News & Analysis
Telegraph Discovers Cancerous Debt Levels
When debt levels turn cancerous ... Now we know where the tipping point lies. Debt becomes poisonous once it reaches 80pc to 100pc of GDP for governments, 90pc of GDP for companies, and 85pc of GDP for households. From then on, extra debt chokes growth. Stephen Cecchetti and his team at the Bank for International Settlements have written the definitive paper rebutting the pied pipers of ever-escalating credit. "The debt problems facing advanced economies are even worse than we thought." – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Some debt is good. Too much is bad. We just need to draw the line.
Free-Market Analysis: Reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has discovered a white paper (see excerpt above) from the Bank for International Settlements that argues debt levels are too high – apparently both privately and publicly. Evans-Pritchard believes easy interest rates are behind current debt problems.
He has played this tune before, as have others. It is a kind of sub-dominant social theme that is dear to the heart of tough-guy financial analysts for mainstream financial shops and sophisticated mainstream newspapers. The idea is that central banks are dumb as stumps and hardly ever get it right.
This a very clever meme as it allows those who do the criticizing to duck the idea of whether central banks should exist at all. Of course they should not, but you will never hear that argument advanced by tough-guy banking hawks. These individuals prefer to heap opprobrium on central banks to making the fundamental argument that central banks ought not to exist. (Sorry, dear Ambrose, we recognize a rhetorical bait-and-switch when we read one.)
In fact, we are ordinarily apt to laud Evans-Pritchard for his tough-guy reporting. He drove Team Billary crazy when he was a Washington, DC correspondent for the Telegraph. He simply wouldn't accept that Vince Foster's death was a suicide, and the top echelon of the administration was thus most satisfied to see his backside when he returned to Ye Oulde Sod.
Evans-Pritchard had set Washington ablaze, as the Redcoats before him, and therefore was due a promotion. He became an international financial editor for the Telegraph; but this posed yet more challenges. It is next to impossible to be a truly hard-nosed financial editor because one can never question the underlying fallacy of central banking.
Why is central banking fallacious? Because central bankers can never know how much money is enough. This is the fundamental reason why even what we call "Brownian" solutions to central banking won't work. One can remove the power of printing money from independent central banks, but one is still left with the problem of how much to print.
Ellen Brown and others who advocate the assumption of money power at the local level by "people power" apparently suggest that locally controlled money printing will be sufficient to the volume required thereof. Ms. Brown used to advocate (as we understood it) that people wanting loans under the local system of money printing would have to secure their loans with property or other securities. But we recall her informing us that was not to be the case, recently.
So no matter what the configuration of a central bank, the fundamental problem (there is actually only one) cannot be addressed. And that is, how much money is too much? In a local configuration, the central bank would provide funds to those who needed capital. But the provision of such capital would be sure to spark a boom in lending, thus creating more and more money. And more money inevitably leads to price inflation.
The problem is not insoluble. The only solution, historically, is a free market in gold and silver. Again, it is the ONLY solution, historically speaking for Western economies. When there is too much gold and silver in the economy (local or regional) the price of money goes down and people begin to hoard and mines shut.
When the glut subsides, the price goes back up and mines reopen because of higher prices and hoarding begins to cease as people sell gold and silver to cash in on better rates. This is the ONLY way that the amount of money in a specific economic region can be moderated. The market itself tells us how much money is too much! No other way.
It is a very simple solution. It is predicated on the free market itself, which makes it anathema to the Wise Leaders who currently attempt to run the world, money-wise. But it is a solution that even the toughest mainstream reporters cannot get behind either.
This is why Evans-Pritchard has to adopt the next-best stance, which is that of a Neo-Keynesian hawk. Hawks of the neo-Keynesian variety are always calling for higher interest rates to "wring out" inflation. Even though they are NOT questioning the fundaments of central banking, they sound properly cynical. It is a rather effective form of play acting.
Does it ease the pain of one's forced allegiance? Probably so. One need only avoid the cognitive dissonance inherent in this stance – an easy enough dodge given that no one will call you on it. (No one in the mainstream media will mention that central banks initiate both inflation and price inflation.)
