Monday, 5 October 2015

More Sport...


Go on.  Treat yourself to a bit of baiting... You know you want to.


James James said...

'Marshall... also spotted (along with Cannan, 1907) the flaw and upper limit on raising local land rates (in Britain, local property taxes are "rates") to high levels, noting that this would distort locational decisions by over-attracting people to jurisdictions with higher rate bases - a kind of "tragedy-of-the-commons" effect, working through the rating system and locally financed public services. He leaned toward a benefits-received limit on rates, describing rates in excess of benefits-received (narrowly construed) as "onerous". The viewpoint is that of the upper middle class or retired landowner in a suburb.

This was not an unplanned problem, to be sure. The Tory political leader Austen Chamberlain (Neville's half-brother), thinking ahead, saw this as how to keep down public charges on land:

"It is certain that if we do nothing the Radical Party will sooner or later establish their national tax, and once established in that form any Radical Chancellor ... will find it an easy task to give a turn of the screw. ... On the other hand if this source of revenue ... is once given to municipalities, the Treasury will never be able to put its finger in the pie again, ..." (cit. Douglas,1976: 150)

That was by no means the limit of Marshall's horizon, however. If we shift to national land taxes, the "overused commons" problem disappears. George has been faulted for not specifying in Progress and Poverty what level of government should collect land taxes, but his later career made clear that he wanted national governments to rely heavily on land taxes, for approximately the same reasons that Austen Chamberlain wanted to keep them local. George opposed tariffs in large part to force national governments to turn from them to land taxes. His followers in both Britain and the United States pushed for national land taxes after Marshall wrote and, as noted above, Marshall supported the Lloyd George land tax budget in his own country in 1909.'

James James said...