Friday, 30 November 2018

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (449)

The spat on Twitter rumbled on for a bit:

CityUnslicker: I pointed out repeatedly that creating a system that over time will transfer all property rights to the government (it will, in every recession) and that allows government to set taxes on corporate incomes rather than profits will/

That last bit is bollocks, he can only be referring to turnover taxes like VAT, which is very much the diametric opposite of Land Value tax. He doesn't say what it "will" either, but we can safely assume Something Absolutely Terrible.

Me: Are you confusing "property" with "land" again? Do you not realise that output and earnings are truly private property and thus shouldn't be taxed, or taxed a lot less?

Cheerfully ignoring the question, CityUnslicker continues digging himself into the hole:

We would all be at the mercy of the state to give us a job or shelter at their whim. Who wants that? The reality of LVT is so different from your theoretical pontificating on here.

Sobers takes a similar line:

... private land ownership enforceable by an independent judiciary is a huge bulwark against State tyranny. The first act of any tyranny is to remove the ability of the individual to own and control land, because owning land gives an individual power against the predations of the State, and any would be dictator needs to remove that power as a first step to dominating the population.

And giving the State the power to determine who occupies a piece of land (which is what LVT does, it makes the State the effective landowner and the nominal owner the tenant) means that if it wants to the State may remove any or all owners from their land by the simple expediency of increasing the 'rent' until it can not longer be paid.


Their stance is inherently contradictory, but it appear to be that private land ownership (and subsidies thereto) are somehow sacred, but that output and earnings are fair game for taxation (to fund public services which create and sustain land values), as they are magically not really anybody's "property".

OK, let's build that into our LVT administrative model and invent some new administrative rules:
- if a person is in arrears with LVT, the government is allowed to claw it back from their annual income, even if it reduces it to zero;
- if there are still arrears once their entire income is taken, the government is allowed to seize and sell off any of that person's non-land assets;
- if there are still arrears after all assets have been seized and sold off, those arrears are waived. Under no circumstances will there be any enforcement of debts against that person's land and buildings.

That should keep them happy! Nobody will ever lose their home because of LVT arrears. Or do they maybe want to rethink their outrageous claim that people's income and non-land assets aren't really people's property?

6 comments:

ThomasBHall said...

What's actually really funny is how the opposite of what is claimed is actually true:

"giving the State the power to determine who occupies a piece of land (which is what LVT does, it makes the State the effective landowner and the nominal owner the tenant)"

LVT actually removes the power of the state to determine who occupies a piece of land - because the market does. Today, land ownership is State privilege- under LVT, you only get to keep the land if you are productive.

I think Ben has been known to say that most faux libs are just terrified they might have to actually do some work- and they won't be able to hide behind their land ownership any more...

Ben Jamin' said...


Lets say Sobers or Cityslicker owned all the land in the UK. I assume that in principle they'd have no problem with that, or collecting the rent from it.

So how does the state doing exactly the same thing change the incentives such that the equivalent of dinosaurs coming back to stomp all over us will happen as a result? They never actually say. It just must be.

For some people(half the population), anything that justifies the collection of taxes by the state(root of all evil) must be wrong. No amount of logic or real life examples will budge that dogma.

Lola said...

In fact the 'state' aka the 'crown' already 'owns all the land'. A freehold is simply a perpetual free lease. If title cannot be proved for a piece of land it reverts to the crown.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TBH, good point.

BJ, because states are inherently evil (apart from enabling and supporting land ownership, for which they get no thanks) and landowners are wise and benevolent.

L, I'm perfectly happy with people owning land. As owners, they have to pay for repairs, insurance, utilities etc or service charges in blocks of flats, nobody questions that. And as owners they should be paying for the value of public services they get as well. I don't understand how the Homeys can logically object to that.

David Collett said...

"Do you not realise that output and earnings are truly private property and thus shouldn't be taxed, or taxed a lot less?"

Is the above really your view Mark?

Mark Wadsworth said...

DC, yes of course. It's basic logic.