This is arguably the essence, the heart and soul, of Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty”.

The 20th century and the first part of the 21st has been unable to get to grips with the importance of this simple formula, and although much poverty has been ameliorated over the period, the outset of the 21st century in the developed western world has been marked by increasing private debt and poverty. The increased privatisation of land rent explains escalating land prices and taxes, accompanied by declining earned wages and earned profits as rent-seeking banks and monopolies have done obscenely well.

I was so struck by a wayward interpretation of Henry George’s distributional formula in an addendum to the launch of Australia’s Future Tax System, that I was inspired to make the first of my two (or was it three?) submissions to the inquiry:-

The popular reception of Progress and Poverty–arguing that not to publicly capture rent was theft and the cause of poverty–was such that the powerful rent-seeking class was forced to re-cast the study of economics into ‘neoclassical economics’. It still rather pointedly declares that there is no moral difference between man-made capital and ‘land’, viz nature in general.