13. Quotations

‘In my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago’                                                                                      Milton Friedman (1912-2006):  American economist and Nobel laureate.

‘The economic case for a Land Value Tax is simple and almost undeniable. Why then do we not have one already? Why hasn’t it been adopted widely in the western world? Even more puzzling is that, right now, as western economies struggle with the global financial crisis, why isn’t this form of taxation being seriously considered as an alternative?’                                                                      Sir James Mirlees (1936-2018): Nobel economics Laureate.

‘Land Value Taxation is a no-brainer … it is both fair and efficient. It should be adopted’                    Martin Wolf (b.1946):  Economics editor, Financial Times.

‘An acre in Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia’                                                            Lord Macaulay (1800-1859):  Historian, politician and poet.

‘Buy land, they’re not making it any more’                                                                                            Mark Twain (1835-1910):  American author and humorist.

‘When the missionaries came to Africa they had the bible and we had the land. They said ’let us pray’. We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the bible and they had the land.’ Desmond Tutu (b.1931), Retired Anglican bishop of Cape Town.‘

‘Only the little people pay taxes’                                                                                                            Leona Helmsley (1920-2007): Billionaire American Businesswoman.

‘As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce’.  Adam Smith (1723-90): Economic philosopher, reputed father of modern economics.

‘Land enclosure is the primary source of wealth for the powerful and is similarly the primary source of poverty for the rest’.                                                                                                               Patrick Noble: Author. Organic farmer in North Wales.

‘Greed and conflict of interest fall into a massive category of things that are obviously wrong, but not illegal.’                                                                                                                                            Frazer Nelson: Daily Telegraph article, 30.9.16.

‘To prove legal title to land, one must trace it back to the man who stole it’                                David Lloyd George (1863-1945): British Liberal prime minister, 1916-1922.

‘It is not possible to buy a valid title to stolen property’                                                                 Robert Keall: Retired investment broker. Ex. member of New Zealand Land Value Rating Association.

‘No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers…. Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn’t the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?’                                                                                                                                     Tecumseh (!768-1813): Chief of the Shawnee tribe.

As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.Adam Smith (1723-1790): From ‘The Wealth of Nations’(1776).

‘Rent is the secret tax the wealthy charge the poor.’                                                                         Joseph Stiglitz (b.1943): American economist and Nobel laureate.

‘The land shall not be sold forever; for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me’                                                                                                                                                         Leviticus 25;23, King James’ bible.

‘ No-one can own the fish of the sea’   (in a high court ruling on fish quotas, July 2013)            Sir Ross Cranston (b.1948):  Former high court judge and Labour politician.

‘We hang the petty thieves, the great ones we appoint to high office’                                           Aesop (620-564 BC): Greek philosopher and author of ‘fables’.

‘Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality… for one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor’.                                                                                                                      Adam Smith (1723-90): Economic philosopher, reputed father of modern economics.

‘Behind every great fortune lies a great crime’                                                                                  Honoré de Balsac (1799-1850): French novelist and playwright.

‘Amid the greatest accumulations of wealth, men die of starvation, and puny infants suckle dry breasts’.                                                                                                                                                Henry George: (1839-1897), American political economist.

‘For how long does an evil have to be practiced for it to become a good?’                                    Andew MacLaren (1883-1975):  Independent Labour MP for Burslem (1922-45).

‘The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread’.                                                                                                     Anatole France (1884-1924):  French poet and novelist.

‘The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had some one pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: “Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one.                                                                                                                                                          Jean-Jaques Rousseau (1712-1778):  Swiss writer and philosopher.