One Child

The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment, by Mei Fong, 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Review by Lindy Davies

A committed Marxist will tell you that the historical failure of socialist societies proves nothing about Marxism per se, because real Marxism has never been implemented. But, exactly what “real Marxism” amounts to isn’t so easy to identify. There are many sects (for example, Wikipedia lists thirteen Trotskyist organizations in the United States). Continue reading

Did You Know?

15cpwby Polly Cleveland

One of New York City’s priciest and poshest addresses is 15 Central Park West, home of elegant twin limestone towers, and many celebrities. The 36-story, 202-unit building was was completed in 2008, at a cost of $950 million. Before that, this lot, on the Central Park side, had been vacant for many decades. It had been owned by a Greek shipping family, but was finally pried loose for $401 million in 2004.

On the Broadway side of the lot stood the old Mayflower Hotel. Its last resident, a 73-year old rent-controlled tenant, was paid $17 million to give up his lease.

Condos in this building have been owned by the likes of Robert DeNiro, Alex Rodriguez and various cash-loaded Russian oligarchs. Sales to date stand at $2.5 billion. Units in this building are notably good investments; apartments purchased for $5-7 million are now flipping for $30 million and up.

niceviewNew York City’s property tax system offers a sweet deal to condominium owners. Units are assessed as though they were rental apartments; their often gigantic asset value does not enter into the property tax picture at all. This has created a gigantic speculative market in luxury condos, which has spurred the recent trend toward “supertall” luxury buildings.


Society Cannot Live by Robbery

by Harry Gunnison Brown

No society has completely eliminated exploitation or parasitism even in its cruder and most generally recognized forms. Highway robbery certainly is not unknown even in the modern “civilized” world. Burglary continues to be practiced. So does the picking of pockets. But at least, all these are generally and violently reprobated. Continue reading

Organic Societies

by Rich Nymoen

The 20th Century can be characterized as “The Age of Bureaucracy”—an era of increasing emphasis on size, hierarchy, regulations, incentives, and eligibility protocols. During the 20th Century we saw the rise of corporations in the business sector, the increasing scope of agencies in the government sector, and the grant-driven dynamic of the non-profit sector. And we’re still living with that legacy today. Continue reading

The Land Rent We Have vs. the Land Rent We Want

by Mike Curtis

First of all, Gross Domestic Product is a measure of what is actually produced, and land rent is the portion of that product that is actually paid to the landowner. We propose to collect the potential rent of land for public revenue. That includes the rental values of all the oil and other mineral land that is held in reserve, all the valuable airwaves that are held for speculation and all the vacant or under-used land in and around cities. Continue reading

Action Stations

by Karl Fitzgerald

The Georgist movement is at an interesting point in time. A new generation of reformers have found the story via the many online learning tools available. The potential to develop new avenues of learning awaits. Geo-Spatial analysis is just one of the new windows of opportunity, where Google Earth-type public policy surveying of land use is thriving. Continue reading

Ethics of Democracy

Adapted by Robert Clancy from the 1903 book Ethics of Democracy by Louis F. Post, ca. 1950

Democracy, from Greek Demos (people) and Krateo (rule), means Rule of the People. Not some of the people, but all the people. Ethics, we know, is the science of human duty. It is the science of right: moral science. Whether there are, or should be, ethics in democracy is with some, perhaps, only a point of view. Continue reading