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161  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 13, 2012, 02:39:34 AM
Same way all taxes are collected:
Cute.  Incidentally, that's the way rent is collected, too.

@FirstAscent - Thanks for the opinion.

Less philosophy, I want to hear a debate on how the tax wold actually work, especially collection.
Good call.  I'm going to make a note to ask someone who's more learned in Georgism when I get the chance about how the valuation would work.  

Collection would, as myrkul said, work the same was as taxes.  The only penalty for not paying would be the loss of title to the land.  Ideally, I think a stable currency, maybe even a cryptocurrency, should be declared official for this purpose only, leaving people free to use other currencies in commerce.

You could probably decentralize the process quite a bit if you used a cryptocurrency.  Register an address for each site, and then there could be a number of private agencies that will pay in exchange for some physical goods.  "Landcoins for gold" and so on.  Once collected, the currency would be redistributed either as a citizen's dividend or as payment for services.
162  Other / Politics & Society / Re: People and opinions do change (me 3 years ago) on: December 13, 2012, 01:41:11 AM
A ray - slim though it might be - of hope for some of this forum's participants, then...  Smiley
Makes me curious what you used to believe.  Smiley

From what I understand, money is neutral in the long term.  I personally suspect that short term effects would be limited if we allowed currency competition.  Let people choose what kind of currency they use.
163  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 12, 2012, 07:52:16 AM
When did I ever say people don't buy and sell land?  The closest thing I said was that there's very little downward pressure on the price compared to man-made goods.

When people sell land for a higher price they bought it for, without making any improvements, that's a form of rent in the Georgist sense.  There's more than one way to collect rent.  Whatever the method, it's a burden on the producers.
164  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 12, 2012, 06:42:00 AM
They most certainly can support themselves. They support themselves through manual labor, just like the first generation. They even benefit more in that they get to carry away the fruits of this labor in portable (monetary) form, while the first generation was stuck with the literal fruits (and vegetables, etc) of their labor.

I believe your complaint was that they couldn't do much more than support themselves. Considering that was all the first generation could do, I'd say they're better off, even if all they have to offer is a strong back.
The first generation was entitled to work the land just by the fact of their presence.  If their neighbor wanted to hire them, that was an option too.  The second generation can support themselves only if someone agrees to hire them.  If no one does, they starve.  If the only jobs involve degrading or life-threateningly dangerous conditions, they have no choice but to accept them.  Ironically, the first generation was probably fleeing a society just like this.

There's no reason they have to live in the same or worse conditions as the first generation did.  The society is much more developed, and the productivity of one worker is much increased.  If, like the first generation, the second generation had the choice between working for themselves or working for someone else, they would be in a much stronger position to demand wages that actually reflect the value of their work rather than their desperate circumstances.

Instead, when the development of society improves the productivity of the worker, it is the landowner who gets the lion's share of the increased production.
165  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 12, 2012, 05:59:45 AM
They can. I believe your complaint was that that was all they could do. So now, you want the second generation to benefit even more than the first did? Tsk.
No, they can't.  There's no more unowned land for them to homestead.  All they can do is hire themselves out to landowners at low wages, which is another kind of rent.

Yes, the second generation should benefit more.  They may be no more virtuous or deserving than the first, but people should keep the wealth they create.  Because they live in a more developed society, the second generation can produce more wealth for less labor, and they'd get to keep it if it wasn't lost to rent.

What is the best online text (not video) introduction to geoism?
Hm, that's a good question.  I don't know of many other than the ebook of Progress and Poverty.  There really is a need for a catchy introduction that covers the important points.

This is the best I can find after several minutes of googling.  What do you think of that, and what I've said so far in this thread?
166  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 12, 2012, 05:06:35 AM
Ahh, but nobody is obligated to pay for unskilled labor.
Laborers wouldn't need them to if they weren't the only source of land to work.  The homesteaders supported themselves off the land doing unskilled labor, why shouldn't the next generation be able to do that?

In fact, modern laborers have incredible productivity advantages over the homesteaders: technology, infrastructure, bigger markets.  They can produce probably hundreds of times the amount of wealth that people a few centuries ago could.  They should be living like kings compared to the homesteaders.  Yet, they're often found working pretty much as hard and gaining as mere a subsistence as laborers without these advantages.  Where does the extra wealth go?  To rent.

