Taxation develops land price bubbles.

Public capture of economic rent curbs land price bubbles.

Therefore, replace taxation with public capture of economic rent to curb land price bubbles.


Taxation and bubble-inflated mortgages create unsustainable debt.

Public capture of economic rent does not create unsustainable debt.

Therefore, replace taxation with public capture of economic rent.


Taxation is theft from the earned incomes of labour and capital.

Capture of publicly-generated economic rent is not theft from earned incomes.

Therefore, replace taxation with public capture of economic rent.


Taxation, land price bubbles and unsustainable debt have created this economic depression.

Public capture of land and resource rents can abolish taxation, land price bubbles and debt.

Therefore, public capture of land and resource rents can remedy this depression.


Rentiers privatise publicly-generated economic rent.

Privatised economic rent is capitalised into land and resource price bubbles.

Therefore, do not permit publicly-generated economic rent to be privatised by rentiers.


Rentiers are rich and powerful.

Politicians kowtow to the rich and powerful.

Therefore, politicians will not put an end to economic rent being privatised – nor to this economic depression.



If you jump off the top of a tall building, you’ll go splat at the bottom: that’s simple physics.

We are told economic laws are not as certain as those of physics, but this isn’t so.

It’s not coincidental that none of those heterodox people who forecast the world financial collapse treat land simply as another form of capital, as does today’s orthodox economist.

Many of them understood that land price is a pathology. Others, such as Robert Shiller and Joseph Stiglitz, knew that when land prices are permitted to develop into a bubble this is certainly a most unhealthy phenomenon.

Not so witless orthodox economists.

They still believe land price is simply a function of supply and demand, and don’t regard the private capture of more and more land rent as socially devastating.

They don’t see banks as privatisers of capitalised land rents.

Therefore orthodox-trained RBA, APRA and ASIC and Productivity Commission economists were not to be found amongst those who foresaw the financial bust.

You might say they failed their appointed task.

Why, then, are these people putting their hands out for a pay packet, let alone still being permitted to oversee finance and productivity?

They’ve failed us.

Land Value Taxation and the Built Environment

An informative video from Earthsharing Canada on how LVT works in favour of development and against land speculation.

More than half the population of Victoria, Australia, used to live in municipalities which rated on land value only (Site Value Rating).  Now, however, every municipal council has managed to ignore all the evidence favouring Site Value Rating and base their rates on Capital Improved Values (CIV); two councils remain on Net Annual Value which, like CIV, also taxes buildings on the land.

Speculators in Sydney and Brisbane have been unable to get rid of Site Value Rating altogether as they have in Victoria, but they continue to try.  They’ve managed to reduce the efficacy of land value taxation by increasing the numbers of properties on ‘minimum rates’, thereby distorting the rating base and making the many properties on ‘minimum rates’ pay something more akin to a poll tax.  Of course, people on ‘minimum rates’ in Sydney and Brisbane effectively subsidise  those ratepayers who have more valuable lands. Incredible!

Oh, the irony!

News services yesterday reported President Barack Obama saying members of the G8 will be on “common ground” in seeking solutions to the European crisis at Camp David this weekend.

Although Obama is an economic ignoramus, he is undoubtedly a wordsmith.  A Google search reveals this is not the first time he has used the “common ground” metaphor.

If only he was able to take himself literally, the President has unwittingly uttered the solution to the financial crisis in Europe. (Hey! And in the USA too,  Barack!)

We can no more ‘own’ the land than we can privatise the air we breathe. We may own a house, shop,  factory, office,  or farm buildings, but we may only be granted exclusive possession of the land – on the payment of its annual rent – because we are on common ground.  Anything else is systemic theft.

Let’s look what happens when we fail to capture the rent of land for public revenue:

  1. Uncaptured rent becomes privately capitalised into higher and higher land prices, upon which banks advance credit – even when land prices  develop into a bubble. [!]
  2. As people recognised the potential to realise capital gain in land prices, land morphed from being common ground (to be used for homes, shops, factories, offices and farms) to an investment on which profit may be made at great cost to society.  This generates gross pathologies, such as we are now witnessing with the banks.
  3. By failing to capture land rent for revenue, taxes are levied on goods and services.  This ultimately acts to destroy wealth creation and employment as economies grind to a halt.

Yes, Mister President, we are indeed on common ground.

Tell the G8 they need to capture the rent.

Alternatively, keep it metaphorical – and consign us all to an ever-deepening economic crisis.

The decision is yours.



Nice to see the following three points in the draft of taxation policy at the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ 2012 Congress:-

24. Congress calls on the Government to examine the following proposals:

a) Negative gearing should be confined to the same source income. Losses arising from owning an investment property should not be able to be deducted from taxable income earned in other ways.

b) Stamp duties should be replaced with a broad-based, progressive land tax with a generous tax-free threshold. The land tax should include provisions allowing asset-rich, income-poor households to defer payment of liabilities.

c) The First Home Owner Grant should be phased out. The Grant is largely counter-productive, as it has led to an increase in property prices. Assistance to first-home buyers should be targeted towards the construction of new dwellings.


It might assist the Labor Party to take note of these suggestions and start to return to its roots, especially concerning land tax.  In many areas, it has become indistinguishable from the Tories.

I touched upon the fact here and here that a land tax had always been Australian Labor Party policy, and former secretary of the party, Cyril Wyndham, took it upon himself simply to write the plank out of the party’s platform in 1964.  Well done, Cyril!  I guess the policy to reinstate the federal land tax removed by Bob Menzies was a bit too embarrassing for you?

Except for that bit about a “generous tax-free threshold”, the ACTU is in now almost line with the recommendations of the Henry Tax Review on land tax.

Maybe Treasurer-in-waiting, Joe Hockey, is also? Speaking at the National Press Club today, he berated the minority Labour government for not bringing in Ken Henry’s tax reforms. [!]

Oh?  So, I guess we can expect the Libs to abolish all the taxes recommended by Ken Henry’s panel, improve the mining tax so badly stuffed up by Labor, and call for the States to implement a single-rate all-in land tax?

That’s something Australians will look forward to with great anticipation, Joe!





Wow!  Nice story, Michael!

What a pity Greenspan didn’t stay sacked!

However, I guess if someone’s proved to be an obliging and ‘amenable’ economist, there’s always a chance to rise to the top at the Fed?