comments-on-rwer-issue-no-97

  1. Greg Gerritt
    September 22, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Right on. The issue of low taxes on the rich being good for the economy is so ingrained in American thinking but is pure bs. thanks for noting this.

  2. David Harold Chester
    September 23, 2021 at 8:02 am

    I am concerned that what has been described as capitalism actually is a combination of landlordism and true ownership of durable capital goods. Land and other natural resources (like the electro-magnetic spectrum) should not be treated as if it is capital goods because in fact these two aspects of the economy have very different characteristics. Land values generally increase with time (mostly due to increases in the population in the region that is nearby), whilst durable capital goods decrease in time (due to obsolescence and use). Yet the capitalists of the money investing kind behave as if the land and the durables are the same.

    When a site of land is enclosed and its ownership defined, the opportunities it naturally provides have been separated from the rest of the population, which subsequently has less opportunity for haveing a place to stay and build a home or as entrepreneurs to establish a production facility, or even a public place for recreation (and sport, religious meetings, public health treatment centers, education, research, burial, etc). This situation is unfair yet it is the way of most of the world. On a basis of ethics it is about time we recognized this kind of landlordism, monopolization and speculation in land values as being unjust, when some would-be monopolist begins to occupy the chances that a gathering number of nearby homesteads create, at any single site.

    Of course it is not possible to take away the land after someone has built in it, so what is needed is that the benefits obtainable from such an occupation (and denial to others) should be shared as if they are a revenue or lease-fee for the priviledge of site enclosure. This applies whether the site is properly used or not, because holding a site deducts from the opportunities others could otherwise enjoy.

    In 1879 Henry George explained this situation in his classic book “Progress and Poverty” where he showed that the poverty gap between the rich and poor could not be reduced by great strides forward in technology. George proposed that this unjust situation of opportunity denial could be rectified by the collection of the ground-rent (as if it were a tax) by the government, which would allow other kinds of taxation to be reduced and eliminated.

    I am trying here to show how very different the way that so called capitalists can have power to dominate the chances for progress, when they monopolize the useful sites of land and reduce the chances for more work to be needed and otherwise for it to be provided when entrepreneurs have a greater chance to provide more jobs. As long as the claims of John Bates Clark and company (in about 1900) regarded landlordism and capitalism as being the same thing (and this was how economic theory in those times changed) ,there would always be a slow rate of progress. Also due to the speculation in land values and the power of the banks to provide low interest mortgages during good times but cease this provision when the prices of land have grown and it is less easily found to be available, it creates an unstable way land values rise and fall which induces regular economic slumps and booms.

    Perhaps we can return to the original ideas of Adam Smith that there are 3 factors of production (not two), namely land labour and durable capital goods.

  3. CAW
    October 6, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Excellent article, one of the best educational efforts I have read!

    https://gaiageld.com/2021/09/27/real-world-economics-review-out-now/

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