Labor is the scorned factor in business
#1 Oct 5, 2008
I'm delighted that Mr. Collins recognizes labor as a separate factor of production. He learned his economics from better texts and better teachers than most of us encounter these days; the neoclassical economists tend to subsume land under capital -- which creates great losses for labor.
He writes, "In short, labor isn't worth much anymore. Land and capital are where the profits lie, or at least they did until lately."
Land is provided by nature, and its value enhanced by the activity of the community, both via public sector investment in services and infrastructure and by private sector activity -- the marketplace, a healthy economy. WHY ON EARTH SHOULD *SOME* OF US BE PERMITTED TO MAKE PROFITS ON LAND? Sorry to shout -- but it needs to be shouted!! To the extent that there are profits on land, they should be shared equally by all of us -- and privatized by none. Who would be the big beneficiary were we to enact the simple reforms necessary to do this? LABOR!
And the losers would be the folks who currently privatize that which they can't possibly have created. Just as we at one time permitted some people to privatize the labor of others -- we called it slavery -- and finally recognized it as simply wrong and unjust, and took away their "right" to enslave others, we need to enact the reform which will collect for the commons the lion's share of the economic rent on land.
When we do this, we won't be stealing from anyone, any more than ending slavery stole something from slaveholders; we will simply be liberating for public use value which rightly belongs to the public. And that will allow us to reprivatize that which is rightly private: our labor, which belongs to us as individuals, and ought not to be taxed.
Many of our most serious ills will begin to be corrected when we enact this reform. Employers will compete for scarce laborers, instead of labor -- you and I -- competing for scarce jobs. Good pieces of land -- like Stamford's infamous 4.3 acre downtown "hole in the ground" will be put to use by eager landholders ... eager because they will be paying rent to the commons on their holdings of our common treasure, and will need to create income to do so. Or if they aren't interested in work like that, they will no longer be able to speculate in land value, and will have to find honest work of some sort.
Where are our dollars going? Economic rent, being privatized. Undo that privatization, and a lot of good starts happening in our economy. Incentives will shift. The FIRE sector will no longer be eating our lunch.
#2 Oct 6, 2008
Oh Land Value Tax...
You were on such a role!! Then you went on your rant!(Okay he who is without sin - cast the first stone... I do the same thing so not really bashing here!!) I can understand the values of your arguement. I'm still out to lunch with some issues on board with others.
But the labor thing - the tight market... the illegals... the fruits of our labors sending our jobs to China, Nafta... I think Congress should wake up...
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