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A Real-Assets Model of Economic Crises: Will China Crash in 2015

Henry George proposed that land speculation creates boom-bust cycles. I propose a real-assets model of economic crises, loosely based on George’s theory, in which land prices play a central role. Swings in land prices affect the entire economy by three mechanisms: construction on marginal sites, partial displacement of circulating capital by fixed capital investment, and the . . . → Read More: A Real-Assets Model of Economic Crises: Will China Crash in 2015

The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

A tax based on land value is in many ways ideal, but many economists dismiss it by assuming it could not raise enough revenue. Standard sources of data omit much of the potential tax base, and undervalue what they do measure. The purpose of this paper is to present more comprehensive and accurate measures of land . . . → Read More: The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

A tax based on land value is in many ways ideal, but many economists dismiss it by assuming it could not raise enough revenue. Standard sources of data omit much of the potential tax base, and undervalue what they do measure. The purpose of this paper is to present more comprehensive and accurate measures of land . . . → Read More: The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

The Sales Tax: History of a Dumb Idea

Commercial-capitalist civilization has progressed in step with people’s success in fending off sales taxes in their various guises. We might begin with The Enlightenment, late 18th Century, with its epicenter in Versailles. At the core were the philosophes; at their core were les économistes, or Physiocrats; and at their core was the physician from . . . → Read More: The Sales Tax: History of a Dumb Idea

Environmental Policies and Full Employment

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

Sources, Nature and Function of Urban Land Rent

NOT MANY YEARS AGO, mention of taxing ground rent was likely to evoke at best pleadings of ignorance, usually well founded, and at worst scorn and rage, similarly founded. More recently, many economists have set out to dispel the ignorance.

AJES 31(3):241-58 . . . → Read More: Sources, Nature and Function of Urban Land Rent

Adequacy of Land as a Tax Base

More economists than not believe that land rent has superior qualities as a tax base. Their failure to push harder for focusing more of the tax burden on land stems partly from a belief that “there is no money in it.” The following journalistic passage reflects this belief: “Authorization of the graded tax would be useless, however, unless the present freeze . . . → Read More: Adequacy of Land as a Tax Base

Coordinating Tax Incentive and Public Policy: The Treatment of Land Income

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

Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

The higher tax rate in cities drives investors elsewhere, both home builders and industry, because whoever puts un a new building under this state of affairs tends to become a fiscal surplus generator, and no one really wants to be that: it means you pay more in taxes than you get back in services.
Since there are many competing jurisdictions, . . . → Read More: Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

The Unwieldy Time-Dimension of Space

This paper introduces the concept of “time-indivisibility,” and suggests that it may interfere with optimal allocation of durable resources, and especially permanent resources. Space on the earth’s stirface is taken as a representative permanent resource. The limitations of leasing and lending as time-dividers are briefly sketched. A simple technique is advanced for analyzing on an annual basis the effects of timeindivisibility, and . . . → Read More: The Unwieldy Time-Dimension of Space