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Guest Post: Why The Left Misunderstands Income Inequality

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Azizonomics

Why the Left Misunderstands Income Inequality

There is a widely-held notion on the political left that the key economic problem that our civilisation faces is income inequality.

To wit:

America emerged from the Great Depression and the Second World War with a much more equal distribution of income than it had in the 1920s; our society became middle-class in a way it hadn’t been before. This new, more equal society persisted for 30 years. But then we began pulling apart, with huge income gains for those with already high incomes. As the Congressional Budget Office has documented, the 1 percent — the group implicitly singled out in the slogan “We are the 99 percent” — saw its real income nearly quadruple between 1979 and 2007, dwarfing the very modest gains of ordinary Americans. Other evidence shows that within the 1 percent, the richest 0.1 percent and the richest 0.01 percent saw even larger gains.

 

By 2007, America was about as unequal as it had been on the eve of the Great Depression — and sure enough, just after hitting this milestone, we plunged into the worst slump since the Depression. This probably wasn’t a coincidence, although economists are still working on trying to understand the linkages between inequality and vulnerability to economic crisis.

I mostly agree that income inequality is a huge problem, although I believe that it is a symptom of a wider malaise. But income inequality is an important symptom of that wider malaise.

Here’s the key chart:

However it is just as important, perhaps more important to identify the causes of the income inequality.

I have my own pet theory:

The growth in income inequality seems to be largely an outgrowth of giving banks a monopoly over credit creation. In 1971, Richard Nixon severed the link between the dollar and gold, expanding the monopoly on credit creation to a carte blanche to print huge new quantities of dollars and give them to their friends.

 

Unsurprisingly, this led to a huge growth in the American and global money supplies. This new money was not exactly distributed evenly. A shrinking share has gone to wage labour.

However the dominant explanation on the left is that this is down to the tax structure. I can’t falsify this theory, because the data supports it:

But why has the government chosen to tax corporations less, and payrolls more?

Who owns the government? Political donors — they finance the political system. Before one vote is cast candidates tailor their platforms to meet the criteria of donors. Who are political donors? Well, they are people with spare capital to expend in the name of getting politicians elected.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the presumptive 2012 Presidential nominees:

(Even bigger money flows through the Super PACs. A full breakdown of Super PAC donors can be found here; the same donor profile emerges).

So who are the biggest donors? Banks & large corporations: the very people who have benefited most from the post-1971 tidal wave of fiat credit creation.

So not only has an exorbitantly high proportion of new credit gone into corporate and financial profits, but the beneficiaries have used these fruits to buy out the political system, thus ensuring that they keep an even higher proportion of their incomes, while making up for this slump with greater borrowing, and greater taxation of payrolls.

The political left — epitomised, I suppose, by the Occupy movement — often call for “taking the money out of politics”. By this, they seem to mean holding elections that are not funded by private money, where all candidates are given the same resources. The reality of this, of course, is that such a measure would require a change in the Constitution, as privately-funded political advertising is protected speech under the First Amendment.

But let’s assume — just for the sake of argument — that a law “taking the money out of politics” could be enacted by simple majorities in the House, the Senate, and a Presidential signature (after all, President Obama’s legislative program has not maintained much respect for the original intent of the U.S. Constitution). Even under those implausible circumstances, why would Congress pass such a law when the entire political system is dominated by financial donors who want their money to very much be in politics? After all, it is not just for the sake of tax avoidance — government largesse produces lucrative contracts for contractors. The more money the government has to redistribute, the more incentive there is to spend money to get your people into office redistributing it, and government has more money to distribute — both in absolute terms, and as a percentage of GDP — than at any time since World War II.

