Gerald Tait

In the countries where local bodies collect a rate on land value, you could add that of New Zealand. If you are interested, I have several copies of "Rating in New Zealand" by Rolland O'Regan who was a Georgist. I could send a copy at my expense.
Since the Neo-Classicals in the 1980s, land value rates have been whittled down and more rates are collected on capital value (land and improvements) and by uniform annual charges, a poll tax on properties what ever the location. Gerald Tait, Masterton NZ

John Harris

Many thanks for this. I've nearly finished reading Poverty and Progress and really wished I'd read it 30 years ago. I'm now in the process of really learning the details of this that I can spread it properly. It is simply the self-evident truth.
I really enjoyed this essay. Just one comment, where you say "but George believed that the factors of production - land, labour and capital - should be privately owned" I thought that should read "should be privately possessed." This is the word he uses in P&P, that for productive activity to occur, there had to be security of possession of land, but not 'ownership.'
I was led to this site by idling searching for material on HG, but struck by some of the points you made,(esp. the penultimate paragraph), I looked you up and read a few of your articles. Absolutely fascinating. I'll certainly be reading The Possibility of Progress at some point.

Mark Braund

Hello John,

Thanks for this. I agree with you about the distinction between 'owned' and 'possessed'. In terms of making the argument for collecting rent as public revenue, I have tended to think in terms of changing the entitlements of land ownership, because, generally, people understand land to be owned either by private individuals/corporations or public bodies. And as soon as you start arguing against private 'ownership' people tend to think you're arguing for the nationalisation of land.

Bryan Kavanagh

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Henry George, Mark. As a real estate valuer in Australia, I was struck by the cogency of George's argument, epitomised by his equation demonstrating wages and profits must decline when land rent is sharply privately capitalised into land price - as so obviously evidenced across the world in recent years. As you say, Tolstoy noted such truths have to be ignored by antagonists because it's impossible to argue against them. Painful therefore to see the retrograde economic actions being undertaken in Europe and America. Let me congratulate you again on a political piece deserving greater currency, Mark.

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