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Author Topic: Average Land Rent - Free Land for the average person.  (Read 4211 times)
steelhouse
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May 09, 2013, 03:46:25 AM
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Here is an idea I have come up to fix Henry Georges book Progress and Poverty.  any comments welcome.

Chapter X - Land Value Tax is a Wrong too - The Problem.

The Land Value Tax (LVT) as proposed by Henry George is a single tax on land, high enough that the value of land would go to zero. If an apartment, a house, a business, and a vacant lot occupy the same amount of land in the same area, they all would pay the same property tax.  The money would go to the city government as the only tax they collect.  The LVT is a major blunder by Mr. George despite a great book overall.  George was from an era when there were no income taxes and small government burden. "We must make land common property." writes George.  LVT does not make land common property, it makes land owned by government.

Murray Rothbard did a review of the land value tax and came up with some good points, it would be extremely hard to find the true site value as even empty land has improvements.  He also claims society does not own the land the State would own the land. It would simply transfer this ownership from producers to bureaucrats.  "A newborn Pakistani baby would have a moral claim to ownership of a piece of Iowa land someone has just transformed into a wheat field" writes Rothbard.

"A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area." says Ayn Rand.  "The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breaches or fraud by the others, to settle disputes". In her book Atlas Shrugged, it depicted Taggert Transcontinental a railroad of massive acreage owned by one family.  This railroad denies other people to use the land for their railroad or the government a highway.

In Hong Kong or areas with a land value tax there are certain tenants that can barely afford the land tax.  They live under massive poverty while the real estate tycoons that own the apartments are the richest people in the country.  The cities with the highest property values in the United States often have the highest level of homelessness, just spend a walk in Santa Barbara or San Diego.  These people can not afford the property tax as is.

If poor had the right to live on rent-free land they would be able to use their income to improving their lives by saving and investing. Instead their money is spent support the city workers, mortgage, and real estate industries.  The city requires permits even to install a water heater and your house has to be built their way and their size to boost the property tax.  They collect tax for libraries and parks you don't even use.

Imagine a person living on 1 acre of desert land and the price per acre might be $500.  Another person lives on a lot in Malibu and the lot might cost $500,000 an acre.  How is that fair when the guy in the deserts kid ends up in Vietnam or Iraq, while the kids of the guy living in Malibu sits on the beach with cool breezes all day. Someone living in an apartment should pay the same tax to the city as a house, they use the same amount of police, fire, and water.  According to George, an apartment dweller would get a tax break. You should pay for the services you use.  The services should be independent of the land rent.

The more improvements that are done, the higher the prices are for land.  The poor are priced out of the market, from their fathers that built the trains and roads.  Their only crime, they did not make much money.  Furthermore, the poor must pay the rent, insurance, and property taxes, before they buy anything else. If not they end up on the street.  All the while the land owner is using the rents to accumulate more and more land, once they reach critical mass where their rents exceed their spending all they do is accumulate land.

George was wrong about assuming government property is common property.  Rand and Rothbard were wrong about allowing individuals to own land.  Land is limited and unlike Rembrants is necessary for life, food, energy, and shelter.  A small percentage of individuals and government are not society.  Land under your feet should be free like air.  The question is what are the logistics to make this happen.

Chapter X - Average Rent - The Solution.

If rents should not be collected for government or individuals, who should collect the rents? The land of a country should be owned as if each person was a shareholder. If you use more land than your fair share, you should pay rent to those that use less land.   All property lots are auctioned and leased to the highest bidder as 10 year and 5 year leases.  All money collected from the land lease auctions is placed in a fund called the land rent pool. The pool should be divided equally to residents as a monthly check.  Every person over 18 would receive the identical check.

People that use more than their fair share of land would be paying more in rent than their land check.  A farmer that leases 500 acres might pay $200 an acre or $100,000 a year to lease the land. A homeowner in the desert might rent 1/4 acre for $1 a year.  A 5 acre oil lease might generate millions for the land rent pool. Fishing licenses might generate more money. 50% of all land would be preserved as wilderness, forests, and to protect wildlife. There would be no land locks like the Nature Conservancy.  The Nature Conservancy might now advocate which 50% is to be preserved.  An apartment dweller might not even own land but receive a land check, as a citizen.  People that use less land than their fair share would receive a land check.  Those that use average rent would receive nothing. If the average rent check is $800 per lot per month, if you lease a lot of $1200 a month, your net fee is $400 per month.

