How contentious are commodity spaces. Are they the perfectly competitive free market spaces imagined by libertarians or are they data points or network nodes abstractly representing the historical path from market towns to metropolitan sprawl. Is the commodity space the set of all possible commodity bundles or is it the path of long histories of class struggle and capital accumulation.
Whether intellectual property or land, property rights must be treated as a generalizable commodity. The dual approaches to property rights are also false dichotomies: the first, which argues that property and identity are necessarily bundled together and considers property to be a human right; and the second, which understands them as explicitly separate and views property as a commodity.
The dichotomous contradiction is the intervention of other elements made problematic in accumulated social-political capital such as the state. Eminent domain transforms that libertarian fantasy of freedom into legalized appropriation, where the right exercised by governments like the United States operates to usurp private property for public use, following fair(sic) compensation.
The power of a state, provincial, or national government to take and trade private property for public use, is more often than not fee simple ownership. In some cases, the super-profits made by these financial actors are best conceptualized as forms of rent, derived in part from the monopoly ownership of a basic need. This entails “the role of the state, beyond its obvious significance in the formalization of tradable property rights. In particular, the issue of the state's own land, i.e. public land, has been afforded scant scrutiny.”
The designation of a property deemed "blighted" or a "development impediment", is based on the principle that such properties had a negative impact upon surrounding property owners, but was later expanded to allow the taking of any private property when the new third-party owner could develop the property in such a way as to bring in increased tax revenues to the government.
Fee simple ownership became blood simple violence in the dispossession of indigenous peoples’ land under settler colonialism. Such conflicts are examples of governmentality in that It proposes that government by the state is only one form of governing, that the terms state and government are not synonymous, and that actions taken by the state alone cannot bring about its desired ends. Commodification is the result of displaced possession of property rights via financialization and speculation.
We know that further commodification occurs, whether to pay college athletes and the continuing struggle of trafficking humans as commodities across borders or as other human violations. Commodifying natural resources embodies the ultimate challenge to planetary destruction regardless of the anthropocentric frame of reference.
Housing, land, and property (HLP) rights provide an interesting spatial and temporal intersection of conflict and struggle or capital and labor.
“While those using conflict commodities seek means of quick and
easy access, transfer of possession, and extraction and transport, this is accomplished more easily with some commodities than others (Lujala and Rustad 2011). A number of conflict commodities are geographically remote, limited in quantity, or difficult to locate; and can depend on arduous or costly extraction methods or require specific forms of transportation (timber, oil) and complicated payment methods by outside actors (ibid.)…. Such a widespread spatial distribution also makes controlling or stopping the trafficking in conflict HLP rights different than spatially concentrated conflict commodities.” (stabilityjournal.org/...)
For example, property rights, or people’s legal right to own, use and sell land, resources and other goods, can provide an incentive to sustainably use natural resources. However, people in many countries around the world do not have clear property rights over land, water, minerals and more, putting natural resources at great risk.
Because of the abstract nature of such exchanges, reducing commodities as values measurable in prices or currency only seem non-spatial or anti-spatial in spite of or because of financialization. Land financialization distorted land management and local government behaviors and created many mega urban projects and large-scale infrastructure projects based on land financing approaches. This applies even more to urban built environments. For example, the transfer of development rights functions no differently than the market for pollution credits.
Private versus public conflicts surround claims for property ownership that may incentivize favorable public outcomes, which are that: 1. Property rights can prevent ecosystem degradation. 2. Property rights can encourage the provision of ecosystem services. and 3. Property rights can promote investment in conservation and efficient use of resources. All of these can be capitalized much like the term “ecosystem services” organizes the exchange-value of such services.
Your ownership of a mortgage is also fictitious capital, and your use-value for car ownership is only for an ostensibly rented product that only in the rarest cases lasts your lifetime. We see such financialized contention in the changing of land-use rules in instances like the Trump administration’s attempt to open federal lands for private mining exploitation. Similarly, the trade in electromagnetic spectrum rights as well as pollution credits and the auctioning of rights in mineral extraction resemble the lease auctions for siting of wind turbine farms. These are not free-market competitions especially in the organization of bids and the qualification for bidders.
As usual this is more of a think piece in the hope of some useful anticapitalist discourse.
Below are some endnotes:
The seven basic forms of commodity trade can be summarised as follows:
- M-C (an act of purchase: a sum of money purchases a commodity, or "money is changed into a commodity")
- C-M (an act of sale: a commodity is sold for money)
- M-M' (a sum of money is lent out at interest to obtain more money, or, one currency or financial claim is traded for another; "money begets money")
- C-C' (countertrade, in which a commodity trades directly for a different commodity, with money possibly being used as an accounting referent, for example, food for oil, or weapons for diamonds)
- C-M-C' (a commodity is sold for money, which buys another, different commodity with an equal or higher value)
- M-C-M' (money is used to buy a commodity which is resold to obtain a larger sum of money)
- M-C...P...-C'-M' (money buys means of production and labour power used in production to create a new commodity, which is sold for more money than the original outlay; "the circular course of capital")
The fact that the substance of the exchange-value is something utterly different from and independent of the physical-sensual existence of the commodity or its reality as a use-value is revealed immediately by its exchange relationship. For this is characterized precisely by the abstraction from the use-value. As far as the exchange-value is concerned, one commodity is, after all, quite as good as every other, provided it is present in the correct proportion.
