Skip to main content

View Diary: Time to resurrect an old idea: Economic Rent (107 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Occupy Rent Now! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillman, Justus, Randtntx

    Rent arises from privilege wherein government allows on person to do what others are forbidden from doing.  It is in some sense the economic value of the government taking from the many to allow a few a specialized power.  It is a measure of the freedom lost by everyone else.  Note that taxes on rent will not make the economy one bit less productive but will probably even make the economy more productive.  This can't be said of taxes that fall mainly on labor and capital such as we have today.

    The "land" of today includes broadcast spectrum, mineral wealth, phone company rights-of-way, fishing rights, and water rights.  The value of the broadcast spectrum alone has been estimated at between $500-700BB per year.  Or one third of the federal budget could be raised by charging for the airwaves that we technically own but have been given to a handful of corporations for free, minus the bribes to obtain them.  

    Another way of thinking about rent is that un-taxed rent is simply privatizing the right to collect taxes.  A small number of people get to rent out the earth to the rest of us, extracting most of our labor for.......what exactly?  Every economically productive human endeavor will require that you pay one of the resource owners for their privilege.  

    The day that progressives reclaim the idea of rent and rally around the purpose of shifting taxes from labor onto rent will be the day we begin to turn off of the awful course we are on now and onto a hopeful future.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 06:02:40 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site