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  1. #1
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    Default How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    The following is an excerpt from Michael Hudson’s book “The Bubble and Beyond,” published in July 2012 by the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends:

    As the Industrial Revolution gained momentum, economists anticipated that banking and finance would be absorbed into the industrial system. The attention of economic theorists still remains focused on industrial technology and innovation, and the population shift from agriculture to urban industry. Textbooks (and lobbying exercises) depict bankers as extending credit to enable industrialists to build new factories and employ workers to produce more goods. Loans do not become problematic, but can be paid out of profits generated by the capital investment they finance. This appealing story is used to plead for special tax treatment for financial institutions on the ground that their credit creation adds to economic welfare. Interest is deemed as tax-exempt expenditure, even when corporate raiders use predatory credit.

    Yet the symbiosis that has emerged over the past century has been primarily between the financial, insurance and real estate sectors. The great bulk of assets in modern economies—and hence, collateral for bank loans—has been real estate. Some 70 percent of commercial bank lending in the United States and England takes the form of mortgage credit. The estimated market value of real estate exceeds the depreciated value of all the plant and equipment in the entire United States. Loan officers know that the bulk of growth in their bank’s portfolio will consist of mortgage loans. The more rapidly such credit is created, the more funds are channeled into new mortgage financing to bid up the price of real property, making such lending appear self-justifying, at least in the short and intermediate run.

    Of the properties financed, land (the value of the site) typically represents about half the total, and all of the capital gain when the property is sold. And the great bulk of depreciation (capital consumption allowances) is reported in the real estate sector. This is because when an industrial machine wears out, it usually must be scrapped in order to keep up with the paces of technological advance. But buildings can be depreciated over and over again, thereby shielding their owners from income-tax liability (especially inasmuch as their interest charges are tax deductible). The upshot is that the tax system (especially in the United States) is much more favorable to real estate than to industry. It is easier to borrow against real property, and the total returns (after-tax earnings plus capital gains) are higher.

    The financial industry has fought to support special tax breaks for real estate, recognizing that the money that is freed from the tax collector will be available to pay interest. Political contributions and lobbying efforts by real estate owners are followed by those of the financial sector, overshadowing those of manufacturing. Yet in lobbying for cuts in special gains taxes, both the real estate and financial industries (backed by the insurance industry) present these gains as accruing to industry as a result of innovation, as if this typified modern capitalism. The reality is that most capital gains continue to accrue to real estate. It is only since about 1996 that, for the first time, stock-market gains are beginning to overshadow the growth in real estate gains in the U.S. national balance sheet. The effect is equally corrosive and the reasons for this development are set out in chapter 8 below.

    Why don’t economists call a spade a spade and come right out and start their analytic description of modern economics with a profile of where most wealth is accumulated, and the fact that it consists more of land-price gains than growth in manufacturing enterprise? The explanation is to be found in the fact that real estate is by no means as romantic as industry. Most people admire innovators and creators, but resent landlords—and usually also bankers and insurance companies as well, for being more parasitic than creative. There is a general awareness of the obvious fact that the growth in mortgage lending does not add to the supply of land, whose site value is created by public infrastructure investment and the general level of prosperity. In any case, the great bulk of property loans are for land and buildings already in place. The growth of real estate lending thus provides borrowers with credit to compete against each other to buy as many properties as they can, bidding up land prices in the process. The upshot is a bubble, not an industrial boom.

    Financial spokesmen argue that this kind of asset-based lending is productive, inasmuch as it provides real estate owners with properties that enable them to pay the interest charges and still (they hope) come out with a capital gain in the end. To help spur this large credit market, the financial lobby has joined hands with the real estate lobby in the United States to gain special tax breaks for real estate.

    Bankers know that whatever the tax collector does not take will be left available to pay interest to lenders. Developers bid against each other with regard to the size of the mortgage they will pay the lender, and hence the volume of mortgage debt service they will pay their banker out of rent. This bidding normally continues up to the point where all the available net rental income over costs is paid in the form of interest.

    Mortgage lending commonly provides from 80 to 100 percent of the property’s purchase price (or even more as seen in the bubble Economy’s years leading up to the September 2008 crash). This is a highly leveraged rate—it has a high debt/equity ratio. This kind of mortgage debt pyramiding provided the model for junk-bond financing used by corporate raiders in the 1980s, and for the flood of public assets being privatized in Britain, continental Europe and Third World countries. The distinguishing feature of such purchases of real estate, corporations or public entities already in place is that new loans are attached without creating new tangible investment. Instead of new tangible-capital formation there is more typically a downsizing and carve-up as revenue is used to pay interest and amortization up to the maximum extent available over and above operating costs.

    The fact is “post-industrial” practice made this dynamic quite different from that which optimists envisioned at the outset of the Industrial Revolution. Instead of mobilizing savings to fund new means of production, today’s banking system merely is loading the economy’s assets down with debt. What seem to be occurring is functionally akin to the pre-industrial mode of lending. The difference is that pre-industrial usury was dominated by individual family lenders, but the new post-industrial debt system is occurring on a large, corporate scale. It has merged with industry primarily to the extent that the financial sector has gained control of the economy’s manufacturing companies, treating them like real estate to squeeze out as large a rentier income as possible and then sell the companies off for a capital gain.
    There is a reason Monopoly was originally called The Landlord's Game. Every time I see somebody cheer the rich on as "heroes" or "job creators" or "innovators", etc. I feel like puking, because the vast majority of the time, that's not he case. All they do is make money through privilege and pocket publicly created values (like land value), impoverishing others in the process.
    Last edited by K; 10-19-2013 at 11:51 PM.

