- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The masochist landowners?

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on March 22, 1999 at 18:49:32:

In Reply to: More capitalo-fantasism posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on March 22, 1999 at 17:42:08:

: SDF: The above assumption is not necessary. Landlords do not have to collude intentionally (they might assume that high rents are their birthrights, according to some popular folkloric notion) nor does there have to be one owner of all land (although in places such as Hawaii this is a realistic notion). Nor will collusion between landlords risk any kind of bankruptcy at all. This is why anarcho-capitalism is a fantasy -- it depends upon assumptions that aren't necessarily so.

Started out full of the promise that each of those above "nor will..." assertions would be explained, why werent they?

: The reason for this should be obvious -- no tenant, competing individually in a capitalist system, would risk the destitution and disruption to his or her life that homelessness entails. So he or she will continue to pay rent, no matter how unfair such rent might happen to be.

Why would a competing building owner not think "aha, Mr Bad-Business-Brain overcharges his tenants so If I undercut him I'll get his tenants and the money too!"?

: Landlords are able, in fact, to charge high rents in places (such as for instance Santa Cruz, California, here in the US) where tenancy is at or above "capacity," and the upper boundary of such rents is the wage-earning capacity of the tenants. Even in places where rental is below capacity, the landlords can risk leaving lots of buildings empty in order to extract the desired money from renters.

Shame supply is restricted by govt housing welfare programmes and new building is restricted by zoning then.

: and my point was that 1) people have to use the road, and 2) the road owner will not necessarily need money to survive. Thus, I argued, Gee is making assumptions about the world that aren't necessarily so, and thus Gee's assumption that we can have capitalism without government will fall apart because it is based arbitrary assumptions about property situations.

And your argument appears to be based upon the possibility that the road owner is someone who wishes to lose potential wealth in favour of arbitrary pleasure gained from making life difficult for what would have been willing customers. The one offs.

: SDF: And what if they IN FACT do? Doesn't then your anarcho-capitalist fantasy become another monopoly situation?

You mean that the road owner also owns a farm and then presides over an usused heavily policed road at massive cost, sustaining himself on his farming produce? For what possible purpose except either sadism or masochism?

: In fact, the invention of capitalism itself required that millions of peasants be stripped of their access to the commons and be forced into cities

Forced by whom? If by armies then why is this liberty based capitalism as opposed to statism-nationalism

The point with which I wont argue (see, im not really beligerant) is that someone without anything to trade is without resource. Except that I doubt I would be as inclusive about who actually has nothing to trade at all.

: : You may wish to read (or casually and inaccurately discredit) "Ultimate Resource" by Julian Simon.

: SDF: Or I may choose to provide an accurate disproof of its assertions, should I happen to find it.

I wont hold my breath on that one, as many have attempted it before.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup