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The LVTC blog, by Henry Law

The comments in the LVTC Blog are a personal view of our Hon. Secretary Henry Law and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Campaign.

This is a place for personal observations and comments on politics, economics, current affairs, on-going discussions on the potential for LVT to remedy some of the current ills, and the impact on Society of any of the above. 

Please read and enjoy, and feel free to respond to Henry if you have any thing you would like to add.


Can the state protect human rights?

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Prompted by the economic crisis and the sixtieth anniversary of the UN declaration, human rights have been the subject of several pieces arguing that states should have a stronger role to ensure that people's rights are protected. But human rights are not guaranteed by defining them as such, rather they arise by defining the corresponding duties which confer those rights. Once the duties of the state and of the individual are defined, both positively and negatively, the rights emerge naturally.
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Campaigning for LVT - some thoughts

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There is a more interest in promoting LVT in the present state of the economy, and quite right too. But campaigners need to be very clear what they are promoting and why, and to be able to defend their position. I could not argue against some of the attacks that can be made against LVT on capital values and on no account should we be advocating Capital Value assessment.
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Is Libertarianism dead?

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Advocates of our policy often find themselves in conflict with both "left" and "right". The discussion below, which arose out of an article on Libertarianism, is an example of the latter. I wrote...

There is just one flaw in the libertarian argument but it is fatal. It fails on the question of land rights. Nozick, one of the prophets of modern libertarianism, skirts over this key issue. There is a powerful critique of the position by Hillel Steiner, who wrote a piece called "The Libertarian Dilemma".
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Tales from a school classroom

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A few months ago a neighbour's son told me that he was thinking of studying Economics for A-level. I suggested that there were more useful subjects, like chemistry, or woodwork or cookery. If he studied economics he would learn things as they were not, in other words it was worse then useless, and that if he wanted to learn about economics, he should take a Saturday job in a street market, which would be more fun and he would make a bit of money. Or he could take up street busking, because then he would learn what he would never be taught in the classrom, This is explained in Sounds from the Deep which you can read elsewhere on this web site, and shows how the Law of Rent works. The famous economist David Ricardo formulated it in the early nineteenth century, using fields of corn as his example, but somehow it has been forgotten, because modern economists claim that nowadays economies are commercial and industrial, and so land is not important any more. To take such a view must require a well-developed capacity to ignore what is going on all around, when urban land can be worth a million times more than land used for growing crops, and where the world's financial system has just been thrown into chaos by a the collapse of a land price boom fuelled by reckless lending and reckless borrowing,
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Social mobility improves

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Polly Toynbee has been talking about the latest figures on social mobility in Britain, which suggest things are improving, but only slightly. She puts the problem down to educational and pay inequalities and points to the Nordic countries as exemplars.
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Whose land is it?

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I came across this in a Guardian discussion group just now, written by someone with the pseudonym MrDismal. Apart from the slight inaccuracy in the first sentence, it puts the issue beautifully, taking a bigger view...

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The mechanism of exploitation

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Marx was much concerned with the notion of exploitation, which he regarded as inherent to Capitalism. But the only people who can exploit other people's labour are landowners. They can even exploit owners of capital, properly defined. (that is one of the defects of Marx, he lumps land and capital together and calls them both capital). The situation is understandable with this parable.

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