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Economics According To George (Henry George, that is...)

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I see folks arguing about free markets versus government, seemingly  trapped between the Scylla of Socialism and the Charybdis of Corporate Fascism.   Always, favored economists or philosophers are cited as providing the logic and inspiration behind all manner of solutions, aiming to maximize or minimize one side or the other.  However, no matter which side one takes, the other is able to rightly point out chinks in their opponents' armor.

Could it be that, despite logically valid points to go around for both views (depending on your assumptions), both sides are fundamentally wrong?

I think so.   And I think I have found a page that really sums up the difference between the economics of Henry George and those of his Left- and Right-wing alternatives.  Always curious, I would really like to see what the folks here think of this:

How Do We Divide the Fruits of Labor?

It's not long on text, but it says a lot. ;)


interesting link - thank you!

The definition of "Unearned income from land" could be debated for centuries, both sides finding chinks in the other's armor.

I had rent houses and can guarantee you that my profits weren't unearned, so much that I quit that "job".

I currently buy and sell land for a living. Much of what I make is "unearned" return on investment, some of it is "wages" for asset enhancement and asset management.

Georges scheme sounds like a redistribution scheme aimed at punishing people like me who have put their capital in one place instead of another. Sounds pretty arbitrary to me.


The value of the improvements you make are yours to keep.  That includes rent for houses and any other material investments.   Georges proposal punishes no one and in fact abolishes all taxes on the fruits of labor.  

We are all used to looking at land + improvements = property.  In Georges proposal, land is land and improvements and their revenues are not taxable.


I heard a speech about George a long time ago. If I remember corectly and I might not, he said that property should not be owned as we define it, but, belongs to someone for their lifetime and then reverts back to society.
I didn't like this then and I don't now.  Property is defined as that which one disposes of, which means I can leave my property to my children or anyone I want after, or before, for that matter my death.
Again, I might remember it wrong.


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