Categories

Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

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

Capital Gains and the Future of Free Enterprise

So called “capital gains” are actually unearned income, economic rent. Expanding tax favors for capital gains worsens inequality and impairs . . . → Read More: Capital Gains and the Future of Free Enterprise

The Partiality of Indexing Capital Gains

In 1986, Congress made realized capital gains fully taxable, in the spirit of uniformity animating the 1986 reform. Now we are witnessing a major effort to revive the exclusion of part or all of capital gains from taxable income, partly on the grounds that much of the gains are “phantom” income, an illusion of . . . → Read More: The Partiality of Indexing Capital Gains

Indexing Capital Gains

A CONSENSUS has emerged among centrist economists that realized capital gains, before they are taxed, should be indexed for inflation in order to exclude phantom gains. Indexing means multiplying the historical cost, or tax “basis,” of the asset by a price index before subtracting it from sales price. This, apparently reasonable proposal is, in fact, partial and dicriminatory. All assets, . . . → Read More: Indexing Capital Gains

How to Revitalize a Failing City

GEORGIST POLICY HAS been shown as a means to revive dying cities, and in the process to reconcile equity and efficiency, to reconcile supply side economics with taxation, and to reconcile capital formation with taxation of the rich. It can be seen as a means of harmonizing collectivism and individualism, in the most constructive possible ways. I know of no other . . . → Read More: How to Revitalize a Failing City

Oil and Gas: The Unfinished Tax Reform

In the heady early ’70s, many of us sensed that tax reform was finally on its way. The sleepy public had awakened to its true interests. One of the few solid results of that climacteric was victory over the depletion allowance. For years this had been the quintessential loophole, the symbol and a citadel of special privilege: it was preferential; . . . → Read More: Oil and Gas: The Unfinished Tax Reform

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

Intergovernmental Competition for Energy Resources

Commissioner Dorgan is quite right that North Dakota, like other states, possesses a sovereign right to levy taxes in the manner of its choosing provided only that it does not discriminate against interstate commerce in a gross and overt way. I am only surprised that he feels a need to defend North Dakota’s use of its indisputable right. Anyone, . . . → Read More: Intergovernmental Competition for Energy Resources

Proposition 13: An Alternative Reform

What is the “message” of Proposition 1 3? Everyone was invoking it this past summer to fill his sails, but what was really blowing in the wind?
Howard Jarvis had been fighting property taxation for a score of years with minimal success. Philip Watson, until recently more prominent, led two property tax limitation initiatives to defeat. All these prior efforts were tax shifts, . . . → Read More: Proposition 13: An Alternative Reform

Objectives of Government Policy in Leasing Mineral Lands

To
serve his citizens best, the statesman should act much like a private
landowner maximizing his net income from lands. He should resist the
temptation to use his power to manipulate and control, foster and suppress,
divert and channel, reward and punish on the too easy presumption that the
market has no rationale or normative value of its own. . . . → Read More: Objectives of Government Policy in Leasing Mineral Lands