Karl Fitzgerald

Infrastructure: No Pork Barrel Needed

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In every marginal electorate, politicians promise to take revenue raised by nationwide or statewide taxes and spend it on projects that confer purely local economic benefits. This practice is corrupt and unnecessary — corrupt because a minority of taxpayers are bribed at the expense of the majority, and unnecessary because, if a project is economically […]

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Infrastructure: Free Riders on the Tollway

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The Mitcham-Frankston tollway, also known as EastLink, will reduce commuting times in suburbs serviced by the tollway and in suburbs serviced by alternative routes, such as the untolled Springvale and Stud roads, whose congestion levels will be reduced by EastLink. The market value of this benefit (net of tolls) will be manifested as uplifts in […]

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Globalisation: Shortcut to the Bottom

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In this age of internationally mobile capital, we are repeatedly told that if we want to attract and retain investment, we must make our tax system more “competitive”. Very conveniently for the investors, competitive taxes are taken to mean low taxes, in which case governments must engage in a “race to the bottom” — competitively […]

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The Progressive Flat Tax

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The flat tax fanatics are back. They say that if there were only one rate of income tax, the system would be simpler, and the rich couldn’t reduce their tax by converting one kind of income into another kind taxed at a lower rate. In the case of a pure flat tax — that is, […]

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The Property Owner’s Suicide Bomb

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In 1978 the voters of California, resentful of increases in property tax assessments caused by rapidly rising land values, enacted Proposition 13, which added Article 13A to the state constitution. This Article limited annual property taxes to 1% of the assessed value, capped annual increases in the taxable value until the property was sold, and […]

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The Self-Hypothecating Tax

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Opinion pollsters have consistently found that voters are more likely to support or tolerate a proposed tax if the revenue is hypothecated (i.e. reserved or “earmarked”) for a purpose of which the voters approve. They catch is: how can the voters know that the revenue will be spent as promised? For example, a rational property […]

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Tolstoy and George

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Victor Lebrun Victor Lebrun was a personal friend and Secretary to Leo Tolstoy. This is a translation of his article published in the July 1956 issue of the French periodical, Contre-Courant, and reprinted in the July-September 1956 issue of the French Georgist magazine Terre et Liberte. Its historical interest, in view of the establishment of […]

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Upton Sinclair and Dan Sullivan’s Review

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The Consequences of Land Speculation are Tenantry and Debt on the Farms, and Slums and Luxury in the Cities by Upton Sinclair I know of a woman – I have never had the pleasure of making her acquaintance, because she lives in a lunatic asylum, which does not happen to be on my visiting list. […]

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Georgist Responds to Royal Libertarian

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With great humility, an allodial ‘libertarian’ (that is, one who believes that land may be owned absolutely, without any annual rent or charge whatsoever for the privilege of exclusive ownership) wrote: "You should not presume to speak on behalf of libertarians, since you are obviously in the position of not understanding." "Instead you should ask […]

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Six Centuries of Work and Wages

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Professor Thorold Rogers “I have stated more than once that the fifteenth century and the first quarter of the sixteenth were the golden age of the English labourer, if we are to interpret the wages which he earned by the cost of the necessaries of life. At no time were wages, relatively speaking, so high, […]

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