I think we've been going back and forth long enough about the other topics.  This is not a concession, I just feel it's time we moved on.  We need a fresh perspective.  FirstAscent, what do you think about geoism?
167  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 12, 2012, 02:37:18 AM
Let me guess: myrkul is a homeowner, Topazan rents. Geoism will never succeed because most people own their homes.
People own their homes at the expense of being indentured to a bank their whole lives.  Rising land values hurt buyers as well as renters.  Can you imagine all the things you could have done with the money you spent on your lot?

Besides, it's not just homes.  We need land to work as well as to live on.
168  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 12, 2012, 02:01:21 AM
Read it again. You altered the land. You get to keep that land, even after the ore is gone. The ore, you can't sell in it's current state. You must dig it up.
In a private property system you CAN sell the ore in its current state.  That's the problem.  Homesteading gives you far more than the value of your labor.

This is demonstrably false. Land values are subject to market forces, just like any other commodity.
Then, please, I invite you to demonstrate it.

A fine argument for learning a skill, isn't it?
Yes, in the sense that getting whipped by the slave-driver is a fine argument for working faster.

I see. So, I can go around improving land, expending my energy for... nothing? Sounds like a good plan. Great incentive. "We won't charge you."
Why would you want to go around improving random land, and why would "we" want you to?  Either register a claim and pay the community or hire yourself out to someone who has.

Everyone. Just like other forms of socialism, you're stealing from everyone to give to everyone, which necessitates a robber class, which will soak up some percentage of the take, leaving everyone (except the robber class) poorer than if you just left them alone.
Landowners are a robber class that steals from everyone to give to themselves.  We're just taking back what's ours.

You assume that government "sovereignty" is legitimate. It is not, since drawing lines on a map does not grant ownership. If it did, I could easily draw on my map that I was no longer part of the US, and they would have to recognize it. No, the only way they have any claim over the land in the US is by force of arms, which is inherently illegitimate.
So... if they built a fence along the borders would you recognize it?  If the government dropped their claim of sovereignty, who would it go to?  You never had it, so you can't be the rightful owner by your logic.

What does the government do that a landlord cannot?  Collect taxes?  Landlords collect rent.  Make laws?  Landlords make rules concerning their property.  Use force?  Once the landlord declares you a trespasser, they can do that.  Heck, what would stop them from making you sign a contract giving them the power to use force at will?  At the end of the day, land ownership is backed up by force of arms.  In a system of AnCap with private land ownership, landlords would just be governments by another name.
169  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 11:04:49 PM
No, by digging the mine, you alter the land. You thereby gain ownership of the land. The ore, both in the vein and dug up, is part of that land
In other words, your argument that homesteading is just a way to let you keep the product of your labor is false.

Care to explain how the first person gets most of the reward? Even if he rents it, He won't be able to charge more than the renter is willing to pay, and if the area is rich in ore, prospective renters may value that already dug hole less than the money he's charging for it, and go stake their own claim.
Once all land is owned, the only limit to what renters are "willing" to pay is what they can pay.

Land doesn't work like the products of human labor.  If there was a sudden demand for, say, ice cream, the price increase would be temporary.  Eventually, the increased demand would be balanced out by increased production, or if it wasn't people would look for alternatives.  There is no way to increase production of land, and there are no alternatives.  Land value tends upwards, absorbing all the new wealth gained through increased productivity.

In a truly free market, unskilled labor can only receive a mere subsistence after rent.  We don't need to speak in hypotheticals, this exact situation happens all the time throughout the developing world and has happened through history.  I hate to speak in favor of regulation, but that's the only reason why we see it less in the west.

So drawing a line on a map is less arbitrary? hmm, no. And your system has the same problem. How much land do you charge him for, if he breaks a trail trough the woods? All the woods he's thus altered? (ask FirstAscent exactly how) Just the trail? some area (line of sight?) around the trail?
I didn't say it was less arbitrary, I said it was equally arbitrary.

