Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Jobs per Acre

If we want to solve the problems of unemployment, under-employment, and poverty, we need to look at two different components of material wealth. One component of wealth is God- and/or Nature- given, such as land, clean water, clean air, and radio spectrum. These are things which no human creates. Another component of wealth is work or what humans do with a share of nature to produce the things we need for life, starting with food, clothing, and shelter. Every material thing outside of ourselves is a product of these two components.
How do we create an environment the allows a working person person to earn sufficient income in order to acquire those things we need in order to live in a dignified way? We must look at these two components and and ask what our public policy must be, especially our tax policy.

If we want to maximize the opportunities to work we must not tax work, or the creation of work. This means that sales taxes, goods and services tax, Value Added Tax, and wage taxes are barriers to a person exchanging his or her work for the work of another person. Such taxes mean that a person must labor more hours to meet their needs.

We must also be sure that the God-given natural resources are not hoarded or titled in such a way that land-ownership is a way to wealth without work. We must not allow this vestige of slavery to be the pathway to riches for the few and poverty for the many in this world.

The way to do this is by a tax shift, starting with lowering the part of property tax on buildings and increasing the part on land. This has been done in many jurisdiction on the US, especially in Pennsylvania, in Australia, with the result that the number of empty and underused lots is greatly reduced. It reduces the burden of working and of providing work. It reduces the bait to speculate on land which means that home and farm buyers do not need to bid against land speculation. This tax shift results in More Jobs Per Acre. Who doesn't want more jobs per acre?

For more information, check out: http://wealthandwant.com/ or http://progress.org/