19 - Understanding our Political Economy - vision for a new future

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Lesson 19 - vision for a new future

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Understanding our Political Economy LESSON NINETEEN Vision for a New Future

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Searching for the Just Society

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Mortimer J. Adler

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“[T]he common good for which men associate in the larger community cannot be achieved if each of them insists upon retaining his complete autonomy. Some portion of it must be surrendered to establish an authority for making rules and reaching decisions binding on all by their free consent.” Mortimer J. Adler. The Common Sense of Politics , p.77

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Henry George

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“Political economy proceeds from the following simple axiom: People seek to satisfy their desires with the least exertion .” Henry George. Progress and Poverty , p.6

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“When it is said that the ideal is as little government as possible, the controlling principle is liberty rather than justice. This explains the falsity of Jefferson’s maxim, that that government governs best which governs least. …” Mortimer J. Adler. The Common Sense of Politics , p.130

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“The truth of the matter is that that government governs best that governs most justly, regardless of the amount of government that is required to achieve the fullest possible realization of the ideal of justice.” Mortimer J. Adler. The Common Sense of Politics , p.130

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“… subsidiary natural rights – rights to life, security and life and limb, a decent livelihood, freedom from coercion, political liberty, educational opportunities, medical care, [and] sufficient free time for the pursuits of leisure.” Mortimer J. Adler. The Common Sense of Politics , p.26

Henry George:

Henry George

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“Political equality does not, in itself, prevent inequality arising from private ownership of land. Furthermore, political equality – when coexisting with an increasing tendency toward unequal distribution of wealth – will ultimately beget either tyranny or anarchy.” Henry George. Progress and Poverty , p.288

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“We propose to readjust the very foundation of society. …Most notably, government could be vastly simplified. A similar saving would occur in the administration of justice. …With poverty ended, morality would grow stronger, reducing other business of [the] courts.” Henry George. Progress and Poverty , p.254

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“Government would change its character and become the administrator of a great cooperative society. …Give labor its full earnings and expanded opportunity. Take, for the benefit of the whole community, that which the growth of the community creates. Then poverty would vanish.” Henry George. Progress and Poverty , pp. 255, 257

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“Association in equality is the law of human progress. …People progress by cooperating with each other to increase the mental power that may be devoted to improvement. …”

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“Mental power, the motor of social progress, is set free by association – or perhaps “integration” may be a more accurate term. In this process, society becomes more complex. Individuals become more dependent upon each other. Occupations and functions are specialized.” Henry George. Progress and Poverty , pp. 277, 279

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“In Boston, the only way to get a license is to buy another establishment's, and prices have shot up. A liquor license can cost more than $275,000; a beer and wine license goes for $50,000 to $100,000.” USA Today , October 2006

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“A medallion provides a steady, predictable revenue stream [of] between $1,500 and $2,000 per month for the medallion owner. …Using a discount rate of 6% this yields an NPV of $206,458.58. Multiplying that by the City’s 1,500 medallions yields a total value of $300 million. …[T]his … analysis shows the City is practically giving away a $300 million asset for free.” Kieran Farr. “How Much is a San Francisco Taxi Medallion Worth?” 15 November 2007

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Each license grants exclusive use for 10 years Bidders put up a total $131.5 million The market value of these licenses is very likely to increase quickly, but the Federal government will capture this increase only indirectly through business profit taxation

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Henry George

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“The regression of civilization, after a period of advance, may be so gradual that it attracts no attention at the time. Indeed, many mistake such a decline for advancement. Many … things … indicate our civilization has reached a critical point – unless a new start is made toward equality. ...”

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“Inequality is the necessary result of material progress wherever land is monopolized. Inequality cannot go much further without carrying us into a downward spiral so easy to start and so hard to stop.” Henry George. Progress and Poverty , pp. 292-293

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END OF LESSON NINETEEN

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