Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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Some Notes to Readers

The process of assembling this website has given me a lot of "AHA!" moments, and I hope that you'll have the same kind of experience.

Further, I hope you will find yourself inspired to share these ideas with others, and to seek the changes in our laws that will create a just society in which all can flourish.

I've assembled the documents I think are the most important under the banner "Essential Documents," understanding that together they represent a lot of material. These are the pieces that most inspired me. (The speech entitled Thou Shalt Not Steal was actually the first piece that I "caught fire" with, and Peace, Justice and Economic Reform resonated for me.) Read the Essential Documents in the order that works for you.

Beyond those 25 or so Essential Documents, there are a number of others, some of which I hope you'll be moved to explore based on your interests. (They are indexed at this page, though I don't particularly think that's where you should start.)

I find this set of material a rich resource that touches on the causes of many of our most serious problems. But each of us comes to it with our own set of concerns, opinions and interests, and I've tried to create a "door" for each person via the "Themes" section. On the home page is a list of a couple of dozen major themes. These are intended to whet your appetite and give you a sense of the scope. Choose one that interests you as a potential starting point, and follow the link. On the right hand side of each "theme" page, you'll find a list of related ideas — other themes that have some overlap with the particular theme you picked. If one of those seems more appealing than your initial selection from the short list, by all means start there instead! Also on the right margin, just below the list of related ideas, is a list of the Essential Documents that are related to that theme.

The body of each theme page contains extended excerpts from documents on the website which pertain to the theme. You may just want to read the excerpts on the topic you're interested in, or you might choose to read the entire document; there is a link to the document at the beginning and end of each excerpt. Within any particular theme, the excerpts and links are in random order, except that the Essential Documents and older pieces tend to appear first.

There is an alphabetical index of Themes available, which also shows the related ideas, but it isn't recommended reading!

Sharing WealthandWant with others

I hope you'll find material here that you think worth sharing with others. If you're trying to figure out where to send a friend or colleague to get started, you might choose one of the theme pages, or a single document. Right-click on a page to send a link to that page to a friend.

The Essential Documents are available both in html and in PDF format.

What's Next?

The Documents and Themes are the first two layers of what I envision as a much larger website. They provide a grounding in some ideas that I think are vital to solving some of our most serious social and economic problems. As time permits, I'll be adding layers that relate to some of those problems: the distribution of wealth and income, the extent of poverty, education finance, how we tax ourselves to support our common spending, our incentives and disincentives, etc. Check back from time to time! If you'd like to be notified when major updates are made to the site, send an email (blank or with comments to notify (at) wealthandwant.com

Your Reactions

I came around to these ideas rather slowly and somewhat reluctantly, and early on, my "kneejerk" reactions to some of them were rather negative: they challenged ideas I held dear. I wouldn't be surprised if you have a similar experience. But they are compelling.

You may be led to hum the old union song, Which Side Are You On?  You may be led to think about what it means to be on God's side in this matter.  If you are active in a church, synagogue or mosque, you might wonder how your fellow worshippers or the clergy are going to respond to these ideas.  I am inspired by a snippet from George's short book, The Irish Land Question:

... it is best that the truth be fully stated and clearly recognized. He who sees the truth, let him proclaim it, without asking who is for it or who is against it. This is not radicalism in the bad sense which so many attach to the word. This is conservatism in the true sense.

These ideas are neither liberal nor conservative in the common senses in which we tend to use those words today. They represent a third way that has appeal for both sides.

It is for you to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest, unless you can find fault with the logic of these arguments.

In some of these documents, you'll find a lot of "God language." Please don't be put off by that if your own orientation is not religious: I think you'll probably find that the ideas stand well even without the God language.

Like anything else that matters, this reform is too big a job for one person, for one lifetime. But if enough of us come to see that our current state of affairs is unjust, and come to agree about how a more just society would look, we can generate the discussion that will lead to reform. These materials point to a way to that society.

Speak truth to power -- see the truth, proclaim it without asking who is for it or who is against it.  Be for it! 

I've set this website up to provide instant gratification.  But if you are intrigued, you might want to set in motion the purchase of your own copy of Progress & Poverty -- be it from the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation website, Amazon or ebay.  In the meantime, you can read the whole thing in chapters at Schalkenbach starting here.  You can take an organized course online (with an optional email teacher) at www.henrygeorge.org, or in person in New York, Philly, Chicago, San Francisco and LA.

How you can help

I'd love to be able to offer audio versions of much of the material on this website, starting with the Essential Documents. If you have a good speaking voice and are able to record a document you particularly like, I'd welcome the file. That would allow folks who use MP3 players or other formats to listen while they commute or exercise. Let me know by sending an email to audio (at) wealthandwant.com.

 

 

 

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... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper