the privilege to those who render no service in exchange, i.e., to pay the privileged few to get out of the way, in order to that genuine land users may gain accecc to that, which by right of birth, belongs equally to all people.

  Free market assessment of wages is possible only when a sufficient measure of site revenue collection is achieved and land speculators are convinced that there is no future in such anti-social operations.  This will occur when opportunities for full employment have been restored.

31. Economic Recovery

  In conclusion, one fact is certain--there can be no economic recovery for Australia [written 1987] until full or nearly full employment opportunities become a reality and alternative avenues are available for the investment of capital.

  All classes of society must realise that they have been conned by legislation intended only as soothing syrup and to divert attention from the basic cause of monstrous social injustice, bordering on criminal folly, which is destroying our Country, and the future prospects of our children.

  Just two glaring examples of hypocricy are given:-

* Equal Opportunities legislation. Can the children of parents paying up to a third of their combined income in land rent and spurious interest have equal opportunities with the children of multi-millionaires who live in luxury from the unearned fortunes that are sapped from the labour of wealth producers?

* Can there be any greater "Restrictive Trade Practices" than a tax structure which penalises all who do useful work, and rewards whose who are permitted to charge their fellow men [and women] for the right to use the earth?

32. Social Justice and Responsibility

  This brief examination can do no more than alert the reader to the root cause of the problem, and point to a simple but effective solution, to arouse indignation, and above all, to induce all concerned people to realise that they have a responsibility for action.

The Georgist International Movement commenced in 1879.  Australia has branches in each State, with world affiliations in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Korea, and Taiwan. (see LINKS and CONTACTS for details.)

The Georgist Education Association (Inc.) is a non-profit, non-Party Association with an active membership working to promote public awareness of human rights.

JUSTICE AND FREEDOM
through Education
in the Science of Political Economy

We invite enquiries
at our headquarters
10 BROOME ST - SOUTH PERTH - PHONE 9367 5386

Inspection of:
our extensive range of literature
Ausralian and International magazines
and Library Facilities.

Participation in: Discussion Groups & Action Planning

Special Courses and Subjects include:-
  • The Science of Political Economy
  • The Role of the Municipal Councillor
  • Site Rental Revenue--Municipal, State, and Federal
  • Exposure of the Disastrous effects of Taxes imposed on the Production, Exchange, and Consumption of Wealth
  • Exposure of Deficit Public Finance by Inflation and Transferring Debts to our children--taxpayers of the next generation
  • The Mal-distribution of Wealth--Unemployment and Poverty
  • The Criminalising effects of Taxation, and the Denial of the Right of Private Property
  • The Motivation of Governments to Represent the People who Elected Them
  • Democratic Elections

AUTHORISED BY

Georgist Education Assoc. (Inc)

(September 1987)

It was revealed in The West Australian 15/9/87 that Australia's suicide rate, particularly among young people, is one of the worst in the World, being about double that of the United States.

This is undoubtedly due to emotional disturbances caused by the injustice and frustrations of a tax-ridden regimented society.

Political leaders should hang their heads in shame, and responsible parents should seethe with indignation.  In a country so richly endowed as Australia there can be no excuse.

This is part of the price that must be paid to support land monopoly and speculation in the People's estate for the enrichment of the favoured few.

(THE END)


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Georgist Economic Philosophy; Graham Hart_ Georgist Economic Philosophy; Graham Hart

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