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Private property rights in natural resources

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Saurabh
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Now, let us assume for a moment that scarcity rents indeed cannot be determined though a free market. My question to you is: so what? Is that enough for us to discard the concept?

Translation: "I know I'm wrong and I don't care."

Free market does not exist in defence and judiciary, but these are still thought a proper functions of a govt.

Translation: "There is already plenty of legalized injustice around and I'm fine with it."

So, even if we agree to your claim, it is not very clear how it implies that we should not collect these rents.

Translation: "I know that what I propose is evil and cannot be justified, but I want to do it anyway."

If that is inaccurate, then please, tell me what you really mean.

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Randroid,

My statement: Free market does not exist in defence and judiciary, but these are still thought a proper functions of a govt.

Your Translation: "There is already plenty of legalized injustice around and I'm fine with it."

How is defence and Judiciary injustice? I hope our disagreement is due to some communication gap.

What I mean is that there cannot be a free market for everything -e.g. for Public goods such as Judiciary, Defence, etc

Edited by Saurabh
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No, this doesn't make any sense at all. Things like "Geolibertarianism" are a travesty, a contradiction in itself.

A piece of rock is no more a natural resource than my liver....

This question arises from a very geocentric worldview. Whoever really questions this is forgetting not only about Antarctica, the Oceans (both actually taken de lex by the U.N), but also about the whole solar system, the sun, and our milky way.

Natural Resources are limited. But our ability to exploit them is even more limited :)

So there's really nothing to argue about. The landless, homeless of today might be asteroid landlords sooner than you might think.

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OK. Now I see what you are saying.

Though, your definition of scarcity rent pertains to exhaustible resources (such as oil). But that's is fine.

Wait a second your entire reasoning relates perfectly to that point. You want to impose this tax because land is a finite resource just like oil. That it has intrinsic value to everyone living and not yet living because it is finite. So why pick nits? I'm seeing a pattern evolving here with your argumentation. Soon I'll be looking for a bridge.

Now, let us assume for a moment that scarcity rents indeed cannot be determined though a free market. My question to you is: so what?

Is that enough for us to discard the concept?

Yes it is. The only proper way that men can trade with other men without force or fraud is in the context of a free market. You want to institute force into the market, you want to make it un-free.

Free market does not exist in defence and judiciary, but these are still thought a proper functions of a govt.

Defence and the Judiciary are proper functions of government because properly formed they do not initiate force or fraud, they try to ensure force and fraud do not enter into the interactions of free men. You want to do the opposite.

So, even if we agree to your claim, it is not very clear how it implies that we should not collect these rents.

The implication is quite clear. Force and fraud are no way for men to deal with one another.

You want to force every productive member of society to pay for their industriousness, their labour and their production. And when asked why you offer no reason, just existence (or even possible existence, since part of you argument is on behalf of potential people) of unproductive people.

This is quite possibly the only ideal I have heard of that is lower than communism. At least communists were all expected to work. You want to go one step farther. You want to literally enslave those who produce so that those that don't can draw a stipend on the producers effort based on some perverse ideal that if the unproductive were to get off their lazy asses they might have been able to produce something.

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Randroid,

My statement: Free market does not exist in defence and judiciary, but these are still thought a proper functions of a govt.

Your Translation: "There is already plenty of legalized injustice around and I'm fine with it."

How is defence and Judiciary injustice? I hope our disagreement is due to some communication gap.

What I mean is that there cannot be a free market for everything -e.g. for Public goods such as Judiciary, Defence, etc

Ah, I see. There has indeed been a misunderstanding. We both speak English as a second language, it was bound to happen. Sorry! :)

Okay, so national defense, police and the judicial system are legitimate functions of government and must not be provided by a free market. I agree.

However, the only legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of individuals. That is the only reason to have government in the first place.

1. How you reconcile "protection of individual rights" and "collecting scarcity rent"?

2. You still haven't substantiated your claim that there is such a thing as "scarcity rent".

Edited by Randroid
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I find it difficult to believe.

How do you know this?

Do others on the forum believe this?

You were the one who said it was scarce. Do you say this simply because decades of ignorant Indian propaganda has pushed the notion that India's population is too high? Or, do you actually have some number in your mind: for instance, each human being requires X sq. yrds of living/working space plus Y acres of arable land? Otherwise, the notion of scarcity can simply float without meaning anything. [And don't reply that by scarce you actually mean "finite", because then we would have to agree that people are also scarce in India.]
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Well, land can still be scarce due to two reasons:

- if it is concentrated in few private hands

- if govt owns it and restritcs public usage

I'm assuming you think those two reasons listed are bad things? Correct? (I do). In a free market, neither of those can occur.

Either way, the land itself is not scarce. So your statement is incorrect. There's roughly 3/4 an acre of land for each man, woman and child in India. This is a big planet and even in a country as relatively highly populated as India, there is an abundance of land. Who "gets" it? Who DECIDES how to distribute it? These are your questions. But you are evading the real meaning and concept of value. This is why your arguments are not whole.

