This article is part two of a series on rentier capitalism. Here is part one.
The idea that ethics has something to say about economics is reaching a fever pitch of discussion amid global discontent about inequality. In my last article, I explored the meaning of economic rentiership: the private capture of unearned value. Rentier capitalism enables such capture, usually through the exploitation or contrivance of scarcity. Contemporary capitalism is rife with rent-taking institutions, among them private property of land and natural resources, market monopolies, the use of platforms, and extravagant intellectual property conventions. Here I will primarily be discussing private rentiers, though state rentiers exist.