Garrison Keillor a Georgist?

June 26, 2007

In 1995 he proposed that Minnesota sell water from Lake Superior to buyers in the arid southwest. The proceeds, after expenses would be split 50-50 between the citizens of Minnesota and their state government. By Keillor’s calculation, each Minnesotan would receive $3.8 million (That’s 1995 dollars, too), which could yield a very nice perpetual income, kind of like the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Expenses would include not only construction of a canal system to transport the water, but some very skilled lawyers and lobbyists to deal with environmentalists, Wisconsin, Canada, etc.

Much later, Keillor wrote from Alaska, not of their citizens’ dividend (which amounts to about $1,000/person/year), but about the $50 head tax to be imposed on cruise ship passengers. Part of this will fund State inspectors aboard, who will monitor observance of pollution control regulations. It will probably be effective, he notes, because “government is good at providing negative incentives.”

Sounds Georgist to me. But how is Garrison going to find out that he’s a Georgist? Perhaps he will never know.

Thanks to Jim Frederiksen for the tip.


One comment

  1. Well, perhaps he might be persuaded to stock a few Georgist books in his new (11/06) bookstore, which I seem to recall is devoted to progressive-type stuff. I saw something on CSPAN BookTV filmed there that sounded promising. (But the first 4 things I find by googling suggest more emphasis on fiction.) The bookstore is Corner Books.

    Perhaps we can persuade them to stock the contemporary P&P, which is, after all, a midwestern work of literature!

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