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another form, have proposed to make necessary work ought to receive the reland common property. They have sup- ward. If there be other equitable basis ported the demand by arguments based for the institution of private property, on both expediency and equity, but the it has not been promulgated; and yet great utility of private possession of land newspapers have credited Carnegie with has been sufficiently powerful to resist saying that the greatest surprise of his their efforts.
life was when he “realized that the man Henry George has been widely charged who did the work was not the man who with the desire and intention to make got rich.” Mr. Carnegie perceived the land common property, in spite of his certain effect of the private appropriation statement in Progress and Poverty, Book of rent, though very likely without appreVIII., that, “I do not propose either to hending the nature of the thing perceived. purchase or to confiscate private property If work is the rightful basis of private in land.”
property, or, in more sounding phrase, The difficulty with the proposal to if tenure be the prerogative of toil, and make land common property is that while our Scotch friend found that to become it conforms to justice-is ideal and sat- rich he must do something other than isfies the emotions, whether of wrath at work, may we not fairly claim that existpresent conditions or of joy at prospective ing property relations are in a degree ones, it does not meet the need of
prac- defective ? ticability. If the public owns and rents It would appear, then, that common all land possessing value, we are immedi- property in land is ideal, but impracticately confronted with contractual rela- able; that private appropriation of ground tions between public officials and private rent is wholly lacking in ideality, but parties—the condition precedent to all seems at first to be unavoidable, as it
apgraft.” This arrangement might be parently is a consequence of private propvery much better than that now obtaining, erty in land. Here is the paradox. but would undoubtedly be “ patchwork, It is, nevertheless, easy of solution. and soon necessitate another remodelling. Any large group of people—as the United Taxing land values alone secures per- States-living in a civilized condition, manent possession and involves no con- must maintain government. They must tracts between officials and citizens. It keep the peace,--that is, exercise police will occasion no change of existing forms. power. They must maintain some form
Single-Tax men call attention to the of land tenure. Whatever be decided fact that ownership of land is not import- upon as the better mode of holding land ant, save as it leads to ownership of prod- --whether in common or in severaltyucts. The owner of land is able to se- only government (i. e., the majority of cure products as rent. May it not be the people) is competent to its enforcepossible to recover these products without ment. Instituting and administering the destroying private property in land ? police power and the tenure of land are
This inquiry raises the question of the the “necessary” acts of sovereignty. right to property. On what does the Otherwise civilization is not possible. right to property justly rest ? What Public or governmental functions are ought to be the basis of possession ? carried into execution only by men, and What is “ideal”? The irksomeness of these must be compensated by those who toil must be endured in order that any receive the benefit. To secure the wherething be made. Who ought to receive withal to make such payment, a public the benefit, or become the owner of the revenue is necessary. In short, taxation product? Surely one may be forgiven (that is, the collecting of a public fund) if he is inclined to assert that the individ- is an inevitable condition of civilized life. ual, or group of individuals, who do the As indicated, all wealth is distributed
as rent or wages. It follows that all order. It points the way whereby tyrpayments must come from one of these anny may be dissipated from among men. funds. Taxes, therefore, must be paid It destroys the fear of want, and thereby out of one or the other; or, of course, be allows men to be free in fact. Thus it derived partly from each. The proposal makes the field of natural opportunity a of Single-Tax men is that public revenue reality to each and all. When we realize be taken wholly from the rent fund. that just as we have more air than we can This plan is believed to be ideal, forceful by any possibility use, so have we more and practical.
