Top 10: We Don’t Need a Precise Tally of National Rent

10. The figures are gathered and kept by people who use different definitions. To quantify rent in the classical sense, we’d have to decode published figures, using controversial methods.

9. Rent is in constant flux. It is affected by complex feedback loops involving interest rates, currency markets, securities markets, politcal and economic cycles and who-knows-what-all.

8. For such a study to be credible, it would require considerable funding, at the expense of other research, as well as outreach and publishing endeavors.

7. By acknowledging the need for such a quantification, we fall into a trap set by our opponents, who know that under current conditions, the numbers we’d come up with would be questionable, at best.

6. The call for “expert professional research” is a way of devaluing, or even discrediting, the Georgist tradition of simple, accessible, rationally consistent economic analysis.

5. Land, itself, knows no arbitrary boundaries — but land values are affected by questions of sovereignty, international conflict and global externalities, and these influences are likely to grow.

4. If, as is likely, the economic establishment doesn’t want to admit how much rent there is (or that rent is an economically distinct fund at all), then it will have marshalled vast resources in the effort to obfuscate it, and has a huge head start.

3. Even if we had a reasonably accurate estimate of rent as we define it, we would still have to teach everyone else our definition before they understood the significance of our figures.

2. Aggregate rent today is intimately tied up with today’s tax and financial systems. Under the Georgist remedy, aggregate rent would change, drastically, in unpredictable ways.

1. Regardless of how much or how little rent there is, it is created by society and should be collected for public revenue.

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