Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Progress and Poverty, by Henry George, 1879

"Increase in the amount of bonds, mortagages, notes or bank bills cannot increase the wealth of a community, since this compromises both those who are entitled to receive and those who promise to pay. Similarily, the wealth of a people would not be increased by the enslavement of some of them, for what the enslavers gained the enslaved would lose.

Increase in land values does not represent increase in the common wealth, for what landowners gain by higher prices the tenants or purchasers who must pay them will lose. And all this relative wealth, which, in common thought and speech, in legislation and law, is undistinguished from actual wealth, could, without the destruction or consumption of anything more than a few drops of ink and a piece of paper, be utterly annihilated."

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