With respect to the rent tax, it is the rent *of the land only.*
Matt Bruenig

> With respect to the rent tax, it is the rent *of the land only.*

That doesn’t make any economic sense. The value of the “land only” on which the rent depends (and consequently, on which any tax on rent would be determined) is itself determined by imputation: the EXPECTED FUTURE value of the structures built on the land, and the EXPECTED FUTURE value of the goods and services provided to consumers by the structure on the land, ultimately determines the economic value of the land itself, and therefore, ultimately determines the “land rent”, as well as, necessarily, the amount of any tax on such “land rent.

It is the EXPECTED FUTURE value (measured in terms of an expected market price) of a bottle of wine that determines, i.e., which imputes backward, the current value (measured in terms of a current market price) of a piece of land being considered for use as a vineyard.

The land, per se, — just like anything, per se — has no inherent, objective economic value that can be determined by a clever government bureaucrat and stated in terms of a money-price. The value of land — indeed, of any original factor-of-production or capital good — is determined by imputing backward the expected future value of the consumption goods or services that the capital good is hoped to be able to provide or contribute toward.

Free markets are always future-oriented: expected values of goods and services in the future determine how much someone is willing to bid on capital goods today. Under capitalism, expectations (or hopes) regarding the future determine present values, and therefore, present prices.

Sorry, but Henry George and the single-taxers were wrong.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Economic Freedom’s story.