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The Next Thing in Money
Townhall.com ^ | May 20, 2012 | Paul Jacob

Posted on 05/20/2012 5:22:22 AM PDT by Kaslin

When times get tough, the tough . . . switch currencies.

A fascinating report by Eric Garland in The Atlantic tells of the upswing in “local currencies.” In the United Kingdom, the Brixton Pound is being floated, engraved on its paper notes the likes of “David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust era.” Pegged to the British pound, it serves mainly as a scheme to promote local business and trade, though maybe it’s a tad more than mere boosterism.

Bavarians are also “enthusiastically using the local currency as a protest” — the local currency being the “Chiemgauer.” And “similar currencies have popped up around the world,” including in Canada and the United States.

The Atlantic story also mentions the idea of a “time bank,” a one-step-up-from-barter method based on labor hours and (in some cases) accounting for a variety of skill levels. Such “systems are in use all over the world . . . though the organizers are careful to make sure that the time is never given a specific value in a hard currency, which would open the door to taxation from governments.”

That caveat shows how barter and labor time exchanges might seem the more “revolutionary,” from, say, an establishment point of view. Governments don’t like it when folks evade taxes, at least when normal people do it. (Established rules for offshore accounts, on the other hand, help keep funds safely away from the prying eyes of IRS agents, and that is something common amongst the American wealthy. Just ask Mitt Romney. After all, who wants to pay more?) Government officials get awfully upset when they find someone systematically evading taxes by avoiding “legal tender.”

And, contrary to Garland’s Atlantic article, a number of the time bank buck upstarts do establish exchange rates with official, government-supervised money, allowing taxing authorities to skim from gains made through the trades figured in these offbeat media-of-exchange.

So what’s the point of the new “micro-currencies”? Garland admits that none of these nouveaux monies “has become a standard method of buying and selling to replace the existing monetary system. Yet many are finding larger and larger audiences as the crisis that began in 2008 deepens and evolves, allowing more people to do more business outside the ‘normal’ economy.” Or so he says. He doesn’t give much evidence for a true upswing in these competing currencies. Many have been around for some time.

But his report’s premise has the “feel” of being correct. BitCoin — an Internet currency based on, well, really good software and not much else — is, he claims, “rapidly gaining adoption, now accepted by a variety of companies selling everything from socks to web server space.” Garland quotes a banking industry “futurist” who says that “all of this innovation at the level of local communities is completely logical, and will likely increase in the years to come,” citing the recent disruptions in the international monetary order.

Maybe we don’t need a futurist to tell us this. Or two (Garland is also a futurist. A great gig if you can get it.) During the Great Depression, many communities promoted tokens and other forms of alternate “micro” currencies — currencies that allowed small areas to survive collapsed international markets (the result of protectionism run amok as well as bank deflation and crazed government policy).

But whether or not there has been a big uptick in alternate forms of money, certainly the author’s interest in the subject — and presumably that of his readers, including me — is a result of our frustrations with “the system.” You know, inflationist central banking and the much-bailed-out high finance.

Frustrations with money and banking are not new. In the 19th century, a whole horde of monetary cranks and, uh, inventors/innovators cooked up schemes to replace gold- or silver-backed bank money with a variety of “free money” alternates. After all, the “time bank’s” greatest early proponent was Josiah Warren, an America’s genius utopian experimenter and theoretician of “individual sovereignty.” He set up a “time store” that proved more successful than most such novelties. That is, it didn’t immediately fail, and has been much copied, since.

The trouble with the bulk of the proposals then — and, for all I know, many of the current micro-currencies — is that they were based on the ridiculous notion that money was too scarce and that banks “monopolized money” and thus hiked up an “artificial” scarcity that robbed the common folk, blah blah blah. Except for those few banks that actually served as gold warehouses (and there were some, here and there), the majority were fractional reserve banks, and they did not promote monetary scarcity, they engaged in the contrary practice, creating money by pyramiding debt.

What we should want is for money to be scarce. After all, we want it to maintain value, be useful now and in the future. A money that is infinitely plentiful (or increases in amount over time) is (or becomes) utterly valueless, and does nothing for the common man.

Indeed, this is where monetary schemers agreed with the inflationists of the more mainstream Greenback variety, or the folks who wanted “free coinage of silver.” That is, they were preaching inflationism.

We’re a long way from metal-based money, today. And the policy of the age is outright inflationism, so naked and blatant that even William Jennings “Cross of Gold” Bryan might blush. America evolved a credit money (bankers’ money) that was then cut loose from gold, in a series of major political moves: 1913’s Federal Reserve Act, which established a central bank; FDR’s gold confiscation and currency re-evaluation of 1933; and finally Nixon’s closing of the gold window to foreigners in 1971. Since then we’ve been stuck with a pure fiat money standard, now consisting mostly of the ones and zeroes in bank computer databases. It’s quite a triumph of modern civilization, in a way. It’s a wonder it works at all.

Perhaps the question should be: works for whom? And at whose expense? In the theory of money and credit developed by the Austrian School of economics, especially by Ludwig von Mises, it’s the first acquirers of newly created money — through inflationary credit — who get the most benefit. And, in modern life, that means the government. The further down the trickle of monetary transactions you are — that is, the further you are away from government, its employees and contractors — the less benefit from the new money you get, the more detriment . . . in higher prices.

It’s just the working out of supply and demand, only with money.

Today, as the Euro is poised to take a huge hit, and perhaps vanish into history’s dirtiest of dustbins, and the American dollar moves further into jeopardy, it’s no wonder folks are looking for alternatives. Increasing numbers of savvy people now worry that tomorrow’s euros, dollars and yen will work for almost nobody.

Not many people benefit from a monetary collapse.

Which is why some people may now be scurrying towards alternate forms of money, and others invest in the metals that once backed the old forms: gold and silver.

By merely mentioning gold and criticizing central bank inflationism and the Federal Reserve, I’ve of course set up an expectation. When will I mention Ron Paul?

How about now?

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul is well known for being a “goldbug.” In 1981 he introduced a bill into Congress that would re-establish the gold standard. But nowadays, when it comes to dealing with practical reforms to improve the current monetary system, he isn’t touting the old-fashioned gold standard as such. Instead, he echoes eminent monetary economist and Mises protégé, Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek, promoting Hayek’s notion of the “denationalization of money,” arguing that government policy should allow all currencies to float, favoring none.

Actually, he’s done more than merely argue this. Last year he introduced the Free Competition in Currency Act, as Hayekian a piece of legislation as you could imagine.

Instead of instituting a new “hard money” from the top down, this would let the best money emerge. Let there be (of all things) a free market in money! Right now, we have centrally planned money, and it looks an awful lot like central planning works about as well for money as central planning works in other things. That is, it looks as inefficient and prone to abuse as socialism itself.

The mechanism that Ron Paul thinks would allow for the emergence of better money is normal competition, achieved in this case by removing all or most taxation on trade from one money to another — including taxes on profits from such transactions — and by getting rid of legal tender laws. All the federal government need do is prohibit fraud, and specify what form of money it will take in taxes, etc.

The casual student of economics might wonder how this would work, considering Gresham’s Law and all. Doesn’t “bad money drive out the good?”

