chapter  IV
Property and Equality
Pages 23

Private property confers hardly any political power—certainly less than that conferred by a vote, and much less than that which flows from membership of a trade union. Divorced from political power, property is also divorced from class differences. Property has been demoted in political importance almost as much as religion. There are two major reasons for this. First is the growth of regulation and taxation. Secondly there is the more interesting growth of absentee ownership. The capital value of property also has great significance, and the inequality of its distribution has not been changed in the present century. It is true that property yields much less gross income than it used to do, and that incomes derived from it pay more in tax than earned incomes, not only because of earned income relief but because property incomes chiefly accrue to those whose incomes as a whole are large.