All oil leases, timber, fish, and minerals rights meet the George definition of land.  These leases should be added to the total land rent pool, taken from the grips of government.  Today one half of all homes in Palm Springs are built on leased land, farmers rent land in every farm state and most counties, and the government collects oil royalties.  The switch to the new system will be rather painless.  Considering Iowa as a whole, the total amount of bushels per acre and total corn produced in Iowa should increase on a land lease system as the most productive farmers would win bids for farm land.

After the lease is up the property, it is again put up for lease on by auction.  After the new leaser wins the bid, the old leaser has one month to remove their property at the site. The new leaser takes control of the lot.  The cycle is repeated.  You can own as many lots as you want as long as you win the auction and pay the rent.  Movable homes will be the new industry.

Permanent improvements of the land become part of the land as the soil.  To conform to air and water quality laws you most likely would want a septic system.  You could request a grant from the land lease board to install a septic system and water well.  Thus you might get a check of $20,000 to install a well, tank, and septic system, but install it for $19,000 and keep the difference.  If the system is expected to last 100 years you might be billed $40 per month until the lease is up. The goal is the land pool should expect to reap 100% profit on all improvements. You might also request $100,000 to build a house.  If this house has a 50 year lifespan warranty, the expected rent might be $333 monthly.  There are no mortgages, you must meet and pay the rent to live there.  Total improvements are expected to generate profit in the land auctions.  You can put a removable home on the property, to lower your cost of rent. You fail to make rent, you lose your lease.  No problem you move to another area.

The city would still own the streets, the sewers, electric grid, schools, cable lines, possibly even libraries, and the fire department. However, it would be your choice to subscribe to them or not. The only mandatory fee would be for the courts, police, and defense and that would come from sin and income taxes. The streets would be owned as by the people. The roads should be built by volunteer donations. If you decided to do some work on the road it would be legal as long as it met certain standards. In order to get a permit to drive over 10 mph on roads, you might have to be responsible for 500 feet (maybe 50) of road built to ansi standards. Like adopt a road, you can build it yourself, or hire a contractor to build and maintain.  
 
If the people own the land, do the cities, counties, states, or Federal government have any right to it. The only people entitled to free rent are the police, courts, jails, and defense. These are necessary to enforce the law and protect the people. However, when you consider a school or city park it does not meet the criteria for free rent. However schools are a choice. You have the choice to select a $1000 a month school with poor ratings or also have the choice to select a home school for $100 a month. Schools act as businesses and they should collect land rent that goes into the rent pool.  City parks with grass and soccer fields should also pay rent if used for people and picnics. Libraries must pay rent.  City government must bid on parcels for parks, schools, firestations, streets, and libraries. This money goes to the rent pool to be divided among each citizen equally.  However, the government can not force you to use their junk.  They can not put firefighting or school requirements on the property. Dams and water structures must pay a rent as the States, utilities, cities own them to provide water at economy of scale to residents of the city.

Suppose the land causes you injury or the house collapses who do you sue. It would not be possible to seek $1 in damages from the land pool.  The land rent pool is sacred and no scamming or lawsuits can be taken from it.  However, you could sue the homebuilder if the house is defective and causes you damage.

Ayn Rand first jobs when she came to the United States were letter stuffing and waitress. If her books did not sell, she probably would have been doing the same work for the rest of her life. However, there is no reason to live in poverty if you are doing something productive.  You can really start to accumulate wealth not paying rent to government or landlords. Every person in the United States can be wealthy even a letter stuffer.

Apartment buildings, skyscrapers, golf courses, corporations would pay a maximum rent.  It would be high enough such that no one would question the low rent maybe $5000 per acre a year, maybe $1000 an acre a year for golf courses as they offer some wildlife value.  It is the rent where a person could lease the land permanently and the lease could be sold.

There have been complaints this system is  Maoism or communism, This system does not confiscate people lands by death, it does not organize communes, it does not tell what to plant or how to plant. The rent rather than going to the land owner or government, would go to the median rent pool to be divided equally among all citizens. This would assure the people the land an the land under their feet is free unless you use too much or take the best land.

Support the median land rent system.  Support a more productive use of land.  Support free land under your feet.
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myrkul
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May 09, 2013, 04:28:50 AM
 #2

George was a tool.

Your system is marginally better, but still fatally flawed, like all redistributive models.

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steelhouse
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May 09, 2013, 04:37:27 AM
 #3

George was a tool.