One can argue about the volume of currency printing (as Evans-Pritchard and others "hawks" tend to do), but that begs the question. Central banks are inflationary engines. They cannot be anything else. Nor can they know how much money to print.
Evans-Pritchard avoids these larger fundamental issues in this article (as he must) by nattering on about the necessity for (some) debt. He comes dangerously close in our view to sounding a bit like US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton who once wrote, "A national debt, if it be not excessive, would be for us a national treasure." Here's some more from the article:
"As modern macroeconomics developed over the last half-century, most people either ignored or finessed the issue of debt. Yet, as the mainstream was building and embracing the New Keynesian orthodoxy, there was a nagging concern that something had been missing. On the fringe were theoretical papers in which debt plays a key role.
"There are intrinsic differences between borrowers and lenders; non-linearities, discontinuities... It is the asymmetry between those who are highly indebted and those who are not that leads to a decline in aggregate demand." Creditors do not step up spending to cover the shortfall when debtors are forced to retrench suddenly. So the economy tanks.
My own suspicion is that debt has very powerful "intertemporal effects" that are not factored into the models. It steals growth from tomorrow, until there is little left to steal. The BIS does not explore this angle. (Mr Cecchetti said politely that I was talking nonsense when I raised this point with him .. well yes, perhaps, wouldn't be the first time).
We can see from the above that Evans-Pritchard, despite his Keynesian attributes is no fan of "excessive." As with so much else in our modern central banking economy, Evans-Pritchard is considerably skeptical, allowing only that "debt ... is the lubricant of progress."
He quotes new IMF head Christine Lagarde approvingly, pointing out that she has said there is an optimum "therapeutic dose" of fiscal tightening. What's that? "If too violent, it threatens to tip the global economy back into recession and prove self-defeating." Thus, there is a tipping point, which gives rise to the article's title: "When debt levels turn cancerous." Obviously, there is some level at which debt is not a cancer.
Balance – severe balance – is what Mr. Evans-Pritchard is after. He writes: "The IMF view is that calibrated fiscal tightening must be offset by easy monetary policy, perhaps even QE3 if deflation rears its ugly head again and threatens a full-blown Fisherite debt-deflation spiral. That is broadly my view." Here is how he concludes his article:
Used wisely and in moderation, it clearly improves welfare. But, when it is used imprudently and in excess, the result can be disaster. And disaster we have. We must prepare for a long hard slog, for the rest of my life and yours. Do read the report. The BIS has been a rare of voice of good judgement for the last decade.
We do not wish to read the BIS report. We believe none of this. We are simple elves. There is no optimum level of national debt. A national debt is a public debt and a public debt, inevitably, is leveraged by force. Thus the free market is abrogated.
This is the problem we have today. America, especially, holds the world up for ransom via its dollar reserve system, one that is maintained – unfortunately – at the point of a gun. (Or several hundred thousand guns and a nuclear arsenal besides.)
Not for us is Hamilton's notion that public debt is a "treasure." Hamilton liked the idea because he sat close to power. Public money made armaments available and war possible. It lubricated all sorts of public spending and this in turn eased graft. Hamilton died a rich man as a result of his government-associated activities. When he spoke of "treasure," it is perfectly possible he was contemplating his own.
We have come a long way from Hamilton, mostly in the wrong direction; and the practical reality today is a horrible one. Fortunately, there is theory. Theoretically we have advanced when it comes to economic thought in the past 300 years thanks to Austrian finance and the Rothbardian concept of anarcho-capitalism.
Today, we can make the cogent argument that government is useless (admitedly a concept that will prove upsetting to some). But think about it, please. What does government do well? What does it generate, ultimately, but oppression, violence and, over time, inevitable genocides as living standards degrade intolerably.
Logically, every law in fact is a price fix, transferring wealth from someone who has gained it and knows what to do with it to someone who has not earned it. Every law and regulation is an abrogation of Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. Every proclamation issued out by force diminishes the wealth and living standards of the larger community. Logically, it cannot be otherwise. (This is why laws always have unintended consequences and NEVER work out as planned.)
