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the outer reaches of rental income

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  • Bill Batt
    Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other notables in
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 8, 2013
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      Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other notables in the media really earned wages or windfall rents. For those that might be interested, Ed Dodson thought it an interesting enough exchange that he put it on line at http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/batt-h-william_are-exceptionally-high-wages-really-rent-2002.html.

      Well, I've found one that seems equally outlandish and challenging. Has anyone read about the "Grumpy Cat?" Well, this cat that has a rather dour face has now become a seven-figure franchise!  There are Grumpy cat note pads, calendars, books, toys, and so on.  This cat has been on TV, in public events, and other places.  You can read lots about this cat in New York Magazine and in Gawker.  If you can't find the articles, I'll pass them on, because I haven't noted the URL where I downloaded the clips. What is interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of … natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."

      Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could command rents totalling seven figures!  If I could attach the cover photo of this cat from New York Magazine 9-30-2013 here , I would.  B.

      Bill Batt
      680 N. Pearl St., Albany, New York 12204-1729
      v: 518-462-5068; fax: 866-492-9804  hwbatt@...
      *The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one* 
      Archilochus (c.650 B.C.)
    • Brian Holtz
      Sounds like you re missing a distinction between selling labor and deriving rents from so-called intellectual property.
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 9, 2013
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        Sounds like you're missing a distinction between selling labor and
        deriving rents from so-called intellectual property.
      • Ed
        Bill, you wrote: What is interesting is that New York Magazine noted that Max Read at
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 9, 2013
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          Bill, you wrote:

           

           

          What is interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of … natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."

           

          Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could command rents totalling seven figures!

           

          Ed here:

          In a sense, this type of “good” seems to fall in with the definition of a collectible that Harry Pollard so aptly provided us with decades (and decades) ago.

           

          The income derived from the sale of this image in whatever form is “rent” only if one accepts the idea that any above-average (or above-normal) rates of return to a person for whatever service is provided or to someone who creates something unique or exhibits a special skill is a claim on wealth generated by others. The thing about collectibles is that they are never really necessities. Even a classic automobile (say, for example, the early Austin Healey 3000 or Jaguar XK-120 that I would love to own) is not a necessity, even though I do have the need for some sort of automobile to get me from place to place.

           

          Is the difference in price between an I-Mac and a PC rent? Or, for similar reasons, the difference between a Ford Focus and a Mini Cooper? What performance and reliability characteristics warrant the extra acquisition cost? Reality or perception, we make choices as consumers that upon close examination do not make good financial sense; but, the seller is not claiming a portion of what we produce. We are entering into a noncoercive, voluntary contract.

           

           

        • Harry Pollard
          Dan is right on this one. Elway earns wages – even if he were the only one in football who could pass perfectly every time. In an urban situation, a problem
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 9, 2013
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          Dan is right on this one.



          Elway earns wages – even if he were the only one in football who could pass
          perfectly every time.



          In an urban situation, a problem with our use of the term Rent is that it
          is assumed to be linked to a payment of some kind. In fact, Rent is a value
          that attaches to a location. Whether it stimulates a payment to the
          community or an individual doesn’t alter the fact that it is a value. It
          measures the advantage given to a location by the surrounding community. If
          the amount collected by community or individual is that value, then nothing
          is taken from Labor’s wages. He pays it and gets it back. Even if he isn’t a
          great producer, he is not forced down to subsistence levels.



          This assumes the market is free. However, every location is a monopoly that
          can be held from use. But while the owner doesn’t need to put it to use,
          labor must have it to survive. Desperate demand for land combined with a
          reluctance to supply sends up the amount that must be paid for the value of
          the location. The Rent doesn’t increase but the amount that must be paid to
          enjoy that Rent zooms until it can go no further.



          I call this rack-rent. You can call it anything you like but it isn’t Rent
          (the advantage provided the location by the surrounding community).



          However, if you fall into the error that Rent is a payment, then my
          rack-rents, because they are paid becomes Rent,



          That leads us into serious errors.



