Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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Twenty years ago, could any of us have imagined how large a business bottled water would become, that many of us buy small bottles of water by the case, and pay as much for a bottle in a vending machine as we pay for soda or juice? A generation ago, we could depend on having drinkable water from water fountains.

What will our children be paying others for?

Karl Williams:  Social Justice In Australia: INTRODUCTORY KIT

There's an amusing story of a Georgist who challenged a land baron as to the baron's right to his vast tracts. The baron knew the history of the estate of his noble bloodlines, and told how one of his ancestors had paid good money for the land, rather than gaining it by some royal grant. To this the Georgist replied, "But how did the previous owner obtain it?" Again the baron explained how that person had also once paid good money for it. Yet again and again, the Georgist persisted with, "But how did that owner obtain it?" Finally, the baron said, "He fought for it in battle, and won it". To which the Georgist said, "Good! I'll fight you for it!"

To those interested readers we can make available copies of the moving speech attributed to Chief Seattle, which explains his bewilderment at 19th century American laws of land ownership. Chief Seattle compares land ownership to the ownership of air and water, and even to the possession of the songs of birds. This short speech perhaps conveys the Georgist philosophy better than lengthy volumes.

And here we have a fitting end point. The year is 2050, and Kerry Packer III has again increased every Australian's monthly air levies. Some whingeing malcontents start to question our Airlord's right to privately own what was once considered to be the natural birthright of every person, but they are soon convinced that Kerry's grandfather worked extremely hard for the billions with which he bought the Southern Pacific Air License in 2020. In return for his contractual obligations to maintain a specified level of air cleanliness, Kerry won the "right" to extract an annual usage fee from every air-breathing human residing in his territory.  Read the entire article

Robert Ingersoll: A Lay Sermon

No man should be allowed to own any land that he does not use. Everybody knows that — I do not care whether he has thousands or millions. I have owned a great deal of land, but I know just as well as I know I am living that I should not be allowed to have it unless I use it. And why? Don't you know that if people could bottle the air, they would? Don't you know that there would be an American Air-bottling Association? And don't you know that they would allow thousands and millions to die for want of breath, if they could not pay for air? I am not blaming anybody. I am just telling how it is. Now, the land belongs to the children of Nature. Nature invites into this world every babe that is born. And what would you think of me, for instance, tonight, if I had invited you here — nobody had charged you anything, but you had been invited — and when you got here you had found one man pretending to occupy a hundred seats, another fifty, and another seventy-five, and thereupon you were compelled to stand up — what would you think of the invitation? It seems to me that every child of Nature is entitled to his share of the land, and that he should not be compelled to beg the privilege to work the soil, of a babe that happened to be born before him. And why do I say this? Because it is not to our interest to have a few landlords and millions of tenants. ... read the whole sermon

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