Fixing Income Inequality By Fixing Property Rights

America has severe problems with special interests getting too strong of property rights and harming the public good. A few examples of this:

  • Tech companies can patent software design (which is just simple processes). This prevents competition from entering the market and allows abuses like patent trolling. Software should never be patentable.
  • Pharmaceutical companies┬ácan patent drugs and hold onto those for many years. They claim that this protects their big drug investment, but the reality is that the government funds most drug research and also that if one company doesn’t come up with the innovation another would within a month or two because of the way science works. Limit drug patents to 7 years.
  • Wealthy people try to stay wealthy by preventing / minimizing any taxes on their property (cash, bonds, stocks, real estate, cars, etc). This is wrong when you have people who are generations removed from the original entrepreneur still not contributing anything to society. The Rockefeller family is a great example. The government could be funded by a universal property tax (maybe 3% per year or something?) that prevents people from just sitting on property unless they can do something with it or derive enjoyment from it. I do think that the government should have a constitutional spending limit though as far too much money gets wasted.

I think that approaches like the three above would weaken overly strong property rights and allow for increased social mobility and reduced income inequality.

Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.