          Harry



          ******************************

          Alumni Group

          Henry George School of Los Angeles

          Tujunga CA 91042

          818 352-4141

          ******************************



          From: landtheory@yahoogroups.com [mailto:landtheory@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of Bill Batt
          Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 2:18 PM
          To: LandCafe Group; Land Theory
          Subject: LT: the outer reaches of rental income





          Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory
          about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other
          notables in the media really earned wages or windfall rents. For those that
          might be interested, Ed Dodson thought it an interesting enough exchange
          that he put it on line at
          http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/batt-h-william_are-exceptionally-hig
          h-wages-really-rent-2002.html.



          Well, I've found one that seems equally outlandish and challenging. Has
          anyone read about the "Grumpy Cat?" Well, this cat that has a rather dour
          face has now become a seven-figure franchise! There are Grumpy cat note
          pads, calendars, books, toys, and so on. This cat has been on TV, in public
          events, and other places. You can read lots about this cat in New York
          Magazine and in Gawker. If you can't find the articles, I'll pass them on,
          because I haven't noted the URL where I downloaded the clips. What is
          interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at
          <http://gawker.com/how-to-get-rich-on-memes-steal-other-memes-1426797890>
          Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of …
          natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."



          Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could
          command rents totalling seven figures! If I could attach the cover photo of
          this cat from New York Magazine 9-30-2013 here , I would. B.



          Bill Batt
          680 N. Pearl St., Albany, New York 12204-1729
          v: 518-462-5068; fax: 866-492-9804 hwbatt@...
          <mailto:hwbatt@...>
          *The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one*
          Archilochus (c.650 B.C.)
        • roy_langston
          ... deriving rents from so-called intellectual property. Bingo. The cat is a product of labor, not a natural resource, but no one wants the cat -- well,
          Message 5 of 13 , Nov 10, 2013
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            ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <brian@...> wrote:


            > Sounds like you're missing a distinction between selling labor and
            deriving rents from so-called intellectual property.

            Bingo.  The cat is a product of labor, not a natural resource, but no one wants the cat -- well, almost no one -- they just want to use and reproduce images of it.  The images of it that have been placed in the public domain on the Internet have been made into private property -- reprivatized -- by copyright law to reduce supply.  The income from them is therefore a rent of privilege, though of course not land rent.

            A similar phenomenon occurs with elite athletes and entertainers.  They do perform labor, which earns a market wage, but copyright law has also made them the beneficiaries of privilege, on which they can collect immense rents.  Recordings of their performances are private property even after they have (in fact, though not in law) entered the public domain.  In the case of athletes, they typically also profit from taxpayer funding of stadiums and arenas.

            -- Roy Langston
          • Joe Casey
            You are referring to wages of exploitation of talent or what ever as rents collected. If you do that all wages would be unearned rent collection.
            Message 6 of 13 , Nov 14, 2013
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              You are referring to wages of exploitation of talent or what ever as rents collected.  If you do that all wages would be unearned rent collection.  Entertainment is a product of labor, whether it be by a super star athlete, singer, or a particularly ugly cat's owner.  The reward comes from the promotion and distribution of entertainment, not rent of talent or looks.    
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Bill Batt
              Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 5:18 PM
              Subject: [LandCafe] the outer reaches of rental income

              Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other notables in the media really earned wages or windfall rents. For those that might be interested, Ed Dodson thought it an interesting enough exchange that he put it on line at http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/batt-h-william_are-exceptionally-high-wages-really-rent-2002.html.

              Well, I've found one that seems equally outlandish and challenging. Has anyone read about the "Grumpy Cat?" Well, this cat that has a rather dour face has now become a seven-figure franchise!  There are Grumpy cat note pads, calendars, books, toys, and so on.  This cat has been on TV, in public events, and other places.  You can read lots about this cat in New York Magazine and in Gawker.  If you can't find the articles, I'll pass them on, because I haven't noted the URL where I downloaded the clips. What is interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of … natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."

              Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could command rents totalling seven figures!  If I could attach the cover photo of this cat from New York Magazine 9-30-2013 here , I would.  B.

              Bill Batt
              680 N. Pearl St., Albany, New York 12204-1729
              v: 518-462-5068; fax: 866-492-9804  hwbatt@...
              *The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one* 
              Archilochus (c.650 B.C.)


              ____________________________________________________________
            • burns_curtis
              OK. economic rent is where there is no enterprise or cost of production. In short someone else made that wealth, and invariably it is commonly created.
              Message 7 of 13 , Nov 21, 2013
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                OK. economic rent is where there is no enterprise or cost of production. In short someone else made that wealth, and invariably it is commonly created. Appropriating it is "economic freeloading".  Lets get that out of the way.


