FROM “GOOD GOVERNMENT” No. 1070

But Don’t Tell Anyone!

Towards the end of July on Channel 7 we heard an unusual news item. Landlords in the City of Sydney were appealing to workers to come back to work in the City.

They certainly knew who were producing their rents!

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(From) “PRIVATE PROPERTY IN LAND CAN DO IT!”

We do not collect location charges, so we have taxes. This money taken from our pockets limits what we can spend on goods and services. The absence of an effective ‘single tax’ on land values inflates property prices and offers us that great poverty spreader, large mortgages. (We could add here that large mortgages leads workers to avoid any strike to raise wages.) Short of money, governments have turned over essential services to privatisers, handing over natural monopolies, then complaining about their high prices!

And, by corporatized departments, government itself levies its own monopoly charges – in the meantime inventing all sorts of ways to extract money from us to permit us to do things what, previously, we did quite freely!

Property speculation in its acute form gives us recessions – how valuable is that to the planet! Before that happens, the Reserve Bank raises interest rates to stop property speculation. And private property in land gives us land price, raising the cost of getting access to land and taking away economic opportunity. This helps the planet by giving us unemployment and lower wages. To extricate ourselves from unemployment and low wages we support Protection, a good way to mark up the price of imports.

So: no policy designed by government to ‘combat climate change’ will ever offer better individual behavioural change than private property in land – and it does it without dictatorial prescriptions. It should take its place alongside war, pestilence and famine as ideal ways to achieve a greener and colder planet.

THE MORTGAGE

Will Carleton (1845-1912) “Farm Yard Ballads”

The Mortgage

We worked through spring and winter, through summer and through fall,

But the mortgage worked the hardest and steadiest of all:

It worked on nights and Sundays, it worked each holiday

It settled down among us, and it never went away;

Whatever we kept from it seemed almost as bad as theft

It watched us every minute and it ruled us right and left.

The rust and blight were with us sometimes and sometimes not

The dark-browed, scowling mortgage was for ever on the spot.

The weevil and the cutworm, they went as well as came,

The mortgage stayed for ever eating hearty all the same.

It nailed up every window, stood guard on every door,

And happiness and sunshine made their home with us no more.

Till with failing crops and sickness we got stalled upon the grade,

And there came a dark day on us when the interest wasn’t paid.

And there came a sharp foreclosure, and I kind of lost my hold,

And grew weary and discouraged, and the farm was cheaply sold.

The children left and scattered, when they hardly yet were grown;

My wife she pined and perished, and I found myself alone.

What she died of was a mystery, and the doctor never knew,

But I knew she died of mortgage just as well’s I wanted to.

If to trace a hidden sorrow were within the doctor’s art,

They’d have found a mortgage lying on that woman’s broken heart.

Worm or beetle, drought or tempest, on a farmer’s land may fall,

But for first class ruination trust a mortgage ‘gainst them all.

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–         As reprinted in PROGRESS February 1928

WHY A UNIVERSAL INCOME?

Introducing the Georgist millennium.

Scenario 1: Abolish taxes, capture land and resource rents. Some people receive no income, so they must be given exemption and a means test instituted. …. Game over.

Scenario 2: Abolish taxes, capture land and resource rents. No exemptions are required as a living wage universal income has been introduced. Abolish poverty and welfare. …. Win/Win.

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