The Simplicity of Eliminating Poverty is Paying the Rental Value of Nature’s Resources to Yourself
Huge blocs of capital, created through capitalizing annually appropriated values (misnamed profits), power the famous engine of capitalism which—due to the appearance of enormous successes because the waste, losses, and forgone productions were unknown thus uncalculated—becomes the justification for expansion of the unequal property rights system and thus the further confiscation of wealth produced by others.
An economic engine of full and equal rights is half the size, twice as powerful, permits all to retain the wealth they produce, and operates flawlessly as it expands across the world. By contrast, monopoly capitalism’s mighty engine invariably operates at half an economy’s potential, unnecessarily appropriates wealth produced by others, claims too large a share in the process, which unbalances the economy and it flounders and collapses.
Regaining Your Full and Equal Rights to Land
Land is monopolized by the total tax structure of a nation. The subtle-monopolization of social wealth started centuries ago as the powerful structured superior rights into ownership of land. Land is “by far the greatest of monopolies—it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.”
These excessive rights are now ingrained in custom and law. If you feel threatened by such a simple solution as a citizenry paying rental values on nature’s resources to themselves (social collection of resource [land] rents), keep in mind that all private property use rights will be retained and Land for homes, businesses, and production will now be a human right. Removal of subtle-monopolization would not only increase your right to land and the profits from its productive use, it would ensure it.
Nobody produced land. Land is nature and all are entitled to their share on which to stand, sit down, produce the necessities of life, eat and sleep. Nothing is more important to an efficient and just society than that, through paying resource rents to themselves (again the social collection of resource [land] rents), all have full and equal rights to the wealth produced by and upon land.
Air is one of the gifts of nature that has not yet been alienated from the commons. If a group could claim title to it, each person would have to pay for the right to breathe just as now they have to pay for the right for land on which to stand. This is not too far fetched. When windmills were invented, efforts were made to claim title to the wind and, through exclusive land titles, those claims are being successfully made today. Rent is being paid to owners to place electric wind turbines on private land.
Radio and TV bandwidths are just as much a gift of nature to be used in common as is air or the wind. Title to these have been claimed, society has been paid almost nothing for them. Other pages outlining Educating a population for 5% to 15% the costs of brick and mortar schools and distributing consumer products for half the current costs outlines the enormous waste of that subtle monopoly.
One notes that, like air, water was still free long after land was fully claimed. As population density increased and water became scarce, it became profitable to claim title to drinking water. Whenever those claims of ownership are encoded in law, water sources will develop high capitalized values and society will become accustomed to paying dearly for its drinking water. Witness the riots in countries which, under the structural adjustment rules of the IMF and World Bank, have privatized their water systems. The costs of water tripled and most of those increases are traceable to monopolization.
There is no need to abandon private ownership of land or other gifts of nature. There is only the need to abandon the current monopoly structure of exclusive title to nature’s resources and technologies, denying others their rightful share of what nature offers to all for free. This can be done by a simple change from unconditional private ownership to conditional private ownership, a citizenry should pay those rental values to themselves.
Society should pay resource (land) rents to themselves. No one built land, it is a part of nature, and its wealth belongs to all in roughly equal shares. Full and equal rights, and the enormous gains in economic efficiency through elimination of subtle-monopolization of land, demand that society collect the rent on all resources and return those funds right back to the payers through infrastructure and essential services.
Visualize a trade in a primitive society with someone standing by collecting tribute for trading on a particular piece of ground. The landowner does no productive labor-he only monopolizes that land. Of course, to avoid paying tribute, that early trader only needed to move to another piece of land. Today that nearby land would also be claimed.
The closer one approaches the center of commerce, the higher the price of land. Every transit line from the suburbs to a commercial district will raise commercial land values a calculable amount. This high value represents the cheapness and the quantity of trades within any population center and that saving (efficiency of trades) is recognized by the price business is willing to pay for that land. The landowner did not add value to that land, the natural function of society created that value.
This process is shown at the peak of Japan’s prosperity by the land area of the twenty-three wards of Tokyo being equal in value to all the land in the United States. One square meter of the Ginza [a part of Tokyo] was worth more than Seattle.
The monopolization of land is exposed by outlining the efficiency gains from its elimination through society collecting the land (resource) rent. If society collected resource rents, land would have a higher use-value but would have no monetary value.
Homes would be valued at only the cost of building a house. There would be no cost for the land; that would be paid for through social collection of resource rents. With costs of government covered, all other taxes can be eliminated. The use-value of land is instantly, and without cost, distributed to all through society paying landrent to themselves, the social collection of resource rents.
Through society paying resource rents to themselves, each citizen’s living standard rises even as their costs drop precipitously. Full private property rights are retained. Each family has, on balance without cost, their right to land for a home. The most productive farmers can pay the highest landrent so it is they who will, without any net cost, own their own farmland. The most productive business persons can pay the highest landrent so it is they who will, without any net cost, own the land under their business. The most productive industrialists can pay the highest landrent so it is they who will, without any net cost, own the land under their industries.
Out statement “without cost” is covered in two ways; all other taxes can be eliminated and the landrent taxes paid comes out of cash flow. In short, landrent is really the value produced by that land. All other values are produced by labor and that of the necessary industrial and financial capital. As true capital is but stored labor, all true values are produced by labor and nature.
We will be challenged that these subtle monopolies are necessary to accumulate the necessary capital. In our explanation of a money commons, we will demonstrate there are far more efficient ways to accumulate capital.
Take note: Under current subtle-monopolization it takes enormous amounts of capital in the form of land. When full and equal rights are reclaimed, that land has no capital costs. This, and our other pages, prove that monopolization is not necessary for accumulating adequate finance capital.
In most countries the system for collection of resource rents is already in place in the form of low taxes land. Take note of the elimination of the labors of accountants, those collecting taxes, those filling out tax forms, the lawyers battling tax cases, and those incarcerated for evading taxes. Note also that resource rents cannot be avoided and, as those rents are included in final prices, each will be paying their fair share.
The developing world structuring their economies along the principles of a modern commons will permit them to rapidly develop and leapfrog the developed world which is currently locked into an enormously wasteful subtle-monopoly production/distribution system. It is through eliminating the current massive waste of labor, capital, and resources that a respectable quality of life can be provided for all.
The only way all can attain full and equal rights to land is if all are aware of the simple legal changes and the massive gains in economic efficiency. Inform your friends, form your discussion groups. People are good. Prove to philosophers and negotiators in the wealthy world the efficiencies of full and equal rights to land for all and many will recognize they have been misinformed and support you.
We next address how, along with removal of other monopolies, You are Quintuply Repaid for Paying Land Rents to Society. The final payment, as you will understand reading these pages, is each family provided a quality life while employed outside the home only two to three days per week.
Those crucial 170 words describing an honest, efficient, capitalist economy. Does anyone have the ear of President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Team?
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More pages in the “My Eureka Moment, Others, Possibly You, Can Paint an even Bigger Picture” section
- The simplicity of eliminating poverty and war will stun you
- The Simplicity of Eliminating Poverty is Paying the Rental Value of Nature’s Resources to Yourself
- You are Quintuply Repaid for Paying Resource Rents (Land Rents) to Yourself (Society)
- The Feudal Origins of Land Titles
- Our outstanding new book on the elimination of poverty by Alanna Hartzok