Henry George

Henry George (September 2, 1839 – October 29, 1897) was an American political economist and journalist. His writing was immensely popular in 19th-century America and sparked several reform movements of the Progressive Era. He inspired the economic philosophy known as Georgism, the belief that people should own the value they produce themselves, but that the economic value derived from land (including natural resources) should belong equally to all members of society. He argued that a single tax on land would create a more productive, more just society.

Henry George
Born(1839-09-02)September 2, 1839
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
DiedOctober 29, 1897(1897-10-29) (aged 58)
Spouse(s)Annie Corsina Fox
ChildrenHenry George Jr.
Anna George de Mille

Philosophy career
EducationPrimary
SchoolGeorgism
Main interests
Classical economics, ethics, political and economic philosophy, socialism, capitalism, laissez-faire, history, free trade, land economics
Notable ideas
Unearned income, land value tax, municipalization, free public goods from land value capture, single-tax, intellectual property reform, citizen's dividend, monetary sovereignty, the role of monopoly/privilege/land in effecting economic inequality and the business cycle

His most famous work Progress and Poverty (1879) sold millions of copies worldwide.[15] The treatise investigates the paradox of increasing inequality and poverty amid economic and technological progress, the business cycle with its cyclic nature of industrialized economies, and the use of rent capture such as land value tax and other anti-monopoly reforms as a remedy for these and other social problems. Other works by George defended free trade, the secret ballot, and public ownership of certain natural monopolies.

A journalist for many years, the popularity of his writing and speeches brought him to run for election as Mayor of New York City in 1886[16] as the Union Labor Party nominee and in 1897 as the Jefferson Democracy Party nominee, receiving 31 percent and 4 percent of the vote respectively and finishing ahead of former New York State Assembly Minority Leader Theodore Roosevelt in the first race. After his death during the second campaign, his ideas were carried forward by organizations and political leaders through the United States and other Anglophone countries. The mid-20th century labor economist and journalist George Soule wrote that George was by far "the most famous American economic writer" and "author of a book which probably had a larger world-wide circulation than any other work on economics ever written."[17]