Saving The Middle Class
By Mike Curtis
“It is as though an immense wedge were being forced, not underneath society, but through it. Those who are above the point of separation are elevated, but those who are below — are crushed down.” Those are the words of Henry George in his classic work: Progress And Poverty — 1879. Read More
Real Estate Taxes & Housing
The real estate tax combines two inherently different kinds of assets: land, which is the gift of nature, and buildings, which are the product of labor.
Ending Poverty In America 4-7-16
Inspired by Henry George’s Progress & Poverty
The rich are getting richer while wages for the 99% have been frozen since the 1960s. The vast majority of the adult population are willing and able to work and would like to exchange their labor for the products and services of other people’s labor, but at the beginning of 2016 the percentage of the adult population that was employed is about 59 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is 4 percent less of the adult population than was working before the recession began in 2008. Read More
Tax Reform 2016
There is really only one legitimate way to reform our tax system, and that is for each and everyone of us to pay for the benefits we receive from the government — nothing more. Land, meaning the surface of the Earth, includes mineral resources and airwaves, and its value measures exactly the benefits received from society. Government represents society and transfers those values to individuals and corporations with the title to land. Without title, no social benefits are accessible. All that is needed for tax reform is to make every title to land conditional upon the payment of its rental value — and abolish all other taxes. By doing that, everyone pays for the value of the benefits received and no one is robbed of the things they’ve produced, which are their rightful property. Read More
Does Low Interest Really Help?
The majority of Americans owe more money in mortgages on their homes and car loans than they have in interest baring investments like bonds, money markets, and savings accounts. Therefore, low interest rates and inflation seem to work in their favor — especially with fixed rate mortgages. Read More
Cities Need Help
The mayor of Los Angeles is now advocating revenue sharing from the Federal Government. With high rates of unemployment and large concentrations of poverty it seems like it might be the only reasonable way for cities to meet their expenses. Most old industrial cities have large distressed areas where unemployment, robbery, murder, and drugs make them unprofitable for business and incapable of providing the tax revenues they consume. Read More
Murder Town, USA
Wilmington, Delaware — Corporation city, the bastion of capitalism and private enterprise, the birthplace of the DuPont company — has now been branded “Murder Town USA”. It’s been ranked the third most dangerous of its size and the 5th most dangerous city in the country. Perhaps the murders are an outcome of poverty, and Wilmington is just one more “Tale of two cities” — one black and one white, one prosperous and one poor. Twenty-five percent of its residents live in poverty with unemployment and low wages at the root. At the same time, there are parcels with vacant land or empty buildings in many areas of the city. Read More
Run the Government Like a Business
If Mitt Romney and the corporate backed candidates for congress win in the next election it seems more than likely they will, at the very least, want to run our governments like a business. Is this a good idea? It’s hard to imagine anything less equitable or inefficient than a system that takes from each a percentage of their income or outgo in a sales tax without any reference to the value of benefits received by the taxpayer. Read More
School District Funding
It has come to my attention that there is yet another referendum on increasing taxes for schools in Brandywine Hundred. The primary justification for school taxes is simply that each of us was provided the opportunity of a free education, and therefore, we are obligated to contribute to the education of those who come after us. Read More
How do we stop American companies from sending our jobs to China? They’ve been laying off workers, closing down factories, and sending jobs to other countries at an increasing rate for the last 50 years. And right now we need all the jobs we can get. How do we stop American companies from hiring people in other countries to make the products that are consumed in the United States—that is, without having Americans work for the same subsistence slave wages that other people are working for in impoverished countries all over the world? Read More
Raffles Had the Winning Ticket
Raffles had the winning ticket, say the followers of Henry George. In 1819, some fifty years before the publication of Progress And Poverty Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles established the British trading port of Singapore. Not only was it advantageously situated for trade, at the end of the Malay Peninsula, but it was set up with no tariffs or other taxes to inhibit commerce.
Slavery and gaming were outlawed, and all revenue was derived from the rental value of land. As any Georgist would have predicted that population and productivity would grow at a rapid pace. Read More
Taxes Kill Jobs
Taxes kill jobs is the message of political candidates. The American economic system causes unemployment and recessions; that is true, but without revenue and the role of government the U.S. would surely be a third world country. Read More
Illegal Immigration (2007)
It is illegal to enter the United States without permission, yet there are an estimated 12 million people who have entered the country this way and remain. Why has the U.S. government allocated so few resources to enforcing the law? I suspect it is harder to sneak into a major league baseball game then to cross the U.S. Mexican border, once you get there. Are illegal immigrants more profitable than the very same people would be if they entered the country with a green card? Do illegal, low paid immigrants have any effect on the general level of wages throughout the country? Read More
Immigration & Jobs
Illegal immigrants make up a little over 5 percent of the U.S. Workforce, according to the Pew Research Center — having stabilized during the recession, and only increased slightly since. However, since 2010 the U.S. government has issued an average of over a million Green Cards per year. Read More
Importing Products or Exporting Jobs?
What do you think? Is the U.S. exporting jobs to China? In 2010 Americans bought $292 billion worth of products from China, and the Chinese only bought $55 billion worth of products from the U.S. That’s $237 billion dollars worth of difference from China alone. Read More
Reflections on the Gettysburg Address
It was a masterful dedication to the field of the most horrific battle ever fought in America and the war that consumed 600,000 lives in the cause that this nation might live” as it was conceived — “where all men are created equal”. It was “four score and seven years” from the moment of that great declaration in 1776 until the emancipation of four million slaves. In the four score and seventy years since, America has come a long way toward the goal of social, legal, and political equality. However, as chattel slavery was abolished, another form of slavery began to emerge. Legal and political rights mean little without economic opportunity. The connection between free men and free land is self evident, but few of the former slaves got any land at all. As the terrorism and despotism of the former slave states that began with the withdrawal of Federal Troops, slowly ameliorated, the free land that had so grossly enhanced the lives of European immigrants, was exhausted. Read More
The Legal Minimum Wage
Would An Increase In The Min. Wage Cause Unemployment?
Ever since it was proposed and enacted in 1938 during the Great Depression it has been assumed by many that the Legal Minimum Wage causes unemployment. Today there are not only those who argue that it causes unemployment, but others that argue the opposite — that every increase in the Min. Wage increases the buying power of workers, and therefore, by increasing the demand for products and services, it increases the number of jobs. The following is an analysis of these arguments and a proposal.