Thank you for putting this material online. “Progress & Poverty” is one of the most important books ever written, and too few people know about it today. It was a bestseller in the twenty or thirty years after its publication, and Henry George’s ideas were widely discussed and understood throughout the English-speaking world.
I didn’t read P&P first. I started with a couple of speeches — “Thou Shalt Not Steal” and “The Crime of Poverty” got my attention. Both are available at schalkenbach.org and at wealthandwant.com And my first reading of the unabridged P&P, I’ll admit, was slow. A friend, though, characterized it as a page-turner, a mystery whose solution she anxiously sought.
Bob Drake’s updating into modern language came along in good time for me. It captures the tone and meaning, and yet spares the reader the lengthy sentences and multiple examples that appear in the original. Those who have read the unabridged will find it ringing in their ears. And if you’re curious about how the chapter structures relate, you might look for the cross-referenced table of contents at wealthandwant.com.
I commend P&P — in whatever edition you choose (the unabridged is on the schalkenbach.org website) — to your attention. As John Dewey put it, “I do not claim that George’s remedy is a panacea that will cure by itself all our ailments. But I do claim that we cannot get rid of our basic troubles without it.”
The knowledge that Progress and Poverty provides, is known amongst Georgists as “seing the cat”, an expression that implies that this understanding about the role of land in the macroeconomics big picture is now revealed to the individual. Good news! but it raises questions too.
Why is this knowledge not explained universally (at university) to the majority of economics students, who have never heard of Henry George? How do land economics affect the behavour of previous macroeconomic models (used for simulating how the national economies behave) that have no specific “land”-related part? Why does the scientific approach introduced by George receive so little attention, so that the general subject of macroeconomics is still treated as an inexact science? Is there a way of representing macroeconomics by computer of other modern means, which can show that George’s innovation for the “single tax” has definate advantages over other taxation methods? etc.
I can answer some of these questions. The reason why no university is promoting George’s big idea is that there is no money in it and what is being taught at university is largely controlled by who invests in the particular university. In economics, universities no less that governments, become very political places. Thus there is little effort being made into doing research into modelling the Georgist style macroeconomy with computers and simulations of land economics.
The sole place where some activity has been taken place is my own work in respect of modelling the system as a comprehensive whole to include all of the various component effects (including land-ownership, householding, government, product-making, capital-investment and banking). As a rsult of this analysis (including some numerical parts) I have shown that the short-term effect of the introduction of Georges’ innovative tax system is about 3 times more advantageous to the whole system than a similar sized change in taxation made to personal incomes. Not that anybody wants more tax, but it is necessary for government to be able to work.
Anybody who would like some more information should contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org and be prepared to read about 150 pages of my almost complete book about “Consequential Macroeconomics”.
Please note the URL for the Progress & Poverty audiobook has been changed and is now http://hgchicago.org/links/henry-georges-major-books/progress-poverty-audiobook
In my comment (above), I mentioned the book that I was writing. It is now published and may be found on Barnes & Noble and other booksellers websites. The full title is: “Consequential Macroeconomics–Rationalizing About How Our Social System Works”. Should fellow Georgists wish to see a review copy for free, they should write to me at the above e-address. I welcome any comments, favorable or un.
I have first edition of Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, the edition that he published in San Francisco. Does anyone know the value of the book? It is in nice condition. Thank You
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