The answer is: Only under conditions of exchange controls. When government enforces a rule that equates bad money with good money, at a rate favorable to that bad money, people hoard the good money and pass on the bad, thus “driving” the good money out of circulation. But the competition in currency idea is the opposite of that. It gets rid of the “price control” aspect, the fixed exchange rates. The denationalized money proposal gets around Gresham’s Law by promoting actual free trade rather than traditional, old-fashioned (and disastrous) government-controlled trade.

Let free markets — that is, producers and consumers freely exchanging — decide our money, allowing order to emerge in an evolutionary fashion.

Who knows, maybe one of these local currencies will out-compete the Big Boys of government! More likely, some package of gold, silver and other precious metals will serve as the most popular future basis of money.

But we’ve no way of knowing, now.

We need to give up trying to “predict” and “guarantee” everything.

Even BitCoin could win out, I guess, though I’d prefer buying and selling using money with Ziggy Stardust on the obverse.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: barter; currency

1 posted on 05/20/2012 5:22:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

B4L


2 posted on 05/20/2012 5:24:59 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: Kaslin

When did the idea of taxing income and wealth become so popular? It used to be that these sort of taxes were the reason that people fled their home countries. Now it’s everywhere and even more egregious than back then. America was founded on the idea of excise taxes and taxes on goods and services. These taxes are universal and hit everyone equally.

The idea of local currency, esp. bartering time for goods isn’t revolutionary, it’s just good sense. Criminals can’t steal your time or your skills. Valuable work can be performed for procurement of goods to complete another job or task, etc.

There used to be a time when paper currency read, “This note is good for all debts public and private and may be redeemed for lawful currency.” Nowadays, a piece of cloth paper is used and accepted as something of value but is really nothing more than cotton.

As more governments fail and monetary systems collapse, we’re going to see very unique ways of paying for goods and services. Bartering is as old as humanity, but I fear thievery will be more common at first. Hell, the Democrats have been stealing from Americans for almost 100 years.


3 posted on 05/20/2012 5:31:01 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Kaslin
What we should want is for money to be scarce. After all, we want it to maintain value, be useful now and in the future. A money that is infinitely plentiful (or increases in amount over time) is (or becomes) utterly valueless, and does nothing for the common man.

The author had me interested to that point. That is plain and utter B.S. Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange - the exchange of wealth - and therefore must adequately measure the existing quantity of wealth at any given time. Wealth is not static, except in small backwaters where not much of any lasting consequence is created, and therefore the supply of money cannot be static, except in small backwaters where not much of any lasting consequence is created.

I had always thought it was only liberals who thought wealth was static and the ownership of wealth a zero-sum game; apparently I was wrong.
4 posted on 05/20/2012 5:32:38 AM PDT by Oceander (TINSTAAFL - Mother Nature Abhors a Free Lunch almost as much as She Abhors a Vacuum)
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To: Oceander

No, a “medium of exchange” is one attribute, but not the only, of money. It must be a store of value as well. Clearly, the trend for collectivists is to destroy, or at least control these attributes. Some have argued for money to have an expiration date, in order to force spending? In any case if “money” does not maintain value it will eventually be refused, no way around that.

While gold may well be archaic, it is useful to understand it, and why it became money - indestructible, scarce, divisible, homogenous, fungible,recognizeable, etc. The problem today is there isn’t really an objective or standard unit of account. There are standards for distance, time, or weights and measures, but an elastic currency distorts things over time and governments cannot resist debasing whatever is used as money for their own benefit.


5 posted on 05/20/2012 5:53:57 AM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: rarestia
When did the idea of taxing income and wealth become so popular?

Genesis for one. A flat 10% tithe. During the time of the Judges the temples were the government so the 10% tithe financed the government. A 10% income tax would be the best system, as it was then.

I believe we need only 4 forms of taxation: a 10% income tax, an acreage tax (to prevent hording of land at no expense), perhaps some infrastructure fees, and loser pays court costs. The constitution needs to be amended to prevent the government, or any arm of the government, from collecting revenue from any way other than these four ways.

6 posted on 05/20/2012 6:21:11 AM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Kaslin
Even BitCoin could win out,...

I was a big fan of Bitcoin until last week, when reading more details about it I found the computer miners get paid small transaction fees forever for the Bitcoin they mined. That's not much better than the Federal Reserve, getting paid by the populace forever for doing nothing of value past the initial act of work.

Back to the drawing board for me. Maybe some of the western states will come up with something. They seem to be aware the dollar is in its death throes.

7 posted on 05/20/2012 6:29:06 AM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Kaslin

Nice article.

One Objection:

” During the Great Depression, many communities promoted tokens and other forms of alternate “micro” currencies — currencies that allowed small areas to survive collapsed international markets (the result of protectionism run amok as well as bank deflation and crazed government policy). “

The reason for Tokens was that when the tax was calculated, the accuracy was to tenths of a cent. Since the US currency no longer had 1/2 cent pieces, the retailers started producing their own tokens so that they could give a person the proper change, and since that token could only then be used in purchasing at that store, it was an advertising expense (to create the tokens) and increased business.

We no longer need the tokens, because the politicians decided it would be much simpler if they just rounded UP to the nearest penny.

SO... we are all paying EXTRA tax and most are none the wiser.


8 posted on 05/20/2012 7:21:47 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
...an acreage tax (to prevent hording of land at no expense)...

NO! I'd rather not pay rent to the 'manor lord', if you don't mind. I object to the threat of divesting someone of their property if they don't pay the tax (which can be raised arbitrarily at any time--I know, the assessed value of my home has doubled in three years with NO improvements).

(North Dakotans, Vote for Measure 2 June 12th!--eliminate the property tax!)

9 posted on 05/20/2012 7:26:11 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
NO! I'd rather not pay rent to the 'manor lord', if you don't mind.

One of the purposes of the government or the militia is to protect the borders from foreign invasion. This costs money. A person that owns a million acres should pay proportionally to have his million acres protected.

10 posted on 05/20/2012 8:15:09 AM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Smokin' Joe
...eliminate the property tax...

An acreage tax would not be a property tax. Structures would not be taxed, just the acreage.

11 posted on 05/20/2012 8:17:34 AM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Freedom4US
While gold may well be archaic, it is useful to understand it, and why it became money - indestructible, scarce, divisible, homogenous, fungible, recognizeable, etc.

The "etc." being the main one - you can't print it.

12 posted on 05/20/2012 9:24:01 AM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
Acreage is property. It takes 5 or more sections of land here to grow wheat and make a living at it. Each section is a square mile: 640 acres. Stuff the tax. You buy the land, it should be yours, not rented from the Government.

If they put a tax lien on your property, they don't cart the structure away, they take it, dirt and all.

There are plenty of other ways for the government to raise money, and considering the rules Government has promulgated which often preclude the profitable use of privately owned land, the harvesting of privately owned timber, and other uses, for the government to levy a tax on that land is obscene.

Less government is the goal.

13 posted on 05/20/2012 9:36:43 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
If that person owns a million acres (who owns that much, aside from the Federal Government?), it remains in the interest of everyone that their landholding be protected as part of the overall jurisdiction.

There is no Federal Property tax now.

Would you tax those closer to borders more, because their land is more expensive to protect than Indiana or Iowa?

One of the few Constitutional tasks the Government is required to do (and has done without an acreage tax) is to provide for the common defense.

Otherwise, we could put on a Federal tax for living next to an Interstate Highway, just to fix the roads.

