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Rent is 50% of a Nation's Income. Time to Collect it?

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Such considerations add to, and subtract from, rent. Further assessment is required, but the outcome would not significantly modify the conservative estimate that rent is about 50% of total income. This is more than sufficient to cover existing government financial commitments.

Nicolaus Tideman, a professor at Virginia Tech and State University, in the US, estimates that, five years into the financial reform, the average American family would be better off by $6,300.

Land Rent as a Percent of Public Revenue:
(image by data from a speech by Richard Cobden in the House of Commons)

English tax history

In England a thousand years ago, the State's revenue was exclusively from rent; 500 years ago, the land grabbers got to work. The chart tracks the reduction of rent as a proportion of public revenue. It records how England became a weak, dishonest State.

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The State must have revenue to fund its functions. But on what terms would that revenue be raised? Who decides how the revenue is raised, and how much is paid to fund public services? In a strong State, the answers are to be found in the unique character of rent, and the social function performed by the land market.

- Through the land market, the people themselves negotiate the rents they are able to pay for the use of services available at each location.

- By this process of free negotiation, who paid, and how much they paid, would be settled by citizens, not politicians or the servants of the State.

US Governments could scrap their bad taxes and fund public services out of community-created rents. One professor of economics calculates that income of the average American family would rise by $6,300. And yet, governments refuse to audit their fiscal performance to disclose the negative impact of political decisions on the economy. This denies citizens the information needed to make informed choices at elections.

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Fred Harrison is Research Director of the London-based Land Research Trust. He is a graduate of University College, Oxford, where he read Politics, Philosophy & Economics. He also studied for the MSc at Birkbeck College, London (1973-74).

His first book, published in 1983, The Power in the Land, introduced his concept of the eighteen year business cycle based on land value fluctuations.

His activities revolve around three core campaigns:

Truth in Politics

Fred campaigns for honesty in politics. In his forthcoming book, The Renegade Economist, he exposes the myths and falsehoods espoused by "experts" who claim to represent the people and the truth.

Truth in Economics

Fred was the only economist to (more...)

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