Around the world, elites continue to design revenue systems to suit their own selfish interests.
When after a period of time people are drawn to protest at increasing evidence of the social and economic damage caused by direct taxation, the 0.1% goes along with a switch to indirect taxes – and, some years after this has been put into practice, things of course need to go vice versa. Alternation between one failed revenue source to another. This alternation is promoted in the media as ‘tax reform’.
Their other constant over the last century has been to wind back taxes on real estate assiduously – particularly on land.
For more than 130 years, Georgists have demonstrated without much success that this is a travesty of ‘free enterprise’. It is not even a ‘capitalist’ system, but a system of plutocrats stealing the public’s rent.
Instead of liberty and free enterprise we exist under a system of rentierism.
Rentierism breaks into a recession with monotonous regularity, and a little less regularly into the devastation we are now witnessing when a gargantuan bubble in land prices bursts .
But our attention span is limited, so we believe each partial recovery is a real recovery. The rentiers take the opportunity to blame the preceding financial collapse on property-based taxation, which is therefore wound back further. Some of the non-rentier fraudsters who believed they could match the rentier class in accumulation of corrupt wealth are usually thrown into jail for their criminality. The rentier remains invisible throughout this process, and as time passes the land price bubbles grow progressively larger.
We don’t ‘get it’, you see? Whilst we ought to be abolishing all taxes on labour and capital, whether direct or indirect, and making everyone pay the full annual rent for exclusive possession of the lands over which they’ve been granted title, we’re constantly re-assured by their neo-classical high priests that all’s OK, a new economic day has dawned. [They’re still not openly reporting this one as a depression yet – because we’ve got to mask the fatal flaw with CONfidence. “We’ll wait until all the ‘technical definitions’ of economic depression have been satisfied.”]
And so we resort to financial stupidity instead of introducing a revenue regime that, not fining labour and capital, will free humanity.
Rentierism still rules – and won’t go down without the odd fight in the High Court.