Your system is marginally better, but still fatally flawed, like all redistributive models.

George was a hypercapitalist - he did not believe in income taxes or giving your money to schools.  He thought unions make people less wealthy and less free.  This is not redistributive, it say the owners of land are the members of society.

 http://www.henrygeorge.org/pchp24.htm

You can listen to his book or read it from above. 
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May 09, 2013, 04:50:31 AM
 #4

George was a tool.

Your system is marginally better, but still fatally flawed, like all redistributive models.

George was a hypercapitalist - he did not believe in income taxes or giving your money to schools.  He thought unions make people less wealthy and less free.  This is not redistributive, it say the owners of land are the members of society.

 http://www.henrygeorge.org/pchp24.htm

You can listen to his book or read it from above. 

Your plan is redistributive:
Quote
The rent rather than going to the land owner or government, would go to the median rent pool to be divided equally among all citizens.

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steelhouse
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May 09, 2013, 06:49:38 AM
 #5

George was a tool.

Your system is marginally better, but still fatally flawed, like all redistributive models.

George was a hypercapitalist - he did not believe in income taxes or giving your money to schools.  He thought unions make people less wealthy and less free.  This is not redistributive, it say the owners of land are the members of society.

 http://www.henrygeorge.org/pchp24.htm

You can listen to his book or read it from above. 

Your plan is redistributive:
Quote
The rent rather than going to the land owner or government, would go to the median rent pool to be divided equally among all citizens.

The land rents are distributive.  If an Iowa farmer rents farmland about $250 a acre on average.  Why should he get the $250?

Air is distributive too.  If I owned all the air, would in not seem silly for you to pay me $250 a year to breathe?

I am not distributing income which comes from labor or capital, i am distributing air and land.  In the case of air everyone uses about the same.  However, some people use more land than other people.
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May 09, 2013, 12:58:12 PM
 #6

Your plan is redistributive:
Quote
The rent rather than going to the land owner or government, would go to the median rent pool to be divided equally among all citizens.

The land rents are distributive.  If an Iowa farmer rents farmland about $250 a acre on average.  Why should he get the $250?

Air is distributive too.  If I owned all the air, would in not seem silly for you to pay me $250 a year to breathe?

I am not distributing income which comes from labor or capital, i am distributing air and land.  In the case of air everyone uses about the same.  However, some people use more land than other people.

Some people have more Bitcoins than others. Should we redistribute those, to be more "fair"?

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May 09, 2013, 03:07:25 PM
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Air is not a "good", because it is not scarce. Land is.

You get ownership of land in the same way you get ownership of any other scarce good:
By original appropriation - being the first one to recognize it as a scarce good and mixing it with your hands`labor, i.e. going to antarctica and building fields or dwellings there.
By your own hands` labor (works rarely with land, except for maybe building an artificial island or so).
Or, the most common way, by voluntary transactions with other people.

How do you justify treating land any different than other property? It is not, it has a stock, a demand, and a price like any other.
Property is not distributed equally because people are different, some have high skills, work hard etc.. and some don`t.
If you would redistribute goods absolutely equal among all humans now (which you`d have to do with force, which makes it unethical from the beginning), the next second the distribution would not be equal anymore - because people are not equal.

Trying to treat them otherwise leads to the kind of violence we see all around us today.
Land taxes of any kind would be a violent crime, as are any other taxes or forceful redistribution of goods.
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May 09, 2013, 04:50:29 PM
 #8

George was a tool.

Your system is marginally better, but still fatally flawed, like all redistributive models.

George was a hypercapitalist - he did not believe in income taxes or giving your money to schools.  He thought unions make people less wealthy and less free.  This is not redistributive, it say the owners of land are the members of society.

 http://www.henrygeorge.org/pchp24.htm

You can listen to his book or read it from above.  

Your plan is redistributive:
Quote
The rent rather than going to the land owner or government, would go to the median rent pool to be divided equally among all citizens.
The land rents are distributive.  If an Iowa farmer rents farmland about $250 a acre on average.  Why should he get the $250?

Air is distributive too.  If I owned all the air, would in not seem silly for you to pay me $250 a year to breathe?

I am not distributing income which comes from labor or capital, i am distributing air and land.  In the case of air everyone uses about the same.  However, some people use more land than other people.