Whether taxes be collected through an income tax, excise taxes, fuel taxes, whatever, it is pretty much a given that someone with a million acres would spend more and pay more taxes than someone on a 75X150 lot, just taking care of the place, and it is far more likely they would be producing food, minerals, oil, coal, timber, or any of a host of other products on their land--all of which at some point would be taxed. So the assumption they they wouldn't be paying their "fair share" is bogus.

14 posted on 05/20/2012 9:47:12 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Partisan Gunslinger

Article I, Section 9 clearly states, “no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

Essentially, you can’t have tax brackets or graduated tax systems, like we do. Excise taxes are the most common way to collect monies for the government.

I do agree with loser-pays court fees. That should be the case across the board.


15 posted on 05/20/2012 12:08:34 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Acreage is property.

All possessions are property. Today's property taxes include structures. A better tax would be to tax just the acreage.

Stuff the tax. You buy the land, it should be yours, not rented from the Government.

The government spends money to protect your land from foreign invasion, and should be compensated for it.

There are plenty of other ways for the government to raise money...

Tariffs and sales taxes are anti-growth. Income and acreage should be the two main taxes.

Less government is the goal.

Knocking tax collection to the four ways I mentioned would massively rein in the government.

16 posted on 05/20/2012 3:27:03 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Smokin' Joe
If that person owns a million acres (who owns that much, aside from the Federal Government?),...

If there was no property tax we would be back to the privileged few owning all the land and serfdom.

...it remains in the interest of everyone that their landholding be protected as part of the overall jurisdiction. Would you tax those closer to borders more, because their land is more expensive to protect than Indiana or Iowa?

Invading armies don't stop at the borders, they go all the way. Everyone should pay the same rate per acre. If a person owns a million acres, then he has incentives to make good use of the land or he can sell it to someone who can make better use of it than he can. With no property tax, then why develop it, he could squat on it for the rest of his life if he had an alternative income. The left could buy up all the private property and then make it off-limits to everyone, farmers, hunters, what have you.

One of the few Constitutional tasks the Government is required to do (and has done without an acreage tax) is to provide for the common defense.

I despise the taxing of building and structures. It limits growth. May the person who best can develop the land own the land.

Whether taxes be collected through an income tax, excise taxes, fuel taxes, whatever, it is pretty much a given that someone with a million acres would spend more and pay more taxes than someone on a 75X150 lot, just taking care of the place, and it is far more likely they would be producing food, minerals, oil, coal, timber, or any of a host of other products on their land--all of which at some point would be taxed. So the assumption they they wouldn't be paying their "fair share" is bogus.

The left had a campaign in the late 80s of buying land in Costa Rica and South America and not allowing the land to be developed. They would do the same here. Sean Penn and his pals would own half of Wyoming and make it off-limits. We would get no economic gain from the land and on top of that we would pay taxes to the Federal Government to provide the military defense of his utopia.

17 posted on 05/20/2012 3:39:51 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: rarestia
Article I, Section 9 clearly states, “no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

That's why I said we need to amend the Constitution. We need to simplify and restrict the way the government collects revenue. The four ways I mentioned would suffice. The system we have now is drowning us in fees and over-taxation. It needs replaced.

18 posted on 05/20/2012 3:43:13 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
Tariffs and sales taxes are anti-growth. Income and acreage should be the two main taxes.

Tariffs are empowered by the Constitution. It took an Amendment to dip into income.

But you'd tax the person living in a tarpaper shack on twenty acres of swampland more than someone living in a McMansion on an acre and a half next to a golf course?

No.

Where I live an acreage tax is like taxing a manufacturing plant for the machines it owns.

Land is part of the means of production. Wheat farms here commonly run 5,000 acres or more, ranching operations get larger.

Maybe you think obesity really is a problem, because what you propose will make food prices go up.

Maybe you don't own much land, maybe you don't need to, or you would see this is just as severe of a damper on productivity as taxing automakers by the wrench.

What productivity? Food. Timber. Oil and Gas, coal, even the ethanol sold as being so bloody "green", all require land. Even the processed pulpwood you wipe with takes land.

As much labor and investment go into tilled fields over a few decades as a housing development, you just don't see it if you don't know what you are looking at--and sales taxes, fuel taxes, income taxes, excise taxes, etc. are all paid on that investment.

I remain dead set against taxing real property (land), especially to 'protect it', because the only enforcement mechanism is confiscation of that land. What is the greater threat, invasion by hostile Canadians or having the land seized by our own Government? (Hint: My wife's people once owned over 10,000,000 acres. The reason the government used to confiscate all but 1280 of those acres was "back taxes".)

So put your acreage tax where it will filter out in the drainfield.

Most of what is considered "income" is just what I get in exchange for my time and labor. It's an exchange, not a profit.

Tax either too much, and there won't be either the products of the land nor of labor.

At least with a sales tax, you are taxed on what you buy--as with tariffs, which were classically reserved for luxury items.

What's yours should be yours. Period.

The government spends money to protect your land from foreign invasion, and should be compensated for it.

The government spends more money telling me what I can and can't do with my land than it does protecting it against foreign invasion.

With the sh*tty job along the southern border, they should be issuing checks.

40,000,000 people isn't an invasion? Why do I hear spanish (mexican) spoken in WalMart? In North Dakota?

The chief expenses of government come from filling their own pockets and filling the great teat, and taxing the rest of us for the privilege of picking up the tab.

Wean the population--they can't suckle forever--especially the able-bodied.

One more thing:

One of the goals of the Socialists and of the Agenda 21 folks is getting people off of privately owned land, and herded into the cities where they are more easily controlled. Maybe you like those ideas. But I have found land under the careful stewardship of private owners seems to do better (be more productive) than land overseen by flunkies who are just there for a paycheck.

The Federal Government already owns over half of the land west of the Mississippi. Maybe it could have a sale and return some of that land to productivity instead of taxing the land of those who are productive.

19 posted on 05/21/2012 12:46:06 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
If there was no property tax we would be back to the privileged few owning all the land and serfdom.

First, there is no Federal Property tax now, nor should there be. Property Taxes are State, County, or local. Measure 2 in North Dakota in June would eliminate taxes on real estate at any level. Consider that we are the second largest oil producer in the US, and that the state gets a cut of every barrel of oil and every cubic foot of gas produced and that we have a 6 billion dollar surplus in the State coffers, we don't need a property tax. We have enough to run the state for six years now without collecting another dime, and we have more than 30 other major sources of revenue for the State.

As it stands, the serfs pay land rent to the government or get their holdings confiscated, buildings and all--because the buildings are on the land.

Kindly tell me just what the difference is.

Free men own their land, owing no one.

Some own more land than others. Some spend their money on farmland, others put it in the stock market, still others buy the latest fashions, but all have the option of buying land.

Some have more beanie babies than others, should we tax those too? Am I hearing 'acre envy' here?

You say you won't tax structures, so the owner of a 50 story office tower won't pay any more than the guy in a one bedroom shack with the same acreage?

Either you haven't thought this through, or worse, you have.

By the way, the land doesn't just sit there--without a long term plan, it won't yield anything but expense for the owner, although wildlife may do pretty well. Timber harvests (and replanting), crop production and rotation, even knowing which portions of the land are most suitable for what are things seldom learned within a couple of years. Some of the best stewards of land have passed it down through fifteen or more generations. Relatives of mine are on land which has been in the family since the mid 1600s and that is still productive land, except where the government won't allow the harvest of timber, timber planted by an ancestor 180 years ago. For the last 350+ years they have been paying taxes on that land. Enough.

