The Positive Reframe: Why Trump’s Inauguration is Not the Beginning of an Era — but the End
Peter Leyden
4.5K473

I wonder if you are aware of the fact that all progress has the effect of making land more valuable because more productive in one way or another and that the right of private land owners to pocket the value of land under all housing and every other human activity via land rents and purchase price is the historical mechanism for siphoning the value created by the progress of the entire community and all its technological innovations upward to the folks who own land and especially those who own the most valuable land and resources? Trump being one of them. The result well known to everyone is the explosive increase in the cost of housing (all caused by the increase cost of land and not the cost of building houses per se) as seen in San Francisco and just about everywhere else. This is nothing new. There is an 18 year boom bust cycle in real estate i.e. land speculation that can be tracked back centuries. The technological innovation you speak of will once again predictably have the effect of further enriching the recipients of this historical free lunch. I do not give any credence to the promise of your otherwise intelligent vision of the future for benefitting people in any general way because in my opinion your understanding of how the economics of exploitation occurs is not only incomplete it appears to be non-existent. The solution that has been around for well over a century is the suggestion to shift taxation off of earned incomes from productive labor and capital investment in the real economy onto community created land value and the unearned incomes that makes possible. This starts with the property tax whose usefulness as a fiscal policy was destroyed in California by Prop. 13 back in 1979. There are other sources of unearned income but ownership of land and natural resources historically has been and continues to be by far the largest source. Not even the monopoly of capital and the shenanigans of Wall Street exceed this most fundamental fact of economic life. The traditional Left does not begin to appreciate this issue either. If you would include the caveat that we need to change California’s property tax to a land value tax in order to capture the community created value of land increased by the technology you speak of to prevent the undeserved further enrichment of the already wealthy and the next collapse of the real estate as happened in 2008, you would actually have something fully inspiring and helpful to say to us all from the poorest of the poor to the wealthiest..

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Wendell Fitzgerald’s story.