Monday 3 December 2012

Nick Boles can shove his "moral right" up his arse

From The Daily Express (why not?):

Nick Boles said owning a decent home was a "moral right", and people had to realise that good developments could be as attractive as open countryside.

Yes, towns can be attractive, that's why 80% or 90% of people live in towns. The convenience far outweighs the lack of a view over trees and grass.

But his view of "morals" and "rights" are shaky at best. What he really means is "we like the idea of future generations taking out crippling mortgages, over half of which goes to pay for the land-location value".

The way we see it, land-location values are created by the whole of society; you need stable government and peace (try buying or renting land in Somalia or Afghanistan); you need a healthy economy (higher earnings mean higher rental values); you need infrastructure; you need people using that infrastructure; you need law and order, refuse collection, utilities and sewage disposal; you need schools and hospitals; places of work, places for leisure and shopping; and so on.

So if we are all doing our little bit to create the land-location values, then that belongs to all of us collectively. Anybody, i.e. Nick Boles, who wants us to pay taxes on our earnings (to fund the government, the law and order etc) and then to spend half the rest on paying all over again just to be able to enjoy our 1/62 millionth share of UK land-location values is basically justifying theft on at least two levels.

How about scrapping taxes on output and employment and collecting the land-location values from landowners or homeowners instead, and then giving every single UK citizen a rebate/refund of 1/62 millionth of what is collected*? The average household in the average home - whether they have paid off their mortgage or are first time buyers - would pay net nothing to occupy an average residential plot.

That's moral, and that's right.

* It's like the right to vote. Democracy is a collective thing, just like land-location values. Although that right is very valuable in itself, you get given it for free but you cannot sell it or leave it to your heirs (when you are dead, you don't need it any more). The flip-side of that inalienable right is that you have to abide by everybody else's vote. Why should we treat collectively-created land-location values any differently? What Nick Boles is saying is tantamount to saying "Everybody had the moral right to buy somebody else's vote".

1 comment:

  1. Quite right.

    Bowles is perfect exposition of "Crowd Pleasing" dead politics.

    Both the Left an the Right are in bed together on Rent Seeking. Both the hypocritical dead politics of dependency culture.

    Lets abolish both of them quickly.