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 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."
General Observations Concerning the Theory of Rent
, by Ludwig von Mises
, Human Action
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. "
, by Milton Friedman
(afterword), Leonard Read
, Lawrence Reed
(introduction), The Freeman
, Dec 1958
Read's most famous essay; resource page at FEE website includes PDF, MOBI and ePub versions, and MP3 recording
"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. ... rapeseed oil from the Dutch East Indies ..."
Of the Rent of Land
, by Adam Smith
, The Wealth of Nations
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."
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."
Related Topics: Banking
, Communications Technology
, Free Market
, Free Trade
, Health Care
, Intellectual Property Laws
, Occupational Licensing
, Benjamin Tucker
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. "