Wealth and Want
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Karl Williams:  Land Value Taxation: The Overlooked But Vital Eco-Tax
I. Historical overview
II. The problem of sprawl
III. Affordable and efficient public transport
IV. Agricultural benefits
V. Financial concerns
VI. Conclusion: A greater perspective
Appendix: "Natural Capitalism" -- A Case Study in Blindness to Land Value Taxation

Land value taxation (LVT) has often been omitted from the lists of natural resources for which eco-taxes are being advocated. LVT provides strong financial encouragement for land to be put to its optimal use and will eliminate speculation on land, as occupants must pay the full LVT whether the land is being fully utilised or not. This leads to better land management, a reduction in urban sprawl, less urban smothering of agricultural land, and less farmland being pushed into hinterland.

LVT makes the investment in resource-efficient infrastructure affordable because the resulting enhanced land values are "recycled" back into public coffers. One particular application of LVT to agricultural land provides much-needed financial incentives for organic farming. Unlike other ecotaxes which "sow the seeds of their own revenue demise," LVT actuallyincreases over time as our environment is enhanced and is thus a stable revenue base.

This paper argues that the LVT assessment process shifts and refines our focus from monitoring human activity onto our use and abuse of natural resources, as any responsible form of stewardship should. It suggests that only if land users are prepared to pay the full cost of utilising resources should private resource holding be permitted.
"The depletion of natural resources and the despoliation of nature is due to a single reason: the failure properly to measure the rental value of all of nature's resources, and to make the users pay the community for the benefits they receive." F. Harrison, "The Corruption of Economics"...

The LVT assessment process shifts and refines our focus from monitoring human activity, onto our use and abuse of natural resources, as any responsible form of stewardship should. The potential effect of such a focus on everyday attitudes is inestimable.  read the entire article

Peter Barnes: Capitalism 3.0 — Chapter 6: Trusteeship of Creation (pages 79-100)

A trustee isn’t the same thing as a steward. Stewards care for an asset, but their obligations are voluntary and vague. By contrast, trustees’ obligations are mandatory and quite specific. Trusteeship is thus a more formal and rigorous responsibility than stewardship.

Trusts can be in charge of financial as well as physical assets. In this chapter, my concern is natural assets — gifts we inherit from creation. One of my premises is that each generation has a contract to pass on such gifts, undiminished, to those not yet born. If we are to keep this contract, someone must act as trustee of nature’s gifts, or at least of the most endangered of them. The question is, who?

The candidates are government, corporations, and trusts. I argued earlier that neither corporations nor government can fulfill this function; they’re both too bound to short-term private interests. That leaves trusts. ... read the whole chapter

Mason Gaffney: Nonpoint Pollution: Tractable Solutions to Intractable Problems

The Special Challenge to Economic Thinking
The Search for Surrogates
Sources of Nonpoint Pollution
What Problems are Created?
What Problems are Unsolved by Excise Taxes on Surrogates?
The Case of Forestry
The Case of Urban Settlement
The Case of Agriculture
The Common Theme from Forest, City and Farm

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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper