22.3.13

RENTS WILL BE SOUGHT. RENTS WILL BE GENERATED. RENTS WILL BE DISSIPATED.

Mahablog offers a distinction between makers and takers based on an instructive Michael Lind essay.
If we look at some of the major economic battles taking place, they are over patents, how the risks and rewards of large, systemically important public-utility style financial institutions are distributed and who gets to control the residual over the delegated ends of the government with the mad rush for the privatization of government resources and responsibilities. These are all, in some way, about rents. And the battle over these will determine a lot about who gains in the future of the economy.
Mr Lind refers extensively to a reading of Karl Marx that attempts, to use contemporary language, to distinguish the entrepreneurial urge from the rent-seeking urge.  Perhaps, though, some of those scholars and policy wonks will discover the good in public choice theory, and consider the possibility that limiting the powers of government limits the ability of government to create rents.  It might also behoove some adherents to the contemporary Tea Party to understand the role of rent-seeking in creating the East India monopoly that led to the event that inspired the name.

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