Hence, commodities are first of all simply to be considered as values, independent of their exchange-relationship or from the form, in which they appear as exchange-values.
Commodities as objects of use or goods are corporeally different things. Their reality as values forms, on the other hand, their unity. This unity does not arise out of nature but out of society. The common social substance which merely manifests itself differently in different use-values, is – labour.
Commodities as values are nothing but crystallized labour. The unit of measurement of labour itself is the simple average-labour, the character of which varies admittedly in different lands and cultural epochs, but is given for a particular society. More complex labour counts merely as simple labour to an exponent or rather to a multiple, so that a smaller quantum of complex labour is equal to a larger quantum of simple labour, for example. Precisely how this reduction is to be controlled is not relevant here. That this reduction is constantly occurring is revealed by experience. A commodity may be the product of the most complex labour. Its value equates it to the product of simple labour and therefore represents on its own merely a definite quantum of simple labour.
Marx eliminates his simplifying assumption of Volume I that in capitalism commodities tend to exchange according to their 'values' (i.e., labor-values). Without Volume III it is not possible to have the complete picture of Marx's theory of capitalism and, in particular, his theory that commodities exchanged according to their 'production prices', which deviated systematically from their 'values', or according to 'modified prices of production' if capitalists had to pay rent to landowners.
For Marx, commodities tended to exchange according to their 'values' only in non-capitalist (or 'simple') commodity production in which there is no wage labor (only independent producers) and land is freely available. Nevertheless, he used his sophisticated labor theory of 'value' for the construction of his theory of surplus-value (which was his theory of exploitation). This was the 'esoteric' part of his theory, which underlaid the 'exoteric' part that explained equilibrium prices, wages, and rents. The global surplus-value produced was for him the foundation for profits on capital and rents on land. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk considered the labor theory of value fallacious, since it could only be valid in special cases. For example, he argued against Johann Karl Rodbertus that a nugget of gold that falls to earth embedded in a meteorite, and thus not having been produced by labor, would still fall within the purview of economic science.
For example, as a problem in identification, how is the commodity space defined by vacancy rate related to property ownership, land speculation, and redlining. The irony of homelessness in the US should not be lost on anyone.
The major difference between buying and selling securities and commodities lies in what is being sold. Purchasing stock buys a share in a corporation's ownership and control. Purchasing commodities, on the other hand, is to buy goods themselves before they actually exist. The buyer agrees to purchase so many units of a good at a set price to be delivered much later.
“A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside of us, a thing that by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. The nature of such wants, whether, for instance, they spring from the stomach or from fancy, makes no difference. Neither are we here concerned to know how the object satisfies these wants, whether directly as means of subsistence, or indirectly as means of production” (Marx 45).
More simply put, a worker produces an object (i.e. fabric, shoes, plastic, houses, etc.) that, despite the investment of their personal labor, remains as the boss’s property. This simple, yet crucial fact turns the object into merchandise, or a commodity. The boss who possesses wealth and commodities, is, for Marx, the embodiment of the bourgeois; and the worker thus becomes the embodiment of the proletariat. More important, however, is that the bourgeois, in possessing the capital, maintains control over the use and exchange of those commodities. With this in mind, Marx continues his discussion of commodity by defining use-value and exchange-value. (See also Globalism and Transnationalism, The Spice Trade in India, Communism in India)
On March 6, 2018, a federal judge upheld the notion that cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are commodities and can therefore be regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Since 2015, the CFTC has claimed that cryptocurrencies were commodities. However, this is the first time a federal judge had confirmed this position.
At issue in the case was whether the CFTC had the jurisdiction to regulate cryptocurrency as a commodity in the absence of federal level rules, and whether the law permitted the CFTC to "exercise its jurisdiction over fraud that does not directly involve the sale of futures or derivative contracts," according to the court filings.
In both instances, Judge Weinstein answered yes, implying the case can be brought against the defendant and that the CFTC had jurisdiction over cryptocurrency related matters.
The CFTC isn’t the only regulator that claims oversight over the cryptocurrency business. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has noted that it views virtual currencies as securities, and has set up a whole “Cyber Unit” to tackle fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Georgists have observed that privately created wealth is socialized via the tax system (e.g., through income and sales tax), while socially created wealth in land values are privatized in the price of land titles and bank mortgages. The opposite would be the case if land rents replaced taxes on labor as the main source of public revenue; socially created wealth would become available for use by the community, while the fruits of labor would remain private.
