Two UrbanTools directors, have struck again in the editorial pages of the Financial Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the June 28 edition of the financial Times, Nicholas Rosen challenges Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz to posit a solution to the problem of growing wealth inequality and economic dysfunction in the United States. Dr. Stiglitz accurately names rent seeking as a prime culprit. Curbing the abuses of rent seeking is not just a matter of changing the law however; it is a matter of changing our tax system in the manner of the Henry George Theorem, not coincidentally a phrase coined by Dr. Stiglitz.
Since just about everybody is now discovering what rent is, the case has been made over the past two centuries that economic rent must be collected by the community that created it: all of us. Mr. Rosen provides a clear way forward for the US to not only collect economic rent but also reduce taxation on that which makes all of us wealthier: work and savings.
In the July 2 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dr. Herbert Barry (Professor-Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh) observes that with the Supreme Court decision upholding the right of the federal government to tax those who choose not to have medical insurance, the way is open for the federal government to impose a rational and constitutional tax upon the unimproved value of land throughout the nation. Because of Dr. Barry's tireless work and advocacy for land value taxation in the city of Pittsburgh over the past 30 years, he has a unique perspective on knowing what has worked for his city, and how it can work for the greater community from local to national to global.