You mean there is a remedy for these problems?
Poverty? Joblessness? Sprawl? Wealth concentration? Long commutes? Unaffordable
Yes! Read on. Check out the themes in the sidebar.
Henry George: Progress and Poverty:
inquiry into the cause of industrial depressions and of increase of
want with increase of wealth... The Remedy
He addressed the book, "To those who,
seeing the vice and misery
that spring from the
unequal distribution of wealth and privilege, feel the possibility of
a higher social state and would strive for its attainment."
Poverty deepens as wealth increases, and wages are forced down while
productive power grows, because land, which is the source of all wealth
and the field of all labor, is monopolized. To extirpate poverty, to
make wages what justice commands they should be, the full earnings of
the laborer, we must therefore substitute for the individual ownership
of land a common ownership. [footnote omitted]...
The value of land, as we have seen, is the price of monopoly. It is
not the absolute, but the relative, capability of land that determines
its value. No matter what may be its intrinsic qualities land that is
no better than other land which may be had for the using can have no
value. And the value of land always measures the difference between it
and the best land that may be had for the using. Thus, the value of land
expresses in exact and tangible form the right of the community in land
held by an individual; and rent expresses the exact amount which the
individual should pay to the community to satisfy the equal rights of
all other members of the community.
Thus, if we concede to priority of possession the undisturbed use of
land, taxing rent into the public treasury for the benefit of the community,
we reconcile the fixity of tenure which is necessary for improvement
with a full and complete recognition of the equal rights of all to the
use of land.
Consider what rent is. It does not arise spontaneously from land; it
is due to nothing that the land owners have done. It represents a value
created by the whole community.
Let the land holders have, if you please, all that the possession of
the land would give them in the absence of the rest of the community.
But rent, the creation of the whole community, necessarily belongs
to the whole community.
Rev. A. C. Auchmuty: Gems from George, a
themed collection of
excerpts from the writings of Henry George (with links to sources)
JUSTICE in men's mouths is cringingly humble when she first begins a protest
against a time-honored wrong, and we of the English-speaking nations still
wear the collar of the Saxon thrall, and have been educated to look upon
the "vested rights" of landowners with all the superstitious reverence that
ancient Egyptians looked upon the crocodile. But when the times are ripe
for them, ideas grow, even though insignificant in their first appearance.
One day, the Third Estate covered their heads when the king put on his hat.
A little while thereafter, and the head of a son of St. Louis rolled from
the scaffold. The anti-slavery movement in the United States commenced with
talk of compensating owners, but when four millions of slaves were emancipated,
the owners got no compensation, nor did they clamor for any. And by the time
the people of any such country as England or the United States are sufficiently
aroused to the injustice and disadvantages of individual ownership of land
to induce them to attempt its nationalization, they will be sufficiently
aroused to nationalize it in a much more direct and easy way than by purchase.
They will not trouble themselves about compensating the proprietors of land. — Progress & Poverty — Book
VII, Chapter 3, Justice of the Remedy: Claim of Landowners to Compensation
IT requires reflection to see that manifold effects result from a single
cause, and that the remedy for a multitude of evils may lie in one simple
reform. As in the infancy of medicine, men were disposed to think each distinct
symptom called for a distinct remedy, so when thought begins to turn to social
subjects there is a disposition to seek a special cure for every ill, or
else (another form of the same short-sightedness) to imagine the only adequate
remedy to be something which presupposes the absence of those ills; as, for
instance, that all men should be good, as the cure for vice and crime; or
that all men should be provided for by the State, as the cure for poverty. — Protection
or Free Trade — Chapter 28: Free Trade and Socialism - econlib
... go to "Gems from George"
John Dewey: Steps to Economic Recovery
The one thing uppermost in the minds of everybody today is the appalling existence
of want in the midst of plenty, of millions of unemployed in the midst of idle
billions of hoarded money and unused credit, as well as factories and mills
deteriorating for lack of use, of hunger while farmers are burning grain for
Henry George called attention to this situation over fifty years ago. The
contradiction between increasing plenty, increase of potential security--and
actual want and insecurity is stated in the title of his chief work, Progress
and Poverty. That is what his book is about. It is a record of the fact that
as the means and appliances of civilization increase, poverty and insecurity
also increase. It is an exploration of why millionaires and tramps multiply
together. It is a prediction of why this state of affairs will continue; it
is a prediction of the plight in which the nation finds itself to-day. At the
same time it is the explanation of why this condition is artificial, man-made,
unnecessary, and how it can be remedied. So I suggest that as a beginning of
the first steps to permanent recovery there be a nationwide revival of interest
in the writings and teachings of Henry George and that there be such an enlightenment
of public opinion that our representatives in legislatures and public places
be compelled to adopt the changes he urged. ...