land than many times the present popuIt is ideal in that it secures each one in lation of the earth could utilize, we may the ownership of the wealth his labor form some concept of the mighty possimay produce, with no burden or tribute bilities the Single-Tax would open to the in any form, save the one subtraction of ground-rent (and this only when he oc- Are not the glories of the modern world cupies land possessing value). And this wholly due to the overthrow of old forms is true whether he toils alone or in volun- whereby the native impulses of humanity tary association with others. If, then, were suppressed ? Have we not freedom rent be recovered by taxation and used of conscience as a result of the overthrow for the common benefit, it would seem of feudal power? Is not equal particithat none would be able to possess wealth pation in government a like result ? Is not equitably acquired. It is ideal in not freedom of the person from serfdom that it strictly conforms to the only con- and chattel bondage a like achievement ? cept ever put forward as the rightful Is not all of which we may fairly boast in basis of the institution of private property. the modern day due to the breaking of
The question arises: Does each con- the feudal lord's grip? That grip still tribute equally to the rent fund, and holds the land. The Single-Tax will thereby become equally entitled to share break this, his last hold. With its inin public benefits? As before stated, auguration will vanish the curse that has land tenure is one of the functions of blighted the earth—the power of some government. It is an unavoidable ex- men to control the lives of others. With pression of sovereignty. Each man in the advent of “the simple yet sovereign a community is bound to support its sov- remedy” will come an era of peace, good ereignty-even though he does not agree will, kindliness. No longer will any one with the majority. It is only by virtue be able truthfully to say, as did Robert of this assertion of sovereignty that any Burns: “We are placed here amid so one in a community can enjoy peace and much nakedness, and hunger, and povsecurity of property. Nature compels erty, and want, that we are under a cursed us thus to associate. We hold, then, necessity of studying selfishness in order that the benefits of that common associa- that we may exist !” tion, which nature compels, should be The Single-Tax appeals to the imagishared in common. The Single-Tax nation; it excites the emotions, both will secure to each that which is his in- against wrong and for the right; it is dividual product, whether his effort be forceful, and it will come. made alone or in voluntary coöperation It is practical for many reasons.
It is and it will secure to the public that to in accord with our civilization. Land is which no individual or voluntary asso- held now in fee-simple, which is a leaseciation can establish just claim. or holding in perpetuity, subject to such ideal.
tax as the state may levy. This tenure The Single-Tax appeals to the emo- the Single-Tax would continue—thus it tions because it reveals a beneficent order is not a change in social institution, but in society. It confirms belief in a divine in the administration of institution.
Most men appear not to realize the fact tion?” “Oi big your pardon, but Oi that nearly all fundamental law is now understood ye to ask me why do n't they in agreement with Single-Tax ideals. In adopt the Single-Tax?” “An' what the Providence Bank vs. Billings (4 Peters, divil else did Oi ax ye?” “Well, then, 562), Chief Justice Marshall—who surely for the fourth time-count 'em-Oi 'll will not be credited with prejudices fav- answer ye that the raison they do n't orable to the great plain people—said, adopt the Single-Tax is because it ’ud “the power of taxation may be carried so prevint tax dodgin.” far as to absorb these profits” (referring It is certain, because if all other sources directly to rent), and then asks, “Does of revenue be cut off, public officials canthis impair the obligation of contracts ? not neglect this—they need the money. The idea is rejected by all," etc.
It will bear equally because each man is It is practical because it is in operation either land-owner or tenant, and in either now, partly by the public and partly by capacity pays in rent just what the social land-owners. Rent makes its levy with advantage he enjoys is worth. certainty. To say that it
that it is not practical It is practical because our forms of is to decry the acumen of every land- government lend themselves to its easy owner in the world. It is practical be- adoption. Any state in the Union may cause it is the one plan that conforms to adopt home-rule, or local option, in taxthe accepted canons of taxation,-namely, ation; that is, enact a law whereby any that a tax bear as lightly as possible upon city or town may levy taxes for its local production; that it be easily collected, revenue in such manner as it may choose. and fall as directly as may be upon the This is the measure already adopted in ultimate payers; that it be certain; that New Zealand with such happy results, it bear equally.