The issue of "rights" to property is how you initially framed this debate. Property presupposes ownership. But you want to establish the "inherent value" and inherent rights to raw, untouched land. You haven't even come close to attempting to give a rational explanation of FROM WHERE or BY WHOM those rights could be granted. This is understandable because that is an impossible task. There is no rational or logical SOURCE for one's rights to "inherently" own swaths of land. ANY suggestion would be arbitrary and hinge on a number of other cascading arbitrary factors.

You are going to have to come to grips with the fact that you cannot establish a consistent meaning to the concept of VALUE. This is crucial for you to understand and it is the reason this debate is going nowhere.

Why ignore the many examples and thought experiments that have be posted here for you? What about that bar of gold that sits untouched in the middle of a the desert? Is that worth anything if no one finds it and claims it? Does the person who ceases it first owe an equal split to the rest of the worlds population?

Enough evasion already. State your PRINCIPAL and stand by it. You started by saying "it is not proper to allow private property in land". You are ANTI-FREEDOM. Who will you delegate to KILL ME when I do not give you what is mine and only offer to trade value for value?

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Do you have access to google maps or google earth? Take a look at the land.

Discover the population. Discover the amount of acres. You like to divvy things up, correct? See how much land there is in relation to every man, woman and child in India. (I happen to live with 3 other human beings on less than 1/2 an acre of land... comfortably).

Correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't scarce mean, in economic terms, that goods and services are not limitless? It doesn't mean "there is barely any". Thus land is scarce because it isn't limitless.

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Guys,

I have modified my position based on your arguments posted on this forum.

Please take a look at my argument below, and let me know what you think is the basic point of dis-agreement. I will then focus the debate on arguing for just that basic point, before we move to the next points.

a) Land generates scarcity rents

b ) The scarcity is created by productive people who want to use land's productive powers to create something (food, etc)

c) So, these rents should go to these productive people

d) However, these rents need to be equally distributed among productive people - as no one in particular created more scarcity than the other

e) People who do not have any intention of using the land, should not get any share in the scarcity rent, as they do not (and will not) contribute to the scarcity

f) The questions around implementation of this approach will be dealt with later on, as it is important to first agree on the morality of the proposal.

Thanks!

Edited by Saurabh
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a) Land generates scarcity rents

You need to define this better. Wikipedia says "Scarcity rent refers to the price paid for the use of the homogeneous land when its supply is limited in relation to demand. If all units of land are homogeneous, but demand exceeds supply, the entire land will earn economic rent by virtue of its scarcity." People simply pay for things according to what they think it is worth, though. The owner of land charges what they think someone is willing to pay. The land itself generates nothing. You're still suggesting there is intrinsic value in things.

d) However, these rents need to be equally distributed among productive people - as no one in particular created more scarcity than the other

Nothing needs to be equally distributed to anyone.

f) The questions around implementation of this approach will be dealt with later on, as it is important to first agree on the morality of the proposal.

You mentioned equal distribution. There is nothing moral about that.

Basically A is wrong, so everything else is wrong.

Edited by Eiuol
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a) Land generates scarcity rents

So, main disagreement is on the first point itself.

To know the root source of your disagreement, let me me elaborate/rephrase on this point.

a) There is some money that needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand for land exceeds its supply.

b ) I am calling this money as scarcity rent; and my subsequent claims will refer to this money.

Now please tell me where you guys disagree? Or you don't see the two versions as equivalent?

Edited by Saurabh
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So, main disagreement is on the first point itself.

To know the root source of your disagreement, let me me elaborate/rephrase on this point.

a) There is some money that needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand for land exceeds its supply.

The demand for gold exceeds supply so we should pay money for that? How about oil, milk, iron... The possible requirement for fresh water exceeds supply so we should pay for that? Where does this "principle" stop?

Money does not demand anything. The fact of the matter is that you think that money ought to be paid. You have not offered a single reason why this must be. Your opinions are not facts nor are they moral imperatives.

And once again there is no practical shortage of land anywhere.

Even in India and if you look at the whole world you will see the majority of places are far, far less populated. In my country, Canada, the second largest on the planet we have in most places a population density of less than 1 person per square kilometer.

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a) There is some money that needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand for land exceeds its supply.

b ) I am calling this money as scarcity rent; and my subsequent claims will refer to this money.

Now please tell me where you guys disagree? Or you don't see the two versions as equivalent?

Our problem is not with your choice of words, but with your assumptions, i.e. the so far unfounded assumption that money "needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand for land exceeds its supply". We don't care whether you call it "scarcity rent" or something else.

Stop rephrasing, start substantiating.

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The demand for gold exceeds supply so we should pay money for that?

Zip,

This is where you are making ar error. Gold has an element of human effort. Nature does not supply it freely.

So, there is no moral basis for asking more its supply at zero price.

Land however is provided with its productive properties, by nature.