A national debt is NOT a treasure. Neo-classical economics and Misesian human action shows us quite definitively that private solutions to public problems are far preferable to government approaches. There is nothing – not one thing – that government (in our view) can do better than the private sector. Can you name one?
That includes war, of course, a state of affairs that would be most rare within a truly private economy. There is a reason for the saying that "war is the health of the state." We say to our favorite mainstream financial journalist, "No, Ambrose, there is no such thing as moderate debt." In fact, it is like being a little bit pregnant. Provide a moderate public debt and inevitably in decades one will confront an immoderate one.
Conclusion: There is only one way to deal with incipient Leviathan: Starve the beast. Starve it, Ambrose. Show it no quarter. Provide it no mercy. Kill the beast. It is dangerous as fire and must be confronted resolutely. George Washington knew the reality. Hamilton, on purpose or not, was wrong.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/05/11 12:38 AM
My rights do not come from the Constitution.
"Individual sovereignty is restricted to the power and control you have over your physical body and your thoughts and opinions."
The best milk comes from contented cows.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/04/11 09:46 PM
"If you don't have property rights, you don't have any rights at all."
An absolute and inviolate right to "personal", aka "private" property is guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution. Personal or private property carries a specific definition in American and English law which does not include unimproved land.
"The bare fact is that under any system where the individual is not allowed to own land, then there is no place that an individual can go where he is not subject to some authority having the power to put him out. No place anywhere. What does that make him? A subject."
I don't have to advocate it. That has been the fact for dozens of centuries, and I have no problem with it.
If you pay the tax, nobody can put you off "your" land to which you hold fee simple title, unless through an eminent domain procedure. The recently publicised eminent domain proceedings, as well as the Supreme Court's "Kelo" decision, are a travesty. Land law was disregarded and the proceeding were a sham. I catagorically denounce them.
On the other hand, by living within a state, you are subject to its laws. You subject yourself to its jurisdiction voluntarily. Nobody forces you to live in a particular state or jurisdiction.
How far the state can go in exercising power over you is governed by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe you should stand up for your rights guaranteed to you under the Constitution, rather than try to insist on "owning" your land which the Constitution does not guarantee you.
It is simply a fact that under longstanding land laws, the sheriff has police powers to come onto your land, the state has a right to tax your land, your land can be subjected to eminent domain proceedings and the state can reclaim your fee simple title through escheat proceedings in case you die intestate.
You may not like any of the provision under longstanding land law. You can work to change the law and have it conform to your ideas. For me, I am quite happy with the way the land laws are.
For my part, I will do everything to see that the land laws stay the way they are, and that they are not perverted by land speculators and bankers.
"The argument against this must declare that the individual is not sovereign, and that somehow any member of a collective has some diluted claim to the property (and life and work) of another. Why don't you spell out explicitly what that claim is?"
The argument against private "ownership" of land has nothing whatsoever to do with an individual's sovereignty. Furthermore, this collective you talk about and the members thereof who can lay claim to "your" land only exist in your imagination.
Nobody can claim to "own" land, not the state, not your imaginary collective, not you, not me... . How often do I have to make this point. Read about it, look it up...
Under the land laws applied by the states, land simply cannot be "owned". Ownership is a legal term as well, and it does not cover umimproved land.
Individual sovereignty is restricted to the power and control you have over your physical body and your thoughts and opinions. Equal access to land is guaranteed to you by a land value taxation system, though many states have neglected to apply it, because land speculators and bankers have corrupted the politicians.
Land is not personal property under law, because it lacks the "labor" factor in its creation. Anything that you create by applying your "labor" on or to land is yours and absolute title to it cannot be violated under the U.S. Constitution.
However, "land" can not be "owned", it can only be "used". It is the administration of the use of the land and its perversion with which you should have a problem, not with a non-existing, so-called "ownership" right to land.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/04/11 12:23 PM
"There are in the Western world two systems of administering land."
