Published on December 16, 2008
Putting the country on the road to economic justice and prosperity: Land Value Taxation Presentation by Dr. J. A. Ainsley
African society is suffering from a crisis of land ownership
The State is losing popular support due to failure to tackle this issue.
There is a contrast between modern and traditional ideas about land
Land ownership needs to be seen to be equitably distributed
Land Value Taxation will resolve the crisis
Act II, Scene 1
Land ownership has presented problems throughout history
Kenya’s land problem starts from colonial times
In pre-colonial times land ownership was communal
The Colonialists introduced the private ownership system
The Independence Government did not solve the land problem
Land problems started before Christianity and continued with it
Land ownership became concentrated even in ancient times
In Medieval Europe the situation worsened with the Enclosures
Europe’s landless peoples either starved or emigrated to America
The spread of European civilization to America extended the problem
Landlessness is now the normal situation in the world
It is now also an urban problem
The Industrial Revolution coincided with urbanization and the slums
Slums are now mainly a developing world phenomenon
The urban elites contribute to the urban housing problem
Land monopoly leads to misery for the majority
Attitudes are changing so as to give the urban poor security of tenure
Act II, Scene 2
Land ownership is first an ethical matter then an economic one
Religious tradition and Ethics can enlighten us in this matter
The Church Fathers were opposed to concentration of land ownership
Ethics shows that land cannot be “owned”
Common Law contradicts Civil Law on some land ownership issues
Economics and Private Good clash with Ethics and the Common Good
Individualised land tenure has advantages over communal tenure
Private ownership causes a dilemma by harming the common good
It is the community which gives land its value
Act II, Scene 3
Land Value Taxation will solve the problem
Land Taxation has been successful wherever it has been applied
It has several beneficial effects
LVT benefited agriculture in America, Taiwan and Australia
LVT has benefited cities in America and Asia
Land Taxation effectively converts freehold into leasehold
Land Taxation rates will not need to be high
Land Taxation will help to solve several problems specific to Kenya
Land-grabbers will be forced to offload unused land onto the market
LVT will assist the State to enforce regulations for good land usage
There are several obstacles to the implementation of Land Taxation
The greatest obstacle is widespread ignorance of the nature of land tenure
The large landowners have always been opposed to any land tax
Land speculators, banks, the car industry etc. will all oppose LVT
So, is an equitable distribution of land in Kenya possible?
Ignorance and powerful vested interests threaten this distribution
The Government must implement Land Value Taxation
LVT will put the country on the road to economic justice and prosperity
Closing image for end of presentation
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