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A New Look at the “Henry George Theorem”

  • Edward Nell
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies on Henry George for the 21st Century book series (PSHGC)

Abstract

The Henry George Theorem states that the level of total rents in a country is nearly equal to the total costs of government in that area. There are several unconvincing “proofs” that make this claim. A widely circulated such proof, when inspected closely, is incoherent and unrealistic in its assumptions. Applying the previous chapter’s approach, one can develop a model that shows how rents and the growth of government move together, while allowing for plausible divergences. This suggests that the Henry George Theorem offers a good approach and should figure in policy discussions. An appendix by Andrew Mazzone recalculates rents in the 2016 US National Accounts and shows that redefining rents in a more inclusive manner suggests that rents could come close to financing the costs of government.

Keywords

Henry George Theorem Economic policy Demand pressure Rent tax 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Nell
    • 1
  1. 1.New SchoolNew YorkUSA

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