Go to the work of Henry George himself and learn how many of the troubles
from which society still suffers, and suffers increasingly, are due to the
fact that a few have monopolized the land, and that in consequence they have
the power to dictate to others access to the land and to its products -- which
include waterpower, electricity, coal, iron and all minerals, as well as the
foods that sustain life -- and that they have the power to appropriate to their
private use the values that the industry, the civilized order, the very benefactions,
of others produce. This wrong is at the very basis of our present social and
economic chaos, and until it is righted, all steps toward economic recovery
may be temporarily helpful while in the long run useless. ...
Consequently instead of attempting a technical explanation of the moral and
economic philosophy of Henry George, I want to urge my hearers to acquaint
themselves with his own works, to study them and then to organize to see that
his principle is carried into effect. What are the most evident sore spots
of the present? The answer is clear. Unemployment; extreme inequality in the
distribution of the national income; enormous fixed charges in the way of interest
on debts; a crazy, cumbrous, inequitable tax system that puts the burden on
the consumer, and the ultimate producer, and lets off the parasites, exploiters
and the privileged, -- who ought to be relieved entirely of their gorged excess,
-- very lightly, and indeed in many cases, as in that of the tariff, pays them
a premium for imposing a burden on honest industry and on the means of production;
a vicious and incompetent banking system, with billions of money, the hope
for the future of millions of hard-working peoples, still locked up, while
the depositors lose their homes and walk the streets in vain; the greater part
of our population, in the nation of the earth most favored by nature, still
living either in slums or in homes without the improvements indispensable to
a healthy and civilized life.
You cannot study Henry George without learning how intimately each of these
wrongs and evils is bound up with our land system. One of our great national
weaknesses is speculation. Everybody recognizes that fact in the stock market
orgy of our late boom days. Only a few realize the extent to which speculation
in land is the source of many troubles of the farmer, the part it has played
in loading banks and insurance companies with frozen assets and compelling
the closing of thousands of banks, nor how the high rents, the unpayable mortgages
and the slums of the cities are connected with speculation in land values.
All authorities on public works hold that the most fruitful field for them
is slum clearance and better housing. Yet only a few seem to realize that with
our present situation this improvement will put a bonus in the pockets of landlords,
and the land speculator will be the one to profit financially--for after all,
buildings are built on land.
So with taxation. There are all sorts of tinkering going on, but the tinkers
and patchers shut their eyes to the fact that the socially produced annual
value of land -- not of improvements, but of ground-rent value -- is about
five billion dollars, and that its appropriation by those who create it,
the community, would at once relieve the tax burden and ultimately would
the tax problem. Of late the federal government has concerned itself with
the problems of home ownership, but again by methods of tinkering that may
in the long run do more harm than good. The community's acquisition of
its own creation, ground-rent value, would both reduce the price of land
eliminate taxes on improvement, thus making ownership easier. And how anyone
expects to solve the unemployment question by putting the sanction of both
legality and high pecuniary reward upon the ability of the few to keep
the many from equal access to land and to the raw material, without which
is impossible, I do not see -- and no one else does. For the tinkerers
assume that unemployment must continues, only with government assistance
who are necessarily out of work. By all means let us help those that now
need it, but for the future let us prevent the cause instead of merely mitigating
the effects. ...
I do not claim that George's remedy is a panacea that will cure by itself
all our ailments. But I do claim that we cannot get rid of our basic troubles
without it. I would make exactly the same concession and same claim that Henry
George himself made:
"I do not say that in the recognition of the equal
and unalienable right of each human being to the natural elements from
which life must be supported and wants satisfied, lies the solution of all
problems. I fully recognize that even after we do this, much will remain
to do. We might recognize the equal right to land, and yet tyranny and
spoilation be continued. But whatever else we do, as along as we fail to
equal right to the elements of nature, nothing will avail to remedy that
in the distribution of wealth which is fraught with so much evil and danger.