  2. #2
    NBA lottery pick Blue&Orange's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    [QUOTE=K

  3. #3
    NBA Superstar fiddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Nice read. Repped

  4. #4
    NBA Superstar fiddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by magnax1
    Land value is not publicly created. It takes $ to maintain and often time has high long term risks.
    Who pays for infrastructure?

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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by magnax1
    Land value is not publicly created. It takes $ to maintain and often time has high long term risks.
    Of course land value is publicly created. The unimproved value of land is the same whether or not there is any improvements on it. Think of vacant lots that parasite speculators keep empty for speculative gain. They still have enormous prices. Pure publicly created value independent from anything the landowner does with the land.

  6. #6
    NBA rookie of the year I<3NBA's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    great read. paper pushers produce nothing of value. we should go back to rewarding people that produce real value in the economy.

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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    You know you could just get a better job if you didnt waste all of your time thinking of excuses about how the man holds you down.

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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddy
    Who pays for infrastructure?
    In america its largely off taxes, at the Federal level income tax and at the state level property tax.

    Because of progressive taxation (which I support) mostly rich people.

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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    If you have to pay property tax, you don't own it..you're renting land from the government.

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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue&Orange
    Only the usual right wing retards think we should be thankful for rich people. Everything we have is thanks to nobodies, people that had nothing but their intellect and hard work. I had a discussion about this with some idiot a few days ago, the idiot mentioned Coca cola and McDonalds trying to argue in favor of rich people, both were invented by poor people, that eventually had to sell their business for peanuts otherwise the "rich" people would have set a similar model and drove them to poverty with the sheer force of their money.

    Only retards don't get this.




    Do chicks just openly laugh in your face when you try to talk to them?? You are the softest, whiniest, unmanliest loser. The people who sit around complaining about capitalism are the ones who are crazy insecure, effeminate, pathetic, and cant compete.

    In short, you are a retarded bitch woman.

  11. #11
    877-954-1893 MMM's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolball#52



    Do chicks just openly laugh in your face when you try to talk to them?? You are the softest, whiniest, unmanliest loser. The people who sit around complaining about capitalism are the ones who are insecure and cant compete.

    In short, you are a retarded bitch woman.
    the problem is not everyone gets to compete but i believe that is a separate issue from capitalism. Capitalism, greed, etc. can be good but like anything else can be exploited and abused, and if you have the resources it becomes easy to exploit and abuse the existing system.

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    College superstar kNicKz's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    U broke son?

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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by MMM
    the problem is not everyone gets to compete but i believe that is a separate issue from capitalism. Capitalism, greed, etc. can be good but like anything else can be exploited and abused, and if you have the resources it becomes easy to exploit and abuse the existing system.


    Nobody is forced to do or buy a single thing in this country. Aside from health insurance, apparently.

    If you dont like the system and all the opportunity it gives to people who pay attention and aspire to move up, you are free to go live in the woods. Go build a cabin and hunt your food, bring some seeds and clear out a lil area and grow some food. Nobody will bother you. Theres so much open land out there, if u go find a spot nobody's usin I dont think youll get too much hassle from the government.


    Otherwise there has to be an organized system. Otherwise its just chaos. You divide the land up and give every person an equal share right now how do you decide who gets souther california and who gets west kansas? Hmm, maybe whoever pays the taxes that end up goin to support the welfare liberals love to pass around.


    I mean seriously, OP, Orange and Blue, and the pansy morons that complain about this stuff are just losers. Bottom line. They cant handle shit so the. Just whine n complain. Homoz.

  14. #14
    Verticle? plowking's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Start investing your money a little better. How about that?

    You act as if these investments are risk free and its all gravy.

  15. #15
    877-954-1893 MMM's Avatar
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    Default Re: How the Rentier Class Cannibalizes the Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolball#52
    Nobody is forced to do or buy a single thing in this country. Aside from health insurance, apparently.

    If you dont like the system and all the opportunity it gives to people who pay attention and aspire to move up, you are free to go live in the woods. Go build a cabin and hunt your food, bring some seeds and clear out a lil area and grow some food. Nobody will bother you. Theres so much open land out there, if u go find a spot nobody's usin I dont think youll get too much hassle from the government.


    Otherwise there has to be an organized system. Otherwise its just chaos. You divide the land up and give every person an equal share right now how do you decide who gets souther california and who gets west kansas? Hmm, maybe whoever pays the taxes that end up goin to support the welfare liberals love to pass around.


    I mean seriously, OP, Orange and Blue, and the pansy morons that complain about this stuff are just losers. Bottom line. They cant handle shit so the. Just whine n complain. Homoz.
    Sensible people are somewhere between splitting land equally or having to go out in the woods.

    BTW as a conservative shouldn't you be just as upset if not more by Republican spend and deficit governments, if you are genuine about you conservative beliefs how can you not be irked by the entire gong show in DC. Why do you always speak about made up liberal BS that doesn't really exist? As American liberals are relatively conservative.

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