and is in reality the only legal measure The Single-Tax does not bear upon Single-Taxers ask for. Such act would production at all, for the land-owners permit any locality to try in a moderate collect rent whether or not the public way the value of our proposal, and its tax them. It is easily collected, for the practicability would be demonstrated land lies out of doors, and so cannot be as is being done in New Zealand. hid, and its value is the only value that It
be observed that there is here can be arrived at with approximate truth. no proposal to force this measure upon It is the only tax capable of producing any community. There is only provided sufficient revenue that “falls directly a methoodwhereby any cummunity may upon the ultimate payers.” It cannot utilize the plan if it so desires. What be shifted, for rent is a monopoly price. honest man can say he does not believe That is the chief reason many have for in permitting a community to conduct its opposing it.
own affairs in its own way; but on the It is related that one Irishman said to contrary believes that some communities another: “The Single-Tax 'ud stop tax need the benefit of his superior wisdom? dodgin’.” The other replied: "Then The Single-Tax is practical because what's the objection to it?” “It 'ud nothing else can successfully meet existstop tax dodgin'.” “Oj understand, ing monopoly conditions. If we secure then why not adopt it?” “It 'ud prevint relief at any other point in the field of tax dodgin'.” “That's three toimes production, rent will increase, and by ye 've tould me that. An' Oi understood this means the whole gain will disappear, ye the furst toime, an' Oi understood ye so far as producers are concerned. When the second toime, an' the third toime. we cheapened transportation by substiNow, since ye 're so sure it would prevint tuting the steam-railway for the canaltax dodgin', what the divil's the raison boat and the ox-cart land values increased. they do n't put the Single-Tax in opera- If we make public utilities commou property, and thereby again reduce the cost freedom that are the foundation of our of transportation and other public ser- American society; it is ideal; it is forcevices, will the result be different? It is ful; it is practical. It will make possible impossible to afford permanent relief to of realization the hope of the poet who sang: industry while the landlord's privilege
"Then let us pray that come it may, remains unchecked.
As come it will, for a' that; The Single-Tax is absolutely in har- That man to man, the warlo'er,
Shall brithers be, for a’ that.” mony with natural justice, as between man and man; it accords with those
John Z. WHITE. eternal and self-evident principles of Chicago, III.
W. A. ROGERS: THE CARTOONIST OF CIVIC
HE CARTOONIST, to be a power, their work the aggressive moral element
nite or master-thought instinct with the of millions. In not a few instances they higher aspirations of humanity or those have declined lucrative positions because moral verities upon which the permanency they would not prostitute their high talent and growth of national life depend. The in the service of interests they believed really great American cartoonists have to be contrary to the welfare of their all consciously or unconsciously yielded country. to the compulsion of moral idealism. If we mention any of the workers of They have instinctively fought the battle the first rank, some well-defined mental of the people to the extent that their en- picture or pictures will arise before the vironing limitations permitted, and they mind's eye. Thus the name of Thomas have left or are leaving the impress of Nast suggests unceasing warfare against their individuality and idealism on the enthroned municipal greed; those of brain of the nation. They are among Davenport and Opper bring before the the most effective influences for civic mind the warfare against the brutal tyrrighteousness and popular rights and anny and oppression of the present-day justice in the present battle between the commercial feudalism. In like manner powers of greed and sodden selfishness the name of W. A. Rogers, the famous and the higher aspirations of national cartoonist of the New York Herald, suglife. Here, as in journalism and litera- gests the unrelenting foe of the grafters
in general, there must be sincerity and corruptionists in city, state and naand high purpose to achieve any real tional government. We see the blackgreatness and leave a lasting and benefi- horse cavalry invading the temple of legcent influence on the life of the age. The islation, polluting the citadel of popular men who have been real factors for human rule. We see Albany, that should be the advance and better government have not throne of just law and the glory of the been those who merely studied to please Empire State, a shame and a by-word, a the management of their journals, but sink of corruption; Albany with its venal in addition to filling the requirements of legislature, the creature and tool of cortheir positions they have thrown into rupt corporations; Albany, with its re