HOW TO CORRUPT THE ECONOMY IN FAVOUR OF THE RENT-SEEKER

rentier1.   Re-write economics to understate the importance of land rent; roll it in with capital and call the new study “neo-classical economics”. [See chapter and verse of this in Mason Gaffney’s “Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem against Henry George.]

2.  Get all economists to claim “There’s not enough natural resource rent to replace tax revenues. It’s only about one per cent of the economy”, without doing the basic mathematics.  [Although the claim is patently false*, it is repeated in many economics text books. *Total US land prices have been conservatively assessed at $14.488 trillion. If US GDP in 2012 was $16.245 trillion and land rent is 1%, that means land rent would be about $162.45 billion. But if we divide the land rent by total US land prices, that discloses the overall capitalisation rate, i.e., $162.45 billion divided by $14,488  billion suggests a capitalisation rate of only 1.12%! Sure! Ask any assessor/valuer whether this is even remotely possible!]

3. So, now that we’ve hidden the real quantum of natural resource rent in the economy–at least 25% of GDP–from proper analysis (because it is economists, not land valuers or assessors, who are gifted with the responsibility of ‘running the economy’), the rentier class may then seek to maximise its share of that 25% of the economy. [Remember, although the economic rent of land and natural resources is community-generated, it is predominantly expropriated by the 1%.]

4. Environmental plunder proceeds apace; wealth disparities widen; slowly but surely, financial and social collapse takes hold.