Do me/us a big favor.  Just state that you are in favor of communism/a more refined version/a better style/etc etc etc.  But don't hide it behind another layer of words and phrases or try to deny that you simply propose communism.  That wastes valuable arguing time.
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May 09, 2013, 04:55:09 PM
 #9

Do me/us a big favor.  Just state that you are in favor of communism/a more refined version/a better style/etc etc etc.  But don't hide it behind another layer of words and phrases or try to deny that you simply propose communism.  That wastes valuable arguing time.

LOL +1

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May 09, 2013, 06:22:31 PM
 #10

Some people have more Bitcoins than others. Should we redistribute those, to be more "fair"?

No.  bitcoins represent your labor and wealth.  Land is free.  Ever see a picture of teepees on the plains, did the indians pay rent to anyone.  What if some indian decided to claim all the best hunting grounds as his?  The tribe would not believe it.  We are not redistributing land, we are saying you can only use your fair share.  If you use more, you pay a fee.
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May 09, 2013, 06:29:16 PM
 #11

We are not redistributing land, we are saying you can only use your fair share.  If you use more, you pay a fee.

That's exactly what has happened.  Unowned land can be claimed by homesteading (your fair share).  Owned land can be claimed by voluntarily trading for it (pay a fee).

The differences you are advocating are the differences between capitalism and communism.

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May 09, 2013, 06:44:55 PM
 #12

We are not redistributing land, we are saying you can only use your fair share.  If you use more, you pay a fee.

That's exactly what has happened.  Unowned land can be claimed by homesteading (your fair share).  Owned land can be claimed by voluntarily trading for it (pay a fee).

The differences you are advocating are the differences between capitalism and communism.

There have been complaints this is communism, This system does not confiscate people lands by death, it does not organize communes, it does not tell what to plant or how to plant. The rent rather than going to the land owner or government, would go to the median rent pool to be divided equally among all citizens. This would assure the people the land an the land under their feet is free unless you use too much or take the best land.

Russia and China had an extremely bad experience with trying to run farms top down.  Over 100 million people starved to death.  The system proposed is pure capitalism.   There will be more corn produced in Iowa, there will be more more wheat produced in North Dakota.  We probably could eliminate Section 8 housing and food stamps.
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May 09, 2013, 06:48:27 PM
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Air is not a "good", because it is not scarce. Land is.

You get ownership of land in the same way you get ownership of any other scarce good:
By original appropriation - being the first one to recognize it as a scarce good and mixing it with your hands`labor, i.e. going to antarctica and building fields or dwellings there.
By your own hands` labor (works rarely with land, except for maybe building an artificial island or so).
Or, the most common way, by voluntary transactions with other people.

How do you justify treating land any different than other property? It is not, it has a stock, a demand, and a price like any other.
Property is not distributed equally because people are different, some have high skills, work hard etc.. and some don`t.
If you would redistribute goods absolutely equal among all humans now (which you`d have to do with force, which makes it unethical from the beginning), the next second the distribution would not be equal anymore - because people are not equal.

Trying to treat them otherwise leads to the kind of violence we see all around us today.
Land taxes of any kind would be a violent crime, as are any other taxes or forceful redistribution of goods.

Air is scarce too.  There is more water (maybe even freshwater) on earth than air.  The mexican war stole most land in California from Mexico.  Most land was originally stolen from the Indians.

"Property is not distributed equally because people are different, some have high skills, work hard etc.. and some don`t."  Much of the farmland in the United States is leased to farmers.  The farmers that lease land are the most productive in the country, they are doing the hard work on land they don't even own.  Every plot of land could be leased.  The cities understand this that is why in some areas the property tax is so high.

"If you would redistribute goods absolutely equal among all humans now (which you`d have to do with force, which makes it unethical from the beginning), the next second the distribution would not be equal anymore - because people are not equal"  No goods would be redistributed, you have the right to your labor on the land you rent.  You are allowed to keep every kernel of corn you grow.

The average acre of land in Iowa is leased land were $252 in 2012. If all land was owned by the people the hard working farmer could lease the same land for far less than $252 an acre.  There would be more supply.  the worker gets more benefits.

Using the average land rent system, imho would not be a violent crime.  In fact the opposite, it is the only system that is fair to the workers and labor.  It does not redistribute goods.  There are 300,000,000 million citizens in the country, you are allowed to use your fair share of land, if you use more you can expect to pay a fee to compensate the other people that a force by violence to use less.
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May 09, 2013, 06:51:30 PM
 #14

Some people have more Bitcoins than others. Should we redistribute those, to be more "fair"?
No.  bitcoins represent your labor and wealth.  Land is free.  
Land is no more free than bitcoins are. You have two means of acquiring bitcoins: mining, or buying. You have two means of acquiring land: first appropriation, or buying.