                If some like, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Pele or Michael Jordan, have skills that few can match in the world and they command high wages, I cannot see where they have appropriated economic rent. I cannot see where the community created that wealth.  They provided a service which is in demand and were paid wages fair and square.


                I know there is a problem with some people in copyright and patents and that may apply to Lennon/McCartney, but the sports stars? 



                ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <harrypollard@...> wrote:

                Dan is right on this one.



                Elway earns wages – even if he were the only one in football who could pass
                perfectly every time.



                In an urban situation, a problem with our use of the term Rent is that it
                is assumed to be linked to a payment of some kind. In fact, Rent is a value
                that attaches to a location. Whether it stimulates a payment to the
                community or an individual doesn’t alter the fact that it is a value. It
                measures the advantage given to a location by the surrounding community. If
                the amount collected by community or individual is that value, then nothing
                is taken from Labor’s wages. He pays it and gets it back. Even if he isn’t a
                great producer, he is not forced down to subsistence levels.



                This assumes the market is free. However, every location is a monopoly that
                can be held from use. But while the owner doesn’t need to put it to use,
                labor must have it to survive. Desperate demand for land combined with a
                reluctance to supply sends up the amount that must be paid for the value of
                the location. The Rent doesn’t increase but the amount that must be paid to
                enjoy that Rent zooms until it can go no further.



                I call this rack-rent. You can call it anything you like but it isn’t Rent
                (the advantage provided the location by the surrounding community).



                However, if you fall into the error that Rent is a payment, then my
                rack-rents, because they are paid becomes Rent,



                That leads us into serious errors.



                Harry



                ******************************

                Alumni Group

                Henry George School of Los Angeles

                Tujunga CA 91042

                818 352-4141

                ******************************



                From: landtheory@yahoogroups.com [mailto:landtheory@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of Bill Batt
                Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 2:18 PM
                To: LandCafe Group; Land Theory
                Subject: LT: the outer reaches of rental income





                Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory
                about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other
                notables in the media really earned wages or windfall rents. For those that
                might be interested, Ed Dodson thought it an interesting enough exchange
                that he put it on line at
                http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/batt-h-william_are-exceptionally-hig
                h-wages-really-rent-2002.html.



                Well, I've found one that seems equally outlandish and challenging. Has
                anyone read about the "Grumpy Cat?" Well, this cat that has a rather dour
                face has now become a seven-figure franchise! There are Grumpy cat note
                pads, calendars, books, toys, and so on. This cat has been on TV, in public
                events, and other places. You can read lots about this cat in New York
                Magazine and in Gawker. If you can't find the articles, I'll pass them on,
                because I haven't noted the URL where I downloaded the clips. What is
                interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at
                <http://gawker.com/how-to-get-rich-on-memes-steal-other-memes-1426797890>
                Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of …
                natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."



                Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could
                command rents totalling seven figures! If I could attach the cover photo of
                this cat from New York Magazine 9-30-2013 here , I would. B.



                Bill Batt
                680 N. Pearl St., Albany, New York 12204-1729
                v: 518-462-5068; fax: 866-492-9804 hwbatt@...
                <mailto:hwbatt@...>
                *The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one*
                Archilochus (c.650 B.C.)
              • roy_langston
                Rent is obtained by legal control of economic opportunity that would otherwise be available. As the copyrights on images of Grumpy Cat confer such control,
                Message 8 of 13 , Nov 21, 2013
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                  Rent is obtained by legal control of economic opportunity that would otherwise be available.  As the copyrights on images of Grumpy Cat confer such control, the return to their ownership is rent.

                  -- Roy Langston


                  ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <jmcasey@...> wrote:

                  
                  You are referring to wages of exploitation of talent or what ever as rents collected.  If you do that all wages would be unearned rent collection.  Entertainment is a product of labor, whether it be by a super star athlete, singer, or a particularly ugly cat's owner.  The reward comes from the promotion and distribution of entertainment, not rent of talent or looks.    
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Bill Batt
                  Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 5:18 PM
                  Subject: [LandCafe] the outer reaches of rental income

                  Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other notables in the media really earned wages or windfall rents. For those that might be interested, Ed Dodson thought it an interesting enough exchange that he put it on line at http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/batt-h-william_are-exceptionally-high-wages-really-rent-2002.html.

