THE RADICAL CENTRE?
Georgists have become lonely souls within the current bifurcation in world politics. Neither the answerless left nor right want to know them, because it takes humility to acknowledge arguments that embarrass both sides equally.
Rather than either (or both) moving to accommodate the Georgist explanation of current world events, it’s easier to dismiss it by argumentum ad hominem, or else for the left to decry supporters of the ideas of Henry George as being of the right whilst (at the same time!) the right declares them to be Marxist.
Therefore, this rather amazing Marxist/Fascist creature has no alternative but to look to a rapidly depleting constituency to follow their argument, namely, those people still capable of thinking for themselves and ideologically committed neither to the left nor right.
Though the Georgist task is extremely difficult, it is currently gaining many supporters, partly because its case is being put cogently, and partly because the excesses in the so-called property “market” have become so apparent–and the “lack of supply” argument so threadbare–to open minds.
Whilst it could have just as easily been the left calling him a fascist, I was thoroughly entertained to follow how some in the right-based Catallaxy group treated Georgist, Dr Gavin Putland, in a discussion yesterday on Australian house prices and “negative gearing”.
Putland is known to eat such barbs for breakfast!
Rich getting richer as plunder runs rife.
How do we achieve a fair distribution? (Hat-tip to Lindy Davies.)
3AW’s Neil Mitchell is at it again this morning. His annual rant against land tax seems to have given way to taking calls from people unhappy about the level of their municipal rates. And who isn’t unhappy paying their rates when asked? Or, maybe the problem is really the level of the increase in rates?
How many people complain about increases in State land tax, their income tax, their GST? It is obvious that local government, being closer to the people–and therefore far more approachable–will always receive many more complaints about its charges.
Jack Davis of the Monash Ratepayers Association was on the line to Neil Mitchell, complaining about increases in rates, particularly when the City of Monash is sitting on a surplus of tens of millions of dollars. That’s as maybe, but one of his main issues seemed to be that property values were used as the rating base at all.
Unlike his predecessors, including Alan Johnson, who fought to retain the many benefits of rating on site values (SV) in the then City of Oakleigh, Jack Davis more recently supported the retrograde step of the City of Monash switching from SV rating to Capital Improved Valuer (CIV) rating. I doubt he understood that SV rating is recognised as the most efficient of all tax bases (see chart below), but let’s say Davis’ major concern is that many Monash ratepayers are having difficulty paying their rates. If this a genuine problem, I trust he knows that ratepayers have the option of approaching council to defer their rates and have them put as a charge against the value of the property – or they can have their kids, who will inherit, help them pay their rates?
Oh, they don’t like those options either? So they want to be able to eat their cake and still retain it, Jack and Neil? Now that would be very nice, wouldn’t it?
The Occupy and Climate Change movements are unfortunately destined to fail until such time as people can overcome the trauma that disconnects them from their natural resources and community. If we can recover from this deep psychological trauma, it will automatically follows that the excesses of Wall Street and carbon pollution will be overcome. In this remarkable interview, Fred Harrison canvasses history to explain “The Traumatised Society“. Pull up a chair and enjoy!