Reform as we may, until we make this fundamental reform, our material progress
can but tend to differentiate our people into the monstrously rich and
frightfully poor. Whatever be the increase of wealth, the masses will still
be ground toward
the point of bare subsistence — we must still have our great criminal
classes, our paupers and our tramps, men and women driven to degradation
from inability to make an honest living." ... read
the whole speech
Lindy Davies: The Cat in
When I taught at the Henry
George School in New York, our
Director, George Collins, used to give a stirring graduation speech
to students. He told them they would find that the gift of insight
they'd been given, in studying Georgist political economy, was also a
kind of curse: they would never look upon their city with the same
eyes. The land question and its ramifications, the malignant
absurdities of today's economic systems and the sheer obviousness of
the remedy, would shout at them in every day's news.
I was reminded of that when I recently visited New York. ...
Economists note in this budget
crunch, as in others the city has
faced, a curious disconnect between the fiscal crisis and the overall
economy. Tax receipts are way down and the budget outlook is indeed
scary, even while the underlying economy actually lurches toward
recovery. If it weren't for the large declines in the (admittedly,
very important) financial and tourism sectors, the city's economy
would not be performing badly at all. How
unfortunate, then, that New
York will see no other alternative than to choke off economic
recovery by raising income and sales taxes while cutting back on
public services. But what can they do? The tax base is declining.
Or is it? It
turns out that land values
in New York, while
modestly down in some areas, have not taken anywhere near the beating
that the Stock Market has, or the small business community, or public
services. No, the real estate market in New York City remains, all in
all, quite bullish. There are few bargains to be had. Residential
rents, of course, having been held artificially low by rent
stabilization, provide no relief even in a weak market.
So, no -- despite the dire
warnings, New York City need not endure
a fiscal crisis. Its tax base -- properly defined -- is robustly
capable of providing for public needs, while actually bringing
business into the city. They have
just been taxing the wrong things,
all along. Tourists, bulls and bears come and go, but New York City's
land values -- like its citizens -- are quite resilient.
Read the whole article
Clarence Darrow: The Land Belongs
To The People (1916)
This earth is a little raft moving in the endless sea of space, and the
mass of its human inhabitants are hanging on as best they can. It is as if
raft filled with shipwrecked sailors should be floating on the ocean, and
a few of the strongest and most powerful would take all the raft they could
and leave the most of the people, especially the ones who did the work,
hanging to the edges by their eyebrows. These men who have taken possession
raft, this little planet in this endless space, are not even content with
taking all there is and leaving the rest barely enough to hold onto, but
so much of themselves and their brief day that while they live they must
make rules and laws and regulations that parcel out the earth for thousands
after they are dead and, gone, so that their descendants and others of
their kind may do in the tenth generation exactly what they are doing today — keeping
the earth and all the good things of the earth and compelling the great
mass of mankind to toil for them.
Now, the question is, how are you going to get it back? Everybody who thinks
knows that private ownership of the land is wrong. If ten thousand men
can own America, then one man can own it, and if one man may own it he may
all that the rest produce or he may kill them if he sees fit. It is inconsistent
with the spirit of manhood. No person who thinks can doubt but that he
was born upon this planet with the same birthright that came to every man
like him. And it is for him to defend that birthright. And the man who
will not defend it, whatever the cost, is fitted only to be a slave. The
to the people — if they can get it — because if you cannot
get it, it makes no difference whether you have a right to it or not, and
can get it, it makes no difference whether you have a right to it or not,
you just take it. The earth has been taken from the many by the few. It
difference that they had no right to it; they took it.
Now, there are some methods of getting access to the earth which are easier
than others. The easiest, perhaps, that has been contrived is by means of taxation
of the land values and land values alone; and I need only say a little upon
that question. One trouble with it which makes it almost impossible to achieve,
is that it is so simple and so easy. You cannot get people to do anything that
is simple; they want it complex so they can be fooled.
Now the theory of Henry George and of those who really believe in the common
ownership of land is that the public should take not alone taxation from
the land, but the public should take to itself the whole value of the land
has been created by the public — should take it all. It should be a part
of the public wealth, should be used for public improvements, for pensions,
and belong to the people who create the wealth — which is a strange doctrine
in these strange times. It can be done simply and easily; it can be done by
taxation. All the wealth created by the public could be taken back by the public
and then poverty would disappear, most of it at least. The method is so simple,
and so legal even — sometimes a thing is legal if it is simple — that
it is the easiest substantial reform for men to accomplish, and when it
is done this great problem of poverty, the problem of the ages, will be
solved. We may need go farther. ... read
the whole article
a synopsis of Robert V. Andelson and James M. Dawsey: From Wasteland to Promised land: Liberation
Theology for a Post-Marxist World
Individuals, in their bare capacity
as landowners, do nothing to produce land value. By withholding sites from
use, whether for speculation or for other reasons, they may generate scarcity,
artificially inflating rent, but this does not reflect any positive contribution
to production on the part of landowners.
