Har professoren læst Adam Smith?

 
Boglancering hos CEPOS, 6. juni 2013:
Adam Smith: Nationernes velstand
(The Wealth of Nations)
 
Se Cepos Event (+ 1 time inde)

Hvad sagde professor Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard om Adam Smith?
26 minutter inde i Se og lyt ovenfor (transkriberet af mig):
Han var tilhænger af skatter, fordi de var nødvendige til at have noget at drive staten med. Men de var et onde for ham, ikke et gode. De skulle være så beskedne som nødvendigt og så lidt skadelige som muligt.  Han forsvarede, som en måde at finansiere staten på, det vi i dag ville kalde jordrente, han forsvarede afgifter på ting, han opfattede som skadelige, men han afviste stort set alle de skatter, vi har i dag, Moms, indkomstskat, selskabsskat, ….
Jeg spurgte til det i spørgerunden (1time02min inde i Se og Lyt):
"Hvorfor er de liberale uenige med Smith, når det drejer sig om statens indkomster? Du nævnte, Peter, at han gik ind for inddragelse af jordrenten, og at han var modstander af indkomstskat..."
Desværre fik jeg også inddraget Per Stig Møller – så professoren (Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard) fik en tænkepause med ordene:
Nu er jeg jo bare akademiker, så jeg vil lade politikeren få ordet.
Per Stig Møller hjalp ham ved bl.a. at sige, at: Smith gik ind for en slags 'lejeværdi af egen bolig'.
(Her har han nok glemt, at han i Den naturlige orden skrev: Af samme grund foreslår han indførelse af en grundskat og lejeværdi af egen bolig)

Og hvad svarede Peter så på spørgsmålet - efter at have hørt politikerens svar:
Jeg formulerede mig uklart. Det som Adam Smith sagde, det var en slags lejeværdi af egen bolig, han gik ind for; det var ikke jordrenten i georgistisk forstand.
***
Men hvad skrev Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (2004) i sin bog Adam Smith i serien "Økonomiens konger". Lad os se:
Skattereformer, side 136:
Fokus var således aldrig isoleret på, hvad der kunne få flest mulige pund i statskassen, men på hvorledes de nødvendige skatter kunne tilvejebringes på en måde, der påførte borgerne mindst mulig ulempe, og gerne sådan at nye, mindre skadelige skatter erstattede andre, mere skadelige skatter.
....
Specifikt ræsonnerede Smith sig frem til to typer af skat, som han mente kunne være formålstjenlige: Afgifter på luksusprodukter og en generel ejendomsskat, en såkaldt jordrenteskat eller "grundskyld". (min fremhævning)
og senere:
Jordrenteskatten var en tanke meget lig den, som siden blev fremført af den amerikanske økonom Henry George (1839-97). Dennes ide var, at det offentliges aktiviteter skal finansieres gennem en generel jordskat (grundskyld), der fuldt ud beskatter (beslaglægger) den del af ejendomsprisstigninger, der går ud over de generelle prisstigninger, og denne tanke har siden været den centrale del i såkaldt "georgistiske" partiers politik (f.eks. Retsforbundet). Smith tænkte i de samme baner, idet han sammenlignede besiddelse af jord med en monopolvirksomhed, hvor ejeren tillige ofte høster gevinster uden nogen form for arbejde, og han vurderede, at en sådan generel ejendomsskat kun vil have relativt beskeden negativ effekt for produktion og handel.   (Min fremhævning)
Men hvorfor så nu sige, at det ikke var jordrenten i georgistisk forstand?

Men hvad sagde/skrev Smith så? Her er udpluk fra Wealth of Nations:
Sidehenvisninger er til Everyman's Library 1950.
For oversættelse henvises til den nye danske udgave...
Jeg sender gerne min digitale pdf udgave med udpluk fremhævet. Så kan du - evt. - læse sammenhængen

Uddrag fra The Wealth of Nations
Først skatterne i Bog IV - derefter Smiths beskrivelse af jordrenten generelt:
Book V, (i Vol II) (undskyld - jeg skrev tidligere Book IV)
Ch. II, Of the Sources of Revenue,
Part II: Of Taxes (p. 325) (min fremhævning: men var det ikke det modsatte, der blev sagt af Per Stig Møller og gentaget af professoren?)
Ground-rents are a still more proper subject of taxation than the rent of houses. A tax upon ground-rents would not raise the rent of houses; it would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent, who acts always as a monopolist, and exacts the greatest rent which can be got for the use of his ground
And…
Both ground-rents, and the ordinary rent of land, are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Though a part of this revenue should be taken from him in order to defray the expenses of the state, no discouragement will thereby be given to any sort of industry.
And p. 326:
Nothing can be more reasonable, than that a fund, which owes its existence to the good government of the state, should be taxed peculiarly, or should contribute something more than the greater part of other funds, towards the support of that government.

Book I,

Ch. VIII, Of the Wages of Labour. (p 58)
As soon as land becomes private property, the landlord demands a share of almost all the produce which the labourer can either raise or collect from it. His rent makes the first deduction from the produce of the labour which is employed upon land.