My wife's people were given official deeds to the land they had owned far, far longer. Often the fellow who delivered the official deeds was accompanied by the fellow who served them notice of lien for back taxes (same wagon), and being without government issue cash, lost ten million acres of land, all nice and 'legal', but morally obscene.

Land taxes were used to strip southern farmers of their land (bought up by Carpetbaggers) after the Civil War. It is a time honored way to take land away from the owners, all nice and legal.

But from the rest of your spew, I suppose you'd think it's someone else's turn.

The left could buy up all the private property and then make it off-limits to everyone, farmers, hunters, what have you.

Google "Nature Conservancy". They do. What's worse, is those selfsame special interest groups lobby or sue to have policies implemented to make it impossible for the owners to pay their property taxes and force the sale at bargain prices. The Government also (and here's the favorite) takes land from private owners and makes 'wilderness areas' and 'wildlands', and Parks and National Monuments and establishes buffer areas which limit the uses private owners can put their land to--all the while private owners are paying taxes on the land.

Everyone should pay the same rate per acre.

So, if I own a gold vein, that should be paying the same rate per acre as West Texas scrubland? An Acre of Manhattan is worth the same as an acre north of Wamsutter, Wyoming? B.S.

Sean Penn and his pals would own half of Wyoming and make it off-limits.

The Federal Government does, and has, for everyone but a few tourists.

BUT you would open the door to the Federal Government (again) taking (more) land from those who have paid for it, with the same old tired excuse, so it could be 'more productive' (than the Indians, than the flyover country people, still the same forked tongue), even though the uses the owners can put their land to are often proscribed by the selfsame government you would have tax the land.

You miss who the threat is, here. Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

20 posted on 05/21/2012 2:34:07 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Tariffs are empowered by the Constitution. It took an Amendment to dip into income.

Tariffs are anti-growth. The Constitution wasn't perfect as we know with slavery. Tariffs should be another thing done away with.

But you'd tax the person living in a tarpaper shack on twenty acres of swampland more than someone living in a McMansion on an acre and a half next to a golf course? No. Where I live an acreage tax is like taxing a manufacturing plant for the machines it owns. Land is part of the means of production. Wheat farms here commonly run 5,000 acres or more, ranching operations get larger. Maybe you think obesity really is a problem, because what you propose will make food prices go up. Maybe you don't own much land, maybe you don't need to, or you would see this is just as severe of a damper on productivity as taxing automakers by the wrench. What productivity? Food. Timber. Oil and Gas, coal, even the ethanol sold as being so bloody "green", all require land. Even the processed pulpwood you wipe with takes land.

The way I would do it is amend the constitution so that the government would be limited to ownership of 1/12 of the land. This would be roads, national parks, schools, courthouse grounds, city buildings, etc. 11/12 of the land would be privately owned. Of this set the acreage tax rate so that one tenth of one percent would go unsold due to taxes. It would be a floating rate adjusted daily to he third significant digit to keep one tenth of one percent unsold. The farms would still be in private hands. The tax rate would be very low. True, a family starting out on one lot with a small house would pay very little in property tax. This would let people own their own houses at a much higher rate rather than rent.

As much labor and investment go into tilled fields over a few decades as a housing development, you just don't see it if you don't know what you are looking at--and sales taxes, fuel taxes, income taxes, excise taxes, etc. are all paid on that investment.

I would eliminate all those taxes and just have an income tax and an acreage tax, and perhaps infrastructure fees where necessary. We are being nickel-and-dimed to death with the current system. I'd eliminate license plates, trailer plates, and all that garbage also. If the government wants to track cars they can put a permanent ID on it without having to pay $100 a year per vehicle.

One of the goals of the Socialists and of the Agenda 21 folks is getting people off of privately owned land, and herded into the cities where they are more easily controlled. Maybe you like those ideas.

Of course not. Like I said, we need an amendment to the Constitution making sure 11/12 of the land stays in private hands.

At least with a sales tax, you are taxed on what you buy--as with tariffs, which were classically reserved for luxury items.

I'm dead set against the government deciding what is luxury. Sales taxes are anti-growth.

The Federal Government already owns over half of the land west of the Mississippi. Maybe it could have a sale and return some of that land to productivity...

One this one phrase I agree with you. lol

21 posted on 05/21/2012 4:40:05 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Smokin' Joe
First, there is no Federal Property tax now, nor should there be. Property Taxes are State, County, or local. Measure 2 in North Dakota in June would eliminate taxes on real estate at any level. Consider that we are the second largest oil producer in the US, and that the state gets a cut of every barrel of oil and every cubic foot of gas produced and that we have a 6 billion dollar surplus in the State coffers, we don't need a property tax. We have enough to run the state for six years now without collecting another dime, and we have more than 30 other major sources of revenue for the State.

I'm in total disagreement with this system of taxing the hell out of a successful business so that others can go scot-free. Everyone should have skin in the game. The rest of the country is paying higher gas prices so that some can have a free ride.

Some have more beanie babies than others, should we tax those too? Am I hearing 'acre envy' here?

One of the main purposes of the government is to guard the land against foreign invasion. Land owners should not have a free ride.

You say you won't tax structures, so the owner of a 50 story office tower won't pay any more than the guy in a one bedroom shack with the same acreage?

True. The government is spending less to protect 1 acre than a million acres.

Either you haven't thought this through, or worse, you have.

I most definitely have, down to great detail. Our system is on the verge of failure. When we rebuild we will have to institute changes to avoid another failure. We are failing due to debt, and people voting themselves a free ride. Land reform and voting reform will go a long way in building a more perfect system after the failure. People need to be able to not go into so much debt to own land and build their lives. We need a self-adjusting system and concrete numbers to keep the government in check.

By the way, the land doesn't just sit there--without a long term plan, it won't yield anything but expense for the owner, although wildlife may do pretty well. Timber harvests (and replanting), crop production and rotation, even knowing which portions of the land are most suitable for what are things seldom learned within a couple of years. Some of the best stewards of land have passed it down through fifteen or more generations. Relatives of mine are on land which has been in the family since the mid 1600s and that is still productive land, except where the government won't allow the harvest of timber, timber planted by an ancestor 180 years ago. For the last 350+ years they have been paying taxes on that land. Enough.

Yes, that is the problem...everyone wanting a free ride.

So, if I own a gold vein, that should be paying the same rate per acre as West Texas scrubland? An Acre of Manhattan is worth the same as an acre north of Wamsutter, Wyoming? B.S.

If you don't want it, don't own it. Let someone else pay the taxes.

BUT you would open the door to the Federal Government (again) taking (more) land from those who have paid for it, with the same old tired excuse, so it could be 'more productive' (than the Indians, than the flyover country people, still the same forked tongue), even though the uses the owners can put their land to are often proscribed by the selfsame government you would have tax the land.

Like I said, I would constitutionally limit the government to 1/12 of the land. 11/12 would be private.

You miss who the threat is, here. Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

Since anarchy is not a solution, then we need reform. Land reform would be a big start. Stopping people from voting themselves a free ride would be another good step.

22 posted on 05/21/2012 5:55:59 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
Everyone should have skin in the game. The rest of the country is paying higher gas prices so that some can have a free ride.