According to Georgists, a land value tax can be considered a user fee instead of a tax, since it is related to the market value of socially created locational advantage, the privilege to exclude others from locations. Assets consisting of commodified privilege can be considered as wealth since they have exchange value, similar to taxi medallions.[failed verification] A land value tax, charging fees for exclusive use of land, as a means of raising public revenue is also a progressive tax tending to reduce economic inequality, since it applies entirely to ownership of valuable land, which is correlated with income, and there is generally no means by which landlords can shift the tax burden onto tenants or laborers. Landlords are unable to pass the tax on to tenants because the supply and demand of rented land is unchanged. Because the supply of land is perfectly inelastic, land rents depend on what tenants are prepared to pay, rather than on the expenses of landlords, and so the tax cannot be passed on to tenants.
Henry George shared the goal of modern Georgists to socialize or dismantle rent from all forms of land monopoly and legal privilege. However, George emphasized mainly his preferred policy known as land value tax, which targeted a particular form of unearned income known as ground rent. George emphasized ground-rent because basic locations were more valuable than other monopolies and everybody needed locations to survive, which he contrasted with the less significant streetcar and telegraph monopolies, which George also criticized. George likened the problem to a laborer traveling home who is waylaid by a series of highway robbers along the way, each who demand a small portion of the traveler's wages, and finally at the very end of the road waits a robber who demands all that the traveler has left. George reasoned that it made little difference to challenge the series of small robbers when the final robber remained to demand all that the common laborer had left. George predicted that over time technological advancements would increase the frequency and importance of lesser monopolies, yet he expected that ground rent would remain dominant. George even predicted that ground-rents would rise faster than wages and income to capital, a prediction that modern analysis has shown to be plausible, since the supply of land is fixed.
Spatial rent is still the primary emphasis of Georgists because of its large value and the known diseconomies of misused land. However, there are other sources of rent that are theoretically analogous to ground-rent and are debated topics of Georgists. The following are some sources of economic rent.
Where free competition is impossible, such as telegraphs, water, gas, and transportation, George wrote, "[S]uch business becomes a proper social function, which should be controlled and managed by and for the whole people concerned." Georgists were divided by this question of natural monopolies and often favored public ownership only of the rents from common rights-of-way, rather than public ownership of utility companies themselves.
It is possible to ignore the distinction between spatial and non-spatial data. However, there are fundamental differences between them:
- spatial data are generally multi-dimensional and auto correlated.
- non-spatial data are generally one-dimensional and independent.
For 8,000 years, people in China have known the value of garlic. Today, while still central to Chinese cuisine and traditional medicine, rarely are the pungent bulbs used in property deals.But developers in some parts of China have in recent weeks promised to accept stocks of garlic — as well as watermelons, wheat and barley — as down payments from farmers on new apartments. The food-for-property barter deals reflect increasing desperation among real estate developers after a sharp fall in the industry caused by Covid-19, central government policies and an economic slowdown. Provincial officials and real estate developers had been relying on a wave of 100mn urban migrants over the next decade. The fallout from sweeping lockdowns has worsened an already-bleak outlook for the property market, especially in the smaller cities closer to poor rural areas. “It’s the third year of Covid and many people are worn out, unemployed or underemployed, and have drained their savings to a level at which they now have to reduce their spending,” said Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura. Over the past six months, the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, has relaxed lending restrictions and cut mortgage rates while the finance ministry put on ice plans to expand property tax trials. Officials are also rolling out a system in which households receive vouchers for future home purchases if they agree to have their properties demolished. This is targeted mostly at tier-3 cities of 3mn people or fewer and tier-2 cities of 3mn-15mn.In some areas, city officials also eased restrictions on second home purchases, crossing one of Beijing’s “red lines” that until recently authorities were careful to obey. Despite these efforts, many poorer citizens are not convinced to invest. The reluctance is not isolated to garlic growers in Henan province and extends beyond the tier-3 cities into tier-2 cities, which are typically wealthier.
Coal plants being reactivated are like Krugman’s driver:
In the philosophy of space and time, the “territory” is, of course, the ontology of space and time (i.e., its nature or being), whereas the principal “map” is the substantivalism (or absolutism) versus relationism dichotomy.
Last Updated: March 10, 2022
Report Highlights. The national rental vacancy rate is 5.6%. Statistics indicate a growing suburban rental market and a return to cities.
- The national rental vacancy rate declined 13.9% year-over-year (YoY).
- The suburban rental vacancy rate is 5.1%.
- Rental vacancy in principal cities declined 18.6% YOY.
- 31.5% of vacant rentals are available for rent; the rest are held off market or are otherwise unavailable.
- The median monthly rental price among vacancies is $1,228.