The other (and simpler) proposed solution from the left is raising taxes on the rich, so that they pay a “fair share”. There are two problems with this. Firstly, that raising taxes during an economic depression is contractionary, and will (like the misguided and destructive European austerity programs, which of course include tax hikes) depress economic conditions further. And even if this was a good proposal (it isn’t), the political class will fiercely resist such proposals. Today, the Democratic-controlled Senate voted down the so-called Buffett Rule, that would have imposed a 30% floor on taxation for incomes over $250,000. (Buffett — as a top recipient of Federal Reserve bailout cash — would have no problem paying such a rate, unlike those far poorer than him who never took a penny of bailout money. Buffett would do well to spend less time in the bath thinking about Becky Quick, and more time using his capital to create jobs, to end this depression.)

Income inequality is a symptom of a grave problem: corporatism.

From Professors Ammous and Phelps:

Now the capitalist system has been corrupted. The managerial state has assumed responsibility for looking after everything from the incomes of the middle class to the profitability of large corporations to industrial advancement. This system, however, is not capitalism, but rather an economic order that harks back to Bismarck in the late nineteenth century and Mussolini in the twentieth: corporatism.

 

In various ways, corporatism chokes off the dynamism that makes for engaging work, faster economic growth, and greater opportunity and inclusiveness. It maintains lethargic, wasteful, unproductive, and well-connected firms at the expense of dynamic newcomers and outsiders, and favors declared goals such as industrialization, economic development, and national greatness over individuals’ economic freedom and responsibility. Today, airlines, auto manufacturers, agricultural companies, media, investment banks, hedge funds, and much more has at some point been deemed too important to weather the free market on its own, receiving a helping hand from government in the name of the “public good.”

 

The costs of corporatism are visible all around us: dysfunctional corporations that survive despite their gross inability to serve their customers; sclerotic economies with slow output growth, a dearth of engaging work, scant opportunities for young people; governments bankrupted by their efforts to palliate these problems; and increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of those connected enough to be on the right side of the corporatist deal.

A realistic program to  ”take the money out of politics” — in other words, to return America’s form of government to its original constitutional intent, like the program advocated by Ron Paul — would do a lot to decapitate corporate power and the military-industrial-financial-corporate complex, who are mostly dependent upon government largesse, favourable regulation, bailouts, and moral-hazard-creating fictions like limited liability — for their very existence. But that won’t fly with either the political kingmakers, or the welfare-loving hordes of  voters (and often for good reason — many of us have paid taxes toward welfare all our lives, and don’t want to lose out of something we have paid for).

The real conclusion of this is that the status quo is not sustainable. Corporatism and oligopoly is almost never sustainable, because of the dire social consequences. Today, almost 20% of young people are unemployed, wasting on the scrapheap. The median net worth of the young is lower than it was 30 years ago. The number of long-term unemployed has spiked to an all-time-high. Prison populations are at all time highs — and the highest in the world, both proportionally, and in absolute terms. America’s former industrial belt rusts; American manufacturing (what’s left of it) has often been reduced to re-assembling foreign components. America is heavily dependent on foreign oil. The American imperial machine is suffering from a lack of manpower. America’s strengths are melting away in a firestorm of misguided central planning, imperial waste, and corporate corruption. America’s social culture is fiery and combustible and individualistic. Young people denied opportunity by a broken system will do something about it. Occupy Wall Street and the 2012 Ron Paul Presidential campaigns were the first manifestations of the jilted generation dabbling in politics.

The political left misunderstands the causes of income inequality —confused by the belief that government can somehow challenge the corporate and financial power it created in the first place — and thus proposes politically unrealistic (non-) solutions, particularly campaign finance reform, and raising taxes on the rich and corporations. Yes, the left are well-intentioned. Yes, they identify many of the right problems.  But how can government effectively regulate or challenge the power of the financial sector, megabanks and large corporations, when government is almost invariably composed of the favourite sons of those organisations? How can anyone seriously expect a beneficiary of the oligopolies — whether it’s Obama, McCain, Romney, Bush, Gore, Kerry, or any of the establishment Washingtonian crowd — to not favour their donors, and their personal and familial interests? How can we not expect them to favour the system that they emerged through, and which favoured them?