That's just fine, as long as I am the administrator.
I am proposing a third.
You keep explaining what is and what was, as if that is the way it should be. I disagree.
Your argument that land cannot be owned is not convincing. If it is not abandoned, it is owned. If it is not abandoned, there always exists a group claiming the right to extort wealth from the inhabitant on pain of eviction or worse. There is no escaping it. I deny the legitimacy of any group to do so, on philosophical grounds. The only way it can be accomplished is by coercion, threat of force against the peaceful.
Your argument that you only have two choices reminds me of the left/right argument, where we are presented with an either/or and we are expected to put blinders on and ignore that there is a third choice -- individual rights and freedom. If you don't have property rights, you don't have any rights at all.
The bare fact is that under any system where the individual is not allowed to own land, then there is no place that an individual can go where he is not subject to some authority having the power to put him out. No place anywhere. What does that make him? A subject. That is what you are advocating. I cannot agree. (And again, I already know what the state of affairs is now, and thanks to you, I know the history too.)
A slave who behaves submissively might avoid being lashed, but he is still a slave. A man who lives in peace as long as he pays rent still owns nothing. He might think he is free, but he has been check-mated into having no option but to pay the extortion or be harmed.
Lastly, it is not land speculators that fed me this argument. This looks like a sideswipe argument against a free market, which rests axiomatically on property rights. My position comes from the basic right of property ownership, stemming from self-ownership. The argument against this must declare that the individual is not sovereign, and that somehow any member of a collective has some diluted claim to the property (and life and work) of another. Why don't you spell out explicitly what that claim is?
Posted by Bischoff on 09/04/11 02:30 AM
"Ingo, all you are proposing is a different kind of "ownership." Why don't you let the market decide (theoretically, anyway)."
I am all for true markets, whereever true markets can exist. You cannot have a true market in land, though. First, land cannot be sold. Second, if it were treated as a commodity, it is a perfectly inelastic commodity. No sqft of land anywhere on earth is the same. So much for the free market for land.
Since land cannot be "owned", the question of buying land in a free market is mute.
However, there can be a free market in the use of land. The demand to use a certain parcel of land establishes its value. The winner in bidding for the use of a certain parcel of land pays the bid rent. That is a true free market which allocates the use of land to the highest bidder. Since the high bidder has to make economic sense out of paying a the amount of rent bid for the use of land, the land is automatically put to its best use.
What is wrong with a truly free market in which you compete for land usage... ???
A free market for the land itself cannot exist... ??? Land cannot be purchased by law. This peddling of mortgages as land purchases is nothing but land speculation in which politicians are complicit with the real estate brokers. This has gone on for several centuries in North America and it has always led to periodic economic and financial problems.
As a matter of fact, central banking has made land speculation worse. It has pushed the inevitable economic and financial collapse off into the future so that when it comes the problem will be so much greater.
The Fed central bank and the federal politicians like Frank and Dodd are the handmaidens of land speculation. Without all these mortgage loans made possible by Freddie and Fannie and the federal politicians, the U.S. banking system would have been in trouble many years ago.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/03/11 07:35 PM
"Nobody owns their land under the present system. They rent it. From the collective. Because the collective has the guns and says so."
You've got it all wrong. You are obsessed with this concept of "land ownership". That concept is sold to the average person by land speculators all over the world, but especially in the United States.
The point is that nobody can "own" land, not an individual, not a corporation, not a sovereign (a state). "Land" simply cannot be "owned". Land can only be "used".
Not everyone can use the same piece of land, that is simply logical. A market in land makes no sense either, because "land" as a "commodity" is perfectly inelastic. Therefore, the only way to solve the problem, is to administer the use of "Land", but by what system?
There are in the Western world two systems of administering land.
On is Anglo Saxon law governing the administration of land. This system grew out of Roman law and the Barbaric law of the Angles, Saxons, Thueringians, Friesens and Jutes brought with them as they populated the English Isles.