Who is getting the free ride?

Do you understand diddley squat about the oil industry, where crude oil prices come from, the Federal Government's role in increasing the price of fuels, the distribution of or blending of gasoline, tax structures, any of that?

You can own a dozen oil wells, but you fill up at the same pump everyone else does, pay the same price, and the same taxes (Federal and State, at least within the same state).

Funny how no one bitched when car manufacturers raised the price of a vehicle from $3000.00 to $30,000.00, but people will stand next to that vehicle drinking $2/liter ($8.00/gallon) bottled water and gripe about $4 gas.

Considering most of the world's oil is produced in regions which have a different tax structure than the US, it isn't a question of taxes on the oil industry raising prices so someone else can have a free ride, unless you count the Government employees who collect those taxes or the people in other countries who build the world's tallest buildings from the revenue on their oil.

23 posted on 05/22/2012 5:38:07 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Who is getting the free ride?

You say since there is oil in North Dakota then you should not have to pay property tax. What's someone else's oil got to do with your tax bill?

Do you understand diddley squat about the oil industry, where crude oil prices come from, the Federal Government's role in increasing the price of fuels, the distribution of or blending of gasoline, tax structures, any of that? You can own a dozen oil wells, but you fill up at the same pump everyone else does, pay the same price, and the same taxes (Federal and State, at least within the same state).

When our system crashes we're going to need a total reset. Like I said I would support an amendment to the Constitution limiting the government to just four ways to collect revenue, all else would be tax and fee free. Just an income tax and an acreage tax would be very growth friendly and job friendly. We need to get rid of all taxes and fees save for perhaps some infrastructure use fees (I can't see any other way to fund interstate highways and I don't like the gasoline tax, its anti-growth).

24 posted on 05/22/2012 3:10:34 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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25 posted on 05/22/2012 3:30:29 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
No, when the state, which is tasked with paying for schools, roads, and sewers, from tax collections has $6,000,000,000.00 dollars more than it needs, tax collections have been excessive. Keep in mind that this isn't California, it only costs about a billion a year to run this state, and that only after significant budget increases.

Therefore, too much money is being collected by the state.

Rather than issue checks, just eliminate one of the forms of getting revenue: the one in question is the property tax. The Constitutional measure goes up for a vote on June 12 to eliminate that tax.

The State still has 33 other major taxes to get revenue, among those an extraction tax on oil, sales taxes, and fuel taxes. Those other taxes will be sufficient to run the State. The State also gets oil royalties from production on State lands.

In short, no one is getting a free ride, just a reduced fare.

Back to your acreage tax. It isn't growth friendly. You can't grow without food.

26 posted on 05/22/2012 6:06:19 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
No, when the state, which is tasked with paying for schools, roads, and sewers, from tax collections has $6,000,000,000.00 dollars more than it needs, tax collections have been excessive. Keep in mind that this isn't California, it only costs about a billion a year to run this state, and that only after significant budget increases. Therefore, too much money is being collected by the state. Rather than issue checks, just eliminate one of the forms of getting revenue: the one in question is the property tax. The Constitutional measure goes up for a vote on June 12 to eliminate that tax. The State still has 33 other major taxes to get revenue, among those an extraction tax on oil, sales taxes, and fuel taxes. Those other taxes will be sufficient to run the State. The State also gets oil royalties from production on State lands.

Like I said I'm against taxes on all these things. I would have 0% corporate tax, 0% tax on everything but income and acreage. The jobs would come rushing back to this country if we made it business friendly again, and taxes only on income and acreage would be as business friendly as one can get and still fund the government.

In short, no one is getting a free ride, just a reduced fare.

Why should the fact there is oil in ND reduce your fare? Like I said your using other people's prosperity to get a freer ride.

Back to your acreage tax. It isn't growth friendly. You can't grow without food.

Farms would still be in private hands. Food prices factor in all the subsidies we pay now, so put in the acreage tax and eliminate all the subsidies and food prices may even go down when all angles are considered. This simplified tax plan would result in an onrush of jobs bringing prosperity to all. And like it is said, a rising tide raises all ships and I believe Americans would pay the extra for high quality US-produced goods even if prices went up a little.

27 posted on 05/23/2012 3:50:07 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
Farms would still be in private hands. Food prices factor in all the subsidies we pay now, so put in the acreage tax and eliminate all the subsidies and food prices may even go down when all angles are considered.

So let me get this straight. You would tax farmers by the acre, eliminate subsidies, crop insurance, hang the fact that it takes a million dollars worth of equipment and 5000 or more acres to make a wheat farm economical now.

In short, your rising tide wouldn't mean squat, because you would cut the bottom out of the boat.

In the meantime, the owner of a high rise office complex would collect millions in rent and pay on what, 5 acres?

You city people will starve.

You wouldn't tax automakers or factories on their means of production, but you would tax farms and ranches on theirs.

Fair?

No. But apparently you are too far from a pasture to know which end of the horse that idea comes from.

Even with today's relatively high performance and efficiency farming techniques, do as you want and two things will happen: food producers (smaller independents) will go out of business and prices will go up, both on shortages, and as the tax on the land is passed on to consumers (like any other tax on an industry).

An army marches on its stomach, an economy does, too. Or do you plan on having those farmers buy $250,000 tractors with 50 cent wheat?

With small businesses, which is what a farm generally is, current tax structures encourage reinvesting profits in the business. That won't happen with a Federal Land Tax, which gives ultimate control over the individual home to the Federal Government. The only way to enforce such a tax is by having the ability to seize the asset.

Bad enough that someone can lose their home over a few hundred dollars now to local government.

I am opposed to any tax on land. So there.

I have seen higher taxes on riverfront property (not the kind that floods), than on property with equal frontage on paved highways, but it didn't cost the state a dime to put the river there.

I have seen people taxed on stands of timber, even thought the government had declared that land a 'buffer zone', and the timber, instead of being harvested and managed was nothing but acres of kindling and firewood waiting for a spark instead of an asset.

Land does better in the hands of those who own it, if not, they won't own it long. Those who own it for multiple generations do well by it, with long range plans, understanding of local ecologies, and monitor the changes in it and act appropriately--all expenses you don't seem to understand, because you would not only fight the owners owning what they own free and clear, but would advocate penalizing them for ownership via taxation. Yet the McMansion owner wouldn't pay any more than someone would pay for an equal acreage of swampland.

I detect a distinct urban bias in your philosophy, one which betrays a lack of understanding of agricultural economics.

We disagree.

You would tax the means of production and the rewards of productivity (earned "income"), while I would tax consumption.

Why the difference?

Currently, massive resources are consumed supporting people who don't pay income taxes and don't own land. Some of these people don't belong here, legally, but they reap the rewards and are protected by our military even though they don't own a square foot of land (they can't they're here illegally).

You would leave the burden of taxation on those who own land and legally exchange their labor or expertise for a fee, which leaves out the tens of millions of invaders, free from not only adherence to our laws, but getting a free ride in so many other ways as well.

Those people eat, wear clothing, burn fuel, let them be taxed on that. It is a way to get an estimated 40,000,000 free riders to pay their way.

28 posted on 05/23/2012 7:58:54 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
So let me get this straight. You would tax farmers by the acre, eliminate subsidies, crop insurance, hang the fact that it takes a million dollars worth of equipment and 5000 or more acres to make a wheat farm economical now. In short, your rising tide wouldn't mean squat, because you would cut the bottom out of the boat. In the meantime, the owner of a high rise office complex would collect millions in rent and pay on what, 5 acres?

