We are laying the foundations in this state for a greater
distinction of classes than exists in any state of the Union at the
present day — as great as that which exists in England, where one man
rolls in wealth and another can scarcely keep body and soul
together. We are not much over twenty years old, and have in this
great empire of our own hardly half a million people. Yet, there is
already one man among us who is worth nearly ten million dollars,
and quite a number who are worth from one to seven, while the best
part of our land is divided off into estates, which in a little
while, when population becomes denser, will make their owners as
rich as the Duke of Argyll, or the Marquis of Bute.
There is a constantly increasing tendency to the concentration of wealth. The greater the fortune, the more rapidly it grows; and though the people who hold these great aggregations of money may be constantly changing, as they are changing in England, there will constantly remain the distinction between the very rich and the very poor. These two classes are the correlatives of each other; one man cannot become enormously rich without other men becoming proportionately poor. If not for our own sakes, at least for the sake of our children, is it not time for us to stop and ask what is the cause of this tendency of property to accumulate in a few hands? There is certainly nothing in the laws of Nature which requires the giving to one man of as much as can be had by ten thousand of his fellows.
-- Henry George, March 17, 1873, in the (San Francisco) Daily Evening Post,
quoted by Kenneth Wenzer in Henry George: Collected Journalistic Writings, Volume 1, pp. 69-70