At present, the western capitalist world divides into either a left/labour/social democratic stream, or the right/capital/libertarian stream, depending on the emphasis the followers of each place on the workings of the economic system.

What if there’s a more nuanced approach, blending the best ideas of both ‘labour’ and ‘capital’ adherents, by acknowledging the damaging role of the income that flows to land ‘ownership’?

When neoclassical economics came to confound land and capital, it ignored that income flowing to land is extractive in nature and comes at great cost to both labour and capital. What if land rent, being unearned were to be taxed away, instead of taxing productivity?

The world’s heavily indebted rent-seeking economies indicate it may be time to revisit the ideas of classical economists, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, JS Mill and Henry George (amongst others). They understood the need for public capture of ground rent (which would include electromagnetic spectrum rents these days), for capitalism to work properly, where each of labour and capital would receive their earned reward.

Just a thought.

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