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Land is Free
Land is Free


This website acknowledges that land is free – as free as sunshine, air and water. However, the further fact is that we think it can be owned, and this has a serious effect on the distribution of wealth.

That land is free by nature cannot be disputed.

It is here when we arrive, and we cannot take it when we leave. By natural law, all must have equal rights to its use. But we have devised  a system of absolute ownership with the right to charge a rent to a user. This is completely entrenched in the law of the land.

Of course, man must be able to use land for a reasonable term so as to be able to bring his product to completion and sale, and also to continue in business. The use of certain pieces of land bring benefits, either due to fertility, or more importantly, due to facilities provided by the community around.

So the question is, how to recognise the freedom of land, while providing security of tenure, and return to the community the result of its efforts as they apply to each piece of land. If we do not upset the laws we have too much, so much the better.

The method for collecting revenue supported by this website is a levy of a site value each year on each site. Although termed a tax, it is really a return to the community for the benefits attached to each site, whether negligible or enormous.

The following Topic Papers explore some of the implications of this proposal. The general intention is to name a particular problem, then to show how it might be dealt with under site value taxation.

The consequences of not recognising natural law are growing. The heavy burden of land prices and the increasing gap between rich and poor are problems that will have to be dealt with.

Please note; Signed Articles must be considered personal views of the contributors, and not necessarily the views of Landisfree.

SA 88. Is there another way? by Tommas Graves

Reprinted from article in “Land and Liberty” Spring 2019

Well, we made one rather important mistake. We allowed certain lucky people the ownership of land. We ignored the fact that it is impossible to own land, and we ignored the natural law which states that all people must have equal rights to it. We then failed to distinguish between right and wrong when we allowed the “owners” to keep the location values attaching to sites, which had been created by the actions of the community as a whole.

The results have been dire. The vast number of us then had nothing to sell but our labour. We lost the right to receive the whole added value arising from our work. Wages reduced to subsistence level. We were forced  to rent our living space from “owners”. So now we see that businesses pay rent for their space, pay taxes in a huge number of ways, keep unwarranted amounts for themselves, and are pressured into continuous growth.

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SA 87. Time for a look at Rent by Tommas Graves

Reprinted from an article in Autumn copy of “Land and Liberty”

The two problems of inequality and housing are now getting acute, and we need to reappraise what we are doing.

First, we need to be clear that Rent, as now understood, stands for two quite separate factors. On the one hand, part of what we pay for is the “hire charge” of the house and other man-made items. On the other hand there is the charge for the use of a site. In this article we shall refer to Rent as the site charge. How much is each will depend on many factors. If a buyer knocks down the house, we can be sure that all the rent is a site charge. With a new property, maybe a substantial portion is the hire charge. All the recent increase in property prices is solely the site charge, hereinafter designated as “Rent”.

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SA 86. It’s rather Odd………….. By Tommas Graves


Two Martians are looking down on GB. With their amazing eyes they can see a huge number of people all at once, and they also can see all money movements, whether in cash or entries on bank statements.

The first one speaks; (I translate from the Martian!)

“Gosh! Look at them all going to work. The ones who go to work make everything they want, and you can see the Added Value they create. It’s enough for all their food and expenses, and enough to pay for any improvements they want to increase their production.”

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SA85. Born to become a Georgist by Ole Lefmann

Marking his 90th year!

As a child in Copenhagen in the 1930s I realised that all grown up males in the family were
shop owners who made it a point of honour to be self-employed, able to pay for satisfaction
of their own wants and the wants of their closest relatives, not being a burden to anybody
else, definitely not burdening the society.
They urged for what then was called Free Trade: Trade free from governmental restrictions
and customs tariffs, and they disliked taxes.
The elder members of the family had all grown up in straitened circumstances and they
believed that like themselves everyone in the society could make a fair living by using their
natural talents. “Everyone is the architect of his own fortune” was a motto frequently heard
those days. They were sceptical to Socialism and its taxes, and definitely against those days’
Communism and its planned economy that was spreading elsewhere in Europe.

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SA84. Happy Nation by Lasse Anderson

Reprinted from “Debt Death and Deadweight” from
Denmark: the constitution of a happy nation Lasse S. Andersen

DENMARK is one of the European nations that can be held up as a
model for others to emulate. It is evident that this small Scandinavian
country has accomplished things that are universally envied. For many
years it has been ranked as one of the happiest places on earth, seconded only
by Norway in 2017. It is the least corrupt country in the world according
to Transparency International. And it has the best quality housing stock in
Europe, measured in terms of living space.

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SA83. Ulm is buying up land, sent by Dirk Lohr

German real estate: Renters’ woes are speculators’ profitsGermany’s cities are facing a crisis: They’re just too popular. Living space is getting increasingly tight; property values and rent prices are skyrocketing. But the city of Ulm might just have the solution.

Ulm is buying up land

The city of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg is an example of how things could be reorganized in future. Here, the administrative system protects construction land from speculation — and has done for more than 125 years.

The administration of this alternative land policy happens not far from Ulm’s famous Minster. The local authority real estate office oversees the plots of land and buildings in public ownership.

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SA82. Radical Tax Reform by Duncan Pickard


The governments of almost all countries have budget deficits and increasing national debts. The taxes* they currently collect are unable to meet the increasing costs of health and welfare provision for their older people and for the care and education of their young ones. Because the taxes they impose on earned incomes, employment and trade have severe negative effects on economic activity, the bases of the taxes are reduced, which means that different sources of revenue are needed.

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SA 81. All taxes come out of Rents, by Rumplestatskin.

Received via Prosper Australia.

Mason Gaffney has for years been describing the nature of economic rents and its relation to taxation. His key idea, which would have been uncontroversial prior to the rise of the neoclassical school, is that all taxes come out of rents (ATCOR). This means that a single tax on the rents earned from ownership of natural resources can always provide sufficient taxation revenue.

Let me explain.

To do this I first need to be clear about why rents are not a feature of current mainstream economic reasoning.

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SA 80. The Housing Crisis and the Common Good, by Joseph Milne

Why do we have a housing crisis in the UK? Why is it that a wealthy country, increasing in wealth each year, cannot provide enough housing for its citizens? I am sure you know of the latest figures which show that fewer and fewer young families can buy a home, and that more and more are forced into rented housing with very little security. In 1990 about two thirds of people aged 35 purchased their own homes, now it is just over one quarter. Fewer and fewer young people can afford to even save up for a deposit, let alone get a mortgage. In the 1970s a home cost about three times one person’s income, and that was about the amount the old building societies would lend. Now a home is about ten times the annual income of one person.

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