While land value is not the only type of unearned increment, unearned
income resulting from such advantages as talent, genes or luck is not at the
expense of others. Even Karl Marx admitted: "The monopoly of property in land
is even the basis of the monopoly of capital." Marx could have -- but did not
-- champion the abolition of land monopoly; instead he advocated its transfer
from private into state hands. It was left to Henry George to expound how the universal
principles of justice found in the Mosaic model could be applied to the modern
age in all its economic aspects -- rural and urban, agricultural and industrial,
technologically undeveloped or advanced.
What George advocated was to leave
land titles in private hands but to appropriate land rent via the existing
machinery of property taxation. "I do not propose either to purchase or to
confiscate private property in land. The first would be unjust; the second,
needless....It is not necessary to confiscate land; it is only necessary to
confiscate rent." No owner or tenant would be expropriated or evicted. No limit
would be placed on the quantity of land one could hold, as long as the annual
rent were paid.
Coordinately with the capture
of rent as public revenue, taxes on products of human labor -- improvements,
personal property, services, commodities, wages, etc. -- would be reduced and
George considered his remedy no mere human contrivance. He saw the growth
of land value and the easy means of equitably distributing it as an expression
of benevolent supernatural design: "As civilization goes on... so do the common
wants increase and so does the necessity for public revenue arise. And so in
that value which attaches to land, not by reason of anything the individual
does, but by reason of the growth of the community, is a provision intended
-- we may safely say intended -- to meet that social want."
George's remedy goes a long way to
stop current inequity and prevent future inequity. While past inequity, in
the form of accumulations of capital based on previous land speculation and
monopoly cannot be accurately redressed, these fortunes can be impelled to
serve the needs of the public via investment in production, not by further
investment in land speculation and monopoly.
Dependency theory, to the degree that it hits upon one of the causes
of Third World poverty in exploitation by foreign investors, can find in George's
land value tax the constructive practical approach it lacks. Neither erection
of trade barriers nor legal restriction of foreign ownership is called for.
As one Australian writer puts it:
investors from one country buy property in other countries they are seeking site
rent, which they hope to obtain directly from tenants, or indirectly
by selling land in the future when the price or capital value has increased....
The site rent that is so attractive to overseas investors can be kept in
the country quite easily - - by shifting taxation from labor onto land."
Because George asserted, "We must
make land common property," he is sometimes erroneously regarded as an advocate
of land nationalization. But, as we have seen, he was nothing of the sort. The
expropriation of land makes it practically impossible to fairly compensate
people for the improvements to land, which are their legitimate property. George's system renders
to the community what is due to the community, without doing any violence
to the wealth that has been fairly earned by productive workers. Read the whole synopsis
Synopsis of Henry George's Progress and Poverty
The equal right of all men and women to the use of land is as clear as their
equal right to breathe the air. It is a right proclaimed by the fact of their
existence. For we cannot suppose that some men and women have a right to be
in this world and others do not.
Any one human being who appropriates to himself or herself the individual
right to the land of any community or country, could legally expel therefrom
all the rest of its inhabitants. If you extend this right to the whole surface
of the globe, where would non-landowning human beings have the right to live?
This supposition is occurring on a growing scale, realized in actual fact.
The comparative handful of proprietors who own large surfaces of the U.S. are
doing only what federal, state, and local laws give them full power to do (and
what many of them have done already), excluding millions of American people
from their natural birthright, the land. And such exclusions are as repugnant
to natural right as the spectacle of the vast body of the American people being
compelled to pay such enormous sums to the few landowners of their number for
the privilege of being permitted to live upon and use the land which they,
the landowners, so fondly call their own; which is endeared to them by memories
so tender and so glorious, and for which they are held in duty bound, if need
be, to spill their blood and lay down their lives.
Place one hundred men and women on an island from which there is no escape,
and whether you make one the absolute owner of the other ninety-nine, or the
absolute owner of the soil of the island, will make no difference either to
the chosen one or to the other ninety-nine.
It was not nobility that gave land, but the possession of land that gave nobility.