In reality, the system of corporatism that created the income inequality will inevitably degenerate of its own accord. The only question is when…

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Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:02 | 2362026 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Since people were running around in togas there has been money and corruption in politics. And every society has to decide how much of the wealth goes to Capital and how much goes to Labor. If you get the balance wrong then the people show up at your gated community with pitchforks. We're not there yet but I think lots of people have started thinking about which farm implement they'd use, where to buy some rope, and how to make a torch.

The American Election Circus has reached a fever pitch of absurdity, 1 1/2 years of fake distraction and full coffers for ad agencies but no real choice or debate is being offered. Contrast with France, where this weekend voters can choose the existing business as usual bankster puppet (Sarkozy), a guy who wants the top tax rate at 75% (Hollande), a woman who wants to kill all immigrants (Le Pen), A guy who wants to cap all incomes over $500K (Melenchon, polling at about 20%), an eco-activist (Joly), a centrist (Bayrou), a Euro-skeptic (Dupont-Aignan) and a Trotskyite (Arthaud)

The death grip of the two-party fake choice is the problem, Perot tried to break it, so did Dr. Paul...

 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:04 | 2362220 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Actually the problem has more to do with you morons assuming that "society" has to decide where the fuck my money goes. How about you leave my money alone, and do what the fuck ever you wish with your own?

 

You people are like fucking leeches, every time I pull one off, another of you retards shows up somewhere else.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 16:35 | 2362311 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Sorry, the "society" decides this whether you like it or not, through things like laws and tax policy. If your argument is that we don't need laws and should have no taxes, then I'd ask: what color is the sky on your planet?

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 08:52 | 2363452 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

usual bankster puppet Sarkozy? a bit semplistic, I'd say.
The bankster part, I mean...

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:16 | 2362071 Iwanttoknow
Iwanttoknow's picture

Thomas,

thank you for mentioning Kevin phillips.all of his books should be compulsory reading for all americans.

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 12:29 | 2363684 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Thomas said:

The financialization at the end of empire is all described in Kevin Phillips's "American Theocracy".

An excellent book, it also takes into account the interplay of peak oil with financialization and politics.

If you enjoy eye-opening books, I highly recommend Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer. It puts the whole "War on Terra" into perspective, including why it is another "war" in which winning is not one of the objectives.

 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 12:54 | 2361522 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

It's not just that the 'left' is generally math-challenged when they put forth the usual hare-brained schemes to tax high incomes more in so far as they do not understand the difference between the mean and the median, but even more by the fact that they cannot see that there are differences in how incomes are procured:

Labor, entrepreneurism, investment or rent.

The three former are through hard work and ingenuity, the latter is through government privilege.

Insofar that the political 'left' refuses to enact a tax reform that shifts taxes away from the productive public and onto the rent-seekers (be it in landed property or through legal privileges that e.g. corporations, and especially banking corporations, live high on and through), by reducing and simplifying the tax code, increasing thresholds to income taxes by at least the inflation YoY, and lowering rates, the 'left' is BETRAYING their supposed constituents by letting them sink ever deeper into the choking mud of tax rules and the resulting destitution.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:27 | 2361625 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

Labor, entrepreneurism, investment or rent.

 

The three former are through hard work and ingenuity, the latter is through government privilege.

 

Cannot vote that perfect summation up enough, with your permission I'm going to steal it.

 

Going to work it into my "manifesto":

 

You want to fix this?  Simple:

1.) Let GOLD trade free of taxation and derivatives.  No more levered futures contracts.  1:1 allocated only.  No tax on gold sale, capital gains or otherwise.  Do it with silver too, while we're at it.

2.) Impose a national progressive real estate tax with a super high threshold, say $10,000,000.   No federal taxation below that level.  Amend The Constitution to allow the threshold to rise based on the amount of gold produced each year (approx 1.5%).  Amend The Constitution so that the states cannot tax real estate below a threshold of $5,000.000.

