A few thoughts on online-georgists, from my experience with them.
Ok, basic point. I tell them that you can have any tax scheme in place, even just the LVT (land value tax), but if you don't have proper fiscal policy to back it up - you're still going to end up with problems like permanent and involuntary unemployment, inequality, downward pressure on wages, poverty etc.
The cyber-georgists? Man, they don't want to hear anything on that. They just go in to strawman you (willfully or not misrepresenting your argument), and claim that LVT correlated with full reserve banking is going to work miracles on their own - and the government can embrace laissez-faire and everything will be great.
I ask them, so what happens if the government imposes a tax obligation on the private sector via the LVT worth 1,5 trillion, and the government only spends 1 trillion. I add, for the ease of argument, that the foreign sector is neutral, there is no net incoming or outgoing of aggregate demand. Naturally, I also answer my own question - the result will be vertical unemployment.
What's the cyber-georgist's answer? "When did I say that I support deflationary monetary policy"
First of all, lol at the sintagm "deflationary monetary policy". Secondly, again, I explain that I wasn't talking about inflation or deflation and I point out that permanent and involuntary unemployment can occur in both cycles (upwards and downwards). Then I go on to explain the purpose behind the NAIRU (the unemployed buffer stock of labor), I explain to another one what money taxation creates, aka unemployment of money paying jobs.
For all of my efforts, no reply is directed on my actual statements. They're directed parallel to the debate - the cyber-georgist goes on to moralize about how the LVT is considered the 'gold-standard' of fiscal policy. As if we were debating LVT vs all other forms of taxation, lol.
The cyber-georgist returns that MMTers should leave their computers and step outside into the real world.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to make a modest and more than reasonable statement, pointing out that even if you get the micro policies right, if you don't get the macro policies right too - you're gonna fail to achieve your aims. And trying to solve microeconomic problems with macrosolutions and vice-versa won't work. But again, the cyber-georgist completely ignores such statements, despite the fact that I said it was true for all other tax schemes. I wasn't trying to single out the LVT or attack the purpose behind it. On the contrary, I'm all in favor of it; and at the same time, I understand the sectoral balance and what improper fiscal policy can do to an economy.
When I stated the question, "Show me a line in which Henry George says that government spending finances taxation", the cyber-georgist gets really personal and defensive and replies back, "Show me an MMTer before 1972. Go"
And I immediately reply back with a smile (^_^) Abba Lerner.
Do I get to hear back on this particular note? No. The bloke fell into silence, and after a while proceeded to block me on twitter. LoL.
This post is not meant to be critical on Henry George, from a political-economic-ideological-historical stance or what not. If you want something like that, you might want to learn what Karl Marx thought of him. And if you want some critical material on Marx that doesn't contain strawman views of his work, then check out Yanis Varoufakis' Erratic Marxist vid - it's quite beautifully presented. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3uNIgDmqwI
You can tell by now that I don't like to create a fetish out of politicians or economists. Minsky for instance made some brilliant contributions in the field like 'destabilizing finance and capitalism'; but that doesn't change the fact that the man had some pretty fucked up views on social policy.
I can say that while I do consider Henry George to be a very important figure in the history of economic thought, I don't regard him too much of a progressive as a reader of Jacobin mag would understand the word. ;)
I recommend Bill Mitchell's posts on Henry George and MMT:
part 1 http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30215
part 2 http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30219
PS: No, I don't think that all georgists are like that. Let's be honest, all 'sides' have their more or less annoying trolls (on forums, comment sections, and even in real life).