Boom Bust: Economic Cycles are Land Cycles

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This is an introductory slide show explanation of land’s role in the business cycle.

13 Responses to Boom Bust: Economic Cycles are Land Cycles

  1. Kevin McShannon says:

    Good stuff Jake! Explains it to really simply and effectively.

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  3. Very nice, but you need more Share options so people can share the post on their FB and other sites more easily. 🙂

    • Jacob Shwartz-Lucas says:

      Thanks Scott, are there any specific ways to make it more shareable? We have some like buttons, I also made the macro shot a facebook picture with a link. Any other ways you know of would be appreciated.

  4. Jake, this is well done! It is a useful depiction of the cyclical nature of land prices. Two other versions — less elegant in their presentation, but in agreement in their point of view, can be found in (1) Weld Carter’s “A Clarion Call to Sanity, to Honesty, to Justice” at online, which draws on Homer Hoyt’s 1933 U of Chicago PhD thesis, “One Hundred Years of Land Values in Chicago” and (2) Mason Gaffney’s “Great Crash of 2008,” (published in Groundswell, July/August 2008), online at

    I am reminded of Case and Schiller’s 2003 paper, “Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?” I hope both co-authors will explore your slideshow!

    pages 4-5: “The term “housing boom” has appeared much more frequently since 1980. As figure 1 also shows, the use of this term was fairly steady from 1980 through 2001, although it, too, took off in 2002, also peaking in October. The term “boom” is much more neutral than “bubble” and suggests that the rise in prices may be an opportunity for investors. In contrast, the term “bubble” connotes a negative judgment on the phenomenon, an opinion that price levels cannot be sustained.”

    Georgists recognize a boom-bust cycle that runs about 17 years. Is the next cycle necessary? No. If enough people understand it to call for the changes in public policy which will head it off, we can create a more stable economy for ourselves and our children. Henry George supplied us the way for looking at that.

    Thank you, Jake, for a useful contribution toward that goal.

    • Jacob Shwartz-Lucas says:

      Thanks for the praise and links Wyn! You’re right, we don’t have to repeat this. If we simply stop taxing wages and taxed land value instead, we could avoid this mess altogether.

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  6. Jake, what can we do to get this presentation in Spanish? We would give this presentation to our P&P classes here in Managua.

    • Jacob Shwartz-Lucas says:

      Great idea Paul! I can give you the rights to insert Spanish text into a copy, just as we did for our Swedish friends. All I need is your email address with which you would use to gain access to the editing software. Are you on facebook by the way?

      Buenos Dias! 🙂

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