3.) Ban all other forms of taxation with a Constitutional amendment.

That fixes the problem for about 1000 years.  Taxation is progressive, but only above a very high threshold, allowing those who want to live simply and self-sufficiently to do so if they wish.  This forces the monied elite to deploy their capital towards CAPITALISM (seeking profit via production of goods and services), as opposed to their current method of seeking a return on their money, COLLECTING RENT.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:27 | 2361658 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"Cannot vote that perfect summation up enough, with your permission I'm going to steal it."

 

Permission granted.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:32 | 2361667 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Thanks!

Just realized my "manifesto" had a fatal flaw.  2.) should read:

2.) Impose a national progressive real estate tax with a super high threshold, say $10,000,000.   No federal taxation below that level.  Amend The Constitution to allow the threshold to rise based on the true rate of inflation measured against gold, silver, energy and food.  Amend The Constitution so that the states cannot tax real estate below a threshold of $5,000.000.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:38 | 2361685 XitSam
XitSam's picture

But shouldn't energy and food be priced in gold or silver?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:49 | 2361984 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

It's a work in progress, I'm welcome to suggestions!

The thinking behind a basket is that a basket is less prone to manipulation than a single item.

 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:05 | 2362036 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

I'd love to see Tyler sponsor a new Continental Congress and prepare THE ZH MANIFESTO. Maybe take some of his millions and sponsor a cruise ship party where it all gets decided.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:15 | 2362068 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"Maybe take some of his millions and sponsor a cruise ship party where it all gets decided."

 

Which afterwards declares itself a sovereign nation.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:43 | 2362490 Thisson
Thisson's picture

There already is a Zero Hedge Manifesto.  It's a link on the top-right corner of your screen.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:43 | 2362488 Thisson
Thisson's picture

You can't measure inflation by looking at a basket of goods.  Inflation is measured by the totals of CASH and CREDIT in an economy. 

For example: in an economy with a fixed supply of money and credit, any commodity (including gold and silver) can still change price as people's preferences change.

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 09:05 | 2363463 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Robert Heinlein - the SF writer - favoured a tax on land only.
Some europeans propose a VAT - a tax on consumpition only.

A friend of mine proposes a payroll tax only (!) with only taxpayers being frenchised/voting. Calls it a Plebeian Republic.

Another says a republic should sell half of the voting rights on markets - spares the BS...

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 09:38 | 2363493 i-dog
i-dog's picture

It saddens me that these discussions always immediately devolve into an attempt for a statist, one-size-fits-all, central planning solution ... from which the usual divisions and arguments ensue ... playing directly into the hands of the Hegelian oligarchs to maintain the status quo! The current system is fucked, and any central planning alternative will also be fucked from the start!

Let each town, county and state compete for residents and industry on the basis of what they choose to adopt in the way of currency, taxation, system of governance, and defense. Some will succeed and some will fail (just as many do now, even under the caring control of the Anglo-Americans and the UN).

In this world of extensive travel and instant communications, each will learn from the successes and mistakes of the others very quickly and normalise accordingly.

Arm them all with guns and nukes, or not, if they wish, and none will be stupid enough to attack another. Aggressors are far better controlled by diplomacy, alliances and 'shunning' than by a corruptible Big Brother.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:46 | 2361731 odatruf
odatruf's picture

My question would be how you value the real estate for tax purposes?  It's not a complaint or a reason to oppose your idea, just an administrative detail to work out.

What for example, would stop TPTB from ascribing a value of $5 million to each of the three properties I own that are worth about $1 million total on the open market?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:48 | 2361740 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"My question would be how you value the real estate for tax purposes? It's not a complaint or a reason to oppose your idea, just an administrative detail to work out."