What is being proposed here is a simple yet sovereign remedy, which will raise
wages, increase earnings of capital and give remunerative employment to whomever
wishes it. The proposal is to appropriate land rent for public revenue, rather
than rob producers of their rightful earnings by punitive taxation.
Now, as the taking of rent, or land value, must be increased as we abolish
other "taxes," we may put the proposition in practical form by proposing
to abolish all taxation and derive all public revenue from a legitimate
upon land location values.
"Taxation," which lessens the reward of the producer, necessarily lessens
the incentive to production. Thus, taxation which diminishes the earnings of
the laborer or the returns to the capitalist tends to make the one less industrious
and intelligent, the other less disposed to save and invest. "Taxation" which
falls upon the processes of production interposes an artificial obstacle
to the creation of wealth.
If manufactures are taxed the effect is to lessen improvements; tax commerce
and the effect is to prevent exchange; tax capital, and the effect is to drive
it away. But the whole rental value of land may be taken as public revenue,
and the only effect will be to stimulate industry, to open new opportunities
to capital and to increase the production of wealth.
The charge on land location values may be assessed and collected with a definiteness
that partakes of the immovable and inconcealable character of the location
itself. Were all charges for public revenue placed upon location values, irrespective
of improvements, generating public revenue would be so simple and clear, and
public attention would be so directed to it, that valuation of the charge on
any location could and would be made with the same certainty that a real estate
agent can determine the price a seller can get for a lot.
The charge upon location values falls only upon those who receive from society
a valuable benefit and falls on them in proportion to the benefit they receive.
It is the taking by the community, for the use of the community, of that value
which is the creation of the community. When all location rent is taken via
legitimate charges for value received for the needs of the community, no citizen
will have an advantage over any other citizen save as is given by industry,
skill, and intelligence; and each will obtain what he or she fairly earns.
Then, and not until then, will labor get its full reward, and capital its natural
Effects of the Remedy
The advantage which will be gained by substituting for the many taxes by which
the public revenues are now raised, a single just charge levied upon the value
of locations, will appear more and more important the more it is considered.
With the removal of all the burdens which now oppress industry and hamper exchange,
production of wealth would increase with a rapidity now undreamed of.
Consider the effect upon the production of wealth. Abolishing all taxation
which now hampers every wheel of exchange and presses upon every form of industry,
would be like removing an immense weight from a powerful spring. The present
method of taxation operates to penalize energy and industry and skill and thrift
like a fine upon those qualities. If a person builds a ship we make the person
pay for such temerity, as though an injury had been done to the state; if a
railroad is opened, down comes the tax collector upon it, as though it were
a public nuisance; if a manufactory is erected we levy upon it an annual sum
which would go far toward making handsome profit. We say we want capital, but
if any one accumulates it or brings it among us, we penalize him or her for
it as though we were giving the person a privilege. We punish with a tax those
who cover barren fields with ripening grain; we fine those who put up machinery
and clean up a dump.
To abolish these taxes would be to lift the whole enormous burden of penalties
from productive industry.
To change the taxation from production to a charge on the value or rent of
locations would give new stimulus to the production of wealth; it would also
open new opportunities. For under this system no one would care to hold a location
unless to use it, and locations now withheld from use would everywhere be thrown
open to improvement. Millions of acres that today are being used inefficiently
would return to their natural, pristine state.
The selling price of locations would fall; speculation in locations would
receive its death blow; the monopolization of valuable locations would no longer
And it must be remembered that this would apply not merely to agricultural
land, but to all locations ... everywhere. Everywhere that locations had attained
value, the generating of public revenue from those values, instead of operating,
as now, as a fine upon improvement, would operate to motivate improvement.
Whoever planted an orchard or sowed a field or built a house or built a manufactory,
no matter how costly, would have no more to pay in location value charges than
if such locations were kept vacant. The monopolist of agricultural locations
would be charged as much as though those locations were covered with houses
and barns, with crops and with stock. The owner of a vacant city lot would
have to pay as high a charge for the privilege of keeping other people off
of it until the owner wanted to use it as the neighbor who has a fine house
upon his lot.
It would cost as much to keep a row of tumble-down shanties upon valuable
locations as if those locations were covered with grand hotels or a pile of
great warehouses filled with costly goods.
