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FRED FOLDVARY (1946 – 2021)

Fred Emanuel Foldvary was born on 11th May 1946 in Haifa, Israel.

After growing up in Israel until the age of 8, he moved to the United States of America before going on to study and receive a PhD in Economics from George Mason University. Foldvary then pursued a vocation in teaching, lecturing at Santa Clara University and several other colleges before most notably becoming a lecturer at the San Jose State University in California. In addition to his career in education, Foldvary was also recognised as a commentator and senior editor for The Progress Report; an associate editor for Econ Journal Watch; a research fellow with the Independent Institute and as a serving member on the Robert Schlakenbach Foundation’s board of directors.

Following his heightened prominence in the geolibertarian movement, Foldvary ran for Congress as a Libertarian within California’s 9th District. After having received 3.3% of the total vote, he finished in third place out of the four candidates on the ballot. Still, it is Foldvary’s writing on economics that have gained him notoriety. His focus on ethics, governance, land economics and public finance are all clearly exemplified in his work. Within his PhD dissertation Public Goods and Private Communities, Foldvary denied the concept of market failure by applying the theory of public goods and industrial organisation. In 1998, he made the prediction that there would be a real-estate-related recession taking place just ten years later.

Sadly, Fred Emanuel Foldvary died on the 5th June 2021. The words of this brilliant economic mind can be read on in books like Beyond Neoclassical Economics, Dictionary of Free Market Economics, The Depression of 2008, The Half-Life of Policy Rationales: How Technology Affects Old Policy Issues, Land and Taxation, Land and Taxation (2nd Edition), Public Goods and Private Communities and The Soul of Liberty.


“There is a sense in which all taxes are antagonistic to free enterprise – yet we need taxes … so the question is which are the least bad taxes? In my opinion, the least bad tax [note switch to singular] is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago.”
Milton Friedman

“Tax economists overwhelmingly support the idea that a tax on land represents an excellent source for government revenue.”