Anglo Saxon law leaves the administration of land use to the lowest form of government, the shires (equivalent to our counties) as a subpart of the state or sovereign. For that purpose, the shires (sheriffs) valued the lands and issued fee simple titles for exclusive use to the shire residents. The payment for the use of the land was determined by local councils in relation to its established value, and it was used to cover the cost of "government".
The job of the sovereign (nation/state) under the Anglo Saxon system is to protect the lands administerd by the shires from invasion by outside forces. The allodial title over lands, means that such lands can not be taxed by any outside entity, and it is evidence of the control a sovereign exercises over a specified area of land. In no way shape or form is allodial title evidence of "ownership" of land.
So, if you call the "State" the collective, which controls "your" land through taxation, and which deprives you of "your" property by the use of guns, you could not be more wrong. Your polemics sound good in today's political atmosphere, but it has nothing to do with logical discourse.
The other system of administering the use of land is the feudal system. This system was brought to England with the invasion by "William the Conqueror". Under this system, the sovereign determines the use of the lands from the top down. He determines the taxes to be paid with or without regard to the value of land. The feudal law is entirely arbitrary as to the use of land and the taxation of land. There have been serious attempts to establish feudal law in the administration of lands in North America. They all have failed, due to the vastness of the North American continent.
The alternative of course was the institution of black slavery.
"Land value" taxation is ... making people rent their land. At gunpoint. By having the collective lay claim to ownership of it."
This is a nonsensical statement as well. "Land value" taxation consists of:
1. Valuation of lands by an elected county assessor or by self-valuation of fee simple title holders. The valuations are published by the county assessor and they are subject to appeal. That's it. That's all the county does, besides registering the fee simple titles. Counties have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the size of the tax bill.
2. When the state incorporates a municipality or public district entity, it passes along with the incorporation papers the State's right to levy a tax upon the use of land. The municipalities and separate taxing districts establish their revenue needs, after obtaining public input, and they then use the county valuation lists to compute the tax based on the valuations of lands as established and agreed upon by the fee simple title holders.
So far, only the state of California has violated this system, which was established by the original 13 States, and required for all states subsequently joining the United States under Article IV. California, by changing its Constitution as demanded by Prop 13, broke the covenant under which it joined the United States.
All this talk about social goals and land ownership, etc. is far off the mark. The treatment of "ownership" and use of land under English law, be it Anglo Saxon law or Feudal law is entirely contrary to your assumptions.
You have to come to understand taht "Land" is land. It isn't wealth, it isn't capital, and it isn't "personal/private" property. It is land, created by no one accept the Good Lord himself. He did not create it for you or me to "own", but for all of us to "use" it. Those who can best use a particular piece of land ought to have equal excess to it. The "land value" tax is in essence a "bidding system" to use a particular piece of land.
Many people argue that this is unfair. But, if you are an art auction and your bid fails, were you deprived of an equal chance to win the bid. Of course not. Everybody is better off with a "land value" taxation system. Only it allows a stable economy, because the factor of land used in production is properly priced, and a redeemable currency system cannot be perverted by engaging in land speculation.
So all this talk of force and guns and seizing "your" land makes little sense... ??? Who short cuts your individual rights... ???
Your personal property is protected by the Constitution, your ability to defend yourself by use of arms is protected by the Constitution, you have the 1st amendment to register your complaints.
You have every right to protect your "private/personal" property by force, if necessary. However, what seems to upset you is that the sheriff can come onto "your" land without a warrant. He may not enter your house, but yes, he can come onto the land. That has been the law for centuries. You don't like, and you have every right to promote your ideas of "land ownership" and change the law. You would not be the first to try. As a matter of fact, it has been tried for centuries to subvert Anglo Saxon land law in the United States. So far, it has failed, and that has been a good thing.
The latest big attempt to change the county assessor system, intended for the United States by the founding fathers, was made by Jarvis and Gant in California. The results are in. California is bust.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/03/11 02:33 PM
Here you are mixing up what we already have with what I am proposing again.
Nobody owns their land under the present system. They rent it. From the collective. Because the collective has the guns and says so. And no, I don't expect that to change soon.
