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Re: [LandCafe] Research Topic

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  • Jeffery J. Smith
    ... People suffer from an enormous blind spot when it comes to realizing the role of land in economies, politics, society, even in our relationship with the
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 17, 2008
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      On Oct 16, 2008, at 7:49 PM, Trevor Acorn wrote:

      I am writting to seek your expert advise. I am presently taking a class in ... Any advise on a specific topic?




      People suffer from an enormous blind spot when it comes to realizing the role of land in economies, politics, society, even in our relationship with the environment. But ponder this:

      <p>

      1)             Location (the three most important things in real estate) absorbs the value of progress; e.g., from mighty silicon chip to unaffordable Silicon Valley.

      <p>

      2)             People spend more on housing -- half of which is the cost of the underlying land -- than any other item in their lives.

      <p>

      3)             Banks make over 35% of their loans for something never produced -- land.

      <p>

      4)             Most investment goes into real estate and much of that is land cost; in the official GDP, FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) much of which, simply put, is mortgages, is the biggest sector, twice the runner-up, manufacturing.

      <p>

      5)             One duke owns central London; yet concentration is nearly as bad here. USDA says 95% of the privately held land is owned by 3% of the population.

      <p>

      6)             Ranking of nations by GINI correlates with poverty, landlessness, oppression and negatively with having a middle class, owner occupancy, civic participation.

      <p>

      7)             Everywhere, land (not the building, which depreciates) is the shelter of choice for the rich; Bill Gates bought 10,000 acres of Pennsylvania.

      <p>

      8)             Speculation in sites drives sprawl, in resources degrades habitat.

      <p>

      9)             Each 18-year land-price cycle brings the economy to its knees.

      <p>

      10)         A business that does not own the land under its premises is more likely to fail than one that does.

      <p>

      11)         Despite the fluctuations, land tends to stay ahead of (and may cause via mortgages) inflation.

      <p>

      12)         Without taxes on our efforts, our extra commerce would pump up site values.

      <p>

      13)         Socializing land value while de-taxing the values of labor and capital work.

       

      Taxing land (half of what the property tax does) not only generates public revenue which can be used to reduce other taxes and public debt but it also lowers the price of land which curbs private debt, too, stabilizing an economy.

       

      All these remedies in some form do or did exist and do or did work. Yet they remain little used.

      <p>

      Perhaps the proposal to share its value can rectify that and transform the economy.

      <P>---------------------<P><i>Jeffery J. Smith runs the <A HREF="http://www.geonomics.org" target=_blank>Forum on Geonomics</a>.</i>


      SMITH, Jeffery J.
      President, Forum on Geonomics
      Share Earth's worth to prosper and conserve.


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