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How rich “moochers” hurt America

In a previous column detailing the true "makers" and "takers" in America, I argued that the greatest threat to American capitalism today comes not from public taxation supporting public programs, but from “private taxation” in the form of excessive private “rents” that subsidize private sector parasites or “rentiers” (like landlords, lenders and providers of health insurance and healthcare). These excessive private taxes or rents are costs on productive enterprise that can be as crippling as excessive public taxation.

In American politics as in the American economy, power and wealth have shifted from the industrial capitalists of old to the “rent lords” of the early 21st century, based in the overgrown FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector. The agenda of the new rentier oligarchy in the U.S. is quite different from that of traditional productive businesses. The Rentier Agenda consists of low taxes on rentiers, the privatization of infrastructure and social insurance, and a macroeconomic policy that favors creditors rather than debtors, including debtor businesses and debtor governments.

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