How to Make a Perfect World:
if governments had to earn money like anyone else. Meaning, they could
only take the value that they added to their land.
The nation would now make more money: because the government has to add value instead of just collecting
tax. Compound growth means wealth would then double, then double again and again.
We could use that wealth to ensure that everyone profits, even the people who pay the rent. And
the best part? Land value (the rental price of land) measures how
much you want to live in a place. So increasing land value makes
everything better and better.
All we need is one person who can talk to rich people. Explain to them how this means they can make more money. Are you good at explaining? Is that
List of benefits:
- More public works (as the value of a new road etc. shows up in rent)
- More money (for reasons discussed below)
- (vastly more money, due to compound growth)
- Better government (because they only get paid when they add value)
- Tax free work. So more work gets done.
- More jobs (because of more work)
- And even more jobs (it’s cheaper to hire people: no income tax to pay)
- Lower prices (because it’s tax free)
- More efficient use of resources (as unused land will be sold, to
- Cheaper apartments (because building upwards is tax free)
- Much less paperwork (1 rent instead of thousands of taxes)
- No tax avoidance (you can’t hide land)
- Lower government costs (more jobs, so fewer people need benefits)
- A more stable economy (no land investment bubbles)
- Cheaper borrowing (due to a more stable economy)
- Better information (by paying more attention to rent, the measure of what is good)
- Better decisions everywhere (due to better information)
- Make deals with government (because what you pay is very easy to see)
- Rules to suit you (because it’s now easy to make deals)
- Scientific government (by comparing rent from cities that have different rules)
- More trust (because we can choose rules that suit us)
- Less market failure (as we can measure a company’s total value of society)
- More beautiful land (more desirable means more rent)
- More recycling (as natural resources cost more but everything else costs less)
- Better environment (because pollution etc. affects rent)
- Money for forests, good neighbours, and anything that increases rental value.
- More investment in youth clubs (as good youth make a more attractive community)
- New ways to create wealth (as we can now measure an idea’s total value
- Live without "working" (if your value to society exceeds the land you use, e.g. live in a small apartment, and spend your leisure creating valuable art, or helping random strangers, or creating useful knowledge, etc.)
- Less and less crime (see jobs, trust, information, better government,
- No global poverty (this system is much more efficient, so it will
- Less and less war (as these principles spread between nations)
- No tyranny (tyrants can be paid off: changing from tyranny to rent creates trillions)
- Less inequality (due to fewer opportunities for unearned wealth)
- A world based on love ('Love' means choosing whatever makes people happy. That is, the things that
people pay rent for, if they can)
- And better life in every way (because rent measures how much we like a place)
The value of land is how much people will pay to live there. That is, the annual rent for that land. Not the rent for the buildings, just the land.
"Ground-rents [...] are altogether owing to the
good government of the sovereign, which, by protecting the industry
either of the whole people, or of the inhabitants of some particular
place, enables them to pay so much more than its real value for the
ground which they build their houses upon. [...] Nothing can be more
reasonable than that a fund, which owes its existence to the good
government of the state should be taxed peculiarly, or should
contribute something more than the greater part of other funds,
towards the support of that government." (Adam Smith, The
Wealth of Nations, Book 5, Chapter 2)
For more details search for “Georgism”, “geoism” or “land value taxation”. Remember,
all we need is somebody who can explain it to the rich. Is that person you?
My attempts to save the world
I've had versions of this page online now since 2004. And from time to time I share it to get feedback. This is what I have learned:
- People already have their own ideas. So, to share a message you need to communicate back and forth.
- But I am mildly autistic. I hate communicating back and forth (and it takes me ages).
- When I struggle and manage to discuss things a little, I cannot compete with the vast industry of persuaders of other ideas.
- But I never let it go. Time and again I start some book or project, thinking this time it might persuade people without any back-and-forth discussion. But that cannot be done.
Still, I hope that one day this page will reach somebody who understands it without needing a discussion. And that person wants to discuss it with others. I hope that, just maybe, that person is you.