Slide 1: The Life and Legacy of the 19th Century’s Foremost Political Economist
PART 1 Written and Narrated by
Edward J. Dodson, M.L.A.
Revised February 2010 Who was Henry George? : Who was Henry George? Slide 3: Philadelphia Birthplace of Henry George
Then and Now A Restless Youth : A Restless Youth Calcutta Slide 5: “One feature which is peculiar to Calcutta was the number of dead bodies floating down in all stages of decomposition, covered by crows who were actively engaged in picking them to pieces. The first one I saw filled me with horror and disgust, but like the natives, you soon cease to pay any attention to them.” Slide 7: “Over and over again I have heard all questions of slavery silenced by the declaration that the negroes were the property of their masters, and that to take away a man’s slave without payment was as much a crime as to take away his horse without payment.” Slide 9: San Francisco - 1855 “After being deprived of reading for such a time, it is quite delightful to be able to read as much as I wish. In the house in which I am stopping there is a good library, which to me is one of its prominent attractions.” In Search of Fortune A Long, Hard Climb : A Long, Hard Climb Severe Poverty : Severe Poverty “I came near starving to death, and at one time I was so close to it that I think I should have done so but for the job of printing a few cards which enabled us to buy a little corn meal.” Remembering Abraham Lincoln : Remembering Abraham Lincoln Abandoning Protectionism : Abandoning Protectionism Slide 16: “If what he said was true, it seemed to me that the country that was hardest to get at must be the best country to live in; and that, instead of merely putting duties on things brought from abroad, we ought to put them on things brought from anywhere, and that fires and wars and impediments to trade and navigation were the very best things to levy on commerce.” From Labor to Management : From Labor to Management Freelance Journalist : Freelance Journalist Slide 19: “For years the high rate of interest and the high rate of wages prevailing in California have been special subjects for the lamentations of a certain school of local political economists, who could not see that high wages and high interest were indications that the natural wealth of the country was not yet monopolised, that great opportunities were open to all ...” On Chinese Immigration : On Chinese Immigration Slide 21: John Stuart Mill “Concerning the purely economic view of the subject, I entirely agree with you; and it could be hardly better stated and argued than it is in your article in the New York Tribune. That the Chinese immigration, if it attains great dimensions, must be economically injurious to the mass of the present population; that it must diminish their wages, and reduce them to a lower stage of physical comfort and well-being, I have no manner of doubt.” Slide 22: “… to abolish land monopoly will be to make short work of the Chinese question. …Root the white race in the soil, and all the millions of Asia cannot dispossess it.” Frustrated Political Ambition : Frustrated Political Ambition Henry H. Haight The “Land Question” Answered : The “Land Question” Answered Slide 25: “Like a flash it came upon me that there was the reason of advancing poverty with advancing wealth. With the growth of population, land grows in value, and the men who work it must pay more for the privilege.” Our Land & Land Policy : Our Land & Land Policy Slide 27: “… with but 600,000 inhabitants, free land should be plentiful; yet the notorious fact is that so reckless has been the land policy that the immigrant in 1871, has, as a general thing, to pay a charge to middlemen before he can begin to cultivate the soil. Already individuals hold thousands and hundreds of thousands of acres apiece.” Slide 28: POLITICAL ECONOMY Land Labor Capital Slide 29: “Why should we not go back to the old system, and charge the expense of government upon our lands? Slide 30: “Land taxation does not bear at all upon production; it adds nothing to prices, and does not affect the cost of living. As it does not add to prices, it costs the people nothing in addition to what it yields the Government; while as land cannot be hid or moved, this tax can be collected with more ease and certainty, and with less expense than any other tax; and the land-owner cannot shift it to any one else. Slide 32: “A tax upon the value of land is the most equal of all taxes, because the value of land is something that belongs to all, and in taxing land values we are merely taking for the use of the community something which belongs to the community. …” A New Truth? : A New Truth? The French School of Political Economists who embraced Physiocratie Slide 34: “I forget many things, but the place where I heard this, and the tone and attitude of the man who told me of it, are photographed on my memory. For, when you have seen a truth that those around you do not see, it is one of the deepest of pleasures to hear of others who have seen it.” Francois Quesnay Slide 36: He asked the Governor “to give me a place where there was little to do and something to get, so that I might devote myself to some important writing.” William Irwin, Governor of California from 1871-1880 Slide 37: “Fellow-citizens, negro slavery is dead! But cast your eyes over the North to-day and see a worse than negro slavery taking root under the pressure of the policy you are asked … to support by your votes. See seventy thousand men out of work in the Pennsylvania coal-fields; fifty thousand labourers asking for bread in the city of New York; …” Slide 38: University of California, Berkeley, California Slide 39: “… the very importance of the subjects with which political economy deals raises obstacles in its way. The discoveries of other sciences may challenge pernicious ideas, but the conclusions of political economy involve pecuniary interests, and thus thrill directly the sensitive pocket-nerve.” Slide 40: “For the study of political economy you need no special knowledge, no extensive library, no costly laboratory. You do not even need text-books nor teachers, if you will but think for yourselves. All you need is care in reducing complex phenomena to their elements, in distinguishing the essential from the accidental, and in applying the simple laws of human action with which you are familiar.” Public Speaking: “Moses” : Public Speaking: “Moses”