The last 25 years have witnessed a fundamental change in state and local land policy, reflecting a revolutionary change in attitudes towards immigration and growth. Local governments used to compete to attract people, now it seems to exclude them In the battle of boosters versus knockers, the knockers have won going away.
We have had low density policies with us always, but in . . . → Read More: Changes in Land Policy: How Fundamental are They?
When should we cut a tree? Not only A) when the incremental value of growth no longer exceeds the cost of interest, but simultaneously B) when it’s time to free the land for a new crop–leading to a shorter cutting cycle than dictated by A) alone. . . . → Read More: Concepts of Financial Maturity of Timber and Other Assets
Why should we want to contain cities? Some agriculturalists regard the answer as too obvious to require demonstration: cities are dangerously seductive, sterile and wicked, and, like the Soviets, belong behind a Curzon Line and cordon sanitaire. The Soil Conservation Service entertains the Malthusians with endless excursions and alarums over dangerous inroads on our best cropland, and agricultural extension men rarely gather . . . → Read More: Containment Policies for Urban Sprawl
This paper is an effort to pull together a systematic outline of one set of accumulated tax outrages, those bearing on land. I follow press releases, and scholarly and treasury and commission and task force – releases on the subject witha growing impression of incompleteness, of a ..tendqncy to 6ettle on one or two points as the major abuses to . . . → Read More: Coordinating Tax Incentive and Public Policy: The Treatment of Land Income
Henry George warned that landowners might take a growing wedge of the national “pie”, or product. Labor’s wedge might grow absolutely, as the whole pie grows, but still fall as a fraction.
In our times, George’s grimmer scenario is coming true. Since about 1975, labor’s wedge of the pie is shrinking as an absolute. “Real” wage rates . . . → Read More: Denying Inflation: Who, Why, and How?
This article reports what I as an economist think I have learned from the experience of the western states in economizing on water, which may suggest what eastern researchers might learn by directing some of their efforts toward sifting and evaluating the western history. This is one area in which history flowed backwards: the western evolution anticipated that in the East . . . → Read More: Economic Aspects of Water Policy
Why we have more buildings than we use.
Many stores have closed in the last year; they stand empty behind signs reading “Available”, “For lease”, or “First month free”. So have many industries, their gates padlocked, their girders rusting. The capital in them is wasted, poured down a rat-hole. Multi-million dollar freighters are mothballed at Subic Bay, with no cargos . . . → Read More: Empty Spaces: How Our Tax Policies Caused the Present Seizure by Unbalancing Hard and Soft Capital
In order to protect the environment, we are going to have to face up to the chronic (and now acute) problem of mass unemployment. To save jobs and make jobs we now tolerate polluting mills and vehicles; we chew up more earth each year for energy and materials; we secure and protect mineral rights abroad at great material, environmental and human . . . → Read More: Environmental Policies and Full Employment
The Harvard Registrar reports the most popular undergraduate courses now are “Justice,” “Principles of Economics,” “The Concept of the Hero,” and “Literature of Social Reflection.” The “Me Generation” is passing; Justice, Heroism and Social Thought are “In.” Are economists ready for this future? I think not: changes must be made.
Classical political-economists were moral philosophers. They made distribution of wealth and income central . . . → Read More: Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent
Extractive Resources and Taxation Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967. Volume One, Publications of TRED, The Committee on Taxation, Resources and Economic Development. Out of print; available micro. Includes 79 pages of “Editorial Findings” (item B, 2, hic), plus Introduction to . . . → Read More: Extractive Resources and Taxation: Editorial Findings