What Would Henry George Say?
Still Relevant, Still Poignant
By Nicholas Kristof
March 10, 2021
By Marty Rowland
Who is going to pay for it? You can hear it before you start reading the article. And, no one even has a clue about the answer. Why is that?
Kristof asks a good question – why is it that a country that can build aircraft carriers is unable provide public restrooms? One side says, you mean I have to work another hour so a homeless woman can use a public bathroom? The other says, yes, the billionaire can keep his yacht parked one day of the week so the Manhattan tourist doesn’t enjoy a pleasant walk in Central Park. Henry George would say, collect the socially created land values and pay for infrastructure. The shadow reason we all avoid is the apparent consensus that a rich minority can profit from land rents without ever stepping foot in our city while residents have to put up with a lack of public infrastructure. There are things a civilized society needs that are not provided by the market – things you do because you are human, and the rent you collect because it is socially created. The next time you witness public urination, think about the out-of-state rent-seeker who is enjoying a free ride on the back of society.
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