Improper evaluation of natural resources leads to problems like Amazon deforestation and urban decay. The authors outline how nations can solve social and ecological problems by accurately evaluating natural resources.
Major economic and environmental crises stem from imperfections in the land market, yet the theory which explains the allocation and value of natural resources is relegated to the periphery of social science and ignored by policy-makers. This is the thesis advanced by the authors who argue that problems ranging from the deforestation of the Amason basin to urban decay can be traced to a common factor: the failure to put a proper value on the resources of nature. Western governments have in recent years freed the labour and capital markets of restrictive practices and exchange controls, but restrictions on the land market have escaped attention so that policy decisions continue to be made in ignorance of social, economic and ecological consequences of shifts in the supply and price of land. This book explains how the malfunctioning of the land market affects economic performance, the distribution of income and the use of abuse of natural resources. It retrieves a classical theory of economics from limbo and explains how the market mechanism, if made to work properly, collaborates sympathetically with strategies aimed at enhancing the environment and conserving finite resources. To demonstrate the practicality of their argument, the authors have valued the land and natural resources of Britain – the first authoritative assessment since William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book. They claim that, given a similar valuation, any country could develop a sustainable framework for the complex interactions of social, economic and ecological variables. They compare the unreliability of statistics in the United States with the comprehensive valuation available in Denmark.