NON-LABOR INCOME

BROADLY SPEAKING, capitalism generates two kinds of income.  One is derived from physical or mental labor, the other from ownership of property rights.

To receive labor income, you must work.  To receive non-labor income, you must have a legal right to receive it.  At present, most of those rights are held by a small minority.  But there’s no reason why ownership of such rights can’t be expanded, and good reason why they should be.

If we want to retain a large middle class in the future, we must find a way to supplement people’s labor income.  There are two potential ways to do this.  One is to raise taxes on the rich and distribute the revenue to others using some kind of means test.  The other is to monetize some of our common wealth and distribute the in­come from it equally and universally.

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