As the Federal Government leads the deficit scaremongering on the road to lining up the firesale of our public assets to insiders (whilst slugging the consumer with a higher and thus regressive GST), we are reminded of the approach they could be taking if genuinely interested in a productive market. Leading Commons advocate David Bollier writes in Why Not Tax … Read More
Margarita Arias, Costa Rica:
Only those who have fought for the right to protect their own bodies from abuse can truly understand the rape and plunder of our forests, rivers and soils.
The whole of the land was in the hands of a few, and if the cultivators did not pay their rents, they became subject to bondage ..
Marcus Aurelius (121-180AD):
Poverty is the mother of crime.
The history of mankind is an immense sea of errors in which few obscure truths may be found.
Ambrose Bierce “The Devil’s Dictionary”:
Henry George was a hugely popular social philosopher in the late 19th Century. His book Progress & Poverty stormed the world in the 1880’s by taking David Ricardo’s Law of Rent to its logical conclusion. George spelt out how current land ownership laws set up a pyramid society for the rich to live off the poor. His simple but emotionally inspired writings alerted the people to this travesty. He also provided a solution. This led to a worldwide Georgist movement.
Henry George was the first economist to demonstrate that taxes based on resources – which he called land tax, or the ‘single tax’ – produced the greatest prosperity with the least adverse effects. He demonstrated how poverty and unemployment could be destroyed by the removal of all current taxation and the replacement with his ‘single tax’.
Naturally, proposing to tax resources upset the wealthy elite of his day and so he was bitterly opposed.
People like Albert Einstein, Alfred Deakin and Mark Twain all saw George as one of the most important intellectuals of the Classical era. Some say the success created by George led to the death of Classical Economics. Proof of his popularity in Australia saw some 10,000 people attend George’s inspirational speech at the Melbourne Exhibtion Centre in 1890. Similar numbers followed his talks around the country. He gained such strong support by making economics understandable to the average man.
“Men like Henry George are rare unfortunately. One cannot imagine a more beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic form, and fervent love of justice.”
With great humility, an allodial ‘libertarian’ (that is, one who believes that land may be owned absolutely, without any annual rent or charge whatsoever for the privilege of exclusive ownership) wrote:
> You should not presume to speak on behalf of libertarians,
> since you are obviously in the position of not understanding.
> Instead you should ask for clarifications.
To which Dan Sullivan responded:
OK. Complete novice that I am, I will undoubtedly benefit from your erudition on what the following passages mean. Please do explain them. Feel free to interpret each sentence and go into detail, so that we might benefit from your intellectual prowess:
Victor Lebrun was a personal friend and Secretary to Leo Tolstoy. This is a translation of his article published in the July 1956 issue of the French periodical, Contre-Courant, and reprinted in the July-September 1956 issue of the French Georgist magazine Terre et Liberte. Its historical interest, in view of the establishment of Communism in Russia in 1917, needs no emphasis.
In giving his extreme and sympathetic attention to other thinkers and writers, the great Tolstoy differed essentially from his colleagues – the geniuses of all countries and all centuries. But nothing shows the complete honesty and surprisng liberty of his spirit more than his attitude towards Henry George.
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