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Economist Endorses Henry George

The Economist Endorses Henry George

The print edition of the Economist of 4th April majored on the topic of land. A major briefing article entitled The Paradox of Soil described how the rise of modern communication methods – mobile phones, the internet, initially was associated with a decline in city populations but now it is being found that the dense accumulation of forward thinking entrepreneurs and skilled practitioners in cities gives rise to new business ideas and so central city locations are still in demand. This affects land prices and the situation is exasperated by planning controls and other restrictions. Land value tax was proposed as a solution.

Or they could heed the advice of Henry George, an American follower of Ricardo who in the 1880s made the case for a land-value tax. It has many theoretical virtues. Most taxes dampen, distort or displace economic activity by changing incentives on the margins. But a land tax cannot reduce the supply of land, and it would stimulate economic activity by penalising those whose land is unproductive. And your tax base is always right there—a city lot cannot be whisked off to Luxembourg.

The leader entitled Space and the City summarised and endorsed the findings in the main article.

In addtiion the online version ran a blog entitled Why Henry George had a Point spelling out the rationale for Land Value Tax.

“…In a book called “Progress and Poverty”, published in 1879, George argued that land-value levies should replace all other taxation, leaving labour and capital to flourish freely, and thus ending unemployment, poverty, inflation and inequality…..

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