What Capital has Joined Together, Let Not Marx Rent Asunder: Mark I
26 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 18, 2012
In this paper I introduce readers to some basic Marxist ideas to help you understand Marx’s thinking on rent and its applicability to the taxation of economic rent, specifically resource rents. I argue that because of the high levels of capital investment in the mining industry, Marx’s concept of absolute rent does not apply but that what he describes as monopoly rent, and differential rent I and II are components of resource rents. The process of taxing resource rents involves a battle between the state as landlord and mining capital as both a new landlord and exploiter of the minerals. That battle is over the split up of the resource monopoly rent inhered in the land but also between the state and mining capital over a share of the monopoly rent mining capital extracts in the process of production from other capital. The taxation of this latter aspect of resource rents acts as an imperfect substitute for competition by lowering the super profits the specific monopolists and oligopolists receive and thus helping to equalize profit rates. Company tax cuts redistribute the monopoly rents obtained during the production process to the other sectors of capital from whom the rent has in their eyes been monopolized.
Keywords: tax, tax reform, economic rent, resource rent, Marx, absolute rent, ground rent, differential rent, competition, monopoly
JEL Classification: H20, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation