This is from the announcement of a 5-Saturday course which uses "Progress and Poverty" as its textbook, offered at the Blue Island Public Library, starting at the end of January. It is being offered by Chuck Metalitz and David Harrell of the Henry George School of Chicago.
The page continues,
We start with a discussion of the problem: Why has our nation, despite its enormous productive power, failed to provide to everyone the opportunity to earn a living wage? And why does our economy crash periodically, causing even more poverty and economic misery? We evaluate current explanations, and find them unsatisfactory. Using the tools of classical economic analysis, we determine the fundamental natural laws which limit how much people can earn, and see how progress can actually worsen poverty. Does that mean technological progress must be stopped? Of course not. Reasoning from morality as much as practicality, Henry George proposes a pro-liberty, anti-privilege public policy which can end poverty while increasing the general level of prosperity. We discuss and evaluate this proposal, in theory and in practice, for the 21st century. The main text we use is Henry George's original Progress & Poverty. For several years after its original publication in 1879, this book was an American best-seller. Although the original 19th-century text is a classic, many of our students choose instead to read an edition “abridged for modern readers.” You will be amazed how George's analysis is spot-on to 21st-century issues. Supplementary notes are also provided to clarify and update as needed. And the instructor will thoroughly discuss all the important points in the class.
What you will learn
- You will learn a method of reasoning that is useful in understanding all sorts of community problems.
- You will know the mechanism by which poverty tends to worsen as the economy progresses, and why programs aimed at alleviating poverty are unlikely to succeed.
- You will see the inherent contradictions which cause most “economic development” programs to fail.
- You will understand the fundamental cause of the ongoing financial crises.
- You will know why similar crises occur repeatedly, every decade or two.
- You will recognize that honest and efficient government, improved public education, and many other desirable reforms cannot by themselves bring prosperity nor end poverty.
- You will have a better understanding of the economic system under which we live.
- You will know how Liberty and Justice are essential elements of any system which works for everybody.
- You will have understand and have evaluated for yourself a method of method of public finance which many claim would end poverty and prevent financial collapses.
What you won't learn
- You won't learn any sure-fire method for getting rich. However, you will gain knowledge which may help you prosper personally.
- You won't learn a magic formula for peace and prosperity. But you will have a better understanding of concepts which are essential for making peace and prosperity possible.
If you're in or near Chicago, check out the class. (You'll also find classes in NYC.) Otherwise, you might explore these ideas on your own.
Progress & Poverty at the Henry George School
Where adults learn how the economy really works
Henry George School of Chicago
28 E Jackson Blvd #1004; Chicago 60604 hgchicago.org 312/362-9302
Anti-privilege, pro-liberty education since 1934