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Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1) 436

You do not own anything if you are renting it. It is absurd to think otherwise.

It depends what is meant by 'own' of course. If you can dispose of something as you want and prevent others from using it you 'own' it even if those rights are conferred by a contract with the community rather than by a promise from God or the strength of your arm. You said yourself if you stop paying your tax they will take your land.

Everything you are trying to accomplish is already accounted for.

Some jurisdictions come close I suppose but what I am proposing (the idea comes primarily from Henry George if you missed it) is less a material change than a different way of thinking about it, which can lead to a better way of doing it.

Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1) 436

I think you've drifted into confusion between the rental value and the sale value, also the unimproved value and the improved value. Property taxes are generally assessed on the sale value which includes improvements.

I am saying that a landowner should, in effect, rent the land from the community at its market rate as unimproved land. If he makes improvements that should not affect the 'ground rent'.
If he sells it with improvements, for more than he bought it for, he can keep the profit. He earned it.
If the community builds a city round it and rezones it as suitable for millionaires' mansions, that should affect the ground rent.
That may mean it is no longer viable as cattle pasture (or whatever) in which case the owner can either build mansions or sell it to a mansion builder.
If he sells, should he keep the profit? He didn't really earn it, it was created by the community. But the community is recovering the additional value through the increased ground rent, so perhaps we can consider the profit as compensation for having to move.

Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1) 436

Property taxes were one of the first taxes in the U.S.

In the early days property was one of the few sources of wealth. Only property owners were worth taxing.
Property taxes have several desirable characteristics: they are hard to evade, they cannot be shifted onto others, they are fairly easy to assess and they are fairly constant. If they are high enough they discourage speculation and hoarding. They keep land prices affordable and they encourage wide ownership and development.

over the years, even at lower values, more taxes than the current value of the land would have been paid. I'm not sure it is important to distinguish between the rental value in this regard.

The sale value largely depends on the rental value. The rental value depends not only on the land itself but on its surroundings. Improvements to the surroundings made by the community increase the rental value of the land through no effort of the landowner. That increment rightly belongs to the community.

Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1) 436

That's really a non point.

Many people these days are trying to figure out exactly how the elite are screwing them over. The private monopolisation of land and natural resources is one of the ways. It makes no difference that today's landlords are not the original expropriators, they are still extracting unearned income from the nation.

Society already accounts for it via taxes and if you don't pay them, they take it from you.

It depends where you live. The landlords always try to use their considerable political clout to move taxation off land and onto labour. The entire rental value of the unimproved land should be taxed. Not many places do that.

Comment Re:The robbery started long ago. (Score 1) 606

Gaffney doesn't really make this case but I suspect that JB Clark was commissioned by Rockefeller and Morgan to come up with neo-classical economics and they then persuaded their fellow robber-barons to found or endow a university each to ensure that it became the orthodoxy.
Compare this list of robber-barons to famous universities. Not all of them are named after themselves. The Chicago School of Economics was Rockefeller's, Morgan funded Columbia, etc. Rockefeller was also instrumental in the creation of the American Economics Association.

Comment Re:The robbery started long ago. (Score 2) 606

Neo-liberalism is indeed the problem, but it goes back much further than 1971.

It was invented by a conclave of neo-classical and austrian economists in 1947: Mont Pelerin Society

Neo-classical economics was invented in the 1880s to protect the robber-barons from the single-taxers: Against Henry George

It was based largely on austrian economics which was invented in 1871 as a rebuttal of Marx: Carl Menger

Comment Re:I've been predicted that (Score 1) 415

We're paying interest on it. That makes it a liability. One doesn't pay interest on equity.

Only the portion that holders have swapped into treasuries has interest paid on it. The government can swap them back at any time to suit its monetary policy.

How do you explain the money people used before we had trillions in national debt?

That was part of the billions in national debt. As the economy grows it needs more money. And it needs more money to grow :-)

If it were payed off there would still be plenty of money left to transact with. Worst case, people come up with their own medium for indirect exchange, one based on assets rather than debts, as people have done for thousands of yearsâ"it's not as if money can only come from the government.

Most money comes from private banks. But they expect it to be paid back, with interest. With no government money being created the banks end up with it all eventually. Asset backed money has only ever been a small thing. It is barter by proxy and cannot sustain a growing economy. Credit based money has always been the big thing. Anyone can create it, the trick is getting people to accept it.

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