 

The same way the market, realtors and various assessors do it.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:22 | 2361895 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Real estate should be valued at the last sales price recorded for it.  Any other value is merely speculation.  

You should not pay additional taxes for pruchasing something  and then having a third party declare it is now worth more than you paid.  That's just  speculation.

 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:48 | 2361982 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

Assuming that the bidding has happened openly, public and well announced, I agree.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:50 | 2362170 fnordfnordfnord
fnordfnordfnord's picture

Or else I ought to be able to go down to the tax office and declare "Sold!" deliver them the title to my real estate and collect my check from them for the full value (minus the taxes, I guess).

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 18:59 | 2362676 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

It should be valued like race horses.  Whatever the owner values it at, anyone else can buy it for that amount.

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 09:28 | 2363481 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Heinlein's method: the owner values/prices it and pays the tax on it.
Everybody can bid up on that price.
The owner can counter by repricing and paying past taxes on it.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:47 | 2361736 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

I'd not set the threshold very high, but conversely I'd only tax the land upon which the real estate stands.

Limiting entry to use of land, which is nature-given and scarce, will inevitably rob the broad public of natural opportunity, thus leading to unemployment and poverty, just as Henry George originally wrote.

 

As for buildings - these are capital and human-made, and as such un-scrace (assuming no punitive taxes discourage their production, such as labor taxation), and thus not something you would wan't to tax. Perhaps with the exception of a time-limited tax on super-high value mansions along your proposal, which are naturally only valued such because of the exuberance of either the realtor or the banks that pump the RE market to bursting as it has been the past decade.

 

As a Land (Value) Tax is enacted, the income tax, first and fore most, the federal one, can be reduced, from the bottom up. I suggest an immediate tax exemption (ie 0% bracket) up to twice the national poverty line. After that, there can be a 15% bracket, and over 10x the poverty line, a 30% tax. As the LVT is phased in with rising rates, the income tax basic rate (the 15%, and the derived 2x15%) can be progressively lowered, until it is eventually abolished entirely.

 

BTW, people cannot vote on your posts if theyre initiated with a quote.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:10 | 2361831 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Ah, the old "tax the rentiers" canard. Thinly reconstructed Marxism courtesy of neo-Marxist Michael Hudson.

Unfortunately, when the state taxes private property, it de facto becomes public property. When all private property becomes public property... HELLO MARX!

Go sell crazy somewhere else. We're all full up here.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:46 | 2361977 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"Ah, the old "tax the rentiers" canard. Thinly reconstructed Marxism courtesy of neo-Marxist Michael Hudson."

 

Do your homework properly. Taxing the land value, which by and large is publically created, is anything but Marxism. In fact, it is an attack on 9,5 out of 10 of Marx' original commandments.

 

"Unfortunately, when the state taxes private property, it de facto becomes public property."

No, private property is what you as a property holders get from having your title recognized and protected by a public judicial institution, as well at the right to take the fruits of land + labor mixed with it into your posession, under the constraints delineated by the landed rent reclamation of the land value tax. That is, YOU DERIVE ECONOMIC BENEFIT FROM HAVING PUBLIC PROTECTION OF YOUR EXCLUSIVE USE OF YOUR PROPERTY AND PROFIT AND PRODUCT DERIVED FROM SAME.

 

"When all private property becomes public property... HELLO MARX!"

HELLO IGNORANCE more like.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:48 | 2361990 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Let's pretend I get up everyday and work my income.  Hard to imagine in this day and age, but bear with me.

Whether I buy game consoles, beer, or land, it is my choice to make whatever purchases as I please. If purchase land and I decide to rent it for whatever purpose, that is my choice to do with the property that I have worked to obtain.  This no different with any type of property, be it land, houses, cars, tools, etc.  Nobody cries for the landowner when their property is destroyed in say a natural disaster and they lose their property.  There is risk associated with owning the land.  Renting is a way of allowing someone to utilize property without taking on the risks of owning.  It's all about risk and reward, you see.  Those who take the risks deserve to reap the rewards.  

