An Examination of the Tariff Question With Special Regard to the Interests of Labor Trade is as natural as speech. So is it surprising that trade barriers lead to stifling regulation, law evasion, inflation, depression, and even war? Henry George goes beyond deceptive slogans and recurring controversies to show how the holders of land and other privileges are the ultimate beneficiaries of trade protection. This abridged edition of the original 1886 version contains a publisher's foreword by Mark Sullivan and an afterword by Adele Wick.
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Henry George began with the ethical premise that all people have an equal right to the use of the earth. From that he concluded that exclusive private ownership of land (natural resources) creates unwarranted special privileges. Furthermore, he observed that holding land out of production drives down real wages and the returns to capital equipment. This process is further exacerbated by taxes on production and income that: 1. Increase unemployment 2. Discourage productive investment 3. Encourage unproductive land speculation and rent-seeking To counteract this self-destructive system, George advocated shifting taxes from labor and capital onto the value of land and natural resources. In addition to his various writings, Henry George was well known for his two attempts to run for mayor of New York (during the first of which he came in second and a young Theodore Roosevelt came in third). He also traveled around the world promoting his vision of economic justice by his inspiring oratory. Many a young reformer got their start by reading or hearing Henry George. In Russia, George s ideas were popularized by Leo Tolstoy, and in China by Sun Yat-Sen. Today, as a growing population confronts its need fairly, peacefully, and efficiently to allocate access to the gifts of nature, the ideas of Henry George have gained a new relevance. The Foundation takes its name from Robert Schalkenbach, an American typesetter and enthusiastic advocate of George s vision who left in his will the seed money that started the foundation. ww.schalkenbach.org
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