While Dubai property was once considered to be the bastion of the uber-rich, softening property prices have levelled the playing field and made real estate more
What is an example of something true that nobody generally wants to admit?
That the private ownership of land—not to be confused with the exclusive use of land—is the greatest transfer of wealth from one section of the human population (tenants and property owners beholden to mortgages) to another (property owners and the financial institutions that finance property ownership).
In a truly healthy and sustainable economic system, people would retain the fruits of their labor while land would belong to the community; such an arrangement is both good for the economy and good for the environment. Meanwhile, land users would no longer own land, but instead own tradable land-use rights, which would grant them perpetual and exclusive access to certain parcels of land, provided that they paid a periodic rent to their local community for their exclusive use. This would level the playing field for those that don’t own such land-use rights. In such an economic system, land users could buy and sell their land-use rights for much lower prices than what people currently pay for real estate.
Think about it: land is at the heart of most wars and conflicts. Because we have removed land from the commons and have turned it into private property, we have forced some people to pay other people for land (imagine having to pay someone for the air you breathe). This development has enslaved whole masses of people, and has also brought about wealth inequality, poverty, as well as environmental degradation—as I have empirically demonstrated in my book Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World. Another resource for understanding how people were pushed out of the commons and how, as a result, mass poverty and environmental destruction was created, can be found in Andro Linklater’s book Owning the Earth.