This concept of "renting is evil" is just pure non-sense.  

 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:54 | 2362008 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"This concept of "renting is evil" is just pure non-sense."

 

This misconception comes from that you assume land is just any other purchaseable good as beer, cars or game consoles, which is completely false on a number of counts, one being that land continually appreciates, whereas almost all products of human labor (ie. gadgets) depreciate as they fall apart in time; another being that since that human labor cannot crate new land, the natural reources are scarce (exemplified in the peak oil which is giving you 4....5....6....$ gas these days), and thus disproportionally benefit those who hold title on them in comparison to those who are excluded by same title-giving (Government Privilege).

Hope it helps.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2362014 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Your premise is false, sir.  

Land continually appreciates when it is purchased using FRNs the FED continually depreciates by printing money.  Maybe one day the light will turn on for you.  I admire your struggle though.

Even with peak oil, if you prices oil in terms of gold, the price per gallon would be at an all time low.

And human labour *does* create land.  

Here are a few examples... It has been done for centuries when the Dutch pump out water and build levees.  

And more recently in Dubai where the Palm Islands have been created.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Islands

 

 

 

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:13 | 2362053 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"Land continually appreciates when it is purchased using FRNs the FED continually depreciates by printing money. Maybe one day the light will turn on for you. I admire your struggle though."

What is the price of 1 sq. ft. og land in Manhattan, in gold, for the last two centuries?

 

The light will very rapidly turn on for you once you answer this question.

 

"And human labour *does* create land. Here are a few examples... It has been done for centuries when the Dutch pump out water and build levees."

No, the labor expended are improvements that make existing land available for human use. The land was already there. Obviously, human labor cannot create mass and energy out of nothing.

 

"And more recently in Dubai where the Palm Islands have been created."

Likewise false.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:41 | 2362152 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Why don't you tell me what the price of land is in Manhattan priced in terms of gold, for the last 200 years.    Did it ever go down in price at any point in time?  Have land and houses ever been overpriced anywhere on the planet (even in terms of FRNs)?  Lately?  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?  

I don't understand why you choose Manhattan as your frame of reference.  There is other land around which is undervalued out there you know.  

Yes in Dubai, land was infact created, where is did not exist before.  There was water.  Then through human labor, land was created.  The Dutch lost land due to flooding where land was destroyed, and through human labor and ingenuity their were able to recreate land by removing water.  There are many many many examples of this around the globe.  I cite two to show that your thinking is seriously flawed.

I don't plan on educating you, that is up to you.  You thinking has been shown to be seriously flawed to this point.

 

 

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 06:51 | 2363385 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

"Have land and houses ever been overpriced anywhere on the planet (even in terms of FRNs)? Lately? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?"

 

So now your argument is changed from land appreciating due to inflation in fiat, to being simple overpriced.

 

"I don't understand why you choose Manhattan as your frame of reference."

 

Choose any other high-population or high-commerce density spot in the world. Hong Kong, Shanghai, London. The point remains the same.

 

"Yes in Dubai, land was infact created, where is did not exist before. There was water. "

 

Please do expend the effort of reading what I have written before you respond to it. Also, read up on the economic definition of what 'land' is. Hint: It is not dry land.

 

"I don't plan on educating you, that is up to you. You thinking has been shown to be seriously flawed to this point."

 

As always with these net debates, it is ironic how much the ones who use this line themselves are reluctant to step back from their pulputs for just a few moments to examine their own claims.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:29 | 2361931 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Georgism.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:09 | 2361830 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The Fed Govt owns more than 40% of all American Real estate.  Maybe they should auction it to it's citizens and collect some real taxes.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:31 | 2361938 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

What if the Chinese buy it all?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2361998 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

We will nationalize it.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:01 | 2362023 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

China already has it as collateral on the money your Govt. borrowed from them.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:32 | 2362125 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Do you have to think hard to make up batshit-crazy stuff to post on the innerwebz?  Or does it just come to you like voices in your brain?

let's see if I can do it...

