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Keeping Land in Capital Theory: Ricardo, Faustmann, Wicksell, and George

Most economists today live in a two-factor world: There is just labor and capital. Land, so central to classical political economy, has been swallowed into capital and “disappeared.” This paper surveys some of the better historical treatments of land and capital, their interrelations, and how they support modern Georgists and Greens who want land to reappear. . . . → Read More: Keeping Land in Capital Theory: Ricardo, Faustmann, Wicksell, and George

Nonpoint Pollution: Tractable Solutions to Intractable Problems

Nonpoint pollution goes right to a chink in the armor of conventionally trained economists (like myself) who are overtrained towards becoming protagonists of the price system. The very name “nonpoint” pollution suggests that economists see this as just an odd bit of clutter, something “non-regular” in their tidy world. Indeed, all pollution was an exception, an “externality”, until recently. Then economists . . . → Read More: Nonpoint Pollution: Tractable Solutions to Intractable Problems

Alternative Ways of Taxing Forests

How should the forests be taxed? All agree they should be taxed on the basis of parity and equity with other industries and resources. But, with parity in respect to what? There is no substance to “parity” until we define the base. And unfortunately almost everyone, ourselves included, tends to define the base in the manner . . . → Read More: Alternative Ways of Taxing Forests

Greater Social Benefits From our National Forests

Economists are not doing their job if they merely act like auditors and snoops. We are actually more dangerous than that. We become aware that there are gross perceptual biases in popular awareness of different kinds of waste. A poor congressman can get ruined for hiring a steno with a fast track record, but quietly waste billions of the . . . → Read More: Greater Social Benefits From our National Forests

Concepts of Financial Maturity of Timber and Other Assets

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