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155

Capital Shared

1
terms
4
notes

B. Atkinson, A. (2015). Capital Shared. In B. Atkinson, A. Inequality: What Can Be Done?. Harvard University Press, pp. 155-178

(noun) the state of being the firstborn of the children of the same parents / (noun) an exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son

158

If families practice primogeniture, passing wealth on each time to a single member of the next generation (typically the oldest son), then the total would be unaffected.

—p.158 by Anthony B. Atkinson
notable
3 years, 5 months ago

If families practice primogeniture, passing wealth on each time to a single member of the next generation (typically the oldest son), then the total would be unaffected.

—p.158 by Anthony B. Atkinson
notable
3 years, 5 months ago
159

[...] When richer families have more children, inequality is reduced [...] "The average upper middle-class familiy is only two-thirds of the size of the average working-class family. Hence, in the absence of modifications introduced by marriage, fresh accumulations, and taxation, the distribution of property would be likely to become more and more unequal." [...] better-off families having fewer children and hence accentuating the tendency towards greater inequality.

—p.159 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago

[...] When richer families have more children, inequality is reduced [...] "The average upper middle-class familiy is only two-thirds of the size of the average working-class family. Hence, in the absence of modifications introduced by marriage, fresh accumulations, and taxation, the distribution of property would be likely to become more and more unequal." [...] better-off families having fewer children and hence accentuating the tendency towards greater inequality.

—p.159 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago
164

But what exactly is the output of the financial services sector? [...] If one investment fund is outperforming another through picking the right shares, is not another fund losing on the other side of the equation? What makes it a positive-sum rather than a zero-sum business? [...] "Common sense suggests that if a closed circle of people continuously exchange bits of paper with each other, the total value of these bits of paper will not change much, if at all. If some members of that closed circle make extraordinary profits, these profits can only be made at the expense of other members of the same circle." [...]

—p.164 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago

But what exactly is the output of the financial services sector? [...] If one investment fund is outperforming another through picking the right shares, is not another fund losing on the other side of the equation? What makes it a positive-sum rather than a zero-sum business? [...] "Common sense suggests that if a closed circle of people continuously exchange bits of paper with each other, the total value of these bits of paper will not change much, if at all. If some members of that closed circle make extraordinary profits, these profits can only be made at the expense of other members of the same circle." [...]

—p.164 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago
169

In 1797 Thomas Paine, the philosopher and revolutionary, set out in his Agrarian Justice a scheme "to create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterlin, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property."

—p.169 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago

In 1797 Thomas Paine, the philosopher and revolutionary, set out in his Agrarian Justice a scheme "to create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterlin, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property."

—p.169 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago
174

In my view, we should be focusing on the overall net worth of the state, not just the national debt. The proper objective of fiscal policy should be a return to a situation where the state has a significant positive net worth. Of course the reduction of the national debt would contribute to this end, but it is only one side of the equation. The other side is the accumulation of state assets. By holding capital and by sharing in the fruits of technological developments, the state can use the resulting revenue to promote a less unequal society. This is all the more important, given the earlier analysis of the economic forces driving the distribution of income. To the question, who owns the robots? the answer should be that, in part, they belong to us all.

this resonates with the idea of "welcomed nationalisation" that Toby brought up - that you should innovate with the hope of eventually having your creation nationalised, with the profits going to everyone and not just yourself; that it should be something you celebrate and strive towards, because what is a more worthy goal than actually making the world (or at least your subdivision of it) a better place?

—p.174 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago

In my view, we should be focusing on the overall net worth of the state, not just the national debt. The proper objective of fiscal policy should be a return to a situation where the state has a significant positive net worth. Of course the reduction of the national debt would contribute to this end, but it is only one side of the equation. The other side is the accumulation of state assets. By holding capital and by sharing in the fruits of technological developments, the state can use the resulting revenue to promote a less unequal society. This is all the more important, given the earlier analysis of the economic forces driving the distribution of income. To the question, who owns the robots? the answer should be that, in part, they belong to us all.

this resonates with the idea of "welcomed nationalisation" that Toby brought up - that you should innovate with the hope of eventually having your creation nationalised, with the profits going to everyone and not just yourself; that it should be something you celebrate and strive towards, because what is a more worthy goal than actually making the world (or at least your subdivision of it) a better place?

—p.174 by Anthony B. Atkinson 3 years, 5 months ago