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russell lester

Orchardist, Grange

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Idea: Global property tax to support environmental reform

The idea I am kicking around is to establish a global agency, perhaps a party to the world court which would assess a tax on each person globally say one one thousandth of there properties value (local market value) times the estimated shares of mean carbon production they are responsible for, which would i grant you be hard to quantify, maybe it could be based on a per capita national average.

The tax could be levied against nations wishing to or having ever used the world court, and could be once a decade or whatever time interval seems good, the revenues would be available for the world courts foundation managers to disperse to address credit challenged projects that are of great environmental value.

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Closing Statement from russell lester

Corperations constrained and taxed more here than anywhere else in the world. Which is why they put manufacturing in China. 25% or more of the pollution over Los Angeles comes from China. Problem is that the China is not under the purview of California law,

I have a rare book, it is called international Anarchy and it was written and published in the interval between the end of the first world war and the failure of the united states to ratify and empower the league of nations. The premise is that conflicts wars and struggles over the sea and air can be avoided if the nations agree to a code of law and mutually enforce it. This does not even require the individual nations to give up sovereignty, just the right to launch wars of aggression, and perhaps its time to include pollution of air water land and bio spheres to the list of mutually outlawed actions. Certainly I can see that you cannot fix problems by simply redistributing wealth, or at least not all problems, but what would the harm be in providing an incentive for developing nations to not pursue programs we know now are destructive to everyone? After all the wealth of the rich nations and the rich in those nations was made on the resources of other nations from time to time, plus it was the process of amassing that wealth or more accurately the process' which were used to do so which have caused such wide spread damage.

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    Nov 6 2012: I am open to hearing more. Like I said I think its a good idea to use this site as a place to spread ideas and that obviously includes education., There are ways to begin doing things to protect what we have left of our bioshere. It can be as simple as the tax break that is currently available in the us to people who use their property to grow Christmas trees, or as complex as requiring an end destructive mining in the Appalachians. Wealth is as I understand it generated by work and by the investment of capitol into enterprises by capitalists, I love the idea of capitalism and of democracy and I don't see the problem with advocating a global state to replace competing nations. I do not think its wise to trust private companies with the power to regulate themselves, We live in an age where just as we the people are being compelled to surrender rights the we hold dear, privacy and possession of weapons and precursor chemicals to dozens of proscribed things, corporations must also yield to being constrained. When it comes to Economics I have to say I know enough to know that even people who are "experts" have conflicting theories and ideas and plans. The sort of math that really describes the way things like markets work is the stuff that mathematicians explore , note that theories and explore axiomatically mean that no one totally understands the subject.
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      Nov 6 2012: "I don't see the problem with advocating a global state to replace competing nations. "

      Exactly

      "corporations must also yield to being constrained. "

      They are already constrained and taxed more than anywhere else in the world. Which is a huge reason why they simply put the manufacturing in China. They estimate that 25% or more of the pollution over Los Angeles comes from China. Problem is that the China is not under the purview of California law.

      Regarding the last couple of sentences, is that excuse not to study the subject? There is a lot of propaganda on the subject of economics which imo is designed to obscure political intentions E.G. calling the FED printing of money QE is designed to obscure the huge inflationary effects of this practice as well as the fact that it is hugely crony capitalism and is in effect stealing and could be the downfall of the country.

      That does not mean there is no science to the subject. The problem is that Keynesian economics is a tool of the politician who's only purpose is to get reelected. Mean while schools of economics like the Chicago School of Economics or the Austrian School of Economics don't get noticed because there is no political capital in them in fact quite the opposite.

      Centralized anything is ALWAYS a problem. The way to approach your idea is from the bottom up. The last thing the world needs is another ignorant bureaucracy telling people what they should do and using it as guise to more power.
    • Nov 6 2012: @russell lester: "The sort of math that really describes the way things like markets work is the stuff that mathematicians explore , note that theories and explore axiomatically mean that no one totally understands the subject."

      I would agree or disagree based on what you would consider qualifies for "totally understands the subject". But, I must point you to Hayek's Nobel prize acceptance speech: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1974/hayek-speech.html
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        Nov 8 2012: Thank you for the link, but I am confussed doesn't he say that following any economists thoughts exclusivly is bad? That economists who win public regard are danerously prone to making pronouncements on issues that they have not devoted enough study to? What is the basic underlying foundation of economics? Is it not that the exchange of goods and services is good and that a way to make this exchange as easy as possible is the goal?
        • Nov 8 2012: What Hayek is arguing against is the kind of people like Krugman or Bernake who sit in their comfortable offices and come up with plans on what the rest of us should and should not spend money on. Hayek's fundamentals were solid, but he never went into details of which stocks to buy, which fields to invest in, or whether the government should encourage land-ownership or buying new cars, etc. He advocated leaving those details to those who knew it best.


          In case of the environment, it would be rating agencies such as http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/offerings/businesses/environment/, rather than governments which sometimes come up with hair-brained schemes like "cash for clunkers".

          Basically, it would involve raising awareness on a massive scale. A task that seems impossible to me, unless we were to start educating kids with solid science, and to inculcate a culture where they ask companies for what they want, rather than be passive recipients of products that we seem to have become these days.

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