Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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Rather than accept the ‘naturalist’ interpretation of inequality, Askenazy maintains, it is necessary to understand the upheavals that have given rise to new rents and allowed their seizure. He notes the role played by three ‘especially powerful’ factors in recent decades: the collapse of Communism and incorporation of China into global market circuits; the weakening of trade unions and destructuring of the working class (salariat); and new sources of rent linked to technological change and urban agglomeration. In principle, the growing importance of intangibles and agglomeration factors in economic development ought to devalue the claims of capital, as the giant enterprises of the digital age hardly need physical capital anymore. Instead, capital benefits from regimes that extend and reinforce property rights, the two most important being real estate and ‘intellectual’ property. The development of highly productive economies in major cities gives rise to rents of agglomeration, frequently appropriated by the owners of real estate: London, where Askenazy thinks feudal forms of land ownership still persist, is a key example. The financial sector, by providing mortgage credit, is also able to capture part of these rents. (Of course, it would be possible to limit this trend through political action by rent control and the provision of public transport.) A key aim of official policy has been to extend the range of private-property forms. Askenazy draws particular attention to intellectual property—exemplified by the exploitation of pharmaceutical patents, which drive up healthcare costs—and the privatization of data harvested from the internet.

—p.153 Beyond Redistribution (151) by John Grahl 5 years, 3 months ago