Henry George and Land Taxation

In his magnum opus, 'Progress and Poverty', Henry George attempts to explain the causes of recessions and of poverty. Land is a crucial part of this. George believes the most important factor in poverty this is the ownership of land, a factor of production that is fixed in supply. The result of this limitation is that, while other factors can be increased or improved; land cannot. This makes it a very efficient and equitable tax. Instead of taxing labour or capital, we should tax land instead. This is a great work too often overlooked. His basic point is very good: the owners of land gain an economic rent from so doing. Such a rent provides a good source of government income.

If you are interested in a program to implement the work of Henry George, please see the Systemic Fiscal Reform group. http://systemicfiscalreform.org/


LVTfan said...

And "land" to the classical economists was not just the value of urban land, or agricultural land (a tiny fraction of urban land value) but also the value of other gifts of nature -- electromagnetic spectrum; water; the privilege to pollute when the carrying capacity of the environment is less than the supply of pollution; etc., -- and other like things: congestion, parking, geosynchronous orbits, etc.

These values are non-trivial, and we permit their privatization at our mutual and common peril!