Feb. 19th, 2017

To continue with Open Mike early on the morning of Tuesday, August 16, Bob Jene from Chicago mentioned the Political Economy Book Club, and its selection of Tolstoy's Resurrection.

Dr. Fred Foldvary spoke in response to Herb Barry's proposal for a constitutional amendment.

David Wetzel spoke again, this time about how his father had become a Georgist: after World War One, the senior Mr. Wetzel had worked as a bus conductor; his bus driver was a Georgist.

Ed Dodson spoke about old issues of the British Georgist publication Land and Liberty, which foresaw World War Two: "If we keep restricting trade ..." It was still printed during the war, and copies found their way across the Atlantic to Canada and the U.S.

Dan Sullivan spoke of Spanish Georgists being executed by the Franco regime. In response, Ed Dodson said something about Denmark, although I didn't record what it was (Denmark did have a land value tax for some decades, although not as its sole tax). I mentioned an account I had read of Hungarian Georgists debating fine points of theory among themselves while waging guerrilla war against the Nazis and their Arrow Cross vassals.

Professor Nic Tideman asked who collects rent now. Often, it's the mortgage holder, not the title holder. If we collect land rents for the public, from whom should we collect them? Title holders or mortgage holders?

Ed Dodson rebutted him. When property is sold, the seller is paid for expected future land rents. Should we therefore tax the most recent seller, instead of the current title holder? There is usually a long chain of transactions, so where do we stop? If we taxed mortgage holders, the cost of financing would increase, and be passed on.

Then Carl Shaw said that 80% of land rent in six West Virginia counties is simply ignored. (Meaning what?). I had a word with him later, and he had more information about the matter.

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