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View Diary: Who are the "Makers" and the "Takers"? (99 comments)

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  •  rentiers (12+ / 0-)

    A neat little word that covers landlords, patent holders, stockholders, lenders, petrostates ... basically anyone who makes their living by owning something and charging other people to use it.

    Profit is - at least in theory - earned by producing something of greater value to a buyer than the stuff you yourself bought in order to produce it.  Rent is 100% pure parasitism.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:57:42 AM PST

    •  So...landlords should not exist...? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Pete Cortez

      No one should be able to rent an apartment?
      Only those who can buy their own home should have a place to live?

      •  read into classical political economy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psyched, Larsstephens, caul

        They made a distinction between rent on land and profit on capital(a building).  Confusion arises because the word "rent" has changed meaning somewhat.

        Our Dime: Understanding the Federal Budget

        by Dustin Mineau on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:45:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting note: in Spanish, the adjective (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          "rentable" means, among other things, "profitable, yielding profit."

          That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

          by concernedamerican on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:53:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Seems like a pretty... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          thin distinction...

          •  read Smith and othe classic political economists (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mjshep, psyched, caul

            You will see the important disctinction.  It isn't hard if you keep an open mind.  Thanks for commenting.

            Our Dime: Understanding the Federal Budget

            by Dustin Mineau on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:10:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are correct.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              ...I should read them...but today's issues seem more about political, than economic, discourse...sort of like reading the dead sea scrolls.

              •  Economic history is key to understanding (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                katiec, Dustin Mineau

                our present situation. And one of the big problems in modern economics is a lack of focus on economic history. It would be like having generals who did not study Napoleon, Grant, Lee, Bradley, Sherman, Rommel, Julius Caesar, etc. It leaves them intellectually handicapped.

                May I suggest a great book on this topic: The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers, Seventh Edition. Heilbronner does a masterful job of explaining the history of economics in an approachable way. It should be mandatory reading in any Econ 101 class.

                •  Thanks for the suggestion. I'd also like to (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dustin Mineau

                  read something on the history of the corporation.  Any suggestion?

                  •  Rather a specific book about the theory of the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lurker123

                    firm, which can be highly technical you might want to read some corporate biographies. Sorkin's To Big to Fail is good if a little slanted into making the Masters of the Universe into heroes. There are some really good books about the history of Apple computer. Roy E. Disney's biography of his father Roy Disney, Walt Disney's older brother and manager of the Disney company is another good one. Manchester's history of the Krupp corporation is massive but really illustrative.

                    What the Dormouse Saw is a really good book on the early days of the personal computer revolution. There is a book called Bad Samaritans which is a history of trade and globalization from an international point of view.

                    There is an old book called The Peter Principal from the 70s which still resonates with an examination of the way corporations and large organizations work.

                    All of these are meant for the general reader and not technical.

                    •  I'm thinking more along the lines of how corps (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dustin Mineau

                      arose, how they became immortal, etc.

                      •  Do you mean generally as a trend? Then look to the (0+ / 0-)

                        history of the railroad industry in the 19th century. Any good American History book will do. Howard Zinn's History of the American People is a good place to start. There are a number of good books about the Robber Barons. Including a few that are titled The Robber Barons.

                        I do not trust Wikipedia as a completely trustworthy source but a search for Robber Barons should give you a start. Also any biography of IBM will give you good insight as IBM started in the mid 19th century.

                        The idea of the corporation started in early 19th century Britain. It was a way to keep investors who lost everything on a risky investment out of debtors jail. The legal risk of losses was shifted from the individual investors to the corporation. That way your losses were limited to only what you invested in the corporation.

                    •  Another Classic (0+ / 0-)

                      Wreck of the Penn Central is another classic.  It describes a bankruptcy that held the biggest-bankruptcy record for several years, and led to the establishment of Conrail and Amtrak.

          •  Not a thin distinction at all. See Krugman. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dustin Mineau

            Or Stigliz. Or Roubini.

      •  The term rentier is different then renter. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dustin Mineau, CFAmick

        A renter is someone who rents you a real estate property. A rentier is a vulture capitalist. Mitt Romney and Bain Capital are rentiers. Rentier is a dirty word in economics. If some one rents you an apartment they are doing a valuable service to the economy as a whole. A rentier on the other hand engages in financial speculation that serves no purpose. Not all financial speculation is useless. Much of it is useful. Like venture capital. But that is not what rentiers do. Scrooge was a rentier.

        •  What you are saying... (0+ / 0-)

          ...is not what Dustin is saying.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:32:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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