Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Labor Market Participation (Score 1) 441

This is part of an experiment to see what happens to people's participation in the labor market after they've been guaranteed a certain amount of money.

Generally people don't "participate in the labor market" because there is an insufficient supply of suitable jobs. BIG is unlikely to increase supply much, though some recipients may be enabled to become self-employed.
An alternative program is to guarantee jobs to anyone who wants one. Bill Mitchell compares the two ideas here.

Comment Re:Not the only thing we've lost. (Score 1) 279

What I don't see is how puritanical Christian ideals are synonymous with morality.

I reckon there are two kinds of morality, which I call 'ethics' and 'morals'.

Ethics is a largely self-consistent system of guidance for social behaviour, more or less logically derived from the Golden Rule and other human considerations.

Morals is a rag-bag of prejudices, tribal customs, and rules arbitrarily selected from an old book which was allegedly dictated to some bronze age barbarians by their invisible sky-daddy.

Moralists often are not even aware of the existence of ethics.

Comment Re:Poor Nazis (Score 2) 978

Obviously that one is not, on the face of it, a hateful opinion in either sense of the phrase. But most of them are, and I was addressing the OP's overall point.
Presumably the OP included it because it's the type of thing you often hear in debates over abortion. In that context it implies hate of the pro-choicer (child murderer!), an accusation most pro-choicer's would find hateful I imagine.

Comment Re:Poor Nazis (Score 1) 978

Which means that when some crazed lunatic declares that the devil made him do it, we cannot blame the lunatic and should instead seek out and lock up the devil.

Only if you have poor logic skills. Lock 'em both up. Or if the lunatic manages to resist the Devil's imprecations just lock the Devil up for trying it. Which is essentially what Twitter are doing.

Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1) 461

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) 461

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) 461

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.

Slashdot Top Deals

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.