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Going My Way?

Wending a Way Through the Stumbling Blocks between Georgism and Catholicism

This essay surveys the issues between Georgists and Roman Catholics in three classes: issues that are not peculiarly Roman Catholic (RC) but play out across faiths and denominations, issues that are peculiarly RC, and points of similarity and agreement. Addressed in this fashion are the tensions . . . → Read More: Going My Way?

Corporations, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court

On Jan 21 2010 our High Court shocked Americans by ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that a corporation may contribute unlimited funds advertising its views for and against political candidates of its choice – in practice, the choice of its CEO or Directors. . . . → Read More: Corporations, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court

Rising Inequality and Falling Property Tax Rates

In the sections that follow, I first document the rise of inequality in the distribution of farmland that followed a sharp drop in farm property tax rates after 1930. Then I show, by cross-sectional analysis, a positive relationship between higher property tax rates and more intensive use of farmland, which in turn is associated with more equal distribution of farmland. Conversely, . . . → Read More: Rising Inequality and Falling Property Tax Rates

Proposition 13: An Alternative Reform

What is the “message” of Proposition 1 3? Everyone was invoking it this past summer to fill his sails, but what was really blowing in the wind?
Howard Jarvis had been fighting property taxation for a score of years with minimal success. Philip Watson, until recently more prominent, led two property tax limitation initiatives to defeat. All these prior efforts were tax shifts, . . . → Read More: Proposition 13: An Alternative Reform

Land and Rent in Welfare Economics

In the classical synthesis, human welfare and land rent were two parts of an integrated philosophy. As Smith, Mill, Marshall, and especially Ricardo scan us from their present eyries they must note with shock two virtually separate disciplines tagged “land economics” and “welfare economics.” The first has come to connote Wisconsin Institutionalism with its skepticism of marginal analysis, its emphasis on evolution, . . . → Read More: Land and Rent in Welfare Economics

The Property Tax is a Progressive Tax

“The regressive property tax” has become a common block phrase among economists and in the popular press. President Nixon’s support for revenue-sharing is increasingly based on the need to protect the poor from heavy property taxes. Some prominent tax economists are favoring even sales taxes to make the tax system more progressive, by lowering the property tax.’ Even local income taxes, . . . → Read More: The Property Tax is a Progressive Tax

What is Property Tax Reform?

CAN PROPERTY TAX REFORM help the propertyless, the working men and women who-labor-for-wage incomes—the majority of Americans? Property is owned by people of property—the rich. Ownership of this rich tax base is concentrated in a few hands, much more so than income. The top 10 per cent of income receivers in the United States receive something like 30 per cent of . . . → Read More: What is Property Tax Reform?

The Benefits of Farm Programs: Incidence, Shifting, and Dissipation

I write as one who has spent half his career inside and half outside agricultural economics. That makes me less familiar than many agricultural economists with the details of farm programs, and this will be the kind of treatment where you cannot see the trees for the forest. What I had in mind when I undertook this inquiry into farm . . . → Read More: The Benefits of Farm Programs: Incidence, Shifting, and Dissipation

Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

The higher tax rate in cities drives investors elsewhere, both home builders and industry, because whoever puts un a new building under this state of affairs tends to become a fiscal surplus generator, and no one really wants to be that: it means you pay more in taxes than you get back in services.
Since there are many competing jurisdictions, . . . → Read More: Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

Welfare Economics and Environmental Quality

Important as the physical environment is, the intellectual, social and psychological are more so. The greater gain of improving the physical world is improving the man who does it, the greater gain of achieving harmony of man and nature is achieving, through nature, harmony of man and man. In this case, the means may indeed be the end.

In Henry Jarrett (ed.), . . . → Read More: Welfare Economics and Environmental Quality