The means of first appropriation are analogous to mining bitcoins: You use your property (your body, tools, etc) to mark out the land as yours. This proves that you are the first appropriator, much like using your hashpower to form a block before the other miners do proves that you mined those coins first.

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May 09, 2013, 11:05:40 PM
 #15

I just don't understand homesteading.  We start from the axiom that each individual owns himself, and therefore his labor, and therefore the products thereof.  This seems to lead clearly to the conclusion that land is  not ownable.

The homesteading idea would say if you "mix your labor with land" by mining 0.1% of an ore vein, you not only own the ore you mine, but also the 99.9% of the ore you didn't mine.  That makes no sense to me.  It's giving the someone control of not only the labor he's done there, but any future labor that's done there by anyone.

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May 09, 2013, 11:17:55 PM
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I just don't understand homesteading.  We start from the axiom that each individual owns himself, and therefore his labor, and therefore the products thereof.  This seems to lead clearly to the conclusion that land is  not ownable.

The homesteading idea would say if you "mix your labor with land" by mining 0.1% of an ore vein, you not only own the ore you mine, but also the 99.9% of the ore you didn't mine.  That makes no sense to me.  It's giving the someone control of not only the labor he's done there, but any future labor that's done there by anyone.


The reason we own anything is not because of fundamental axioms or any other crazy stefan juju. It's because sometimes certain objects can not be used by two different people at the same time. If there is a single apple you and i can not both eat it. So assuming we would both like to eat it we must find a way of determining who gets to eat it and who does not. We could use violence but this tends to be costly so inorder to economize we invent rules. These rules comprise what we think of as property. So for example with the apple we may create a rule that says the person who planted the apple tree gets to decide who gets to eat it.

there is nothing philosophical about this, property is just a tool. if you have a bolt that needs to be loosened you use a tool called a wrench, if you have resources that need to be distributed equitably and non violently you use a tool called a property rule.

so then making land into property is the same thing. We all need a place to stand, we cant both stand in the same place at the same time so we need a way to determine who gets to stand in a given spot. If we dont want to be forced to rely on violence to settle the dispute than we ought to invent a property rule.

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May 09, 2013, 11:23:39 PM
 #17

So what makes homesteading a better rule than Georgism?

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May 09, 2013, 11:39:44 PM
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I just don't understand homesteading.  We start from the axiom that each individual owns himself, and therefore his labor, and therefore the products thereof.

You can't own labor. Thankfully, you don't have to in order to homestead something. You just have to be there first, and do something to mark your claim. It's the fact that you were there first that establishes your first, best claim.

Georgism is the flawed concept that everyone has a claim to all land, and therefore, when someone stakes a personal claim, they are taking from everyone else. The problem is, they don't have a claim to that land, because they were never there, they're not losing anything, because they never had it.

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May 10, 2013, 04:24:50 AM
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I just don't understand homesteading.  We start from the axiom that each individual owns himself, and therefore his labor, and therefore the products thereof.

You can't own labor. Thankfully, you don't have to in order to homestead something. You just have to be there first, and do something to mark your claim. It's the fact that you were there first that establishes your first, best claim.

Georgism is the flawed concept that everyone has a claim to all land, and therefore, when someone stakes a personal claim, they are taking from everyone else. The problem is, they don't have a claim to that land, because they were never there, they're not losing anything, because they never had it.

I don't know anything about all that complicated talk, but I do know something I like about communism. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul_qm3Ym8-k

She could talk me into doing some redistributing...
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May 10, 2013, 04:27:21 AM
 #20

I just don't understand homesteading.  We start from the axiom that each individual owns himself, and therefore his labor, and therefore the products thereof.

You can't own labor. Thankfully, you don't have to in order to homestead something. You just have to be there first, and do something to mark your claim. It's the fact that you were there first that establishes your first, best claim.

Georgism is the flawed concept that everyone has a claim to all land, and therefore, when someone stakes a personal claim, they are taking from everyone else. The problem is, they don't have a claim to that land, because they were never there, they're not losing anything, because they never had it.

I don't know anything about all that complicated talk, but I do know something I like about communism. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul_qm3Ym8-k

She could talk me into doing some redistributing...
You know Russia's not communist anymore, right? Wink

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