British land: more unequal than Brazil
"Britain’s history is such that land is distributed more unequally than in Brazil. There, 1 per cent of the population owns 49 per cent of the land; here, 0.3 per cent owns 69 per cent."
This element of Gentlemanly Capitalism - a term sometimes used to denote an alliance between the older landowning classes and newer representatives of financial capital and rentier interests in the City of London - remains vibrant, it seems. The article continues, urging governments (this is aimed at Britain but has far wider relevance):
"introduce a tax on land values. Whereas taxing work is wasteful – less is produced and no tax is raised on the lost output – land is in fixed supply so a tax on it is less harmful (and impossible to avoid). Shifting the tax burden from labour to land would therefore boost economic growth, according to an OECD study.
Taxing land values could also limit property bubbles, which divert funds from productive investment in booms and then cause terrible busts – without discouraging development (unlike property taxes), mobility (unlike stamp duty) or investment (unlike interest rate rises).
It would also be fair."
We support that, of course, as part of a broader system of taxation.