                  Well, I've found one that seems equally outlandish and challenging. Has anyone read about the "Grumpy Cat?" Well, this cat that has a rather dour face has now become a seven-figure franchise!  There are Grumpy cat note pads, calendars, books, toys, and so on.  This cat has been on TV, in public events, and other places.  You can read lots about this cat in New York Magazine and in Gawker.  If you can't find the articles, I'll pass them on, because I haven't noted the URL where I downloaded the clips. What is interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of … natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."

                  Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could command rents totalling seven figures!  If I could attach the cover photo of this cat from New York Magazine 9-30-2013 here , I would.  B.

                  Bill Batt
                  680 N. Pearl St., Albany, New York 12204-1729
                  v: 518-462-5068; fax: 866-492-9804  hwbatt@...
                  *The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one* 
                  Archilochus (c.650 B.C.)


                  ____________________________________________________________
                • walterhorn
                  That def seems to me question-begging. My sale of my labor to others would be otherwise available if it were legal to force me to work at gun point. But
                  Message 9 of 13 , Nov 22, 2013
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                     That def seems to me question-begging.  My sale of my labor to others would be "otherwise available" if it were legal to force me to work at gun point. But that doesn't turn my own control over this labor into rent, does it?  Maybe you mean legally "otherwise available" but, as we all know, nothing prevents the passage of crazy laws.  If you mean morally otherwise available, you end up defining rent in terms of morality. 


                    Must be a better def than that....


                    W



                    ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <roy_langston@...> wrote:

                    Rent is obtained by legal control of economic opportunity that would otherwise be available.  As the copyrights on images of Grumpy Cat confer such control, the return to their ownership is rent.

                    -- Roy Langston


                    ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <jmcasey@...> wrote:

                    
                    You are referring to wages of exploitation of talent or what ever as rents collected.  If you do that all wages would be unearned rent collection.  Entertainment is a product of labor, whether it be by a super star athlete, singer, or a particularly ugly cat's owner.  The reward comes from the promotion and distribution of entertainment, not rent of talent or looks.    
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Bill Batt
                    Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 5:18 PM
                    Subject: [LandCafe] the outer reaches of rental income

                    Folks, several years ago, Dan Sullivan and I had an exchange on landtheory about whether the high incomes of super-athletes, film stars, and other notables in the media really earned wages or windfall rents. For those that might be interested, Ed Dodson thought it an interesting enough exchange that he put it on line at http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/batt-h-william_are-exceptionally-high-wages-really-rent-2002.html.

                    Well, I've found one that seems equally outlandish and challenging. Has anyone read about the "Grumpy Cat?" Well, this cat that has a rather dour face has now become a seven-figure franchise!  There are Grumpy cat note pads, calendars, books, toys, and so on.  This cat has been on TV, in public events, and other places.  You can read lots about this cat in New York Magazine and in Gawker.  If you can't find the articles, I'll pass them on, because I haven't noted the URL where I downloaded the clips. What is interesting is that New York Magazine noted that "Max Read at Gawker wrote. “Grumpy Cat, though, is less a ‘creation’ than a kind of … natural resource, from which its owners extract rent."

                    Who would have thought that a cat, with a remarkably unusual puss could command rents totalling seven figures!  If I could attach the cover photo of this cat from New York Magazine 9-30-2013 here , I would.  B.

                    Bill Batt
                    680 N. Pearl St., Albany, New York 12204-1729
                    v: 518-462-5068; fax: 866-492-9804  hwbatt@...
                    *The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one* 
                    Archilochus (c.650 B.C.)


                    ____________________________________________________________
                  • roy_langston
                    ... All definitions are question begging, as they determine what is true by definition. The point of definitions in empirical science is that to be useful,
                    Message 10 of 13 , Nov 24, 2013
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                      ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <calhorn@...> wrote:


                      > That def seems to me question-begging.


                      All definitions are question begging, as they determine what is true by definition.  The point of definitions in empirical science is that to be useful, they must accurately identify the objective phenomena of interest.  A major reason modern mainstream neoclassical economics is not a credible empirical science is that its definition of rent does not identify any objective phenomenon of interest.  It is essentially a propaganda term designed to prevent economics from identifying the non-contributory nature of the landowner's participation in economic activity, and turn rent into something that working people get, but landowners don't.


