Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (356)

Submitted by Random:

I have been trying to convince someone of the benefits of LVT but he says he was in Taiwan and the LVT there caused "imbalances" and required "additional local taxes." Don't know much about it but thought you might. He seems to think it is mainly on agriculture and keeps going on about the origins of LVT and telling me it is relevant.
Here is what he says:

"The LVT worked great when it was an agrarian society and provided one of the fastest growth rates of any society ever. However that is what the LVT was designed for, agrarian societies."

Irrelevant. If you live in an agrarian society (especially a feudal one), then LVT is the best kind of tax. That neither proves nor disproves that it's the best kind of tax for a modern economy.

"LVT can be made to work in cities... only if a country was only comprised of cities with no other form of land use. If it has urban, suburban, industrial, non- production rural and production rural it crashes and burns."

Bollocks. By definition, within one country, land values depend on what kind of land it is, where it is, what it (can) be used for etc, and the tax rate is set according to that. So the rate on city centres per unit area would be tens or even hundreds of thousands times as much as on farmland.

"Ah you don't even know the origins of the LVT. I presumed that you had read up on the topic - learned the origins and knew at least some of the theory behind them. Instead you are just parroting popularist tropes."

Smartarsery, ad hominem and entirely irrelevant. If two people independently arrive at the same idea, that the fact that neither has read up on the other's work does not invalidate the idea.

"A group of philosophers known as the Physiocrats first postulated the LVT in the 18th century in France. This was a proposed response of feudalism within an agrarian society."

True, but we've covered that.

"An updated version of it came about with Henry George and it became part of Georgism yet still focused on agrarianism."

Complete and utter bollocks. In the whole of Progress and Poverty he is talking primarily about urban land values. And Adam Smith before him made it clear that it was appropriate to (high value) urban land and hummed and hahed about whether it ought to apply to (lower value) farm land.

"It was a core tenet of the Kuomintang. They made huge strides in pulling Taiwan from being an agricultural backwater to being an industrial powerhouse."

Yup, Sun Yat Sen was a declared unabashed follower of Henry George and it worked as predicted (i.e. far better than predicted).

"However once industrialised things like LVTs start to cause imbalances and become a hindrance."

Facts, examples? Compared to taxes on output, employment, profits etc?

Either way, everybody at all times has to pay 'land value tax', the question is, should it be paid to landlords and bankers or to the government? (Owner-occupiers are exactly that, simultaneously tenants and landlords).

And why is our Homey waffling on about Taiwan? SYS's original full-on LVT has been watered down and watered down and is only a small part of overall government revenues (ballpark, the same as council tax plus business rates in the UK).

"LVTs are great for agrarian societies and catching up. A liability for industrial and post-industrial societies. I suggest you read up on their history, uses and criticism before posting."

We've covered this.

Any ideas?

Yes, tell him to fuck off.

PS, I've a good idea who this Homey is, he likes leaving threatening messages on my voicemail at work.


Random said...

Thank you Mark. Should I send him a link to this post :D

ThomasBHall said...

Mark- I'm not really this counts as a KLN- the guy is just talking crap and trying to stifle debate by dropping a few names & theories without qualification.
If there was a reason he felt urban land was not suited to LVT- there is your KLN- if he gave any suggested evidence for Taiwan's LVT causing damage, once agin- you have an argument to work with- Killer or no!

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, it's a free world but smartarses like that seldom change their minds.

TBH, you are right, I was in two minds whether it counts of not. But this particular person smartarse has the uncanny knack of making my skin crawl with his lies and bollocks so I had to post it to be able to get it off my mind.

Random said...

BTW, this is the Granuiad profile who posted the rubbish. He seems to spend a lot of time trolling LVTers.

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, I know him, or at least I know the type. Boring, boring.

(Frankly, I wish there was one single Killer Argument Against LVT, then I could drop the matter like a hot brick, but unfortunately there isn't one, never has been, so I have to keep going.)

Lola said...

These types usually resort to sophistry not argument. So you end up arguing in a circle. If you really want to engage in discussion - and I wouldn't on the 'arguing with idiots' rule - then point out the fallacy of the technique. Possibly childish I know, but it is really a taste of their own medicine. There is one like this that posts in various places - the ASI for example - named blarg123 or some such who is equally tiresome.