Ch. XI Of the Rent of Land (p. 131)
He sometimes demands rent for what is altogether incapable of human improvements. Kelp is a species of sea-weed, which, when burnt, yields an alkaline salt, useful for making glass, soap, and for several other purposes. It grows in several parts of Great Britain, particularly in Scotland, upon such rocks only as lie within the high-water mark, which are twice every day covered with the sea, and of which the produce, therefore, was never augmented by human industry. The landlord, however, whose estate is bounded by a kelp shore of this kind, demands a rent for it as much as for his corn-fields.

Conclusion (p. 229 and p. 230)
All those improvements in the productive powers of labour, which tend directly to reduce the rent price of manufactures, tend indirectly to raise the real rent of land.

They are the only one of the three orders whose revenue costs them neither labour nor care, but comes to them, as it were, of its own accord, and independent of any plan or project of their own. That indolence which is the natural effect of the ease and security of their situation, renders them too often, not only ignorant, but incapable of that application of mind, which is necessary in order to foresee and understand the consequence of any public regulation.

Book III,
Ch. II, Of the discouragement of Agriculture (p. 342 and p. 343)
He made war according to his own discretion, frequently against his neighbours, and sometimes against his sovereign. The security of a landed estate, therefore, the protection which its owner could afford to those who dwelt on it, depended upon its greatness.
To divide it was to ruin it, and to expose every part of it to be oppressed and swallowed up by the incursions of its neighbours. The law of primogeniture, therefore, came to take place, not immediately indeed, but in process of time, in the succession of landed estates, for the same reason that it has generally taken place in that of monarchies, though not always at their first institution. That the power, and consequently the security of the monarchy, may not be weakened by division, it must descend entire to one of the children. To which of them so important a preference shall be given, must be determined by some general rule, founded not upon the doubtful distinctions of personal merit, but upon some plain and evident difference which can admit of no dispute. Among the children of the same family there can be no indisputable difference but that of sex, and that of age. The male sex is universally preferred to the female; and when all other things are equal, the elder everywhere takes place of the younger. Hence the origin of the right of primogeniture, and of what is called lineal succession.
(p. 343):
They are founded upon the most absurd of all suppositions, the supposition that every successive generation of men have not an equal right to the earth, and to all that it possesses; but that the property of the present generation should be restrained and regulated according to the fancy of those who died, perhaps five hundred years ago.

Great tracts of uncultivated land were in this manner not only engrossed by particular families, but the possibility of their being divided again was as much as possible precluded for ever. It seldom happens, however, that a great proprietor is a great improver. In the disorderly times which gave birth to those barbarous institutions, the great proprietor was sufficiently employed in defending his own territories, or in extending his jurisdiction and authority over those of his neighbours. He had no leisure to attend to the cultivation and improvement of land.

(p. 344)
To improve land with profit, like all other commercial projects, requires an exact attention to small savings and small gains, of which a man born to a great fortune, even though naturally frugal, is very seldom capable. The situation of such a person naturally disposes him to attend rather to ornament, which pleases his fancy, than to profit, for which he has so little occasion. The elegance of his dress, of his equipage, of his house and household furniture, are objects which, from his infancy, he has been accustomed to have some anxiety about.


Diskussion:
Hvorfor er det så farligt at tale om jordrente?

Hvorfor fortolker Peter mon Adam Smith anderledes nu end da han skrev sin bog?

Man kan være uenig med Smith; man kunne have sagt, at det kunne være relevant på Smiths tid, at det ikke var relevant i et moderne samfund, at det har skadelig virkning på beskæftigelsen, på opsparing, på ja på mange andre ting. Ja - at provenuet er alt for lille, som er økonomernes generelle påstand.
Man kunne bare sige, at ... ja, mange ting.
MEN: Hvorfor ignorere, hvad Smith faktisk sagde?
*
Mit spørgsmål til professorens nye formulering kunne jo være:
Hvorfor er de liberale så modstandere af en beskatning af lejeværdien af egen bolig? Og hvorfor er de tilhængere af en indkomstskat? Som de godt nok vil have så beskeden som muligt! De er jo fortsat tilhængere af 'de bredeste skuldre'...
**
På professorens hjemmeside står der (26.06.13): Ingen kommentarer:   ???
Jeg har sendt en kommentar - så burde der ikke stå:
Ingen acceptable kommentarer?
eller:
Ingen kommentarer, jeg kan lide?

Peter har efterfølgende rettet i sit manuskript, som han har lagt på sin hjemmeside
Læs: http://kurrild-klitgaard.blogspot.dk/2013/06/adam-smith-galore.html#more
Smith var tilhænger af skatter—fordi noget var nødvendigt til at drive staten med. Men de var et onde og skulle være så beskedne som nødvendigt og så lidt skadelige som muligt. Han forsvarede på den ene side en slags ”lejeværdi af egen bolig” og afgifter på skadelige ting (f.eks. alkohol) og luksus, men afviste omvendt stort set alle skattetyper, vi har i dag, herunder moms, indkomstskat, selskabsskat, progressiv beskatning…
Hvorfor mon manuskriptet skal laves om på baggrund af et spørgsmål fra en georgist?


Hovedside: Grundskyld - Henry George
Til: Personlige betragtninger.
Oprettet juni 2013
jordrente - hvad er det?