                      > My sale of my labor to others would be "otherwise available" if it were legal to force me to work at gun point.


                      No.  Labor is never otherwise available, because it has to be provided by the worker.  Natural resources and everything else in the public domain (including published knowledge and ideas, which are only removed from the public domain by law) IS otherwise available, because no one has to provide them.


                      > But that doesn't turn my own control over this labor into rent, does it?


                      No, because as a matter of objective fact, your labor is NOT otherwise available.  You have to provide it.


                      > Maybe you mean legally "otherwise available" but, as we all know, nothing prevents the passage of crazy laws.  If you mean morally otherwise available, you end up defining rent in terms of morality. 


                      I mean PHYSICALLY otherwise available.


                      > Must be a better def than that....


                      We could revert to the classical definition of rent, and apply it only to the return to ownership of natural resources, and that is certainly a valid way to go.  But that leaves us without a term to denote the return to ownership of privileges like taxi medallions, sugar quotas, professional licenses, and IP monopolies.  Maybe we could use rent only for natural resources, and make that a subset of a larger class of "exactions" defined as I defined rents: returns to legal control of economic opportunities that would otherwise be available.

                      -- Roy Langston
                    • walterhorn
                      Thanks, that s helpful. W ... All definitions are question begging, as they determine what is true by definition. The point of definitions in empirical
                      Message 11 of 13 , Nov 25, 2013
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                         Thanks, that's helpful.


                        W



                        ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <roy_langston@...> wrote:

                        ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <calhorn@...> wrote:


                        > That def seems to me question-begging.


                        All definitions are question begging, as they determine what is true by definition.  The point of definitions in empirical science is that to be useful, they must accurately identify the objective phenomena of interest.  A major reason modern mainstream neoclassical economics is not a credible empirical science is that its definition of rent does not identify any objective phenomenon of interest.  It is essentially a propaganda term designed to prevent economics from identifying the non-contributory nature of the landowner's participation in economic activity, and turn rent into something that working people get, but landowners don't.


                        > My sale of my labor to others would be "otherwise available" if it were legal to force me to work at gun point.


                        No.  Labor is never otherwise available, because it has to be provided by the worker.  Natural resources and everything else in the public domain (including published knowledge and ideas, which are only removed from the public domain by law) IS otherwise available, because no one has to provide them.


                        > But that doesn't turn my own control over this labor into rent, does it?


                        No, because as a matter of objective fact, your labor is NOT otherwise available.  You have to provide it.


                        > Maybe you mean legally "otherwise available" but, as we all know, nothing prevents the passage of crazy laws.  If you mean morally otherwise available, you end up defining rent in terms of morality. 


                        I mean PHYSICALLY otherwise available.


                        > Must be a better def than that....


                        We could revert to the classical definition of rent, and apply it only to the return to ownership of natural resources, and that is certainly a valid way to go.  But that leaves us without a term to denote the return to ownership of privileges like taxi medallions, sugar quotas, professional licenses, and IP monopolies.  Maybe we could use rent only for natural resources, and make that a subset of a larger class of "exactions" defined as I defined rents: returns to legal control of economic opportunities that would otherwise be available.

                        -- Roy Langston
                      • David Reed
                        The problem with applying the term rent to people working for wages or fees has been dealt with by John( Burnes) .There is no element of these working people
                        Message 12 of 13 , Nov 26, 2013
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                          The problem with applying the term rent to people working for wages or fees has been dealt with by John( Burnes) .There is no element of these working people  making false claims to common property and seeking to restrict competition as in rent seeking.
                           The real problem is why anybody on our side uses the term economic rent at all.At the time of the Communist Manifesto (1848) Marx and Engels could talk about putting rent income to public use and expect to be understood because most rent income came from agricultural land and nobody much rented the land under their houses though they commonly rented the houses. In the latter case nobody now rents land under the house while purchasing the bricks and mortar (although under a crude LVT scheme they might: rent off the state, that is).
                          People nowadays benefit from unearned capital gains in the value of any residential land they own. Asking them to pay full rent on land they have bought freehold ,which is what many land taxers do,will appear unjust and, worse from our point of view, laughable. 
                          Land taxers must resist the temptation to be pompous, pretentious and obscurantist: conventional (neoliberal) Economics has been rumbled for pulling this scam for a generation and students of the subject have continued to rebel starting with the Sorbonne students in 2000 and continuing to the present day. We should be presenting an alternative of plain talk about plain matters of everyday significance.
                          To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                          From: calhorn@...
                          Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 04:09:39 -0800
                          Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Re: [LandCafe] the outer reaches of rental income

                           

                           Thanks, that's helpful.


