The Tax Man Cometh, But Not For the Rent

Don't you wonder why jobs are taxed, but many people get rich by collecting unearned income, which is taxed little or not at all?

There are two income streams:
“earned income” from jobs, investments, and businesses, and
“unearned income” primarily from monopoly ownership of land or resources.

Economists call unearned income “economic rent”, defined as income not subject to competition, or revenue without a corresponding cost of production.

Unearned income (economic rent) flows — mostly untaxed — to the owners of monopoly held assets like land, resources (oil, coal, copper, trees, water...), emitting CO2, the EM spectrum, agricultural supply quotas, drug patents, taxi licences, etc.

Though this unearned wealth rightfully belongs to the community, it presently flows to private asset owners, forcing governments to finance programs by levying economy-damaging dead-weight taxes on profits, incomes and sales.

Earned income belongs to those who earned it, but unearned income should be collected by governments to finance programs — in lieu of taxes on jobs, business and sales.

Unearned income should be collected to finance government, according to classical economists like Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, and Henry George, prominent people like Winston Churchill, Dr. Sun Yet-Sen, Mark Twain, and George Monbiot, and modern economists Joseph Stieglitz, Milton Friedman, Michael Hudson and Herman Daly,


* economic rent capture is green as it rewards value-added, labour intensive, resource-sparing production.

* rent capture is beneficial to the economy as it removes incentives for speculation, leaving capital no alternative but to invest in the job-rich productive economy rather than the job-poor speculative economy.

* land value taxation cuts mortgages roughly in half, since the purchase price of the land portion of properties is shifted to a monthly land value tax, which does not have to be financed or paid up front.

* land value capture makes new infrastructure free. Warranted infrastructure like transit, parks, libraries, schools, hospitals, rec facilities... make communities more attractive, raising land values. This land value rise is usually more than sufficient to pay for the new infrastructure.

The Global Commons is for rent — not for free and not for sale.