cruise ship concordia luxury indonesia

Half the fun is how you get there …
land rent alaska oil trust

Commentator Roger Clay for more rent-sharing

Think of the places you might like to visit, how you might like to get there; those places and everywhere could be made more attractive by applying basic economic justice. We trim, blend, and append three 2012 articles from: (1) a frequent contributor on cruise ships by J. Hirschhorn, Jan 23; (2) Daily Express, Feb 5 on Indonesia; and (3) C-SPAN, Jan 15, on an oil dividend by Heather (via Banneker Center board member Mike O’Mara).

by Joel S. Hirschhorn, by Daily Express, and by Roger Clay

By now, you have heard and seen a lot about the disaster of the Carnival Line’s Costa Concordia off the Italian shore where a number of people died and thousands went through an awful time trying to escape and survive the heavily tilted and partially submerged modern, huge cruise ship. You can learn from this disaster. Size matters. Smaller is better.

I would never want to go on one of the new monumentally huge “floating city” cruise ships that carry three thousand or more passengers. With a large number of decks stacked very high on the ship, they have always looked to me, a former engineering professor, as inherently unstable and prone to tilting over in rough seas. Indeed, such modern humongous ships have had more problems than generally recognized.

But when it comes to comfort, enjoyment, and time well spent on a cruise ship, the bigger the ship and the greater the number of passengers, the more time you will inevitably waste trying to get around, access shipboard amenities and restaurants, and deal with leaving and returning to the ship when it comes to shore excursions. On such gigantic ships you cannot escape dealing with multitudes of people that are bound to raise your stress level at a time when you are supposed to be on a totally relaxing vacation.

For my last cruise vacation, which was absolutely wonderful and perhaps the most enjoyable vacation of any type I ever had, I chose a Regent Seven Seas Cruise. All their ships are top of the line luxury and, most important, carry only about 800 passengers. Some other genuine luxury cruise lines have even smaller ships. The result is terrific: You never waste any time dealing with crowds or waiting on long lines trying to enjoy various places and activities. It is akin to being on a billionaire’s private yacht.

Also, choose a cruise ship that includes almost everything in the basic price of the vacation. If not, you will get sucked into a vacation where you find yourself shelling out more money all the time. When all’s covered, you can go to a multitude of bars and other venues and have all the high quality beers, wines, or hard liquor drinks you want without paying anything or tipping. Ditto for room service. Same is true for all the high-end restaurants. There are a large number of shore excursions that you do not have to pay additional fees for.

On large cruise lines, if something serious goes wrong, thousands of passengers are trying to save their lives under the most awful conditions.

A cruise vacation can be wonderful. But do not get fooled by sophisticated and deceptive marketing, especially the use of the term “luxury”. You can only get luxury on a relatively small cruise ship.

To see the whole article, click here .

JJS: I’ve never taken such a cruise but I have lived where they depart -- Miami -- and where they arrive -- Zihuatanejo Mexico. In Miami, I taught immigrants who had to escape from slave-like conditions that employees endured onboard the big white ships. In Mexico, the local former beauty queen told me that when they were little kids and such ships first started showing up in port, decades ago, the kids thought of the tourists as akin to aliens, about whom they wanted to learn all they could. So they would touch the disembarked, camera-laden tourists and ask for things. The wealthy Americans and Canadians thought the near-naked children were poor and begging but it turns out they were actually dressed rationally for the climate and just exploring.

Mexico and Miami are two warm exotic places where the reform of land holding and land payments could greatly improve the lives of just about everyone. Indonesia is another.

Sabah [region] Lands and Surveys Department Director Datuk Osman Jamal called for a transformation of the State's land laws.

"The Government gives free land survey and collects annual land rent of only 50 sen per acre. The Government could collect more revenue (only RM600,000 quit rent was collected from NT lands when compared to the department's total revenue of RM300 million last year) from native lands (comprising 56 per cent of all lands) but it did not as a responsible Government (to the natives)," said Osman.

There are many native land disputes before the courts to be adjudicated. The civil courts are bogged down with land dispute matters with insufficient number of judges to expedite the outcome as well as decided cases. At one instance, Osman said, "Saya pening baca keputusan mahkamah (I get a headache reading court decisions)."

To see the whole article, click here .

JJS: Natives would not dispute whose land is whose if they had to pay land dues to the larger community -- that makes it not worth anyone’s while to claim more than one can use productively. And a responsible government -- instead of not recover all the socially-generated value of land and resources -- should collect all and share it. Natives could afford to pay land dues if they got back rent shares from the value of all land in their region.

This geonomic system of dues in and dividends back ensures that the most productive owners get the most productive land and that everyone gets some land and everyone gets a share of its profit. That makes everyone happy and the place attractive to tourists, who’d provide another source of income for natives. One place is already sharing natural “rent”, a place where many cruise ships visit.

C-SPAN televised a panel discussion hosted by Tavis Smiley on January 12 at George Washington University called, "Reawakening America: From Poverty to Prosperity". One of the panelists was Roger A. Clay, president of Insight Center for Community Economic Development. He cited the Alaska oil trust and said the approach could also be applied to other natural resources:

"I'll use Alaska as an example because they have an oil trust. They get money, and it gets distributed to everybody who's lived there for a year. ... The idea there is that they all own the oil, so they all get it. There are lots of things like that in this country."

To see the show, click here . The quote begins at 1:18 in the video:

JJS: Once geonomics goes global, then everybody will be able to travel for fun and not have to emigrate out of necessity. The family of humanity will feel so much more familiar!


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .

Also see:

Need versus Greed -- Inequality and the Right

Luckless tax collector jailed for selling tax dodges

Judges and assessors assign values

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