Hating on the Rentier Class

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Mike Konczal wrote a column over the weekend suggesting that an “anti-rentier” agenda had some potential to unite left and right. Reihan Salam comments:

Konczal also identifies tensions between what we might describe as the anti-rentier agenda of the right, which tends to focus on how state interventions serve the interests of incumbents and wealthy, influential individuals, and the anti-rentier agenda of the left, which is more concerned about the dangers of wealth concentration as such and the market power of firms that flourish in an open, lightly-regulated economy, due to first-mover advantages, network effects, and much else.

Is this really a serious agenda anywhere on the right? I’ve occasionally seen committed libertarians make the point that state interventions often serve the interests of economic incumbents, but even that’s rare.1 Outside of that, there’s Tim Carney and….

Anyone else? Any actual working Republican politicians, for example? Maybe I’m missing something, but it sure seems to me that the Republican Party is pretty firmly dedicated to defending the privileges of big corporations and the rich. Has there been a tectonic shift that I’m not aware of?

1It’s even rarer to see them arguing against state intervention because it would benefit the rich too much. In fact, I’m not sure I ever remember seeing an example of this.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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