I Respect Your Private Property
Why do people in our society have so little respect for private property? Is it because they are told, again and again, that it is all right for government to pass tax laws that confiscate private property to pay for public services?
Public services increase the value of land sites. This is true of all public expenditures, roads, schools, police protection, fire protection, utilities -- you name it. Then people are told that it is right for a handful of private landowners to c ollect that publicly created rental value of land sites in the form of private unearned income. Imagine the result when the government installs a new road or subway station near to a piece of land held by a speculator. Our earned income is taxed aw ay from us and then goes into that person's wallet. With such nonsense going on all around us, it's no wonder that people have little respect for private property. I am so certain of the concept of private property that I boldly declare that:
2) It is wrong for private landowners to collect the publicly created rental value of land as unearned income.
3) It is right for our government to collect the publicly created rental value of land as public revenue. Publicly created value is the only fair revenue source for the public sector, lust as an individual's earned income is the fair revenue source for that individual. If stealing is wrong, it should be wrong for everyone, in both the private and public sectors.
The government confiscates private property, by taxing earned incomes. That does harm to our society and our economy. It destroys our incentive to produce what the community needs. Taxing people's earned incomes leaves less for the people - our pur chasing power goes down. You can see why this also means a sluggish economy and fewer employment opportunities.
Untaxing the legitimate earnings of labor and capital, while taxing heavily the rental value of land, will bring more justice into our economy. Earnings from labor and capital are private property and should not be taxed. When people receive their full earnings, they have an incentive to increase their productivity - and the whole community benefits as a result.
Taxing heavily the rental value of land, prevents speculation and will bring good locations onto the market. Otherwise speculators can simply wait for land-price inflation to bring them a higher price for their land; no need to be productive. Land speculation does not produce anything in the economy and actually rewards the inefficient use of land -- land speculation, in its obvious form and in many subtle, hidden, partial forms, prevents the economy from creating enough jobs to keep labor fully em ployed.
We cannot allow government to continue its unjust tax policy. Too small a tax on the rental value of land enables wealthy landowners to derive an unearned income from selling or renting permission to use their land. That income, taken from produce rs and then received by nonproducers, makes it possible for the land speculators to accumulate great wealth without producing anything themselves. In other words, the current system allows just a few people to monopolize natural resources and grow richer without contributing to the economy.
The fact that the wealthy landowner can benefit from land-price inflation, and the fact that people need access to natural resources in order to live and work, are the basic reasons why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Poverty, in spite of all our technological progress, is an inevitable result of the unjust system of taxation.
I boldly declare that we can do something about this deterioration of our society and our economy, by promoting legislation that will tax publicly-created site values more, and reduce or eliminate taxes on income, sales, housing, etc. Let's get rid of all taxes that penalize the creation of private property and earned incomes.
It is time for people to become interested in this progressive system of tax reform. Would you like to find out more?
and the Henry George Institute
and the Banneker Center for Economic Justice