You don't generally charge him after the fact, he would reserve a section to work on ahead of time.  If he blazes the trail without renting it, then it would be a special situation to be handled on a case-by-case basis.  You'd try to charge him by the amount he reduced the land's value.  If he increased it, then nothing.

You're aware that most land in the US was homesteaded? And I've explained a transition like this before. Gov't land is up for grabs, with the current users of it getting first "dibs" (the President would get some sweet digs), Private land, unless clearly stolen is assumed to be legitimately gained. Do some people get screwed? Maybe. But a lot fewer than the current system, and fewer than yours, too.
The White House is used by many more people than the President, how do you decide who gets priority.

Who exactly gets screwed with geoism?

Well, I never had my neighbor's yard, but I did legitimately gain my house. I do have it. Their claim conflicts with mine. That's why I care.
It doesn't though.  You bought it with the full understanding that it would fall under the jurisdiction of the government.  If the seller led you to believe it wouldn't, then your beef is with them.  You have the right to occupy, modify, and resell that land, but the government's legal sovereignty over it was recognized since long before you were even born.  You never had sovereignty, so by your logic you are wrong to demand it.
170  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 09:52:28 PM
I already addressed size in the original post.

If homesteading just allowed you to claim the product of your labor, you would have a point.  But it does so much more than that.  It gives you the product of all future labor done on that site, and it allows you to leech off of the production of the surrounding community.  According to that principle, building a mine should give you the right to claim only the ore you dig up, and not the ore that's still in the vein.  Yet, taking the vein as private property allows you to do both.

As I pointed out in the last thread, the first person could "homestead" one year, and then the next person to arrive could spend the rest of their life doing the exact same work on the exact same land, and the first person would get most of the reward.  Why?  Just because he got there first?

And, there's no clear line regarding how much land a given act of homesteading entitles you to.  In the last thread you gave the example of breaking a trail to claim a section of wilderness.  How much wilderness does a trail entitle you to?  While it sounds nice on paper, I really think homesteading is too arbitrary to base a system of property rights on.

Besides, how would you even go from the current system, where property consists of lines on a map, to a homestead system?  A number of people own land without marking it, would that revert to the commons after the revolution?  A number of people own land that is marked or occupied, but did not earn it justly, what happens to them?

Also, why do you care how the government claims sovereignty over land?  In your words, you never had it, so it was not taken from you, so why worry about it?
171  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 09:19:49 PM
But I can't, you see.... Countries have this imaginary line on the ground they call a border, and while they usually let you cross out fine, coming in (and you can't leave one without entering another) is a different matter entirely.
And private landowners are different in this regard, how?

On the contrary, they claim the very land that I have bought, fair and square, and claim that since they drew some lines on a map, I owe them tax. Who has a better claim on a piece of land, the man with a felt-tipped marker and a map, or the man with a house on it?
The US government has a house on the land.  It's white.  Also scores of offices, schools, military bases, prisons, hospitals, and more scattered throughout the country.

You bought your house with the full understanding that it was part of a country and subject to the laws of its government.  In effect, what you bought was permission to occupy land owned by the government.  It's like buying an apartment and complaining that the someone else still owns the building.  You "never had" sovereignty over the land you call your own, and since you never had it, then according to your logic you can't complain about the government denying you sovereignty.

Neither one of them has a better claim, they're both arbitrary.
172  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 07:35:15 PM
In that case, you must feel extremely free because technically you can leave your country whenever you want.  Governments don't control you, they just control land you never had to begin with.
173  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 06:30:10 PM
Is a drink from a stream a measurable loss? Is it permanent damage?
Do the answers to these questions vary depending on whether or not we're in a geoist system?

I'm sorry, I really can't follow your point.  The market value of a drink of water is immeasurably small, especially without the labor and capital needed to transport it to a populated area.  The whole point of the tax is that you are depriving others of the opportunity to use those resources productively.  If nobody else is willing to bid on that drink of water, then the value to the community is zero.  So, no, a drink of water would not be taxed, and as I said there isn't a clear line between what would and wouldn't be taxed.  So what?

It is worth noting that land is not some sort of privileged asset. The argument applies to many other types of resources as well.
I have considered whether or not these arguments apply to bitcoin, and I have concluded they do not.  Bitcoin is a currency.  It's value is entirely relative.  Even if I hoarded 99% of the bitcoin, people could still make do with trading the other 1% just fine.

