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Re: the government need be only a fraction of its present size



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Dear fellow debaters,
the policy i was arguing for was propounded by Henry george, in around
1866, in his book Poverty and Progress. This was at a time the
industrial revolution was up and going and he was pondering on the
basic paradox of why despite increasing wealth, are people still poor.
The solution proposed by him (taxing land and natural resources) is
relevant even to this date. How do I say so ? Because the rentals in
any big city are very high. The aggregation of people is the primary
source of wealth and this shows up in high rents, whose benefits are
eaten up by the people who own the land. Land is always important,
sir. If it wasn't, then why should land prices be so high in a city
like mumbai, where people seemingly are not dependant on the land ?
The people who have dismissed this argument as pre-industrial have not
been able to explain why land prices are high even in areas where
people are not in agriculture or mining.
		The evaluation can come about by a mix of market (auctions ),
evaluation (scientific & mineralogical ) and perhaps even computer
simulations dependant on market data. These will have to be
transperent to everyone to avoid corruption. (somewhat like open
source software) Since only the unimproved land value is taxed, the
property rights of those who improve the land are protected. It also
drives land to its most efficient use. 
	I cannot do justice to the brilliant theory of Land value taxation in
a single post, but please do look it up at their site
www.henrygeorge.org
www.progress.org
		No, this policy won't tax the people in primary industries any more
or any less. For eg: compare the land value in bombay and in an inland
maharashtrian farm.

- prakash
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