It’s quite amazing how the term ‘private property’ has come to mean to some people the land over which we have been granted title.

What about the income we earn? That may be taxed because it’s public property, I presume? That’s not really our private property?

Land rent is created by the existence of the community and is therefore public property, because it hasn’t been earned by any individual title holder. Land was just there and had no cost of production. We have high land prices because we fail to collect land rent publicly.

This is the basis for all markets failing: there is no real market in real estate unless we tax away publicly-generated land rent, instead of taxing labour and capital (the real ‘private property’).

The economic distortions created by the failure to capture land rent mount daily. These distortions express themselves in a relatively few living in obscene splendour as others are increasingly dispossessed, impoverished and denied access to land.

It’s not rocket science, but there are super-wealthy interests at play here who have the ear of politicians – of all persuasions.

Self-interest is best served by embracing some measure of community, by taxing away publicly-generated economic rent instead of incomes. Otherwise, we end up with failing economies and social fracture such as we’re now experiencing.

This article was originally published on Bryan's blog at thedepression.org.au on January 2, 2018.

© Text Copyright Bryan Kavanagh rights reserved.
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