I recently read an article by David Bertelsen here:
And I just had to comment.
"How are we going to turn a buck to our 50,000 acre 'Untouched by Man's
Hands' Green Paradise if the damn government lets people into it's littered,
uncared for 'National Park' next door!...
"Money isn't just money. It's frozen desire! It's the result that we
accumulate when we effectively manage to produce something of value to
others, and convince them to trade with us!"
This is based on an invalid conception of land use rights
Making money by allowing others the use of land that you aren't using is
immoral. The only moral basis for any claim to land is your own (not another
�s) productive use (including enjoyment) of that land.
If you build (create) a business and hire a worker, you are entitled to that
portion of the workers labor that is made possible by your entrepreneurship.
If you have accumulated capital and invest if for a return by allowing other
the use of it for a fee (interest), that is your entitlement as well.
But land is not created as a result of mans effort, so it is a common
heritage to all, and therefore it is the proper function of government to
protect this right - in the same way and for the same reasons as it should
do so in regards to aggression.
People do not just need freedom from aggression to live, they also require
the literal space and materials of the earth upon and with which to act and
produce. And so long as there is any part of the earth that one can use in
an honest way that is not impeding the ability of another to do the same,
they are morally justified in doing so.
What I want to know is this: what "value" does one "produce" by in effect
saying "this is my land because the government says so, or because I traded
something with the person who was using it, or because no one is using it
(including me) but I say its mine and you now have to pay me if you want to
The right to use land is like the right to breathe air. You are entitled to
it without regard to others if and only when and to the exact extent that
you are using it. Anything else must be negotiated with any others who may
want the use of it as well. And one method of negotiating (arbitrating) this
conflict of interest is through paying a differential to the other
interested parties for exclusive use of what is essential community property
or common heritage.
And a land value tax does this quite well, but that is another subject
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