[H/T to MacroBusiness for this comment from Dr Gavin Putland]
WORKERS (i) pay rent, (ii) help their employers to pay rent, and (iii) raise some of the next generation of rent-payers.
LAND SPECULATORS (i) receive economic rent for the gifts of nature, (ii) take the credit for providing them, and (iii) lobby governments for an ever-increasing supply of rent-payers.
BANKS (i) borrow money from overseas and lend it against the gifts of nature, driving their prices as high as possible, in order to siphon off the largest possible share of the economic rent under the guise of the interest margin, (ii) ensure that home ownership is financed by debt instead of equity, so that new owners become human shields against price falls, and (iii) take the credit for facilitating changes of ownership that might otherwise have taken place at much lower prices.
HOME OWNERS (i) work themselves to death in order to pay rent under the guise of interest on their inflated mortgages, and (ii) support any policy that would increase their “equity” in their homes by making life even harder for future buyers.
PROPERTY DEVELOPERS drip-feed land to the market, after hoarding it for as long as possible in order to maximize prices (see LAND SPECULATORS).
IMMIGRANTS supplement the ranks of working rent-payers because, mysteriously, people of that class can’t afford to breed at a sufficient rate.
GOVERNMENTS (i) enforce debts, (ii) protect property rights over the gifts of nature, (iii) provide public works and services that raise the market values of the gifts of nature for the benefit of the owners, (iv) bring in rent-paying immigrants who raise the market values of the gifts of nature even without public works and services, (v) fund these activities by taxing rent-payers, and (vi) take the credit for rising asset values.
THE UNEMPLOYED (i) try to take jobs from other people, thereby putting downward pressure on the price of labour to compensate for the upward pressures caused by rents and taxes, and (ii) take the blame for all the free-riding in the system.
EMPLOYERS (i) pay rent, (ii) help their workers to pay rent, (iii) collect taxes payable by their workers, their customers, and sometimes even their suppliers, without being paid for this service, but under threat of penalties if they don’t perform it, (iv) foot the bill for minimum wage increments that are mostly confiscated by the central government via welfare clawbacks and income tax, (v) hire immigrants in a self-defeating attempt to compensate for the above costs, and (vi) take the blame for all the exploitation in the system.
ASYLUM SEEKERS (i) divert attention from the far more numerous economic immigrants brought in by the central government, (ii) get branded as economic immigrants by the central government, and (iii) take the blame for the decline of national unity and national values.
LEFT-WING POLITICIANS pretend that employers can fix everything.
RIGHT-WING POLITICIANS pretend that the unemployed and precariously employed can fix everything.
ECONOMISTS provide plausible explanations why the system doesn’t need fixing, but should be as it is, only more so.
VOTERS reward governments for policies that (i) maximize the rents and land prices that they have to pay, and (ii) make the unemployed try ever harder to take their jobs and their kids’ jobs.
Did I leave anybody out?
The UK & US supply arms to Saudis; Saudis support ISIS; we fight ISIS; Syria fights ISIS; we fight Syria. The enemy of my enemy is ………. my enemy?
….. and if most MMTers were to understand that taxes and land prices are the real generators of inflation–not high wages and profits–they’d also see the benefit of governments capturing land rent instead of taxing labour and capital (i.e. productivity)!
MMTers and Georgists (Henry George was a greenbacker) have a lot in common, and a lot of educating to do, mainly amongst our political ‘representatives’ who corruptly serve their mates instead of their people.
We’re off to hell in a handbasket, all because of the disinformation served up by lawyers (where are our poets?) and economists, and a mainstream media obviously in their thrall. Their ignorance ain’t our bliss!
Cameron K Murray’s and Paul Frijters’ Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation is of supreme importance to the future of Australia. You can’t say that about many non-fiction books but, whether or not you read it, the direction of our social and economic health will be integrally affected by how we react to the errant situations it exposes.
Warning: if you do read it, the ‘James’ part of you will feel affronted, if not made naked, whilst the ‘Bruce’ in your nature will be gob-smacked and seriously challenged. The two characters, James, who is a receiver of unearned incomes or ‘grey gifts’, and Bruce, who always loses out to James, are metaphorical constructs to lighten Murray and Frijters’ well-documented Game, which clearly demonstrates in almost any direction we care to investigate, Australia has gone sadly awry and is in deep trouble from these corruptions.
I disagreed with one sentence only. In the penultimate chapter How Much Does the Game Bleed You? : “This does not mean that the total income of Australia would be twice as high if we went to best-practice in all areas.” In an overarching study for the Land Values Research Group, I showed if we were to put an end to the Game, our GDP would indeed double.
Game of Mates is an excellent ‘must read’ for every Australian, if not for those beyond Australia. They will find incredibly upsetting parallels.
It’s an old, old game: a game of mates!
“As a treaty between the aboriginal people and subsequent settlers, we the citizens of Australia acknowledge the wrongs involved in the dispossession of the aboriginal peoples from their lands, often by frontier wars. To rectify European-Australians’ commoditisation of aboriginal land, we declare the rent of land to be the commonwealth, the natural source of the nation’s revenue, where exclusive possession has been granted.
We declare all arbitrary tax imposts on labour, thrift and industry need to be abolished in order to fulfil a switch of government income from labour and capital onto land.
Finally, we understand ‘Closing the Gap’ is impossible unless we thus acknowledge the earth to be common property, the birthright of all people, and that bills purporting human rights to be be invalid without this most fundamental fiscal adjustment.”
‘Makers and Takers’: Another good episode from Renegade Inc.