Just over a year ago, I wrote a somewhat invective essay entitled “Georgism is Insane“. If there is any testament to writing controversially or attacking people and ideas, it is that this post received more responses than any other post I have made here. It also appears to be one of the most viewed articles here, and was thoroly fisked by a blog called Blue Republik. I thanked and continue to thank all the responses to this, and I am not sure why Blue Republik was unable to reply here or the comment was deleted. I will check the spam filter.
In light of all this, and further reading into Georgism, an update is required. I should clarify that I write from the perspective of statelessness. In a stateless society, there should be no land tax or any tax. Land ownership is recognized by the general community. This would vary by locale, and even in the same locale. Presumably, there would be private registries that work together where necessary. This is how it works with website domain registration. There are many registries, all private, and they dont overlap each other. There are open questions as to if you can own vacant land forever and never use it. At what point can it be considered abandoned? However, that is not the nature of this post.
If you arent aware yet, a man was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in a fairly gruesome way just a few days ago. While the man was under arrest and pretty clearly restrained, the police officer crushed the mans neck with his knee and lower leg for eight whole minutes. The man screamed that he could not breathe and was in pain many times, recalling the murder of Eric Garner in similar circumstances not too long ago. A crowd gather, and Baruch Hashem, filmed the incident, crying out for the man to be released. His pain and suffering was clear, and he knew he was going to die. He called out for his mother.
For years, I have used someone elses design and while I am against intellectual property, I have always felt bad about that and wanted a new logo for the organization and merchandise. While the virus hysteria has me in a more productive mode, I have commissioned two artists to help design new logos. This will have a desert hedgehog (קיפוד) as the basis, like the American porcupine logo. I will take that design and make many different things with it depending on use.
Shirts and stickers are planned, and I will expand from there. These should be ready by end of June or mid July. PorcFest is coming up (post soon about that) end of June, so after that. I will have everything printed and stored “in house” to keep costs down for now. Shirts will be $10-20 depending on what I can get. Stickers I dont know yet. All profits will go to the organization minus a small commission to me for the time and labor.
PS: More big news coming soon, but I cant say yet.
A meme has been going around from YouTube comments to big bank CEOs that bitcoin is the next tulip mania fad or beanie babies craze. In the 1700s, tulips became immensely popular in the Netherlands and the price skyrocketed. However, soon prices collapsed and some traders and speculators were ruined. And then, not too long ago, remember Beanie Babies? The little collectible stuffed animals filled with beans that were very popular in the late 90s. I still have a few of them. For awhile, it was thought they were going to be worth lots, and they were. Some went for hundreds of dollars. Then it all came crashing down and they were relegated to the bargain bin. According to these robotic parrot trolls, bitcoin is headed the same way.
Georgism has to be the most ridiculous concept ever contrived. I think communism might even make more sense than this. However, I will say the Georgists are a good deal more polite than mutualists.
The idea here is that anyone who uses space (not necessarily land, water too) deprives others from it, and thus should pay “the community” compensation for that deprivation. Essentially, its a property tax, but its based on the value of the land alone, not the improvement per se. This opens up a whole bunch of questions. Who assesses the value of land? Georgists seem to say that the value of land is not the same as its sale price, which is of course ridiculous. Sale price is value. And value to you might be different than value to me. I may want an acre of woods, and value it very much. A friend might find the same to be near worthless. As we know, value is subjective. They seem to think there is an immutable value of land, and its not entirely clear whether they think the value of land can change. Some seem to say yes, noting that land in cities has more value than in the country.
Here in New Hampshire, and in many other states, Democrats are again pushing for a Family and Medical Leave scheme that they claim is necessary. It passed the Republican controlled state House last year, but died in the Senate, facing a veto from the Republican governor. Now, the Democrats control both houses and are prioritizing to ram it thru. The governor suggests he will veto it because he has not seen proof of it being fiscally sustainable. He has proposed a market-based private system in partnership with Vermont, but the Democrats have ironically called that a tax and unsustainable, and will likely convert it once they win everything again. Their scheme is in no way financially stable and basically creates an income tax of 1.5% for all workers, and will inevitably lead to a true income tax to save it, which then will be upped and upped for more programs. No matter what Republicans try to do, this program is almost inevitable here and elsewhere. Even President Trump has said he was interested in a national leave program. Many states already have one.
President Trump recently announced that he was looking into issuing an executive order stating that the Fourteenth Amendment does not confer citizenship to individuals born here to people who are not legally here. This has long been wanted by nationalists and immigration restrictionists, who want to stop the prospect of anchor babies, where legal and illegal aliens give birth on US soil, in order to gain their children citizenship and then help legalize the rest of the family. The announcement caused the usual uproar from all parts of the political space, most claiming that the President can not change the Constitution.
As America tears itself apart over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice and allegations of sexual assault against him, libertarians have stood off in the shadowy corner, raising concerns about his views of the Fourth Amendment. He is unqualified as a justice for reasons of how he would rule on key issues, they say. They are right, in a sense, his views are problematic-ish. Its important to note that judges who rule like this are not necessarily anti-Fourth. They are simply deferential to elected officials, and fairly consistently so. That was the essence of Chief Justice John Roberts ruling on Obamacare: it should be up to the legislature to repeal it, not us. Frustrating, but admirable.
Like many people still do, I used to support net neutrality. On its face, it makes sense. Aside from ideology, its marketed that all the internet should be equal so small blogs like this dont get throttled or charged exorbitant costs. This seems right and fair, if anti-market. But as I became a libertarian, I reexamined my views on things like net neutrality and global warming. Not everything is cut and dry as its presented. In this case, its a downright hoax and a lie.