The Caldwell Imprint (Amarillo, Tex.), No. 2, Ed. 1 Wednesday, November 6, 1907 Page: 3 of 4
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by man it has been created by God. The value of land does
not come from the exertion of labor on land for the value thus
produced is a value of improvement. That value attaches to any
piece of land means that that piece of land is more desirable than
the land which other citizens may obtain and that they are more
willing to pay a premium for permission to use it. Justice there-
fore requires that this premium of value shall be taken for the
benefit of all in order to secure to all their equal rights.
Consider the difference between the value of a building and
the value of land. The value of a building like the value of
goods or of anything properly styled wealth is produced by in-
dividual exertion and therefore properly belongs to the individual;
but the value of land only arises with the growth and improve-
ment of the community and therefore properly belongs to the
community. It is not because of what its owners have done but
because of the presence of the whole great population that land
in New York is worth millions an acre. This value therefere is
the proper fund for defraying the common expenses of the whole
population; and it must be taken for public use under penalty of
generating land speculation and monopoly which will bring about
artificial scarcity where the Creator has provided in abundance for
all whom His providence has called into existence. It is thus a
violation of justice to tax labor or the things produced by labor
and it is also a violation of justice not to tax land values.
These are fundamental reasons for which we urge the single tax believ-
ing it to be the greatest and most fundamental of all reforms. We do not think
it will change human nature. That man can never do; but it will bring about
conditions in which human nature can develop what is best instead of as now
in so many cases what is worst. It will permit such an enormous production as
we can now hardly conceive It will secure an equitable distribution. It will
solve the labor problem and dispel the darkening clouds which are now gather-
ing over the horizon of our civilization. It will make undeserved poverty an
unknown thing. It will check the soul destroying greed of gain. It will enable
men to be at least as honest as true as considerate and as high minded as they
would like to be. It will remove temptation to lying false swearing bribery
and law breaking. It will open to all even the poorest the comforts refine-
ments and opportunities of an advancing civilization. It will thus so we rever-
ently believe clear the way for the coming of thai kingdom of right and justice
and consequently of abundance peace ana happiness for which the Master told
His disciples to pray and work. It is not lrJ. it is a promising invention or
cunning devise that we look for the single tax io do all this but it is because it
involves a conforming of the most important and fundamental adjustments of
society to the supreme law of justice; because it involves the basing of the most
important of our laws on the principle that we should do to others as we would
be done by.
The readers of thn article 1 may fairly presume believe as I believe
that there is a world for us beyond thb. The limits of the space have prevent-
ed me from putting bofore them more than some hints for thought. Let me in
conclusion present two more:
1. What would be the result in heaven itself if those who get
there first instituted private property in the surface of heaven and
parceled it out in absolute ownership among themselves as we par-
cel out the surface of the earth?
2. Since we cannot conceive of a heaven in which the equal
rights of God's children to their Father's bounty is denied as we
now deny them on this earth what is the duty enjoined on Christians
by the daily prayer ''Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on
earth as it is in heaven" ?
"Here in Waco at the corner of Fourth and Franklin streets
stands the Provident building a five-story structure of no mean pro-
portions. On Fourth and Austin are some two story buildings.
Austin is a little better street than Franklin but it is a fact that the
Franklin property is assessed for taxes much higher than the Austin
property. Does not the property at the corner of Fourth and
Franklin by reason of its size get more protection from the city than
does the property on the Austin corner? Will Mr. Caldwell tell us
what would be an equitable proportioned tax and why it is equitable?
Times Herald July 25th.
Answer Bearing in mind that the single tax means the taxa-
tion of land values only and the exempting of all personal property
it may hi easily understood that the Provident building however
large or line if on a location less productive of income than the
other would not pay as much taxes as the other even if the other-
had no improvements whatever on it. Personal property values ol
right belong to the producer only. Land rental or selling values-
location values belong to the community because made exclusive!)
by the presence and enterprise of the people of that community.
