This appeared in the Freeport News, and I thought it worth sharing:
Why is it so hard to understand the justice and benefits of capturing
the community created value of land for the community?
Classical economists such as Adam Smith and Henry George, defined
land as all free gifts of nature (urban land, harbors, etc.).
These get value because people, both local and foreign, want them
for personal or commercial use.
So, no matter who 'owns' the gift of nature (land) there is a location
value called economic rent which is exclusive of any production on or
from that location.
When economic rent goes into private hands (i.e., beaches are given away
to corporations, land values are uncollected) legitimate government
revenue is lost and taxes like the proposed VAT are applied to the
Not only is land speculation rewarded but building houses, trading goods
and services, etc. are punished by taxes.
Naturally people try to avoid these taxes by smuggling and other forms
When economic rent goes to honest government it encourages better
use of locations as there is no tax penalty to build or work.
It reduces pollution and pays for infrastructure that helped create the
economic rent in the first place.
Why is this so difficult to understand? Why is there so much ignorance
of it and opposition to it?
– John Fisher