The high-rise would contribute much more by employing a lot of people that would pay the 10% income tax.

You city people...

I'm in one of the least populated counties in my area. My county went 75% for Santorum.

...will starve.

How's that? The farms would still be in private hands. The tax rate would lower until all was sold. Who's going to buy a farm and then not farm?

You wouldn't tax automakers or factories on their means of production, but you would tax farms and ranches on theirs.

Factories have thousands of people per facility...the income tax contribution is much greater with factories.

Fair?

Fair as fair gets.

No. But apparently you are too far from a pasture to know which end of the horse that idea comes from. Even with today's relatively high performance and efficiency farming techniques, do as you want and two things will happen: food producers (smaller independents) will go out of business and prices will go up, both on shortages, and as the tax on the land is passed on to consumers (like any other tax on an industry).

But when all else is eliminated but the acreage tax, then consumers would be in better shape even if food prices go up a little.

An army marches on its stomach, an economy does, too. Or do you plan on having those farmers buy $250,000 tractors with 50 cent wheat?

You just said the prices will rise. Isn't that good for the farmer?

With small businesses, which is what a farm generally is, current tax structures encourage reinvesting profits in the business. That won't happen with a Federal Land Tax, which gives ultimate control over the individual home to the Federal Government. The only way to enforce such a tax is by having the ability to seize the asset.

Certainly. The land is what the government fights off enemies for. If a farmer doesn't have the business sense to keep a farm going, he should sell and apply for a job at a factory.

Bad enough that someone can lose their home over a few hundred dollars now to local government. I am opposed to any tax on land. So there.

Your system is about to implode. There will have to be a new system. Hopefully something close to what I have described will win the day. I know no farmers will support it. They've had subsidies for so long they don't know what it's like to have to compete in the real marketplace where failure is an option and the government doesn't rush in to save them when they can't compete as any other business has to.

I have seen higher taxes on riverfront property (not the kind that floods), than on property with equal frontage on paved highways, but it didn't cost the state a dime to put the river there.

I propose the same tax countrywide.

I have seen people taxed on stands of timber, even thought the government had declared that land a 'buffer zone', and the timber, instead of being harvested and managed was nothing but acres of kindling and firewood waiting for a spark instead of an asset.

Under my system, the rate would lower until there was a business interest. The great thing about it is that it would lower to the least common denominator. If just 1/10 of one percent goes unsold, that is a very low rate, but high enough to not let the land go unused. I think you're overestimating how high the rate would be.

Land does better in the hands of those who own it, if not, they won't own it long. Those who own it for multiple generations do well by it, with long range plans, understanding of local ecologies, and monitor the changes in it and act appropriately--all expenses you don't seem to understand, because you would not only fight the owners owning what they own free and clear, but would advocate penalizing them for ownership via taxation. Yet the McMansion owner wouldn't pay any more than someone would pay for an equal acreage of swampland.

Yep. Don't want it? Sell it. Let someone else put it to good use.

I detect a distinct urban bias in your philosophy, one which betrays a lack of understanding of agricultural economics.

No, I've lived around farmers. I farmed with a two-bottom tractor as a teenager (in case you're from Rio Linda, a two-bottomed tractor is a tractor that is just big enough to pull a two-bottom plow). My concern is for a system of funding the government in which all have skin in the game. A system where a person inherits thousands of acres without having to pay anything is a system out of whack. My system will ensure that even if you inherit thousands of acres, you have to try to keep up on things. If my system of very little taxation were to be put into effect without an acreage tax, then there would be no way for productive people to acquire land to develop their ideas. Someone could keep buying land until that someone owns all the land and stifles progress. If the system is in place where a floating rate keeps a little bit of land always for sale, then not only will can someone make their business dreams a reality, but that will also help the family starting out, because if there is a little bit of land unsold then the price will be 1 cent, then the buyer just has to pay the low tax rate to acquire it. It's a fantastic system that would keep everyone on their toes and would be very pro-growth.

We disagree. You would tax the means of production and the rewards of productivity (earned "income"), while I would tax consumption.

A consumption tax would drive business out of the country. If I lived near the Canadian border, why buy a car in America when I could drive across the border and get it 20% cheaper. Thank goodness when Cain ran it made people see the fallacy of a sales tax. I liked Cain, but I didn't like the sales tax.

Why the difference? Currently, massive resources are consumed supporting people who don't pay income taxes and don't own land. Some of these people don't belong here, legally, but they reap the rewards and are protected by our military even though they don't own a square foot of land (they can't they're here illegally). You would leave the burden of taxation on those who own land and legally exchange their labor or expertise for a fee, which leaves out the tens of millions of invaders, free from not only adherence to our laws, but getting a free ride in so many other ways as well.

That's another reform I would amend the Constitution for. A person cannot vote unless that person owned at least one lot of land or was married to a person that owned at least one lot of land. And only citizens could own land. No businesses could own land, a business must rent from a citizen. A business would have to contract with a citizen to protect that business' interest with the landlord.

Those people eat, wear clothing, burn fuel, let them be taxed on that. It is a way to get an estimated 40,000,000 free riders to pay their way.

They would pay in income taxes. A farmer could claim himself a business and not even pay an income tax on top of not paying acreage tax. This makes an acreage tax very necessary.

29 posted on 05/24/2012 3:54:06 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
Frankly, I think your idea is full of crap. I completely disagree with your idea about taxing land by the acre.

You will never convert me to your way of thinking. Land taxes have a long history of being used by those in power to take desirable land from those who have it and invite corruption. You should only have to buy your land once, not rent it from the government. The government has plenty of other ways to collect money and isn't the least bit afraid to use them. I'd prefer to be secure in my possessions, thank you.

30 posted on 05/24/2012 4:38:07 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
I'll just repeat that our current system has failed. People from farmers to urbanites voting themselves money has crashed the system. When the reset comes hopefully we'll have a system where everyone knows where they stand. Having a definite system and definite percentages in the Constitution would be a great reform.

The land will have to be managed. This system of making land so expensive is unnecessary and put everyone in so much debt they can't get out of it. A total reboot is in order.

31 posted on 05/24/2012 5:49:52 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
I'll just repeat that our current system has failed.

On this we agree. The problem is that we have so many people here who do not participate. We have some 40,000,000 illegals who either do not pay taxes or who actually manage to remove money from the coffers via various programs.

That needs to stop.

We have 40% of the population (or more) who do not pay income or property taxes, who often either get a check from the government (not including Social Security), or who receive more money back as a refund than they paid in (EITC). We have even more going out in payments for everything from health care to housing to food for the "poor", who receive more in benefits than some of those supporting them.

That needs a serious overhaul, and much of it must stop.

People from farmers to urbanites voting themselves money has crashed the system.

By virtue of numbers alone, urbanites are the ones who can vote themselves what they want. Concessions made to farmers are relatively minor, unless one considers ADM and Cargill and Monsanto "farmers". The little guy really doesn't have much stroke.

That is more of a lobbying problem than farmers voting themselves much of anything, and if you're paying attention, you'll see that it favors the Ag megacorporations and not the family farm.

The land will have to be managed.

Damnit! The land IS managed.

