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Rent-Seeking and Global Conflict

National governments originate historically to acquire, hold and police land. Other functions are assumed later, but sovereignty over land is always the first business. Private parties hold land from the sovereign: every chain of title goes back to a grantor who originally seized the land.
When economists today speak of “rent—seeking” they usually are thinking not of basic land rent, but in . . . → Read More: Rent-Seeking and Global Conflict

Land Gains, Fast Write-Off, and Incentives to Build

Once upon a time each building was written off from taxable income over something purporting to approximate its economic life. Then Congress and the industry began implementing the Commons variation of the George principle. They began shortening tax lives and steepening the gradient of depreciation paths. The light broke on most of us with the speed of a crepuscular Yukon sunrise, but . . . → Read More: Land Gains, Fast Write-Off, and Incentives to Build

Two Centuries of Economic Thought on Taxation of Land Rents

Professor Harry G. Brown often complained of a “conspiracy of silence” against the land tax idea. Certainly it has received more silence than its due, yet it would be hard to find a topic on which so many economists have rendered opinions and taken positions over the last two hundred years. I group these writers under five headings, according to their . . . → Read More: Two Centuries of Economic Thought on Taxation of Land Rents

The Synergistic City: Its Potentials, Hindrances and Fulfillment

The object of human organization is synergy, combining parts into a whole greater than their sum. Large organizations seek synergy in hierarchy and financial controls. Cities achieve it by bringing independent actors into mutual access so they can cooperate via free contracts and association in the marketplace, in government and society. This paper purports first to show how market allocation of land operates to . . . → Read More: The Synergistic City: Its Potentials, Hindrances and Fulfillment

Changes in Land Policy: How Fundamental are They?

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?