Land and wealth

The Case for a Tax on Wealth

Business and Society Review, Winter 1974

WEALTHY PERSONS in America enjoy secu­rity, privilege, power, and freedom from demeaning chores.  Some of these benefits derive from wealth itself, others from its unequal distribution.  It is the latter that are properly the concern of the non-wealthy.

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Kicking the Auto Habit

The New Republic, December 15, 1973

ANGELENO LIFE is unthinkable without the automobile.  But Washing­ton is talking about 10 or 15 gallons weekly gasoline quotas, Sunday closing of gas­oline stations, and immediate cutbacks of diesel fuel and heavy heating oil.

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TVA After 40 Years

The New Republic, November 10,1973

WHEN THE TENNESSEE Valley Authority was created by Congress in 1933, it was conceived of not only as an effort to revitalize an impoverished region, but also as an experiment in public enterprise.  Forty years later the returns on TVA are pretty much in.

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Buying Back the Land: A Proposal for California

Working Papers For A New Society, Summer 1973

IT IS JUST within the realm of possibility that low-income groups, by joining with environmental­ists, labor and other progressive forces, could bring about a favorable distribution of land ownership in California.  The mechanism for doing this could be a state government trust fund which might be called the California Land Conserva­tion Fund.

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Elites and Alternatives

The New Republic, March 31, 1973

Our economy is controlled by an extremely small, largely unaccountable set of elites operating on behalf of a wealth-owning minority.  To alter this pattern of own­er­ship and control is politically unfeasible at the moment, but so are many things until enough people decide they want them.

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Mining The Prairies

The New Republic, March 24, 1973

UNDER the rolling plains of eastern Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas is one of the world’s last great energy reserves — nearly a trillion tons of lignite and sub-bitu­minous coal, about 35 billion of which are readily strippable.  A good many ranchers, young people and others, however, don’t want to mine it.

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Fair Shares

The New Republic, October 21, 1972

WHILE a small minority of Americans siphons off more money than it knows what to do with, a fifth of our population remains perennially poor, and millions more teeter on the edge of poverty.  Ever-increasing production won’t, by it­self, correct this.  We also need to share better.


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How Wealth Is Distributed

The New Republic, September 30, 1972

WHAT IS WEALTH, who gets it, and why?  More to the point, why — despite wars on poverty, pro­gressive taxation, relatively high em­ployment and widespread educational opportunity — does our economy so stubbornly perpetuate inequality?

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Tax Farmers

The New Republic, September 2, 1972

THERE must be a broad commitment by the federal government to assist agricultural workers, rather than tax-evading doctors, to become farm owners.

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A Populist Manifesto

The New Republic, April 29, 1972

The book’s thesis is that a political majority can be built by rallying workers, minorities and young people around a banner that reads: “Some institutions and people have too much money and power, most people have too little, and the first priority of politics must be to redress that imbalance.”

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