The Government is sitting on half of the acreage west of the Mississippi River. Those private owners do their best to manage their own land, especially those who have owned land and passed it on in their families for multiple generations--because failing to do so will cost them everything. Good stewardship isn't an accident, and if you don't practice it, or if the government won't allow you to do so, sooner or later the land is more expensive to own than the return from owning it. Even those who don't care about the land itself can see a losing venture and will divest themselves of the land in order to cut their losses.

To the untrained eye, land that is "doing nothing" may well be a stand of hardwood timber growing (think trees worth thousands of dollars each, but that takes 100 years), could be cropland with a cover crop that is renewing the nutrients in the soil, can be pasture recovering from grazing or growing the next cutting of hay. Land doesn't sit in stasis, anyway, waiting for humans. Some changes are just more apparent than others.

This system of making land so expensive is unnecessary and put everyone in so much debt they can't get out of it.

First, land is bought and sold on an open market. Nice land (good climate, pretty views, good soil, etc.) will always command a premium, because there is only so much of it, but it is bought and sold on the open market. Demand sets price.

What would you do to change that? Have government control the allocation of land? (Agenda 21?)

No.

Debt is optional. Most land is not so expensive unless it is located in urban areas, particularly nice settings, or contains desirable mineral wealth--it is the structures (the ones you wouldn't tax) which make it so expensive, or the location. But you would tax equally an acre of hardscrabble near desert pasture and a piece of Manhattan riverfront. Nothing equitable about it.

You want land, save your money and buy it. You might have to make some concessions as to location, scenery, etc., based on your budget.

I'd go for this: 10% retail sales tax at the Federal Level on everything except primary housing, health care (including pharmaceuticals), food, and energy used in the home for lighting, heating, and cooking, etc.) Forgat 'Fair Tax' prebates, just don't tax what is necessary to live (food, shelter, water, medicine).

No income tax. (encourage people to make more, then they'll spend it, and that will be taxed.

No land tax.

Excise taxes on motor fuel, limited by law.

Tariffs on imported materials and products we can make here. You want a Japanese car made in Japan, pay the tariff. You'd know the cost up front. 'Trading partners' would be encouraged to further improve the quality of their goods to compete.

That would help return the manufacturing sector to our shores, would stimulate domestic energy and mineral production and would help build an economy less vulnerable to outside tampering.

Of course, this would require the serious downsizing of our Federal Government, the elimination of whole extra-Constitutional Departments, and reducing the scope of the Federal Government back to something far closer to original intent. Significant numbers of people (millions) would be booted off of the Great Teat.

Adding another federal department would not correct the real problems of overspending and overreach, and those who lobby in DC would have to go and deal with the Legislatures of the Several States instead, which would limit their influence more than the current system of swaying a mere 269 votes in DC, votes of people who can perform stock trades based on upcoming legislation and profit handsomely, an activity the rest of us would be jailed for.

I'm all for reducing the federal landholding (ranging in desirability from arctic tundra near ANWR to prime land near Jackson Hole), but taxing that land as if all land is equal isn't going to line up buyers, because not all land is equal. Some will be more productive than the rest, simply because of underlying geology, soil type, drainage, climate, mineral resources, etc. Some will be more desirable than the rest because of location, the view, topography, proximity to waterways, rail lines, highways, and population centers.

That widely desirable land will always command a premium over a patch of North Dakota Prairie with winters down to -40 common, and summers in the triple digits, far removed from navigable water, major highways, and the conveniences of urban centers.

But the bottom line is that government should not have the ability to tax someone off their land. Period. When you consider the ability to arbitrarily raise taxes on that land in order to divest someone of their land, to sell that land to a crony and profit, the door is wide open to corruption. Similarly, tax 'easements', often done in the name of 'economic development' open the door to kickbacks from those who benefit from those easements, commonly at the expense of existing businesses and residents. More corruption. Why create an environment which fosters corruption in government when a knowledge of human nature would indicate the best course is to make corruption as structurally difficult as possible?

I don't think a total reboot is in order, but there are some sweeping changes which need to be made.

Considering the parasite class is significant in size (and I'm NOT including retirees who get Social Security), that will be difficult, at best, but the average productive person is not nearly so well schooled in the means of destruction and mayhem the parasites are, and might not fare as well in situations of widespread civil unrest which sudden sweeping changes would produce.

The results might be far worse than you or anyone can imagine.

The question is one of how to make the transition from the current mess to a better one without crashing an already fragile economy and without discarding the Constitutional concepts which those who have governed this Republic have strayed so far from.

Keep in mind those founders did not have an income tax, used tariffs, and for the most part, ran a balanced budget.

32 posted on 05/25/2012 12:15:19 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
By virtue of numbers alone, urbanites are the ones who can vote themselves what they want. Concessions made to farmers are relatively minor, unless one considers ADM and Cargill and Monsanto "farmers". The little guy really doesn't have much stroke. That is more of a lobbying problem than farmers voting themselves much of anything, and if you're paying attention, you'll see that it favors the Ag megacorporations and not the family farm.

There's two ag shows I hear on the way to work...one isn't bad, they talk about statistics, technology, etc., but the other spends about 80% of the time talking about how to get the government to give the farmers more of other people's money. Farmers have been at the trough since FDR, it's in their blood now.

Damnit! The land IS managed.

Not very well considering the system is collapsing.

The Government is sitting on half of the acreage west of the Mississippi River.

Like I said, I would constitutionally limit the government to 1/12 of the land. All else would be sold.

Those private owners do their best to manage their own land, especially those who have owned land and passed it on in their families for multiple generations--because failing to do so will cost them everything. Good stewardship isn't an accident, and if you don't practice it, or if the government won't allow you to do so, sooner or later the land is more expensive to own than the return from owning it. Even those who don't care about the land itself can see a losing venture and will divest themselves of the land in order to cut their losses.

Good. Sell it to someone with business sense.

To the untrained eye, land that is "doing nothing" may well be a stand of hardwood timber growing (think trees worth thousands of dollars each, but that takes 100 years), could be cropland with a cover crop that is renewing the nutrients in the soil, can be pasture recovering from grazing or growing the next cutting of hay. Land doesn't sit in stasis, anyway, waiting for humans. Some changes are just more apparent than others. First, land is bought and sold on an open market. Nice land (good climate, pretty views, good soil, etc.) will always command a premium, because there is only so much of it, but it is bought and sold on the open market. Demand sets price. What would you do to change that? Have government control the allocation of land? (Agenda 21?)

I've told you several times what I would do. I would have a floating acreage tax rate, adjusted daily to the third significant digit, to the point where 1 tenth of one percent goes unsold. An equal rate sea to sea due on the yearly anniversary of the purchase. When a person can't pay the rate, or doesn't want the land anymore he/she/they can sell it. This would ensure there will be cheap land to anyone who wants to start a business. All they have to do is pay the rate and they're good for a year.

Debt is optional. Most land is not so expensive unless it is located in urban areas, particularly nice settings, or contains desirable mineral wealth--it is the structures (the ones you wouldn't tax) which make it so expensive, or the location. But you would tax equally an acre of hardscrabble near desert pasture and a piece of Manhattan riverfront. Nothing equitable about it.

You've been brainwashed to think that people other than you should always have to pay more. It should be equal for everyone. If you don't want scrubland, don't buy it. You know where I live there is a lot of land owned by Chicagoans, 3 hours away. Scrubland is valuable to them, they can come down and hunt, ride ATVs, whatever.

