Many Great Thinkers and Economists
Have Realized that Landed Property
Moses: The land shall not be sold forever; for the land is Mine;
for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.
John Locke (1632 - 1704): God gave the world in common to all
mankind. When the "sacredness" of property is talked of,
it should be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong
in the same degree to landed property.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826): The earth is given as a common
stock for men to labor and live on.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910): The earth belongs to the people. I believe in the gospel of the Single Tax
Adam Smith (1723 - 1790): Ground rents are a species of revenue
which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or
attention of his own. Ground rents are, therefore, perhaps a
species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax
imposed upon them.
Tom Paine (1737 - 1809): Men did not make the earth.... It is the
value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is
individual property.... Every proprietor owes to the community a
ground rent for the land which he holds.
Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910): Solving the land question means the
solving of all social questions... possession of land by people
who do not use it is immoral - just like the possession of
Winston Churchill (1875 - 1965): Land, which is a necessity of human existence, which is the original source of all wealth, which is strictly limited in extent, which is fixed geographical position –- land, I say, differs from all other forms of property in these primary and fundamental conditions.
Seattle (ca. 1854): Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every clearing and wood, is holy in the memory and
experience of my people. Even those unspeaking stones along the
shore are loud with events and memories in the life of my people.
The ground beneath your feet responds more lovingly to our steps
than yours, because it is the ashes of our grandfathers. Our bare
feet know the kindred touch. The earth is rich with the lives of
Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1931): Natural rent must be a part of public revenue — what they don't earn but rather what they simply receive from the nation, from nature.
Sun Yat-Sen (1866 - 1925) The land tax as the only means of
supporting the government is an infinitely just, reasonable, and
equitably distributed tax, and on it we will found our new
system. The centuries of heavy and irregular taxation for the
benefit of the Manchus have shown China the injustice of any
other system of taxation.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary, 1911) "LAND, n.
A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory
that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the
foundation of modern society....
Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to
prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right
exclusively to occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever
property in land is recognized. It follows that if the whole area of terra
firma is owned by A, B and C, there will be no place for D, E, F and G to
be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist."
Shall ye alone dwell upon the earth? — Isaiah 5:8