"Land value" taxation is ... making people rent their land. At gunpoint. By having the collective lay claim to ownership of it.
At least you are philosophically consistent. You acknowledge that in order to justify making me a serf who exists at the pleasure of the authorities, I cannot own myself -- you claim that I am not a sovereign unto myself.
I am a sovereign unto myself. I own myself. My natural rights are not granted, I own them. The only choice is what it has always been: respect my rights or violate them. Freedom or slavery.
Any schemes that aim to shortcut individual rights in order to attain some social goal always, at the core, require coercion against people. That includes your scheme, which won't allow someone to buy a plot of land and be left in peace. Under the guise of paying for improvements or whatever, the individual's right to own property stands no chance. Your side has won this battle long before I was born. My aim is to plant the thought-virus that maybe, just maybe, we could live in peace without serfdom. Sophisticated thinkers with their justifications and excuses why their committee should extort money by force under threat of displacement or death will always be around to make sure that never happens. It will continue until people withdraw their consent. Anger is brewing. People might not be willing to switch one kind of slavery for another. When it snaps, they will assert their ownership of their property, and defend it in the only possible way -- by answering any attempt to abrogate their ownership with the same tools used against them.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/03/11 12:48 PM
I am sorry to tell you that you haven't got a clue. You don't have the first inkling of what special interest campaign money, crooked politicians and land speculation does to the average taxpayer by peddling this "land owner" concept.
If you could think, you'd figure out that the average taxpayer pays for everything twice under the present taxation system. Paying for everything twice can only go on for so long, before everything falls apart. When that happens, the Marxists always stand ready to solve the mess with their "collectivist" solution.
"Land value" taxation prevents an economic mess from developing in the first place. However, to figure that out requires a little bit of "deep" thinking. Providing answers by throwing around emotionally charged phrases ain't going to do it.
To experience what I am talking, just sit back and watch what happens to California in the coming years. California is the latest model of land speculation gone haywire. It'll be something to watch as the whole system comes crashing down... .residential real estate, commercial real estate, municipal bankruptcies, personal and business bankruptcies and finally default by the State of California. Believe me, it'll be a sight to see. It'll be remeniscent of the "Tulip Mania", believe me.
I wish you lots of luck as a proud "land owner", but I can't say that I feel particularly sorry for you... ...
Reply from The Daily Bell
Ingo, all you are proposing is a different kind of "ownership." Why don't you let the market decide (theoretically, anyway).
Posted by John Danforth on 09/03/11 01:17 AM
"Land value taxation is the antidote to collectivism."
It is the power of the biggest gang with the most guns charging people rent for the privilege of living. It is a manifestation of collectivism.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/03/11 01:09 AM
"Does the distinction between "use" and "own" go away, in a case of a 99 year lease period... ??? Just asking... ... . "
No. "Exclusive use and disposal." Remember?
Posted by John Danforth on 09/03/11 01:08 AM
In my hysteria it occurs to me that no tax can be gotten without a credible threat of force.
As to improvements, those can be made voluntarily. In my case, those who have spare time voluntarily perform the maintenance, those who don't have the time but have some income pitch in to pay them, and the majority simply use the road and pay nothing (most being not too well-off).
If we take it upon ourselves to improve the road, that does not give us taxing power over everyone in the neighborhood whether they like it or not, we would never presume to attempt such a thing.
You keep mixing up what you think should be, and what already exists, shifting back and forth. And you keep challenging me to prove something under the system that already exists. I know full well what already exists, and I know we enjoy no property rights. My position is that property rights are the only basis for peace and justice, and that ain't what we got now.
Your point about U.S. states is lost on me. They are a collective.
Here's a quote, from the universally hated Ayn Rand, who despite her peccadilloes was quite incisive on many subjects:
"A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area." (Land)
"The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man's self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man's deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his."
