Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well, I posted quite a long piece on ET including an Asia Times article  - Back to the Land - on the subject of land rentals, land taxation and land basis for currency. This was in the context of Hong Kong, which has always captured land value through crown rentals on long leases.

But I think in the post-Industrial era we are seeing George's analysis becoming superseded through the exponential growth in intellectual property and 'knowledge work'.

Three points come to mind.

Firstly, that a huge amount of 'labour' value generation these days is generated by increasingly mobile individuals, who are independent of location, and therefore can avoid attempts by landlords to capture rent from them.

Secondly, that because of the 'non-rivalrous' nature of knowledge, exponentially growing intellectual property constantly eludes the attempts of rentiers to enclose it.

My final point relates to the 'credit commons'.

People-based financing credit enables the circulation of goods and services and the creation of new productive assets.

Asset-based funding credit enables investment in the use value of productive assets once complete.

At the moment the credit system is in private hands, and therefore the surplus value which arises from the development of new productive assets tends to gravitate to the rentier owners of finance capital.

This occurs either directly, through equity investment or indirectly through bank debt, and therefore the profits/rents accruing to bank shareholders and managers respectively.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 01:14:11 PM EST
I would not be very optimistic about growing intellectual knowledge and increasingly mobile individuals. Protection of copyright rentiers are quite catching up - not by physical rounding up, but by SOPA/PIPA threats, a demonstrative close down of Multiupload. In this climate, many web services and creative enterprises are risky to invest in, and this extra-creative infrastructure is already suffering quietly. Like with many exponential grows of the last decade, the creativity growth may be faltering already while we do not know it yet.

The increasingly mobile individuals reflects the drive to escape rentiers indeed - but its increase may be more a sign of desperation than a promising development.

I enjoy your thoughts on the "hardware" of money and credit, as always. But the hardware base has limited importance, I guess. It is the operative code of policy makers and financial masters that makes singular social problems. And if we are entering decades (if not longer) of prolonged decline, with hardly any surplus production, only the feudal on debt or credit entitlements will remain. Some practical value shift is needed.

by das monde on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 10:34:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series