A PREVIEW OF PROGRESS AND POVERTY: HENRY GEORGE’S 1878 “WHY WORK IS SCARCE”
GEORGE, Henry. Why Work Is Scarce, Wages Low, and Labor Restless. [San Francisco]: The California Tax Reform League, 1878. Octavo, 16-page pamphlet in printed self-wrappers, re-stitched at an early date. Housed in custom cloth clamshell box. $1600.
First edition of the text of this lecture delivered by George in the Metropolitan Temple, San Francisco, on March 26, 1878.
One of George’s few separate publications prior to his immensely influential landmark work, Progress and Poverty, which appeared in 1879 shortly after this speech was delivered. Addressing the causes of poverty and class conflict—the central theme of Progress and Poverty—George here calls for a confiscatory tax on land in order to maintain the American traditions of cheap land and entrepreneurial freedom. Though his analysis was scorned by trained economists like Alfred Marshall, Karl Marx, and George B. Dixwell, it proved extremely popular with the American public. Reformers such as the California Tax Reform League, who sponsored this speech, propelled George to the head of the Single Tax Movement opposed to monopolism and socialism. In 1886 George narrowly lost the mayoral election of New York City (but finished far ahead of Theodore Roosevelt).
Tiny stain to front wrapper, otherwise a fragile piece in exceptionally good condition. Scarce.