In the Netherlands, the government is trying to combat the housing crisis with more subsidies for first time house buyers. But this will only make prices go up even more. There is a better solution, which would make housing cheaper for everyone: a land value tax. But as long as homeowners are in the majority, no politician dares to burn its fingers on this idea.
On a lazy Sunday morning I managed to get my son Miran (9) and his friend Tinus (10), who lives next door to us, to play a game of Monopoly. They were not very enthusiastic at first; they find the game boring and predictable. The player who can build houses first quickly gets ahead in the game. Especially if he reinvests the money he earns in new houses. For the others, it’s hard to catch up. The winner accumulates piles of money, the other players are broke and frustrated. There’s hardly any strategy involved. It’s just a matter of being lucky or unlucky.
The current housing market in the Netherlands looks a lot like a Monopoly game. If you bought a house at the right time, your wealth is growing. If you don’t own a house yet, it is almost impossible to get in on this wealth growth.
In The Privatization of Everything, Donald Cohen and Allen Mikaelian argue that, over the past four decades, private entities have wrested control of many of the functions of federal, state, and local governments. Free-market ideologues and cost-cutting “small government” bureaucrats have cooperated with business firms… Read More »The Privatization of Everything
Does informality hold back tax progressivity, that is, the capacity to tax the rich at a higher rate than the poor? The optimal (and fair) distribution of the tax burden has long been a key issue in both academic and policy circles.
In a new paper, I study whether reducing informality by tackling tax evasion leads policy makers to increase statutory tax progressivity. I take advantage of the Italian “Ghost Buildings” program, which is a policy that identified buildings not registered in the land registry.
Believe it or not, property taxes have a lot to recommend them. An ad valorem tax on an inelastic base, property taxes are a transparent and steady revenue stream that forms the financial backbone of most municipal budgets. Yet despite these widely admired (in economic… Read More »Bias in Property Assessments: Sources and Solutions
If you read any comment section or editorial page in Montana, the one sentiment that seems to be endorsed all across the political spectrum, and rarely challenged, is the fear that Montana is going to become ‘like California’. Montanans are proud of our State and… Read More »Protecting Local Communities Means Harnessing Land Value and Building Housing
The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation (RSF) is committed to supporting original research that carries the ideas of 19th century economist and social reformer Henry George into the 21st century and beyond. To this end, RSF supports the conduct of original research into topics of social justice,… Read More »Robert Schalkenbach Foundation Progress of Ideas Grant
Over time, social mores and acceptable political views shift; as a result, historical individuals may find themselves seen in an entirely different light than they were in their own time. This is sometimes a matter of interpretation, or a question of perspective. However, at other… Read More »Placing George on the Political Spectrum
Housing as a human right has become a rallying cry across the United States and in many countries, especially in cities. More and more people are perplexed as to why housing is out of reach for all but the wealthy. Why have the needs of… Read More »Is COVID-19 spending fueling speculative vacancies?
By: Matthew Downhour and Mihali Felipe Perhaps nothing defines a society more than its ideas on property – that is, things that people possess, indefinitely have control over, and have responsibility over. While what we do and can do with our property are easy to… Read More »An Objective Look at Land and Entropy