You want land, save your money and buy it. You might have to make some concessions as to location, scenery, etc., based on your budget. I'd go for this: 10% retail sales tax at the Federal Level on everything except primary housing, health care (including pharmaceuticals), food, and energy used in the home for lighting, heating, and cooking, etc.) Forgat 'Fair Tax' prebates, just don't tax what is necessary to live (food, shelter, water, medicine).

There's the problem, once you single out items, then it never ends. Everyone will always want their items tax free. And if a person stands in the way of making more items tax free, then that person is a hater according to the liberal media. Easier to just tax income and let the people shop where they please. Canada would love for us to have a sales tax.

No income tax. (encourage people to make more, then they'll spend it, and that will be taxed. No land tax. Excise taxes on motor fuel, limited by law. Tariffs on imported materials and products we can make here. You want a Japanese car made in Japan, pay the tariff. You'd know the cost up front. 'Trading partners' would be encouraged to further improve the quality of their goods to compete.

Great Depression here we come again. Insanity is doing Smoot-Hawley again and expecting a different result.

That would help return the manufacturing sector to our shores, would stimulate domestic energy and mineral production and would help build an economy less vulnerable to outside tampering.

Tariffs make our industries less competitive.

Of course, this would require the serious downsizing of our Federal Government, the elimination of whole extra-Constitutional Departments, and reducing the scope of the Federal Government back to something far closer to original intent. Significant numbers of people (millions) would be booted off of the Great Teat.

On this one thing we agree. The government needs to be constitutionally limited to 1/12 of the population. Cops, teachers, soldiers, all.

Adding another federal department would not correct the real problems of overspending and overreach, and those who lobby in DC would have to go and deal with the Legislatures of the Several States instead, which would limit their influence more than the current system of swaying a mere 269 votes in DC, votes of people who can perform stock trades based on upcoming legislation and profit handsomely, an activity the rest of us would be jailed for. I'm all for reducing the federal landholding (ranging in desirability from arctic tundra near ANWR to prime land near Jackson Hole), but taxing that land as if all land is equal isn't going to line up buyers, because not all land is equal. Some will be more productive than the rest, simply because of underlying geology, soil type, drainage, climate, mineral resources, etc. Some will be more desirable than the rest because of location, the view, topography, proximity to waterways, rail lines, highways, and population centers. That widely desirable land will always command a premium over a patch of North Dakota Prairie with winters down to -40 common, and summers in the triple digits, far removed from navigable water, major highways, and the conveniences of urban centers. But the bottom line is that government should not have the ability to tax someone off their land. Period. When you consider the ability to arbitrarily raise taxes on that land in order to divest someone of their land, to sell that land to a crony and profit, the door is wide open to corruption.

It would not be arbitrary. It would be a constitutional amendment setting the rate to float at where 1/10 of 1 percent goes unsold.

Similarly, tax 'easements', often done in the name of 'economic development' open the door to kickbacks from those who benefit from those easements, commonly at the expense of existing businesses and residents. More corruption. Why create an environment which fosters corruption in government when a knowledge of human nature would indicate the best course is to make corruption as structurally difficult as possible? I don't think a total reboot is in order, but there are some sweeping changes which need to be made.

Its not a matter of wanting a total reboot or not wanting a total reboot. The system is going down and it will be replaced with another system, a total reboot whether you want it or not. It's unstoppable. FDR's system of the welfare state has reached its end. Either we choose a freer set-in-stone system, or we go total socialism. We'll see what the American people choose.

Considering the parasite class is significant in size (and I'm NOT including retirees who get Social Security), that will be difficult, at best, but the average productive person is not nearly so well schooled in the means of destruction and mayhem the parasites are, and might not fare as well in situations of widespread civil unrest which sudden sweeping changes would produce. The results might be far worse than you or anyone can imagine. The question is one of how to make the transition from the current mess to a better one without crashing an already fragile economy and without discarding the Constitutional concepts which those who have governed this Republic have strayed so far from.

The system is imploding. It's past the point of no return.

Keep in mind those founders did not have an income tax, used tariffs, and for the most part, ran a balanced budget.

No they did not run a balanced budget. Jackson was the only president to accomplish a balanced budget with 0 in national debt. It didn't last. We need major economic amendments to the constitution.

33 posted on 05/25/2012 4:10:00 PM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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To: Partisan Gunslinger
Easier to just tax income and let the people shop where they please.

Yeah, that's working real well.

I've told you several times what I would do. I would have a floating acreage tax rate, adjusted daily to the third significant digit, to the point where 1 tenth of one percent goes unsold. An equal rate sea to sea due on the yearly anniversary of the purchase. When a person can't pay the rate, or doesn't want the land anymore he/she/they can sell it. This would ensure there will be cheap land to anyone who wants to start a business.

You really don't understand land.

Let's try this: Location, Location, Location.

Just one of the things which makes land valuable, and desirable.

Mineral and other resources can do so also, but regardless of the resources, if they can't be extracted and delivered to market profitably, then the land is not economical, no matter how much business sense you have.

Despite your land allocation scheme, I think we can both agree we need one hell of a lot less government. That alone would be significantly cheaper. It is only the growth of government far beyond its Constitutional boundaries that has led us to the point where there will be major economic hardship.

Socialism, including the Ministry of Land Allocation, is not something I want for me or my descendants.

34 posted on 05/26/2012 1:15:50 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Yeah, that's working real well.

It would if it were the only tax.

You really don't understand land.

I understand people like you who inherited it think they have a permanent right to it and shouldn't have to compete for it.

Let's try this: Location, Location, Location. Just one of the things which makes land valuable, and desirable. Mineral and other resources can do so also, but regardless of the resources, if they can't be extracted and delivered to market profitably, then the land is not economical, no matter how much business sense you have. Despite your land allocation scheme, I think we can both agree we need one hell of a lot less government. That alone would be significantly cheaper. It is only the growth of government far beyond its Constitutional boundaries that has led us to the point where there will be major economic hardship. Socialism, including the Ministry of Land Allocation, is not something I want for me or my descendants.

You call market-based land auctions "Ministry of Land Allocation". Like I said you inherited it, you think you have some kind of blood right to it. A better system would be to have land owners use their business sense to keep the land they inherit. You think the rest of the country are your serfs, there to be the "hired hands" forever. Your posts consist of your rationale of why you shouldn't have to pay taxes whereas factory workers, mineral extractors, everyone else should. That's exactly one of the states-of-mind that is contributing to the upcoming crash, everyone vying to change laws so that the other guy has to pay the way. I say we all pay the same, from sea to sea. And have a system in place where a person can buy land and start a business cheaply. And a system where a factory-working family can build their first house on their own piece of land without going into extreme debt for 30 years. Make land owners stay on their toes. If they don't have the skills or the drive to do so, then the market will decide that someone else should take over.

Anyway, like I said, the same rate from sea to sea would drive down the rate on more productive land relative to the profits from farming, so if a farmer can't stay in business under that system he has no business controlling a huge chunk of land in the first place. This system I support is, like I said, just to make sure someone doesn't squat on a piece of land their whole life without putting it to use in the market. A liberal disability recipient fraud could own a million acres and without an acreage tax his net contribution to the economy would be negative.

35 posted on 05/28/2012 11:01:32 AM PDT by Partisan Gunslinger
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