Occupy Wall Street: Levy a Tax on Society’s Land Rent
|January 17, 2014||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
This 2014 excerpt of Occupy Solidarity Network’s Theory Thursday by Micah White, Jan 16, is by Andy-Merrifield.
How can ordinary people develop civic immunity?
Long ago in Poverty and Progress (1879), Henry George proposed a novel idea that we might want to explore today. In order to “satisfy the law of justice,” George said, a rent tax seems the only alternative preventing parasitic anti-social wealth appropriation. “I do not propose either to purchase or to confiscate private property in land,” George wrote. “Let individuals who now hold it still retain, if they want to, possession of what they are pleased to call their land. Let them continue to call it their land. Let them buy and sell it, and bequeath and devise it. We may safely leave them the shell, if we take the kernel. It is not necessary to confiscate land; it is only necessary to confiscate rent.”
Thus that preeminent parasitic organism, expelling people from the earth as a dwelling-place, can be expunged, or at least democratized by a Community Land Trust that collects this rent tax, instigating another notion of the public realm, one not owned and managed by any centralized state but owned and run by a collectivization of people, federated, communal, and truly responsive to citizens’ needs.
Ed. Notes: It’s good to see Marxists like the social sharing of socially-generated values of locations and resources, just as it’s good to see followers of Adam Smith get on board, too. Both see merit in the reform — eventho’ it’s neither left nor right — because it’s fair, which the left likes, and it’s efficient, which the right likes. What sharing nature is is a third way, making markets cooperative and responsible, since it also incorporates getting rid of the taxes and subsidies that distort prices and choices. It’s geonomics and, having worked wherever tried, has a future on planet Earth.