by Lindy Davies
I am someone who tends to give to panhandlers. I got tired of wrestling with my conscience every time a poor person asked for help, and I could afford the 50¢ (though nowadays it’s inflated to $1). When I went wandering about New York City on weekends, I made sure to have a supply of quarters in my right front pocket — but, one weekday afternoon I was walking down Park Avenue, thinking of other matters, when a guy asked me for help. My hand went into the proper pocket, and came out holding a $20 bill. What could I do? I had to look him in the eye and say, “Sorry — this is all I have, and I can’t afford to give it to you.” Continue reading …
by Dan Sullivan
Some theologians have speculated that the story of Adam and Eve was a metaphor for the transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to agricultural tribes.
In modern versions of the Bible, God commanded Adam to till the garden. However, Young’s literal translation says, “And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, to serve it, and to keep it.” Nothing about tilling. Continue reading …
by Lindy Davies
Last week, we found ourselves in between washing machines, the old one having died before the replacement arrived. So, when the laundry piled up, I drove 20 miles into town. To be honest I wasn’t upset about this. I had some correspondence-course lessons to read and grade while I waited. Continue reading …
“Protection” Monopolist: “Come here, my poor friends — I’ll protect you from the monster. (Aside to his Congressional allies:) “Whoop it up, boys; make the jaws go — we’ve got to keep the working-man frightened!”
Puck to Capitalist: “Why not build little $1000 Cottages and let them to our Laboring Classes at $12 a month, so that they may breathe pure air — it would be a paying investment?” Capitalist: “My dear fellow — they wouldn’t live in them if I did. Even if they have to live over a Stable or a Gin mill, they won’t leave the City!”
From a fascinating online callery of 19th & 20th century labor prints at Georgia State University:
by Lord Byron (1823)
But where is now the goodly audit ale?
The purse-proud tenant, never known to fail?
The farm which never yet was left on hand?
The marsh reclaim’d to most improving land?
The impatient hope of the expiring lease?
The doubling rental? What an evil’s peace!
In vain the prize excites the ploughman’s skill
In vain the Commons pass their patriot Bill;
The Landed Interest — (you may understand
The phrase much better leaving out the Land) —
The land self-interest groans from shore to shore,
for fear that plenty should attain the poor.
Up, up again, ye rents! exalt your notes,
Or else the ministry will lose their votes,
And patriotism, so delicately nice,
Her loaves will lower to the market price….
Safe in their barns, these Sabine tillers sent
Their brethren out to battle — why? for rent!
Year after year they voted cent. per cent.,
Blood, sweat, and tear-wrung millions — why? for rent!
They roar’d, they dined, they drank, they swore they meant
To die for England — why then live? — for rent!
The peace has made one general malcontent
Of these high-market patriots; war was rent!
Their love of country, millions all misspent,
How reconcile? by reconciling rent!
And will they not repay the treasures lent?
No: down with everything, and up with rent!
Their good, ill, health, wealth, joy, or discontent,
Being, end, aim, religion — rent, rent, rent !
Thou sold’st thy birthright, Esau! for a mess;
Thou shouldst have gotten more, or eaten less….
by Luke North*
Present itself to you
As a personal equation — Continue reading …
by Thomas M. Lyons
Drifting in taxes
where nothing can grow or glow or journey
beyond the prosaic flow
of noise and policies from those without souls
where political snails and landholding snakes
argue points in fake debates
where time has come and gone a thousand times
Keeping me confused in time as I pace this space
and strive to devise a way to survive
and escape these slums I hate
Like King Kong from Pong I don’t belong
only my Georgist spark sets me apart from this dark
and these greezy and cheezy and corny —
intellectually boring — definitely not for me
I don’t now how far this tax hole goes
but I know this is not the road that I chose
lined with politicians with biased views
who use platitudes as tools to fool
never refraining from explaining and complaining
it’s so spiritually draining
it’s sucking the light from me
I must find a way to get away from this gloom
I know these walls are not real
but the steel feels like real steel
and I can’t hold my grip to slip these debts
my bills are piling — my income doesn’t grow
Is someone responsible for the economic hospital?
Is it possible for me to leave
this state of disease?
Why are they looking down
shaking their fingers, smiling at me? (2/29/12)
Thomas Lyons is a former HGI student and teacher, who is still incarcerated in Pennsylvania, but will be released soon! He just got in touch with us after some years. Two of his articles have appeared in the Georgist Journal, and he has taught many students over the years. Welcome back, Tommy, and best wishes for your release! — L.D.
Remember back in the 1990s, when the value of land under Tokyo was greater than that of the entire USA? Land booms, alas, don’t last as long as the bizarre building patterns they generate… (from thewondrous.com)
by Luke North
A million jobless men –
On twenty-three hundred million acres of idle earth
Rich with unworked mines,
Webbed with highways and railroads, Continue reading …
In our efforts to get the word out on the HGI’s new book, we took advantage of the book-review services at featheredquill.com, which included the following perceptive interview with Lindy Davies. Continue reading …