Hating on the Rentier Class


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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