Back to Rothbard v Georgism: Overview

Economic discussion

  • Land-taxers want to tax ground rents at 100%
  • They claim this would not harm production and that idle land is bad
  • Some guy reckons that India and China are poorly developed because of idle land
  • He has forgotten about time, ergo Georgism is wrong
  • The correct level of LVT cannot be determined
  • Idle land is not a problem because land is abundant
  • Land-taxers want to force all land into use and that would include unproductive land, diverting resources into worthless tasks
  • Landowners perform a useful service by deciding how land gets used
  • Taxing rent reduces rent – Taxing rent at 100% eliminates rent, and thus the price signal for assigning use
  • Useful land is scarce
  • Having no price signal for a scarce resource is chaotic
  • The government might try to avoid that by arbitrarily setting the LVT – they’ll get it wrong
  • Government has no incentive to set LVT correctly
  • Land nationalisation is bad
  • Land held by idle by speculators is a public benefit because it stops uneconomic land being brought into use

Moral Discussion

  • Everyone gains unearned benefits from economic progress, not just landowners
  • Labourers gain more from economic progress than landowners do
  • Landowners returns are reduced by competition, only the farsighted gain special benefits
  • There is no such thing as society, ergo society cannot own land
  • There is no such thing as equal access to land
  • Man cannot own products he has fashioned *from* land if he cannot own land itself
  • Animals are an example of a natural good that can be owned

Other points (aka Chapter 20)

  • Land has a market price, hence land does not receive a net income
  • Classic art is in fixed supply, why isn’t that taxed by Georgists?
  • Georgists admit that landowners perform a useful function because they don’t propose taxing rents at 100%
  • Long-standing improvements are discouraged if they become considered ‘part of the land’
  • Georgists really do want to force *all* land into use.  No, really! Honest, Gov!
  • Land may be fixed, but the service of supplying of land is not.

Back to Rothbard v Georgism: Overview

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