torsdag 6 december 2007

Who were the Physiocrats?

I have continued my blog with a new web address, one I can remember.

It is

Why Physiocrat and who were they? They were the first people to put the study of political economy on a sound footing. Unfortunately, few today are building on the good work they began.

The Physiocrats were a group of intellectuals in the court of the French King Louis XIV. They were the first to put the study of political economy on a sound footing.

Quesnay (1694–1774), perhaps the best known of them, argued that as all taxes come out of land rent, the multiplicity of taxes then applied in France should be abolished and replaced by just one on the rental value of the land. This was the "impôt unique". Apart from collection of the rental value of land, the Physiocrats held that governments should not interfere in the operation of the economy, since, once the tax was collected, things would more or less look after themselves.

Unfortunately, vested interests have ever since meant that land rents have stayed with the landowners and there is no end to the government interference that goes on.

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