Rigorous economics
There is, therefore, in the politico-economic sense of the term wages no distinction as to the kind of labor, or as to whether its reward is received through an employer of not, but wages means the return received for the exertion of labor, as distinguished from the return received for the use of capital, and the return received by the landholder for the use of land. The man who cultivates the soil for himself receives his wages in its produce, just as, if he uses his own capital and owns his own land, he may also receive interest and rent. (Book I, Chapter II)

Contrast of economist's notion of rent with layman

The term rent, in its economic sense - that is, when used, as I am using it, to distinguish that part of the produce which accrues to the owners of the land or other natural capabilities by virtue of their ownership - differs in meaning from the word rent as commonly used...

It is narrower in this: In common speech, we apply the word rent to payments for the use of buildings, machinery, fixtures, etc., as well as to payments for the use of land or other natural capabilities; and in speaking of the rent of a house or the rent of a farm, we do not separate the price for the use of the improvements from the price for the use of the bare land. But in the economic meaning of rent, payments for the use of the products of human exertion are excluded, and of the lumped payments for the use of houses, farms, etc., only that part is rent which constitutes the consideration for the use of land - that part paid for the use of buildings or other improvements being properly interest, as it is a consideration for the use of capital.

It is wider in this: In common speech we speak of rent only when the owner and user are distinct persons. But in the economic sense there is also rent where the same person is both owner and user... (Book III, Chapter II)

distinction between different sorts of return to capital Awareness of different institutions for distributing wealth: e.g., the 49er's placer mining, the whaler's "lay", the metayer system. Not as thorough as J. S. Mill's analysis.


Mixes classical and so-called neoclassical economics.


Not sure what I think about refutation of wage fund and of Malthus.

Comparisons with Marx

...were productive labor in London absolutely to cease, within a few hours people would begin to die like rotton sheep, and within a few weeks, or at most a few months, hardly one would be left alive... Imagine such a suspension of labor in any community, and you will see how true it is that mankind really live from hand to mouth: that it is the daily labor of the community that supplies the community with its daily bread. (Book I, Chapter IV)
Every child knows that a country which ceased to work, I will not say for a year, but for a few weeks would die. Every child knows too, that the mass of products corresponding to the different needs require different and quantitatively determined means of the total labour of society. That this necessity of distributing social labour in definite proportions cannot be done away with by the particular form of social production but can only change form it assumes, is self evident. No natural laws can be done away with. What can change, in changing historical circumstances, is the form in which these laws operate. And the form which this proportional division of labour operates, in a state of society where the interconnection of social labour is manifested in the private exchange of the individual products of labour, is precisely the exchange value of these products. (K. Marx, Letter to Kugelmann, 11 July 1868)

Contrast view that one own's whatever one buys from the worker who Made it with the Smith/Marx account of exploitation

As soon as stock has accumulated in the hands of particular persons, some of them will naturally employ it in setting to work industrious people, whom they will supply with materials and subsistence, in order to make a profit by the sale of their work, or by what their labour adds to the value of the materials...The value which the workmen add to the materials, therefore, resolves itself in this case into two parts, of which one pays their wages, the other the profits of their employer upon the whole stock of materials and wages which he advanced. (A. Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter VI)


No explanation for par between interest and wages

No explanation of length of period of business cycle

No explanation of why land is best allocated when not privately owned

No explanation of how economic categories appropriate for analyzing a society vary with the type of economy (e.g., feudalism versus capitalism).

No explanation of how to obtain political power to implement Georgist prescriptions other than by intellectual conversion (i.e., a sort of technoctatic approach).

Explanation of George’s Popularity

In his day, saw closing of frontiers, particularly the American frontier

In our day, have many who like capitalism, but think a trick is needed to set it right. Usually monetary cranks. I don't know why they'd be Georgist single-taxers.