Economic rent as state revenue

When the community receives the rent of land and natural resources (instead of private individuals) their use is controlled by charges and auctioned licenses, leading directly to strong investment in clean technologies to sustain the ecology.

Why the contribution is important

'Rent-seeking' is the process by which private individuals seek to acquire free, unearned and untaxed capital gains from owning rent-yielding assets, including land (all sites) and all natural resources. But if - as proposed by Adam Smith and the classical economists - these economic rents went to the community, then those who use environmental resources would be made to make restitution in full, and would be forced by economic pressure and license limits to end over-use or abuse of our planet's resources and reduce or cancel the harm resulting from such over-use/abuse.

An example is to charge users the full value (the rent) of the capacity of the environment (sea/atmosphere) to absorb harmful gases. The exact value of this resource in each location may be found by inviting all potential bidders to biannual auctions of limited licenses. This is just one area in which society's rightful rents are currently privatised, allowing devastating harm to continue unchecked. With the revenue stream reclaimed for society, strong economic forces would be brought into play to reduce and even cancel damage to the environment and the climate.

Auctioning appropriately limited wild fishing licenses every two years is a second example which would conserve wild fish stocks by collecting the full rental value of that natural resource.

This approach is validated by classical economists such as those at the Land Research Trust.

by SLRG on October 16, 2020 at 09:03PM

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