If the lot on Fourth and Austin was taxed as it ought to be it
would be put to its best use and the shack would soon give place tc
a building worthy its site--and I may addthe pride of the city.
I was among you when the Provident Company paid Mr
Higginson $25 000 for that "Old Market Corner.'' The company
chose t because better sites were held by "speculators in locations
at prospective values away in the futlirty I well remember hov
proud the people were of that splendid' building how it helped the
city. The insurance people brought a great deal of wealth to Waco
and because so helpful the people were exceedingly glad. Now it is
cur crazy laws instead of rewarding the Provident Company tun
upon it and impose a heavy tax just as a fine upon a criminal al
for being useful. On the other hand the owners of more desirabh
lots for doing little for the town by erecting uncreditable buildings
are rewarded by being taxed but little all for being harmful.
If instead of taxing a good building would it not indeed b
more like business to give it a bonus? Would it not be more likt
business to tax the Austin corner in proportion or commensurate
with its superior location so as to get more revenue and make the
owner either build or let some one have it at a price which would
justify him to build? The double advantage of such a crse would
be increased revenue and a better building. Taxing imprarements
has the reverse effect; it discourages building.
If the people of Waco are serious in their desire to build up
the town they must right-about and make vacant lots too costly tc
hold out of use and make houses cheaper by exempting them from
taxation. Then what a building boom it would have.
There are many vacant lot owners in Waco as in all cities
who grow rich by their neighbors building around them. Dogs in
the manger so to speak are they; will not build themselves and by
high prices prevent others from doing so. The builders of shacks on
palatial locations are little better. Both are reaping rich harvests
where they have never sown.
Upon entering into the single tax study two common fallacies
must be abondened at the beginning. First of them is the "ad
valorem" fetish. Of course if we continue to raid personal proper-
ty it should be done on the ad valorem plan. Ad valorem methods
of confiscation is right if confiscation itself is right. It was Henry
George who discovered that confiscation was not necessary to raise
revenues and to show the way to stop it.
Let the reader consider if it is not a fact that when landlords
get all the unearned increment the value of land made by the people
coming together are they not confiscating it from the community
that made it? Next they may consider if it is not a fact that the
community having its own values and that in abundance land
rents it would be confiscation by the community to tax personal
The other fallacy though not so grfevous is worth mentioning
to clear the fog for proper conclusions. If is that taxes are
paid for "protection." A "protective tax" and a "protective tariff"
are a whatness meaniess mistakes with however much more cuss-
edness adhering to the latter. Even under our present disparaging
environment taxes are not levied for protection but for the expense-
of maintaining organized social relations. Even in only civilized
society protection is a necessary inheritance as is the earth---and as
much for property and its owner as for the infants aud imbeciles.
Protection is needed only against savages. And under the exalted
age of the Single Tax brotherhood would be recognized under the
acknowledged Fatherhood and the bountiful Provider giving free
homes and free trade; making free men and the possibility of living
under the Golden Rule and of finding more pleasure in giuing than
in receiving and much cheaper to help than to hinder. "Protection'
nothing! There would be nowhere foi it to come in -and need only
be wiped from the vocabulary.
A dream? Well it is not a nightmare anyway far from it as
is good from bad. On the contrary it is so exceedingly pleasant up-
lifting and hope-inspiring that every man and woman of your readers
ought to get to dreaming.
If the women of the Waco clubs will take 10c doses of "The
Shortest Road to the Single Tax" they will be easily transported into
the delighttul "Dreamland."
The Single Tax is not woman suffrage. It is not socialis
It is not even politics yet. But it is regarded by the great
I thinkers of the world Tolstoi leading as the most effective mea
devised by the Creator that has yet been discovered by man for t
inauguration of the reign of "Peace on earth and good will to man.
J. L. CALDWELL
1111 l. iniiinrn fr ' mmmmmm'm1mmna
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The Caldwell Imprint (Amarillo, Tex.), No. 2, Ed. 1 Wednesday, November 6, 1907, newspaper, November 6, 1907; Amarillo, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth288995/m1/3/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .