I am a big fan of Star Trek (I admit it). Week after week, the Captain’s
intrepid crew faces a situation that gets bad, then worse, then they really get thrown a curveball, until by the final commercial break, not just the starship but the entire bloody universe is in mortal peril — I mean, the shields are down to 1%, ten heavily-armed Zarlengan vessels are attacking, half the crew’s minds have been hijacked by ectoplasmic communists and Spock can’t stop crying.
That’s kind of where the Georgist community is right now.
Our resources, and (sometimes) our morale, are at such low ebb that we might be excused for wondering whether this might just be it, whether the Georgist movement will wither away at last. Certainly there are those who, seeing the Georgists’ demoralization, perch themselves like vultures over the movement’s remaining assets (it worked with Lincoln).
If that were to happen, though, it would be ironic indeed — because a surprising number of highly-placed commentators out there are starting to get it. For a heartening example, Jeff Smith at the newly-resurrected Progress Report recently counted eleven LVT-friendly articles in the popular press in a single week. And as Cathy Orloff reports, Mary Pilon’s The Monopolists, though not without error, is acquainting millions of readers with the Georgist work of Lizzie Magie, the true inventor of the Monopoly game.
At a time of disarray, such as Georgists now face, it is easy to get distracted, misread the sensors and photon-torpedo the wrong Klingon. The only way to avoid such energy-sapping diversions is to make sure our analysis is clear. Nowhere is this pitfall more insidious than the ongoing, over-the-top debate about globalization and trade. In this issue, featured articles by Fred Foldvary, Polly Cleveland, Mason Gaffney and yours truly cast revealing Georgist light on these issues. — L. D.