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Opportunity has a name PDF Print E-mail


Opportunity has a name

The philosophy and economics of Henry George is simplicity itself.  But this does not mean it is in any way superficial; quite the contrary.  It begins with the simple proposition "I have a right to use land".  Think about it.  Isn't that proposition as basic to life as "I have a right to breathe"?

You might agree too that these are our birthrights.  They emanate from our nature as human beings so George calls them natural rights.  Because we are many our natural rights must be equal rights.  Now George argues that the equal right to use land requires an adjustment to one of most basic institutions, private property in land.

Not that the State should own land and lease it out.  Neither private property in land nor public ownership of land can give equal rights in the use of land.  Instead, if the market value of the land we use was public revenue each of us would have equal rights in private property.  That is, it would not matter whether you owned a mountain of iron ore or the most valuable block in the largest city, by taking its land value (not improvements) its owner would be left with no more land value than the householder on the fringes of the city or the resident of the poorest country town.

Public revenue from this annual value (its capitalised value is over $7 trillion in Australia) could replace all taxes upon our labour and our expenditure.  

If you think about it land value is only the value of location.  It comes from either nature or our community.  For example, a new motorway between two cities inevitably creates land value.  This value deserves to go to the community that made it.

George follows Thomas Jefferson in calling for equal rights as the key to the solution of social problems and that the ethical and efficient exercise of the right is in the duty of holding nature's bounties is in usufruct.

You may be interested to help make equal rights a reality.  If you are please contact us.  We welcome everyone who is seeking social justice.


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