I happen to agree that if we must endure some kind of government, then it should be restricted to the principles outlined above. Abrogating property rights in land falls under the violation of rights, not protection of them. Taxing people because other people (yes, the collective) decide they must pay for 'improvements', falls under the new rule of social conduct outlined above -- your gang has more guns, and it decides that might makes right. Sigh. I will comply, but only because the gun is pointed at me. I will never forget it, either.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/02/11 11:49 PM
"He [Adam] has so hedged his position that the difference between "own" and "use" seems to us almost non-existent. So why mention it at all? ...
A 99 year lease on a piece of land in a national forest guarantees use for a long, long time. Does this long, long time blend into actual ownership... ???
Does the distinction between "use" and "own" go away, in a case of a 99 year lease period... ??? Just asking... ... .
Posted by Bischoff on 09/02/11 11:04 PM
Your response borders on the hysterical.
You don't own land. You have exclusive right to use land, evidenced by a fee simple title.
I am willing to pay you $100, if you prove to me that you have absolute (allodial) title to "your" land. I am certain that all you have is "fee simple" title. You can call it "your land" and spin it anyway you want, but you DO NOT own land. You only have a title which guarantees you exclusive use of "your" land.
As to men with guns, you are describing the corrupt system of irredeemable currency and the kind of land speculation which prevails today. You evidently do not know anything else, nor can you envision how a system of redeemable currency and land value taxation can work without having to resort to guns.
The essence of my position is that under a redeemable currency system, and a land value taxation system, the opportunity exists for anyone to earn as much as he wants, and to enjoy the fruits of his labor witout having the result of his labor taxed.
Those who don't want to work, but who instead want to live off the efforts of others by speculating in land or by inflating currency, they will be out of luck under a land value taxation system.
It is the valuation by the elected county assessor or the self-valuation by title holders which indicates how the land can be best used. It is not me nor an arbitrary decision by any one else.
In the case of the county assessor, assessing land values is guided by strict rules. On the other hand, title holders who are under a system of self valuation should have no complaints about arbitrariness. Where is your beef then about deciding on the value of land and what determines its best use... ???
I maintain that your agitation regarding an individual, exclusive right to "land ownership", which BTW has never existed and does not exist now, makes for that "King of the Hill" attitude which invariably leads to violence down the road.
Marxists today, as they have in decades past, are standing in the wings just waiting for violence to erupt as the corrupt system of land speculation and fiat money collapses. They will then try to sell their solution, the "collective" again, but this time to no avail. People are beginning to wake up. They just don't buy this "land ownership, land speculation game is good for society" mantra anymore.
Land value taxation is the antidote to collectivism. I should think that a little thought effort on your part would tell you that.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/02/11 09:38 PM
A "land patent" is not an Anglo Saxon concept. It is a feudal concept, similar to a land grant, but not exactly. A land patent in and of itself is not a land title instrument, but a modification reaching back to the sovereign who guides the use of land with issuing a land patent.
This concept was adopted by the U.S. government which issued "land patents" to encourage settlers to occupy lands newly conquored by the U.S. Cavalry from the Indian tribes. When these lands later became part of the territory of sovereign states, the land patent provisions had to be accepted by the sovereign states upon receiving statehood.
When sovereign states issued "land patents", they did so mostly to reward certain individuals for services to the State. For example, General Nathaniel Greene from Rhode Island was awarded a generous land patent from the State of Georgia for his service in benefitting the State of Georgia during the War of Independence.
The early settlers embraced Anglo Saxon law as guiding their affairs in the American colonies, although the British crown tried to rule and treat the colinies according to feudal law.
Jefferson in a letter to King George III made it quite clear, that the American colonists were Anglo Saxon stock and not Normans and that they rejected any feudal claims by the King to lands in the American colonies.
Benjamin Franklin outright refused to make any payment for use of lands in the Pennsylvania colony to the aristocratic Penn family in England which had obtained a grant to large tracts of land in Pennsyslvania from King George III. None of the Penns ever had set foot in Pennsylvania.
Under Anglo Saxon law, allodial title can only be acquired in transactions between sovereigns or through conquest. Land in the United States of America was acquired by purchase, war, or treaty from the United Kingdom (San Juan Islands), France (Louisiana Purchase), Spain (Florida), Mexico (California), Russia (Alaska Purchase), the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Native American peoples (both through conquest).
