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by Alanna Hartzok, Co-Director, Earth Rights Institute
and UN NGO Representative

Christianity and Human Rights Conference
Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
November 2004

This paper makes a case for a new form of democracy based on human rights to the earth as a birthright, linking this to the Judeo-Christian Jubilee Justice tradition and Old and New Testament teachings. It presents a tax fairness practical policy approach based on the ethical stance of these teachings.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration was adopted by the world's leaders at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. Secretary General Kofi Annan has said that the Declaration "captured the aspirations of the international community for the new century" and spoke of a "world united by common values and striving with renewed determination to achieve peace and decent standards of living for every man, woman and child."[1]

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by Alanna Hartzok

This article has been published in Green Revolution, Vol.56/No. 4, 1999 and also published on theBulletin Board websiteofUnited Nations Center for Human Settlements' Global Campaign for Secure Tenure.

Summary: This essay makes a clear distinction between the benefits derived from secure title to land and the market distortions caused when land is used as a commodity for investment and speculation. It briefly explores historical antecedents to capitalist arrangements of land tenure and title, taxation and banking systems. Finally, it articulates the rational for land value taxation policy, as recommended by the United Nations Center for Human Settlements Habitat II Action Agenda, and suggests that a Community Land Trust leasehold system may be the most beneficial way to secure land tenure for squatters and landless people.

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The McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) is pleased to announce the publication on its website of the five winning essays in the recently concluded There Are Alternatives (T. A. A.) Project.

INTRODUCTION

Several years ago, Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain, announced that "There is no alternative" to a world wide system of market based capitalism. This effectively meant that the economic development of lesser developed countries was to be left to market forces. Economic activity in these countries was to be focused on those commodities in which there was a 'comparative advantage' so that merchants in those countries could export those products and import other goods with the proceeds.

Sadly, the promise that export led growth would provide benefits to all people has been proven wrong. Growth which depends on market forces brings uneven benefits - some people are helped and some are hurt.

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By Alanna Hartzok

This paper was presented in the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) track of the Eastern Economic Association 30th Annual Conference held February 20 - 22, 2004 in Washington, DC.

Abstract:Citizens of Alaska have been receiving individual dividend checks from an oil rent trust fund since 1982. Norway's citizens receive substantial social services and invest oil rents in a permanent fund for the future. Nigeria has yet to establish a similar fund for its oil revenue stream. This paper explores the oil rent institutions of Alaska, Norway and Nigeria with a focus on these questions: Are citizen dividends from oil rent funds currently or potentially a source of substantial basic income? Are oil rent funds the best source for citizen dividends or should CDs be based on other types of resource rents?

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via the Tax Shift Agenda

by Alanna Hartzok

Alanna Hartzok is one of two United Nations Non-Governmental Organization representatives for theInternational Union for Land Value Taxation. This is the text of Hartzok's speech at the August 1, 1998 banquet at theCouncil of Georgist Organizationsconference in Portland, Oregon.

Our theme is sharing the common heritage via the tax shift agenda. And basically I am just going to do some sketches of what we are up against in terms of globalization, and the massive privatization of land and resources of the planet, and the kind of havoc that is causing. But also in the crisis of that we have the opportunity to really affirm the whole context, which I see as important to theGeorgistmovement, of common heritage resources.

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Defining the parameters of sovereignty is a key component of the world order dialogue as it struggles to reach consensus regarding the boundaries and prerogatives of power.

Sovereignty is the status of a person or group of persons having supreme and independent political authority. In dealing with the concept of sovereignty, we are dealing with the reality of power. It is a power over territory, over land and water, oil and minerals, as well as those life forms which have miraculously emerged out of the mud of the earth.

About Earth Rights Institute

The Earth is the birthright of all people

Earth Rights Institute (ERI) is designed to be an equilateral knowledge platform, where local people collaborate with academics and development professionals, both local and foreign, by exchanging skills, experiences, and knowledge to solve crucial development issues such as widespread poverty, land right disputes and environmental degradation.

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