Lizards are owlblossoms descending from the heavens of Mars!

The core of every second of life is eternal fire!

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:53 | 2362007 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

The Fed Govt owns more than 40% of all American Real estate.  Maybe they should auction it to it's citizens and collect some real taxes.

Thanks for reminding me:  I would include an amendment that the Fed Gov't cannot own more than 15% of the country's land, and the states cannot own more than 15% of their respective state's land AS ASSESSED BY DOLLAR VALUE....

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 17:40 | 2362482 Thisson
Thisson's picture

There's nothing wrong with gold futures contracts, at least the ones that are all marked to market regularly, properly margined, and centrally cleared via COMEX.

Why shouldn't gold producers be allowed to hedge their output if they so choose?  And why shouldn't speculators be allowed to take the other side of the wager?

Free markets requires freedom, not a centralized nanny state telling people that their arms' length transactions are prohibited.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 14:54 | 2362009 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

"Investment" isn't a product of hard work or ingenuity.  There's some skill involved, sure, but there's also a tremendous amount of luck to it.

"Investment" is about the same as "rent."  You had wealth, so you converted it into some form that returns income for no continued labor.

That's where the whole capitalist thing starts to become a bit of a problem.  Once people think they *deserve* money for not working, you end up with a class of parasites.  Most of the attention is focused on the parasites at the bottom of the income ladder, but the ones at the top are the folks who get away with the most money.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 23:15 | 2363093 smb12321
smb12321's picture

The Left has always operated like NPR - huge intellectual support from the powers that be, the "intellectual elite" with mouthings of support for the underdogs.  It's that obsession with egalitarianism, the act of imposing equality regardless of input.  The Left's contention that everyone - but especially the poor, the zombies and the uneducated - should share the rewards REGARDLESS of their productivity is my main gripe.   Why the hell should I work, scrimp, plan and save only to have some do gooder hand a good chunk of my income to political supporters? 

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 13:27 | 2363741 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

    The Left's contention that everyone - but especially the poor, the zombies and the uneducated

Dude, if that's a contention of "The Left," you should realize you're in a vast left-wing bastion of "thinkers" right this very moment! 

Have you ever read these posts around here?  35% of them are assertions of the inferiority of the poor uneducated zombies watching Dancing with the Stars and eating chips purchased at Walmart.  Seriously--perfectly good threads are frequently overrun by the dog-pile of commentary expressing JUST HOW STUPID EVERYONE IS.

But WE'RE all smarter.  WE'RE the really GOOD people.  It's not OUR fault we're surrounded by a country of IDIOTS.

Blah. 

It's a bit fuckin' discouraging to observe how completely lacking self-awareness people can be.  The reason the revolution won't be televised is because the final battle has to take place within your own mind.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 12:58 | 2361542 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Whats 9/11 have to do with anything?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:53 | 2361757 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

Jewish Mafia, Please seperate the race from criminal. Is there a hebrew word for organized crime? Italians have enough trouble.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 19:09 | 2362689 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

The only "race" the Ashkenazi or Eastern European faux-Jews are is caucasian.  Italian isn't a race either.  It's, likewise, a nationality or tribe if you prefer.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:51 | 2362172 greyghost
greyghost's picture

no shit crime of the century.....under contributors for obama?   THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA????? is that even legal? that a goverment organization giving calif taxpayer money to a political organization and someone running for political office! where did the poster get this information?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 12:34 | 2361447 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Connect the dots.  A nation of corporations with one party, for the banks (and their corporate masters), by the banks (and their corporate masters).  GDP goes up, but the middle class get a smaller piece of the pie and higher prices.  Yes, it's good to be in that top 0.1%- Winning.

 

Long black markets, see underground post below.

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