How land rent drives poverty and inequality in the modern world
It might be helpful to explain that rent exists whether land is owned privately, owned publicly or is not claimed by anyone. Rent can be described as that portion of whatever tangible wealth is capable of being produced at a given location attributable to the characteristics of the location and not by the quality of labor or capital goods employed. In general, people tend to claim the potentially most productive locations first; then, when all such locations are claimed will (again, generally) begin to claim the next potentially most productive locations. [Ed Dodson]
Unfortunately the land owners will never see the ethics nor agree to the ethics associated with the fact that land is a gift of nature to which we should all benefit and that the rent that is taken from site users (and implied when these are also land owners) is retained instead of being shared. Indeed the concept of the taxation of land values is one that they can never agree to--its the nature of people who posess territory to want to hold on to it, even when it is not being used. They see it as an investment instead of as the means for benefit that is taken from the non-land owning remainder of our society. How then should we manage to convince these speculators that they can share in a more generally beneficant way what they wrongfully own?
Henry George tried, but his simple idea was called a tax (which nobody ever wishes to pay) and it reduced the income of some of the land owners (which as investors they found to be unfair).
The answer is not to appy a new tax, but that when a site with or without some building (real estate) becomes necessary to be sold, that the site itself is automatically bought by the government whilst the buildings are sold as before to a regular kind of investor (or capitalist) who plans to make good use of both the site and the buildings.
The site would then become leased to this investor, who would pay a regular lease-fee. Meanwhile the past land-lord, having become free of the need to collect any rent but having received the fair price for his/her site of land, (and for any buildings thereon) would be free to invest this money and gain interest on it in a more reliable (but probably less speculative) way that when it was being rented.
Thus a tax is replaced by a lease-fee, and an investment in a site is replaced by an investment in more durable capitalist goods, which can be traded and used to build a better business rather than by merely exploiting the rest of the non-land owning community.