Progress and Poverty
So, from our looking around, these are some of the Single Taxers and other key actors now, hope is kept alive in the activities of people listed here and the work of many, many others. As for what Staneb are doing, we felt we should do this, because we think the first step always is reading Progress and Poverty, and getting people to read it is what we aim to do, and explaining things the best way we can.
Progress and Poverty is a historic achievement, of the utmost importance. It is a landmark in the evolution of human society and civilisation. The book is a perfect synthesis of all of the best ideas about human civilisation distilled into a system that really does work for everyone.
It has been said now, it has been stated. A description of just and dynamic political economics has been made. On the occasions where it’s been in practical use, it has done exactly what its author claims for it, indeed, with benefits in exact ratio to the extent it has been deployed.
Human civilisation has reached a point where the cry for justice in our affairs down the ages has been distilled into a Remedy. Its subverters understood exactly what it represented, and saw the absolute need to suppress it.
We measure the success of this site by the number of people who are persuaded to read Poverty and Progress. Please let Henry George explain it all, there really is no one better.
When we first got a copy of P&P, we bought it second-hand online, from a famous online retailer who needs no promotion from us. We would have bought it from Schalkenberg but that wasn’t known yet, one of us just had a hunch about a book.
At that time, copies of it were being given away, it was a couple of quid. We kept going back there for a while, because we were buying copies of it to give away. And we saw the price was rising. And Henry George’s name is starting to come up more, there are more and more mentions heard of his name, and if not of his name, then generally of the virtues of LVT.
This is actually a very good article in the New York Observer, with good quotes from key figures who were present at the 75th anniversary of the Henry George School of Social Science in New York in 2007, but those present have to be described as an eccentrics, despite the fact that what they’re talking about has been, and is, a working reality in parts of the USA, notably Philadelphia. There’s nothing particularly eccentric described about the people mentioned here, no funny clothes or customs, but they’re eccentrics because they propagate their ideas:
…in an intellectual desert where the majority believes that economics are a done deal, a closed book, and where lightly regulated capitalism has emerged as the end-of-history winner.
Anyway, that was 2007, a year before the world’s next big date with debt.
This was very interesting, too, from the Progress Report: It asks, is geoism catching on? and mentions Nobel Prize Economist Joseph Stiglitz calling for a Henry George tax on natural resources. And reports on the land tax element of Ireland’s austerity plans, and wonders if the idea had been helped along by the Irish Green Party, who have been a Geoist organisation for some time.
Smart Taxes is a very interesting site. Of the Site Value Tax in Ireland, they say:
We’ll be doing our best to make sure that the tax is understood.
This is the key to it all. It’s all very obvious, once understood. So, we’re definitely not alone in trying to make sure this is understood, we’re in very good company.
This was Mason Gaffney in an interview in 2003 talking about how it is:
It’s a delicate balance. The haves can brainwash the have-nots just so long, until reality breaks through, as in 1929. When it does, you want to be ready with a plan tailored to the times, which Georgists at that time were not. Meantime, we keep the idea alive by recording and publicizing important facts, such as that the prosperity of Hong Kong was a product of Georgist policies; likewise that of Taipei, Sydney, Johannesburg, and other great cities. We support object lessons like those in Allentown, Pa., and go for a really visible one like Philadelphia. We combat moves to raise sales and income and payroll taxes, and awaken people to the benefits of lowering them. We awaken people to the possibilities of including more land income, and less payroll income, in the base of the income tax. We support efforts to democratize the media. We alert people to the corruption of academia and the kept think-tanks, and provide alternative venues by mobilizing the resources of the few Georgist-oriented foundations . . . We remind people of their common rights, and the history of common property in land. We expose and ridicule the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of kept economists, hoping that embarrassment will convert those whom truth will not.
There needs to be a plan tailored for the times. Everything starts with reading Progress and Poverty.