What They Want You to See
What They Don't Want you to See Behind the Green Curtain
For 500 years, Jamaica has been a byword for lush tropical
beauty, pristine beaches and the Parrot-Head lifestyle deluxe. Dozens of nonstop flights from North America
and Europe land daily to whisk away carefree tourists to fabulous resorts carefully
cut off from the everyday life of Jamaica. Therein lies the problem.
The Jamaica fantasy rarely references the elimination of the
Taino and Arawak people.
An Idea Worth Implementing
Ask nearly any economist. Discover what left and right can
agree on. It’s the political and economic philosophy that reconciles and validates
the needs of both community and the individual. What do you have?
Land Value Tax
Land Value Tax; also called site value rating, the single
tax, economic rent, incentive taxation, the Smart tax, well you get the point.
It’s a Great Idea,
One of the most important questions that the Center for the Study
of Economics – a.k.
a recent post,
UrbanTools/CSE broke the ice with some short snippets of an
interview conducted by Jacob Schwartz Lucas ofEarthsharing.org
that describe what we
believe are critical first steps in discussing land value taxation, how to
interest people, how to maintain momentum, and finally how to implement LVT. Produced by Earthsharing, it links to three
distinct avenues to LVT understanding and acceptance.
The question then arises what to do if interest is piqued?
If the reader has time (and no need to watch
it all at once), here’s a presentation/discussion that UrbanTools/CSE gave at
the invitation of the
Council President Skariah Mayor Kramer
Millbourne Pennsylvania, is one of oursmaller but gutsier LVT towns.
It is strategically placed just outside Philadelphia city limits in Delaware County PA, along a vital road and commuter rail corridor. This article sets up a podcast (below) describing the town's struggles of being in the grips of one large vacant lot, an intransigent owner, and its hopes for the future.
It Used to be a Hilton
Hartford Connecticut while perhaps not the wealthiest
city in the US during the Gilded Age
, came close to the ideal of the
American City and the American Dream: a city where wealth was created, work was
plentiful, public amenities dotted the city landscape and optimism never ran
Now, in the year 2016, the Hartford paradox – one of thenation’s
surrounded by the nation’s wealthiest state – is flirting
. It limits the city’s ability to act independently to revive
As always, the answer is in the numbers...
It's nowadays accepted that beverages with added sugar are bad. New York City a few years ago had it's own psychodrama on Big Gulps and Frappuccinos, when the unlikely nanny state of Michael Bloomberg tried to impose a tax on sugary drinks as a public health measure.
It was eventually defeated in court, but the idea is still very popular by those who have no problem telling other people what to put into their mouths.
Certainly, soda probably not the best thing one could drink.
Homewood: A Storied History
In the middle of all the nonstop happy talk about the revitalizing urbanification of older Rust Belt cities likeBuffalo, Cleveland and our old friend Pittsburgh,
UrbanTools notes that the benefit falls on a very narrow slice of the body politic: the development "community" and other hustlers who ask that government pays for their slick new condos and apartments for transient Millennials. Meanwhile, all of these cities are losing population and unemployment rates are still high.
Philadelphia. A great city strategically placed on the East Coast halfway between New York City and Washington DC.
Yet, it's fiscal crisis has been a fact of life for decades, with no end in sight. Philadelphia is a great paradox, and explaining why takes patience and the willingness to question great assumptions.
Philadelphia. Of the 10 largest cities in the United States, it is the poorest. It has problems such as crumbling infrastructure, ballooning expenses, and struggling schools and neighborhoods.
We are happy to present a new integrated diary/blog brought
to you by the Center for the Study of Economics, using our street name
“UrbanTools.” That’s where we spend most
of our time: traveling, meeting with communities, doing outreach, performing
research and overall presenting an alternative way of looking at political
economy in the real world.
The best place to start? Most likely CSE’s annual meeting of
the Board of Directors[i]
on November 19, 2015. With attendees in person at our physical HQ at the
friends service Center at 1501 Cherry St.
In living memory, Connecticut was the Gold Standard for how
a state could be run for all the people from poor to middle class to wealthy. Starting in 1991 with the advent of state
income tax, and increased business taxation, Connecticut started a barely
noticeable decline that hasaccelerated dramatically
in recent years.
UrbanTools is pleased to see that the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) is recommending exploration of land value taxationfor
distressed and struggling communities
, the number of which are increasing
exponentially even after the supposed end of the Great Recession.
Revisiting the land value tax in Lancaster
For some years, the visionary Mayor ofLancaster
has worked tirelessly with his team to return one of the oldest and most distinguished of American cities to its rightful place as a muscular economic and cultural hub of Lancaster County and Amish country.
Mayor Rick Gray: I've got an Idea.
Mayor Gray has also been a firm advocate of land value tax, yet peculiar valuations imposed on the city by Lancaster County have been a political barrier.