                          W



                          ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <roy_langston@...> wrote:

                          ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <calhorn@...> wrote:


                          > That def seems to me question-begging.


                          All definitions are question begging, as they determine what is true by definition.  The point of definitions in empirical science is that to be useful, they must accurately identify the objective phenomena of interest.  A major reason modern mainstream neoclassical economics is not a credible empirical science is that its definition of rent does not identify any objective phenomenon of interest.  It is essentially a propaganda term designed to prevent economics from identifying the non-contributory nature of the landowner's participation in economic activity, and turn rent into something that working people get, but landowners don't.


                          > My sale of my labor to others would be "otherwise available" if it were legal to force me to work at gun point.


                          No.  Labor is never otherwise available, because it has to be provided by the worker.  Natural resources and everything else in the public domain (including published knowledge and ideas, which are only removed from the public domain by law) IS otherwise available, because no one has to provide them.


                          > But that doesn't turn my own control over this labor into rent, does it?


                          No, because as a matter of objective fact, your labor is NOT otherwise available.  You have to provide it.


                          > Maybe you mean legally "otherwise available" but, as we all know, nothing prevents the passage of crazy laws.  If you mean morally otherwise available, you end up defining rent in terms of morality. 


                          I mean PHYSICALLY otherwise available.


                          > Must be a better def than that....


                          We could revert to the classical definition of rent, and apply it only to the return to ownership of natural resources, and that is certainly a valid way to go.  But that leaves us without a term to denote the return to ownership of privileges like taxi medallions, sugar quotas, professional licenses, and IP monopolies.  Maybe we could use rent only for natural resources, and make that a subset of a larger class of "exactions" defined as I defined rents: returns to legal control of economic opportunities that would otherwise be available.

                          -- Roy Langston

                        • roy_langston
                          ... It s clear that unions and professional associations DO seek to restrict competition. ... We have to communicate with neoclassical economists on their own
                          Message 13 of 13 , Nov 30, 2013
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                             ---In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, <dbcreed@...> wrote:


                            > The problem with applying the term rent to people working for wages or fees has been dealt with by John( Burnes) .There is no element of these working people  making false claims to common property and seeking to restrict competition as in rent seeking.

                            It's clear that unions and professional associations DO seek to restrict competition.

                            > The real problem is why anybody on our side uses the term economic rent at all.

                            We have to communicate with neoclassical economists on their own ground, even if it is only to demonstrate that it is quicksand.

                            > At the time of the Communist Manifesto (1848) Marx and Engels could talk about putting rent income to public use and expect to be understood

                            But in fact, their scheme couldn't be understood, because it proposed nationalizing land and applying rents to public purposes, but eliminated the market mechanisms that enable measurement and payment of rent.

                            > because most rent income came from agricultural land and nobody much rented the land under their houses though they commonly rented the houses. In the latter case nobody now rents land under the house while purchasing the bricks and mortar (although under a crude LVT scheme they might: rent off the state, that is).

                            Not so.  A lot of people own houses on leased land, such as on Indian Reserves, in Hong Kong, etc.  The Empire State Building was built on leased land (now owned by the same company that owns the building).

                            > People nowadays benefit from unearned capital gains in the value of any residential land they own. Asking them to pay full rent on land they have bought freehold ,which is what many land taxers do,will appear unjust and, worse from our point of view, laughable.

                            Hence the necessity of the universal individual exemption and recent purchase (or purchase price) exemption.  Weaning people off privilege is never easy, and it certainly won't be accomplished in Georgist Single Tax True Believer fashion.

                            > Land taxers must resist the temptation to be pompous, pretentious and obscurantist:

                            And rigid, uncompromising and monomaniacal.

                            > We should be presenting an alternative of plain talk about plain matters of everyday significance.

                            ??  That's what I am doing.

                            -- Roy Langston

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