Archive for September, 2007


Politicians urging land value taxation

September 25, 2007

in Alaska, Ontario, the UK
and even McHenry County.
Thanks to Mark Monson and Wyn Achenbaum for these.


Henry George School on YouTube

September 24, 2007

Wendell Fitzgerald of HGS/San Francisco talking about The Housing Bubble is Really a Land Bubble” On that page are shown links to several others he and Peter Melton have done.


Homeland Security trumps responsibility

September 19, 2007

Ever heard of the “Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002?”  Known as the “SAFETY Act” (Can’t they even keep their acronyms clean?)  it limits liability for “almost every conceivable technology” related to homeland security.  According to Washington Lawyer Brian E. Finch, even transit [August ’07 Metro Magazine, page 24]  and amusement park security guards can be protected from liability under this act.

Feel safer now?


Magicians protect intellectual property without law

September 13, 2007

Magicians’ secrets really can’t be effectively copyrighted or patented, and trade secret law is of limited use, so how have professional magicians been able to keep most of their best tricks pretty much secret from the public? It’s by a set of strongly-enforced “common norms” among the profession, which allows “sharing” among those in the trade, but prohibits revealing more than trivial secrets. Violators are punished by expulsion from magicians’ organizations, and other techniques which make it difficult to continue working in the field.

From Jacob Loshin’s Secrets Revealed: How Magicians Protect Intellectual Property Without Law (pdf), via boingboing.


What they do at APEC

September 3, 2007

Wikipedia says APEC stands for “Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.”  So what kind of economic cooperation? Here’s what AFP (via Yahoo News and Australia Broadcasting Corp) says.


New data on supporting transit thru a land value tax

September 1, 2007

The previous post notes that the value of taxable land in the Chicago metro area exceeds $1 trillion. Therefore, if we want to get an extra $200 million for transit, we can do it with a land tax rate of 0.02%, meaning $40/year for the owner of a $200,000 lot. Another option is to raise $2 billion/year, use some for transit and some for roads and parking, so that people who don’t ride transit will still see direct benefit. This would cost our typical homeowner $400/year, likely deductible from federal taxable income and partly credited on state income tax. Renters, at least in theory, will pay none of this tax; it will fall on owners of the land on which their rented quarters are located.

A proper analysis of this would compile current transit funding sources and uses, and show how funds will be freed up, and taxpayers unburdened. In addition, it would use information compiled by Richard W. England, from a study by others of Washington, DC, which estimates a drop in job growth of 2.08% for every 1 percentage point increase in the sales tax rate. Applied to the Chicago area, this means that the existing and proposed transit sales tax will reduce, by 9,422, the number of jobs which would otherwise be in the metropolitan area ten years from now. [These figures are calculated in a simple spreadsheet which I would post here, if I could figure out how to post it, and will send to anyone interested.]