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Read the Excerpt


The only way we can ensure fair and enduring prosperity for every member of our society is to reshape our economy from the ground up, which means that we need to address and solve the underlying disparities at the root level. Whether we’re talking about the destruction of nature, urban sprawl, unemployment, crime, wealth inequality, or even war, the root cause is the simple fact that, despite our cultural and technological sophistication, we haven’t yet learned to share with one another the most basic element that needs to be shared with all: the ground upon which we walk. Land. By allowing some people to profit from land, we have privatized community wealth, which allows a few to live off the lives of the rest of us.
  In the first part of Land, I’ll discuss how wealth is produced and how this production adds value to both individual producers and consumers, as well as to society. Next, I’ll review how individuals and institutions profit from land at the expense of society and how this process causes wealth inequality, unemployment, economic recessions, and ecological destruction. From there, I’ll examine what it means to live materially and culturally in harmony with the greater web of life. Throughout, I’ve done my best to boil the concepts down to the basics; those who are interested in the more technical details can consult the endnotes and appendix in the accompanying PDF download. You’ll also find additional contextual material from each chapter, including links and some charts that are otherwise included in the text of the print and ebook editions.
  The second part of the book describes a time-tested economic theory most recently repopularized in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when notable economists and thinkers such as David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Henry George, and many others rediscovered and contributed significantly to this theory. Adam Smith, one of history’s best-known economists, spoke of it in his 1776 magnum opus, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Today, this theory is discussed with great sophistication by a wide range of economists who have devoted their lives to the betterment of humankind, with the understanding that the problems we currently face can be solved at the most fundamental level. In this part of the book, I again boil these concepts down to their basics, with the hope that they will help guide readers on what steps to take to create a new paradigm for a thriving world… 

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