Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Let's see whether he actually learned anything...

... and if he did, whether he puts that knowledge to good use:

PROFILE: Alexis Tsipras

■ Born in Athens 1974.

■ Holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens.

■ Conducted post graduate studies in Land Surveying and Planning.


DBC Reed said...

The auguries aren't propitious.The previous Greek government tried to hammer property with taxes like Enfia that didn't discriminate between rent-producing property and underveloped land.

DBC Reed said...

PS Undeveloped land.

mombers said...

They clearly don't teach anything Georgist in land surveying or planning so not holding my breath

DBC Reed said...

Seems to me that imposing land value tax in an economic downturn is not ideal.
Better to increase the money supply and impose LVT when land prices start to inflate or at the same time as the monetary stimulus.

The Stigler said...

I agree with DBC Reed.

They seem to be a party of raising income taxes rather than land taxes. There was a comment in a Paul Mason piece about Syriza:

"As for the Greek oligarchs, their misrule long predates the crisis. These are not only the famous shipping magnates, whose industry pays no tax, but the bosses of energy and construction groups and football clubs. As one eminent Greek economist told me last week: “These guys have avoided paying tax through the Metaxas dictatorship, the Nazi occupation, a civil war and a military junta."

Football clubs probably contribute almost nothing (assuming Greece is like the rest of Europe). Shipping? That'll go where the cheapest taxes are. I don't know if construction means local or global, but either way, a lot of the non-physical work in that can easily go elsewhere.

Lola said...

It's not just a question of LVT / No LVT / Other taxes. The problem is Greece has spent far more than it has earned for yonks. Reading the 'always reliable' Wikipedia it is clear that there have been a whole load of subsidies to Greece from the EU as well as tax evasion on an industrial scale. They therefore have problems with Grexit as the subsidies will stop. So it looks like either they stick with the status quo and go for a massive haircut on the debt or they leave and go into short term melt down as their international credit dries up. Overall the latter course is the best long term as it will force them to live within their means, and if they actually thought about it and moved to LVT they'd get double bubble.
Personally I reckon the Greek authorities (hah!) are so bent that there is no chance of that. Plus they've put a bunch of, by definition, economically witless socialists in charge.
It's not going to end well.
(Mind you, I am definitely anti sending troops to help them when the Germans invade to get their money back...).

DBC Reed said...

As opposed to the witless wankers who are in charge of the UK , who encourage people that tax collection is a Statist (whatever that means ) expropriation and are now astounded that they have destroyed the country's tax base so we have a budgetary deficit.It would be alright if they had suggested an alternative source of tax revenue, say, peradventure, LVT or gone heroically libertarian and started issuing their own money instead of paying the banks to do it for them. But no chance. I blame their awful public schools.

Lola said...

@DBCR. You know perfectly well that I am equally caustic about the UK government - past and present - and all its foul works. But I am not really sure about your comment after the first comma.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, that property tax of a few years ago was considerably less than Council Tax here.

M, but he must understand about 'location location location' i.e. community generated land values.

DBC: "Seems to me that imposing land value tax in an economic downturn is not ideal."

In itself, possibly not, but the Greeks have relatively high rates of National Insurance and VAT, so they can do a swap.

TS, yes, but that was the whole rationale behind their modest property tax of a few years ago - all these villas with BMWs outside owned by people declaring income of tuppence ha'penny.

L, yes, Greece has made and will continue to make many other mistakes, I take that as a given.

Random said...

You can't avoid Land Value Taxes. Take that, tax avoidance. And you can reduce labour taxes to make Greece competitive. With cheap houses tourism increases. It also makes exiting the Euro easier as the Greeks can just ask for protection of title deeds in the new currency, giving it demand/value.
LVT is perfect for Greece.

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, exactly. And if not "perfect" (nothing is) then at least it is "a lot better" (which is always better than "a lot worse").

Bayard said...

"LVT is perfect for Greece."

It depends on your point of view. From the POV of the rich and powerful who run the country and therefore, ultimately, control tax policy, a tax which involves them paying more and the working population paying less is very far from perfect.

Derek said...

Leftwing or rightwing, the big advantage of the new Greek government is that it is not owned by The Powers That Be. Or at least probably not.

It's a bit like electing the Greens or the SNP here: they may or may not know what they're doing but at least you know that it's not going to be "business as usual".

Bayard said...

"the big advantage of the new Greek government is that it is not owned by The Powers That Be. "

I'd be very surprised if some of Paul Mason's usual suspects aren't behind Syriza.

DBC Reed said...

As of now,the UK's Green Party proposals on LVT, stripping banks of the power to create money and a Citizen's Income are more radical than Syriza.

DBC Reed said...

PS The agreement between parts of the above sentence is all wrong, but fact remains that the Green Party is well radical.