We offer a different and better solution to some of the most important problems of our time, such as inequality and climate change. At the moment, many people still believe that we have to choose between freedom and solving the world’s problems. A government that restricts the free market and prescribes how we must live is still often seen as the only option. The results of this policy are always disappointing.
If you read the work of Henry George, Nicolaus Tideman and Karl Widerquist, you will see that there are better ways.
First, we assume that people are normally free as long as they don’t harm each other. You could call this live and let live. Today, too many consider coercion as a good option.
Secondly, we recognize that people have equal rights to the earth. The earth was not made by anyone, but a gift to all mankind. The main cause of poverty is not a lack of redistribution of money. The main cause of poverty is a lack of access to natural resources. People who do not have access to their fair share of the earth pay sky-high rent throughout their lives and have difficulty starting their own businesses. In an unhealthy way, they are dependent on the owners of the earth.
How can we ensure that we all have our fair share of the earth? Not by dividing the earth into all equally sized pieces. How?
A basic income of the right amount can be the solution. This could be paid for from a land value tax. The result:
- Everyone can dispose of their fair share of the earth for free. The land value tax and the basic income correspond in this case.
- People can choose to spend their basic income on other things. This way others can have extra space for their homes or business.
- Land value tax is levied on the value of the land you own. We do not pay taxes on buildings on it.
- The land value tax can be seen as a payment from people who use more than their fair share to people who give up part of their fair share.
- Basic income is the least interfering way to support people.
- The land value tax is the least interfering and therefore the least harmful way of collecting taxes.
- We recognize that individual liberty is important.
This solution does not necessarily help everyone sufficiently. Of course, there will still be people who need help and we must provide that help. But we are relieved of a huge burden if the help we provide does not immediately disappear into the pockets of landlords.
Some names for this way of thinking are geo-libertarianism, Georgism or left-libertarianism. We are happy to explain more about this!