After Arresting Corrupt Bankers
|October 17, 2012||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under The Geonomist Blog|
While the bankers did cheat, they actually did nothing different from what most people want to do — get rich in real estate. They only did it more subtly, on a bigger scale. But ethics-wise, there was not a whole lot of difference.
Nobody deserves any more income from land and natural resources than anybody else. Nobody made nature. And everybody makes locations and oil and the rest valuable. Therefore, the people flipping houses, the people amassing the homes of others, even the people selling out decades later for a fortune just because their town has grown, don’t deserve the value of locations any more than the bankers do.
The worth of Earth is common wealth. It’s a society’s spending for sites and resources, a flow of wealth that belongs to us all equally. It’s something we should share, sort of like Alaska paying its residents an oil dividend.
If we did gather up and share all the “rents” for nature — by levying a land tax or instituting land dues or charging land use fees or by whatever means — then we’d not leave all that wealth in mortgages, in the price of gas, in utility bills, in just about the price of everything.
We could use the revenue to fund government or to pay ourselves a dividend (or a mix of both). Once we do share this spending for Earth, we’d get that wealth and the bankers wouldn’t. And the people who’re angry at bankers without looking at the bigger picture would no longer have much of anything to complain about.
That’s so also because, once people pay land dues to their society instead of speculate in land, then they can’t blow up any so-called “housing” bubble (actually, land bubble). So the business cycle stays relatively stable. So there’re no recessions to aggravate people.
There’s lots of prosperous bang for the moral buck in economics. But to transform society from a place where speculating is OK to where sharing rent is the norm, critics would need to focus less on bankers — where rents end up — and more on real estate deals — where most rents originate. Then we could implement the reforms needed.
You may be surprised to know that some places already do recover some of their socially-generated rents, even if they don’t do a great job of it. “MIRA Accuses Tourism Ministry of Not Collecting Resort Rents”. To read more .