But by the end of the book he concludes gloomily that a tax on capital is probably inevitable.
The socialists will eventually come for investment property income and when that happens the time will come to sell up and get out.
As with so many of Jones’ predictions this did not come to pass.
The tax-free status of property investment endures; when the OECD urged Michael Cullen to introduce a capital gains tax he instantly dismissed it as ‘political suicide’ – Labour ruled it out yet again prior to the last election.
Perhaps not coincidentally New Zealand’s MPs have their own class of specially legislated private superannuation schemes where they can own property investments without disclosing them and which are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer.
Towards the end of Capital in the Twenty First Century Thomas Piketty proposes a progressive tax on wealth as a way to make capitalist economies more meritocratic and productive.
It would be zero or nominal for small businesses and typical homes but rise for higher amounts of wealth and as I struggled to the end of Jones on Property in which the author fantasises about a property-owning revolution in which politicians are marched to the guillotine – I found myself fantasising about an asymptotic wealth tax that rose until when you reached Jones’ level of affluence – about $750 million according to some estimates – became downright confiscatory.