How the rich show they are never rich enough…..and how 'we' let them have it their way….
This one came from Charles Lane of the WASHINGTON POST dated January 6, 2014 (condensed)
A large number of Washington DC's top earners specialize in trading on their connections to DC's biggest "industry," the federal government. As of 2012, lobbying for tax breaks, contracts, exclusive licenses, subsidies, and the like was a $3.3 BILLION a year industry.
More than a few of these people used to be governors, senators, or member of the House, where they acquired the access that they now sell to the highest bidder. They are accompanied by a small army of former executive and legislative branch staffers who have gone through the revolving door from government to what Washintontonians euphemistically call "the private sector."
Economists (real ones) have a name for this sort of behavior: RENT-SEEKING. In economic parlance, 'rent' means the profit from gaining control over existing sources of wealth as opposed to creating new ones.
Many of our public institutions-from Congress to big-city school systems- have been captured by rent-seeking interest groups. Wall Street hedge funds have their carried-interest exemption in the tax code (see BABY, YOU'RE A RICH MAN #2 for more on this). Farmers (corporate) are making record incomes yet still benefit from government incentives. Real Estate agents defend the mortgage-interest deduction, even though the benefits go disproportionately to upper-income homeowners.
The good news is that, entrenched as special interests and their various special subsidies may be, it is probably more realistic to undo RENT-SEEKING than it is to undo the global forces of trade and technology. Instead of worrying about how much money rich people make, we should focus more on how they make it (and the privileges/entitlements that allow it).
response from; www.progress.org
Insider rent-seekers are actually rent "winners,' who continue a long tradition of the well connected, wealthy using government as their personal servant. The original rent-seekers, those insiders who sought AND WON the rent of land (exclusive rights to enjoy its profits) and locations-similarly won major favors from government.
Such corruption is a good reason to repeal the discretionary spending by politicians and hand that power back to citizens and communities. Let elected officials spend for war and emergencies but disburse the 'bulk' of 'public' revenue back to the public.
And to raise that revenue in a way to avoid favoritism; distinguish between private wealth and common wealth. Don't tax earned income but instead use taxes, fees, dues, etc to "redirect" societies spending for land, resources, economic systems, and other natural features into the 'public' treasury.
Minus the tax breaks and subsidies, nobody will have a reason to seek rent and our officials won;t have a way to deliver it anymore
Former rent seekers and winners (thieves IMO) will have to get real jobs in order to earn income, becoming artists, inventors or entrepreneurs…..you know…….working.