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Endorsements

“One of the most important but underappreciated ideas in economics is the Henry George principle of taxing the economic rent of land, and more generally, natural resources. This wonderful set of essays, written over a long and productive scholarly career, should be compulsory reading:  An inveterate optimist, Mason Gaffney makes an excellent case that, by applying the Henry George principle, we can reduce inequality, and raise ample public revenues to be directed at any one of a multitude of society’s ills. In this collection of witty and original essays, Gaffney also offers plausible solutions to problems of urban renewal and finance, environmental protection, the cycle of boom and bust, and conflict generated by rent-seeking multinational corporations.”   — Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University

“If the Nobel Prize Committee ever returns to its original mission of awarding prizes for research that benefits society, they should give serious consideration to the life’s work of Mason Gaffney. He has shown how to create a peaceful, prosperous economy that does not depend on imperialism or exploitation. With the possible exceptions of Gunnar Myrdal and Kenneth Boulding, I can think of no other economist in the past 50 years who has advanced socially beneficial ideas in economics as much as Gaffney.”  — Clifford Cobb, author, historian

“Gaffney is the preeminent scholar of what’s ailing our economy and how to revitalize it with job opportunities and decent living standards for all Americans.”   — Walt Rybeck, Director, Center for Public Dialogue; authour of Re-solving the Economic Puzzle

“In 1970, I was an uppity Nader’s Raider, on the trail of giant California land barons. I stumbled on a hilarious account of California’s preposterous irrigation system with its crisscrossing canals. I just had to meet the author, so I tracked Mason down in Washington DC, where he then worked for Resources for the Future.  He invited me and my ex to dinner, fried us up hamburgers with soy sauce, sang Gilbert and Sullivan tunes with his own words, and sent us on our way with reprints and the dictum, “Tax capital and labor and you drive them away; tax land and you drive it into use!” That meeting led me to study economics in Mason’s old department at UC Berkeley, and into a lifetime of learning from him.”  — Mary M. Cleveland, Columbia University

“Mason Gaffney’s insightful writings on public finance, the structure of capital goods, and the business cycle are a bolt of enlightenment, in contrast to the dreary and almost useless mainstream thought that treats symptoms rather than causes. You cannot find better economic writing than that of Professor Mason Gaffney.”   — Fred Foldvary, San Jose State University

“Prof. Gaffney writes about important questions, with elegance, clarity and wit. I always enjoy reading his papers. When I refer to one of them to check on a point, I often find myself re-reading the whole paper, because I find it so engaging. When I read other economists I find errors in their thinking. That doesn’t seem to happen when I read Mason Gaffney’s work.”  — Nicolaus Tideman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

“Here is an economist that the vast majority of our tribe is too defectively educated to understand, and so — as happened with Henry George — he will be ignored or resisted. Economics is not the dismal science — it is economists who are dismal. We are dismal because we have lost our imagination. One need not agree with everything that Mason says to marvel at the depth of his mind and the reach of his wit. We have here marvelous observations and comments upon the timeless necessity of ‘getting and spending’.”    — Daniel Bromley, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Visiting Professor, Humboldt University-Berlin, Editor, Land Economics

“Mason Gaffney is a national treasure. He boldly treads where few other economists even dare to peek: at the extraction of rent from the many by the few. Such rent extraction is now massive and threatens to destroy our democracy. To those who wonder how to stop it, my advice is simple: read Gaffney.”   — Peter Barnes, author of Capitalism 3.0 and The Sky Trust

“While too much his own man to be a disciple, Mason Gaffney is widely known as the leading active Georgist economist. This selection of his extensive writings provides an excellent introduction to his body of thought. All apply economics to the design of a more productive economy and a fairer society, and most discuss how expanding land taxation can go far in achieving these goals. These stimulating and thought-provoking articles are written with flair, elegance, and erudition.”  — Richard Arnott, University of Calirfornia, Riverside

“Gaffney is the modern Adam Smith if futilitarian economics is to be overcome and the world succeed.” – Bryan Kavanagh, Australian Real Estate Valuer and Researcher

“A crisp cocktail of geography, history and economics, chilled by crackling-clear prose. In these sparkling essays on rent, land and taxes, Mason Gaffney gives us Henry George in his time and for our own.”    — James Galbraith, author of Inequality and Instability, and winner of the 2014 Leontief Prize

“Most economists neither really understand their subject nor love its history. Mason Gaffney’s love of truth and the history of economics pervades what he has written. One of my few regrets in life is not having been closer than 7,650 miles away from Mason Gaffney to discuss in detail crucial derailments in economic thought and tax policy, such as John Bates Clark’s (absurdly successful) fraudulent attempt to pretend that land is merely man-made capital — and therefore land rents should not be taxed.”     — Dr. Terry Dwyer, Economist, lawyer, Former Tax advisor to the Australian Prime Minister

“One does not have to be a Georgist to appreciate Mason Gaffney’s unique place in and perspective on economics and its recent history–the latter informed by an all-too-rare acquaintance with the disciplines more distant history. These essays are a delight and a wonderful testament to Mason’s wide-ranging interests and contributions.”   — Steven G. Medema, University of Colorado, Denver

“Mason Gaffney has taught generations of urban planners and economists to appreciate how taxing land can improve cities, the economy, and the environment. His rare combination of theoretical rigor, political passion, and clear writing impressed me early in my own academic career. This wonderful collection of his incisive essays will educate and entertain everyone who wants to know more about land and taxes.”  — Donald Shoup, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA

The scope, scale and quality of Prof. Mason Gaffney’s anthology are truly breathtaking. This little gem will be on my student’s required reading list with a note: ‘They don’t make economists this way anymore.’ Yes, unfortunately, when they made Mase, they broke the mold.”  — Steve H. Hanke, The Johns Hopkins University

“If you have ever wondered why big cities have empty lots while development sprawls far into what was once farmland, Mason Gaffney’s essays will explain it all in clear and upbeat terms. For decades Gaffney has led the Georgist movement that seeks to tax land, but not buildings, to foster the best use of land while ending the subtle, and corrosive, redistribution of wealth to building owners. Even if you disagree with Mase his insights will bring new clarity to economics.”  — David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winning tax journalist

“Mason Gaffney is an ideal “liberal arts” economist: Question everything, especially your own views; use common sense; be open about your judgments, and encourage debate by stating your conclusions boldly. I don’t always agree with him, but I always learn from him. The economics profession would be a lot richer if it had a lot more like Mason, and a lot fewer technicians.”  — David Colander, Middlebury College