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Natural resources available for producing goods or delivering services

In economics, land comprises all naturally occurring resources as well as geographic land. Examples include particular geographical locations, mineral deposits, forests, fish stocks, atmospheric quality, geostationary orbits and portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Supply of these resources is fixed.

  • Fuels - Petroleum, natural gas, coal and other materials used to produce energy


Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): Between the French and Marginalist Revolutions, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, 2000
Biographical and bibliographical essay which also analyzes Bastiat's ideas in relation to the Austrian School
In Bastiat's time, socialists made the argument that no one was entitled to land rent because it was God, after all, who created the land, not the current landowners. Bastiat's response was that land rent was indeed legitimate because landowners have rendered a valuable service by clearing the land, draining it, and making it suitable for agriculture. If all these investment costs are capitalized, explained Bastiat, then it is clear that landowners were not earning an exceptional income through land rent after all, but were providing a valuable public service.
Freedom to Farm Washington, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Jan 1999
Discusses the results of the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act after three years and further farm subsidies made in 1998
A 1998 USDA study found that most of the benefits of the act are going to landowners — often absentee landowners — not to the people who actually sow and harvest. Landowners responded to new subsidies by raising the rent farmers paid. The USDA report noted, "In most cases ... the resulting [higher] rents that were paid essentially passed on much if not all of the [subsidies] to the landlords even though technically the renters received the check." By inflating both rents and farmland values, the act boosts the cost of crop production and undermines American competitiveness on world markets.
Related Topics: Farming, Republican Party
General Observations Concerning the Theory of Rent, by Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, 1949
Chapter 22 "The Nonhuman Original Factors of Production", section 1; explains that the differential rent concept, formulated by David Ricardo, can in general be accepted within modern economics, whereas the residual rent idea is incorrect
The fact that land of different quality and fertility, i.e., yielding different returns per unit of input, is valued differently does not pose any special problem to modern economics. ... Land and the services it renders are dealt with in the same way as other factors of production and their services. ... Only if one clings naively to general terms such as land or labor, is one puzzled by the question why land and labor are differently valued and appraised.
Related Topic: Economic Resources
I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to LEONARD E. READ, by Leonard Read, The Freeman, Dec 1958
Read's most famous essay; resource page at FEE website includes PDF, MOBI and ePub versions, and MP3 recording; 2019 version with introduction (2015) by Lawrence W. Reed and afterword by Milton Friedman (previously the introduction, 1999 version)
My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon ... Think of ... the mining of ore ... the growing of hemp ... and the raising of all the foods ... My "lead" itself—it contains no lead at all—is complex. The graphite is mined in Ceylon ... The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi ... candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats ... castor beans ... My bit of metal—the ferrule—is brass ... zinc and copper ... shiny sheet brass from these products of nature ... rape seed oil from the Dutch East Indies ...
The Many Monopolies, by Charles W. Johnson, 24 Aug 2011
Describes four ways in which markets are distorted by government interventions, explains Tucker's "Four Monopolies", examines five present-day monopolies and discusses Tucker's libertarian views
Land titles in nineteenth-century America had nothing to do with free markets. All unoccupied land was claimed by government, whose military seized land from Indians, Mexicans, and independent "squatters" ... Since 1888 the land monopoly has dramatically expanded. Governments worldwide have nationalized oil, natural gas, and water resources; in the United States mining rights and fossil fuel exploration are largely accessed through government licenses, due to government's ownership of 50 percent of the American West.
Of the Rent of Land, by Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776
Book One, Chapter XI
Rent, considered as the price paid for the use of land, is naturally the highest which the tenant can afford to pay in the actual circumstances of the land. In adjusting the terms of the lease, the landlord endeavours to leave him no greater share of the produce than what is sufficient to keep up the stock from which he furnishes the seed, pays the labour, and purchases and maintains the cattle and other instruments of husbandry, together with the ordinary profits of farming stock in the neighbourhood.
Revisiting a Libertarian Classic: Nock's Our Enemy, the State, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Mar 2006
Examines some of the major themes of Nock's Our Enemy, the State (1935)
Nock (like Rothbard after him) condemned the political creation of scarcity in land—the process by which rulers parcel out property (which they never homesteaded) to favored interests, who then charge rent for others to use and occupy it. This thoroughly illegitimate "land monopoly" creates far-ranging injustices. For example, it prevents competition and closes off options to the mass of people, forcing them to work for others, depressing wages, and leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. In a society without land privilege, workers would have alternatives to standard employment.
The Singular Henry George: Insights and Influence, by David S. D'Amato, 22 Oct 2014
Discusses George's early life, the main arguments made in his writings and the influence and disagreements he had with contemporary and later radicals
In The Irish Land Question, George asserted that if each individual has an equal right to live, then he must also necessarily have a right of equal access to the use and benefit of the land, without which the right to live is practically abeyant. ... No one, therefore, could justly claim a right to either the land itself or to unearned income from the land in the form of rent. Rents on unimproved land would accordingly be taken back by the state, resolving what George saw as the fundamental problem of private property in land.
A Tax Even Libertarians Could Love?, by Matt Zwolinski, 4 Mar 2016
Discusses Henry George's proposal for a Single Tax and his moral and economic arguments in favor of imposing the tax
Many landowners use their land productively. They build things on it; they plant trees on it; they fertilize the soil. Insofar as landowners improve the land–or "mix their labor" with it, in Locke's terminology–they are entitled to something in return for their labor. But what they are entitled to, George insisted, was only the value of their improvement. If you make a $10,000 improvement to a $500,000 tract of land, your labor entitles you to the $10,000 you've produced. It does not entitle you to the $500,000 you simply took.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Land (economics)" as of 27 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.