Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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Quotable Notables

"Once natural resources were fully used for the benefit of all and not appropriated for selfish ends. This was the age of the Great Commonwealth of peace and prosperity." — Confucius (551 - 479 B.C.)

"Men did not make the earth …… it is the value of the improvement only and not the earth itself, that is individual property …. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds … from this ground rent I propose to create a National Fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person a sum."Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)

"Landlords grow rich in their sleep without working, risking or economising. The increase in the value of land, arising as it does from the efforts of an entire community, should belong to the community and not the individual who might hold title." John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873), English philosopher and social reformer, and one of the major intellectual figures of the 19th century

"The land, the earth, God gave to man for his home, sustenance and support, should never be the possession of any man, corporation, society or unfriendly government, any more than the air or water. An individual or company, or enterprise, acquiring land should hold no more than is required for their home and sustenance, and never more than they have in actual use in the prudent management of their legitimate business, and this much should not be permitted when it creates an exclusive monopoly. All that is not so used should be held for the free use of every family to make homesteads and to hold them as long as they are so occupied." — Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

The land is God's. It should not and cannot belong to anyone. All people have an equal right to it and the only concern is how to distribute it. ... Many people like you truthfully say that the land cannot be anyone's property. Genuine property is determined only by labor and people must work in harmony on it. Many truly understand that to distribute the land among the people is important and wise. These matters were resolved in a very just form by the American scholar Henry George. . . . — Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910)

"The most comfortable, but also the most unproductive way for a capitalist to increase his fortune, is to put all monies in sites and await that point in time when a society, hungering for land, has to pay his price" — Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919), American industrialist and philanthropist

"I went one night quite casually into a hall in London, and I heard a man deliver a speech which changed the whole current of my life. That man was an American - Henry George."George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

"Mr. Wilson had but one prejudice. That was against wealth; he believed that no man could honestly amass a million dollars in a lifetime. At heart he was a follower of Henry George and strongly objected to private profit accruing through the increase in land values." — Henry Morgenthau, Sr., of President Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924), in an interview with S. J. Woolf, in the New York Times of April 27, 1941.

"The “single tax” is so simple, so fundamental, and so easy to carry into effect that I have no doubt that it will be about the last reform the world will ever get. People in this world are not often logical.”Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938)

Wrong taxation, including failure to tax swollen inheritances and unused land and other natural resources held for speculative purposes, is one of these elements. ... we must insure so far as possible the use of certain types of great natural resources for the benefit of the people as a whole. The public should not alienate its fee in the water power which will be of incalculable consequence as a source of power in the immediate future. The Nation and the States within their several spheres should by immediate legislation keep the fee of the water power, leasing its use only for a reasonable length of time on terms that will secure the interests of the public. ... We do not intend that our natural resources shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many, nor do we intend to turn them over to any man who will wastefully use them by destruction, and leave to those who come after us a heritage damaged by just so much. The man in whose interests we are working is the small farmer and settler, the man who works with his own hands, who is working not only for himself but for his children, and who wishes to leave to them the fruits of his labor. ... The Government should at once construct, own, and operate the railways in Alaska. The Government should keep the fee of all the coal-fields and allow them to be operated by lessees with the condition in the lease that non-use shall operate as a forfeit. Telegraph lines should be operated as the railways are. Moreover, it would be well in Alaska to try a system of land taxation which will, so far as possible, remove all the burdens from those who actually use the land, whether for building or for agricultural purposes, and will operate against any man who holds the land for speculation, or derives an income from it based, not on his own exertions, but on the increase in value due to activities not his own. There is very real need that this Nation shall seriously prepare itself for the task of remedying social injustice and meeting social problems by well-considered governmental effort ... Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919; president from 1901-1909)

"We ought to tax all idle land the way Henry George said — tax it heavily so that its owners have to make it productive." Henry Ford (1863 - 1947)

"Henry George showed us . . . the only organic solution of the land problem. . . " — Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959), in The Living City (1958)

"Men like Henry George are rare, unfortunately. One cannot imagine a more beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic form, and fervent love of justice. Every line is written as if for our generation." — Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

"I believe that Henry George was one of those really great thinkers produced by our country." — Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945)

"If I were now to rewrite the book, I would offer a third alternative - the possibility of sanity. Economics would be decentralist and Henry Georgian"Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963), English novelist and essayist in his preface to the second edition of "Brave New World," 15 years after the first.

see also: the Geonomy Society's list


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