Do you see the distinction? I expected this to be clear to people by now.

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Our problem is not with your choice of words, but with your assumptions, i.e. the so far unfounded assumption that money "needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand for land exceeds its supply". We don't care whether you call it "scarcity rent" or something else.

Stop rephrasing, start substantiating.

I am rephrasing as I believe it helps eliminate communication gap, and helps summarize.

Now, if you do not agree with my point a, please tell me how would you make the market clear if demand exceeds supply? There would have to be greater-than-zero price for the market to clear, right?

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Zip,

This is where you are making ar error. Gold has an element of human effort. Nature does not supply it freely.

So, there is no moral basis for asking more its supply at zero price.

Land however is provided with its productive properties, by nature.

Do you see the distinction? I expected this to be clear to people by now.

And without applying human effort most land is absolutely worthless, you have just succeeded in making my point for me.

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I am rephrasing as I believe it helps eliminate communication gap, and helps summarize.

Now, if you do not agree with my point a, please tell me how would you make the market clear if demand exceeds supply? There would have to be greater-than-zero price for the market to clear, right?

Demand doesn't exceed supply!

I can use the internet to find land for sale anywhere on the planet (that ownership is allowed) for a reasonable market value. If demand exceeded supply that would not be the case would it?

Edited to add proof...

Office Space For Sale in Indore India

Real Estate Flat For Sell - u can see at ft.no.5, ratlam kothi ...

Lot/Land For Sale in Maharashtra India $500,000 USD

Plot In Bombay City 1 Acre - this plot is at an excellent location in a very developed townshipin the heart of the area.cream ...

Lot/Land For Sale in Maharshtra India $16,000 USD

Farm House/Agriculture Land - Agriculture Land/Farm House available for sale in Thane District. Area :- 1 to 15 Acre. Price :- 1 to 15 ...

An acre of land inside Bombay City for $500,000! Holly crap that is cheap. Price of land per square foot in NYC tops $900. That's $39,204,000 an acre.

Edited by Zip
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Demand doesn't exceed supply!

I can use the internet to find land for sale anywhere on the planet (that ownership is allowed) for a reasonable market value. If demand exceeded supply that would not be the case would it?

Exactly. You can only make demand equal supply by raising price.

I made a mistake as well - when I wrote demand, I meant demand at zero price

Rephrasing my points again:

a) There is some money that needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand (at zero price) for land exceeds its supply.

b ) I am calling this money as scarcity rent; and my subsequent claims will refer to this money.

And without applying human effort most land is absolutely worthless, you have just succeeded in making my point for me.

I did not understand how? Can you please clarify?

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Exactly. You can only make demand equal supply by raising price.

I made a mistake as well - when I wrote demand, I meant demand at zero price

Rephrasing my points again:

a) There is some money that needs to be paid for the use of land just because of the fact that demand (at zero price) for land exceeds its supply.

b ) I am calling this money as scarcity rent; and my subsequent claims will refer to this money.

At zero price, you mean for nothing?

I did not understand how? Can you please clarify?

Land to be farmed in any effective way must be cleared = human effort. Forest land to be harvested requires roads = human effort. Mine sites require electrical power and infrastructure = human effort. Without that human effort the land on which these things are located is for all intents and purposes worthless.

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Without that human effort the land on which these things are located is for all intents and purposes worthless.

You are right here: without human effort land does not generate any value.

But, once humans discover the productive properties of land, and everyone starts using it, there are more people wanting to use the land, than the supply of land. This leads to land fetching a price for usage (to match demand and supply).

It is this usage price (scarcity rent) that should not go to any particular person - coz he did not create the productive properties of land. He did not even discover it. The discoverer is long since dead. His heirs are also untraceable. The discovery has become extremely diffused in the society.

A particular person can, however, claim any differential or schumpeterain rent caused due to his own action (e.g. he made land more fertile by crop rotation, irrigiation, etc).

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You are right here: without human effort land does not generate any value.

But, once humans discover the productive properties of land, and everyone starts using it, there are more people wanting to use the land, than the supply of land. This leads to land fetching a price for usage (to match demand and supply).

It is this usage price (scarcity rent) that should not go to any particular person - coz he did not create the productive properties of land. He did not even discover it. The discoverer is long since dead. His heirs are also untraceable. The discovery has become extremely diffused in the society.

A particular person can, however, claim any differential or schumpeterain rent caused due to his own action (e.g. he made land more fertile by crop rotation, irrigiation, etc).

You said land had intrinsic value, meaning value before anyone ever did anything with it and now you have just agreed that land is worthless without men to make it worth something. So now having abandoned your idea of intrinsic value you claim that the mans effort to make the land worth something releases its potential value and that is what you are planning to steal from the man who made it exist.

The man who owns the land and puts it to work is the only person entitled to anything from that land. Period. Full Stop. End of discussion.

Your entire post is nothing more than a ridiculous rationalization of theft, of wanting the unearned of looting and mooching.

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