Locke, Private Property, & Proper Taxation

Private Property and Proper Taxation

There is some useful aggregate value of land held in common, $C$. Let us imagine $C$ to be some amount of naturally occuring food in an acre of wilderness -- e.g. 5 meals worth per year. If this were not collected by anyone, this would not be actualized, and potentially this land could result in 0 meals per year. Imagine an individual came to this acre and cultivated it, so that it produced 500 meals each year (a gain of 100, let's call this productivity boost $B$).

! TODO: cost of labor and capital input

Conceiving of all men as bretheren, the increase to the sum of all persons is 495 meals -- in that frame of analysis, a great gain has been had. But also, the value of the land in common has decreased by 5 meals per year. Imagine we can know for certain that those meals would have been collected -- then it is proper for the individual to pay at least 5 meals per year in taxes back into the common stock -- or $C$ back, for an effective income tax of $\frac{C}{CB} = \frac{1}{B}$.

Imagine another resource -- oil. The oil is not much more valuable out of the ground than in the ground; therefore, sensibly, the taxes should be proportionate. Here, the productivity boost is likely to be on the order of $20\%$ or so -- that would imply an effective income tax of $\frac{1}{1.2} = 83\%$.

Alternatively, instead of a percentage tax, there could be a property tax equal to $C$, not dependent on $B$ at all.

! should this tax be owed if production is below C?

Taxation in a Sparse Environment -- max tax is $C$

Taxation in a Full (but not Crowded) Environment -- tax is $C$

Taxation in a Crowded Environment -- min tax is $C$

! opportunity cost of another using the land -- determined by effectively a lottery where the tax is increased until some land is unused (or, more efficiently? until profits in the industry normalize)

! is the proper role of government to be an auction for land? what other concerns? for community, minimize switching costs

! but this tax should be differential to different kinds of land

! incentivizing innovation when the government attempts to approach equilibrium of this sort ???

! sunk cost, business uncertainty, switching costs

The Emotionality of Property

plans, anger

possession, care

Taxation of Intellectual Labor

first mover should get massive tax reduction? that way you don't need to protect the IP

Ownership versus Predictable Usability

Usability includes availabililty and also maintenance / care

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