Consider the effect of such change upon the labor market. Competition would
no longer be one-sided, as now. Instead of laborers competing with each other
for employment, and in their competition cutting down wages to the point of
bare subsistence, employers would everywhere be competing for laborers, and
wages would rise to the fair earnings of labor. The employers of labor would
not have merely to bid against other employers, all feeling the stimulus of
greater trade and increased profits, but against the ability of laborers to
become their own employers upon the natural opportunities freely opened to
them by the location value charge which prevents the monopolization of locations.
It is manifest, of course that the change proposed here will greatly benefit
all those who live by wages, whether of brain or of brawn. And it is likewise
manifest that it will increase the incomes of those whose incomes are drawn
from the earnings of capital, or from investments other than in locations.
Farmers, not those who never touch farm equipment, but the working farmers
who are such a large class in the U.S., will benefit by the proposed change.
Paradoxical as it may appear to these farmers until they understand the full
bearings of the proposition, of all classes above that of the laborer such
farmers have the most to gain by deriving all public revenue from just charges
on location values. The fact is that taxation, as now levied, falls on them
with peculiar punitive severity. They are taxed on all their improvements,
houses, barns, fences, crops, and stock. Farmers pay personal income taxes
and sales taxes. The personal property which they have cannot be as readily
concealed or undervalued as can the more valuable kinds which are concentrated
in the cities. They are not only taxed on personal property and improvements,
which the owner of unused locations escapes, but their land is generally taxed
at a higher rate than land held on speculation, simply because it is improved.
But further than this all taxes imposed on commodities fall on the farmer without
mitigation. The farmer would be a gainer by the substitution of a single charge
upon the value of his or her location instead of all these taxes. The charge
on location values would fall with greatest weight, not upon the agricultural
districts, where location values are comparatively small, but upon the towns
and cities where location values are high; whereas sales taxes and taxes upon
personal income, personal property and improvements fall as heavily in the
country as in the city. The result of a charge on location values would be
that speculative values of locations would be kept down, and that cultivated
and improved farms would have not payments to make to support government directly
until the country around them had been well settled. In fact, paradoxical as
it may at first seem to them, the effect of putting all charges for public
revenue upon the value of locations would be to relieve the harder working
farmers of all taxation.
Wealth would not only be enormously increased, it would be equitably distributed.
Not to mean that each individual would get the same amount of wealth. That
would not be equitable distribution, so long as different individuals have
different powers and different desires. But wealth would be distributed by
the degree in which the industry, skill, knowledge or prudence of each contributed
to the common stock. The non producer would no longer roll in luxury while
the producer got but the barest necessities of animal existence.
All fear of great fortunes might be dismissed, for when every person gets
what each fairly earns, no one can get more than he or she fairly earns. How
many men and women are there who can fairly earn a million dollars a year?
read the whole synopsis
Frank Stilwell and Kirrily Jordan: The
Political Economy of Land: Putting Henry George in His Place
Enthusiastic proponents of Henry George’s ideas have often presented
them as a panacea for the economic, social and environmental problems that
beset contemporary society. Indeed, the Georgist analysis does have much
to offer. By more adequately addressing land as a unique economic, social
and ecological resource, it can help to reveal underlying causes of currently
pressing issues such as declining housing affordability, growing economic
inequality, and environmental decay.
The Georgist land tax ‘remedy’ can also play an important role
in the redress of these problems. However, there are limitations to the modern
application of George’s ideas, as outlined in this article. While a
uniform land tax is a necessary component in addressing contemporary political
economic problems, it is not sufficient. It needs to be set in the context
of a broader political economic analysis and policy program, also addressing
public housing, urban and regional policies, environmental taxes and regulations, ‘floors
and ceilings’ to limit income inequalities and macroeconomic stabilisation.
While the Georgist analysis redresses the general neglect of land in modern
economic orthodoxy, it is important not to go too far to the other extreme.
In other words, the important emphasis on land should not come at the expense
of attention to problems associated with labour and capital and to the complex
forms of government policy necessary for the balancing of contemporary economic,
social and ecological concerns. The Georgist analysis needs to be integrated
into a comprehensive political economic analysis of contemporary capitalism.
So what does ‘putting Henry George in his place’ entail? It
means recognising the political economic importance of land and the potential
social gains from the extension of land taxation. Equally, it means recognising
the necessity of relating Georgist ideas and policy prescriptions to a broader
canvas of modern political economy, including the analytical traditions associated
with Karl Marx, J. M. Keynes, and J. K. Galbraith, and modern environmental
economics. Henry George’s place is in good company. read
the whole article