George said that interest on capital stems from it being part of the same system of exchange as productive capital that grows in value over time.  I think the same applies to currencies.  Bitcoin grows in value because the bitcoin economy grows.  When I did the labor to earn the BTC in the first place, by delaying consumption I allowed the products of my labor to be invested productively, and that's reflected in the deflation of my BTC.  BTC might be stolen, but at least it's a one-time thing.  I won't have to pay rent to the thief every year afterwards.

Gold also gains some of its value as a currency, and as long as the land that produces gold is taxed, then compensation has already been made.

The big question: is sentimental value priced-in? At the moment of exchange, probably yes. But afterwards, maybe not, unless the buyer hopes to profit by selling again shortly.
The price would be determined by what the market is willing to pay for it.  If it has some additional sentimental value specific to the current possessor, that will not be reflected in that market price. 

But you raise a good point though.  What about historic sites like cemeteries?  Even though it's harsh, I think it will ultimately have to fall to individuals to justify its existence by paying the value of whatever productive use that land would otherwise be put towards.  I'm tempted to say that there should be exceptions for things like that, but on reflection it's not necessary.  Making an exception for cemeteries is a reflection that they have intrinsic value to the community, and if they really do then the community can raise the funds to keep renting it.
174  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 07:43:07 AM
Camping on the land includes drinking from the stream. Unless you have a funny definition of "use the land?" (as in use the land for camping)
That depends on their agreement with the owner, doesn't it?  If they damage the land, by say starting a forest fire, he would have the right to ask for compensation, even if he didn't say "Don't burn down the forest" when he gave them permission to camp.  It's the same dilemma.  If you accept that he can sue them for damaging the land, where do you draw the line?

Let's not lose sight of what we're talking about.  Are you saying, that since it is impractical to collect the immeasurably tiny values of small amounts of abundant natural resources, we should therefore allow individuals to control all the vast quantities of the resources people need to live?
175  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Deck the Halls with Macro Follies.... on: December 11, 2012, 06:59:42 AM
That is awesome.   Cheesy  Thanks for sharing it.
176  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 06:55:28 AM
What if they had permission to camp on the land, just not to drink from the stream?

Also, how exactly do you compensate someone for trespass?
177  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 06:36:41 AM
Ok, so it's a blurry line.

The same dilemma exists in a private property system.  If some camper's drink from an owned stream, can the owner sue them for compensation?
178  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 06:15:37 AM
At the point where what you're taking has market value.  That means that there is demand for the resources, which means others want to use them and are prevented from doing so by you.
179  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 05:26:04 AM
If it's in the middle of the wilderness and only drank by campers, and they only drank a few gulps, the demand for that quantity of that particular water approaches zero, and so the amount they owe is zero.

They can drink all they like, but if they want the legal authority to use force prevent to others from drinking as they please, that's when they have to pay.

Really, you talk about charging to drink from a stream as if it's absurd, but claiming the stream as private property gives one the authority to do just that.

EDIT: So, to answer your question, yes putting things in your body is claiming them as private property, but the value of what you put in your body is typically going to be trivial.  When I talked about claiming air or water as private property, I meant in the sense of claiming the atmosphere or a stream as your property.
180  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Georgism/Geoism and the Land Value Tax on: December 11, 2012, 04:48:12 AM
Breathable air is not scarce at this time, and there is no reason to believe you are taking more than a reasonable share.  If, on the other hand, you declared, "The air is mine.  No one can breathe it without my permission.", then we would have a problem.  Would you allow someone to do this?  If a factory pollutes the air around my home until it's unbreathable, then I would absolutely feel justified in demanding compensation for using up all "my" air.

Are you claiming that water can't be stolen?  If we were lost in the desert, and I drank all the water in your canteen when you weren't looking, would you say that is not theft?  If I shoplift a bottle of evian, is that not theft?  And again, if someone poisons the local water supply, then they have certainly wronged the community that depends on it.

Aside from long pork, the only thing special about the resources you mentioned is that they're relatively abundant and sometimes free.  If they were scarce or if someone tried to claim private property over them, then these principles would indeed apply.
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