Anglo Saxon law as regards allodial title held by a sovereign (cannot be taxed), and fee simple title held by individuals and groups (guaranteeing exclusive use of land and taxable) is the prevailing title system in the United States.
Provisions in old "land patents" should be relatively easy to defend, unless they run afoul of recent environmental laws.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/02/11 03:09 PM
"Collective"... .. "Might makes right"... .. These are all phrases loaded with emotion to attempt to generate agreement with your point of view. However, I think you know that a descerning reader of your remarks doesn't buy your attempt to sway them to your side.
A U.S. State is not the exactly considered a collective, now is it? Your highschool education should have taught you that much.
As to guns, I believe in the 2nd Amendment. As to police power, that it is normally a part of the provisions written into the constitution of each the separate, sovereign U.S. states. Most police do carry guns, authorized by the U.S. Constitution, and by department procedures.
There are fifty states within the union. You can move to any one of them, if you feel oppressed living in the state in which you reside. In addition, if you can cause the repeal of the 17th Amendments, you will stop the attempt of the federal government to be a sole sovereign.
As to grandma, you seem to be of the opinion that she should enjoy all the benefits supplied by the community without any costs to her. You seem to think, because she was there first, any increase of value that attaches to the land upon which she resides is naturally hers. An increase in the "land rent" based on the increase in land value is totally out of the question. Do I have that about right... ??? It is her land and the increased value is hers to enjoy. She didn't ask for the increase in land value, and therefore she's not required to share in the cost of the improvements. That's your standpoint, if I read you correctly.
Well, under those circumstance, I am all for leaving grandma alone... .really alone... Let her procure her own police protection, fire protection, utility access, access to paved streets etc., etc... .. Please note, I don't advocate that grandma ever be moved out of her home, much less shot to death.
On the other hand, I certaintly would not include grandma as part of the community, because she has demonstrated that she doesn't feel any responsibility to her neighbors, and she wants nothing to do with the community as such. So, she should be left alone on her "own" land to be an island onto herself. That's the way I would handle things.
By failing to pay the land value tax, she actually forefits her "fee simple" title which can be recovered by the state/county through an escheat proceeding upon her death.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/02/11 02:00 PM
Translation: the collective has more guns.
Extension: Might makes right.
If grandma won't leave her home after not being able to pay taxes, she must be shot. Ha, ha, ha.
Posted by Dave Jr on 09/02/11 01:54 PM
May I pick your brain since you seem to be so well versed in Anglo Saxo law?
Is a "land patend" allodial in nature, since it was issued by the Federal Government?
And if so, by what mechanism were the States able to convert the title to "fee simple"?
Has anyone successfully defended a "land patend" in recent history?
Posted by Bischoff on 09/02/11 01:09 PM
Ha, ha... . you wish. You are subject to the laws of the State in which you reside. However sovereign you imagine yourself to be, it is the state which is your sovereign.
Try to live by your own rules which should happen to conflict with those of your sovereign, and watch what happens to your individual sovereignty... .ha, ha, ha... ... Other than participating in a plebescite to change the nature of your sovereign, you have little control.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/02/11 12:56 PM
*I* am sovereign.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/02/11 12:55 PM
"Go into court with your definition and try to argue that land is personal property, and see how far you get."
Translation: the collective has more guns.
Extension: Might makes right.
If grandma won't leave her home after not being able to pay taxes, she must be shot.
Posted by Bischoff on 09/02/11 11:37 AM
Property status of land as personal property... ??? Land is not personal property, and therefore an absolute or "allodial" title to land cannot be held by any other entity than a sovereign.
However, a "fee simple" title assures exclusive use of land in perpetuity, including exlusive use by the heirs.
Anytime, someone wants to dispose of his "fee simple" title to land, all he has to do is to capitalize the annual rent (land value tax) and offer the "fee simple" title up for sale at that amount. If there are improvements on the land, he can sell, lease or rent them to the new "fee simple" title holder.
There is nothing complicared here... .