Henry George Foundation of Australia
“How can a man be said to have a country when he has not right of a square inch of it.”
In 1928 Dr Edgar Culley established the Henry George Foundation (Australia) with the donation of £20,000.
The money was to be “…used for the purpose of promulgating and spreading the knowledge of the teachings and economic principles of Henry George as elaborated by him In ‘Progress and Poverty’ and other of his works…”
Today we carry on that mission by funding relevant organisations around Australia. Twenty trustees meet biannually to manage the organisation.
What We Believe
Encourage work. Reward people who create things.
Our economic system should generate opportunity, encourage employment and reward industriousness. It should deliver a good standard of living to everyone.
Yet, over 2.9 million (13.3%) of Australians live in poverty and over 50% of Australians need Government provided income support. Why is this so?
The problem is caused by our tax system.
In essence, there are two things that Government can tax:
- Productive activity (for example working, saving, making things, buying things, selling things, providing services, employing people and so on).
- Use of land and natural resources.
Our current taxation systems rests very heavily on number 1. and much more lightly on number 2. This encourages wealthy citizens (and foreigners too) to buy up our land and natural resources and then rent them back to us.
The effects of this are polarisation of wealth, reduced employment, lower wages and higher prices for goods and services.
Henry George Foundation (Australia) advocates getting rid of all taxes on productive activity and for government to rely entirely on taxes on land and natural resources for revenue.
If government were to do this, a big majority of Australians would be more prosperous.
Why is a 19th century economist still relevant today?
Henry George was an American political economist, and the most influential proponent of the collection of the rental value of land as the sole income of the state.
His philosophy was that of freedom, and he saw taxation of labour and capital as a man-made interferance with that philosophy.
Political Economy has been called the dismal science, and as currently taught, is hopeless and despairing. But this, as we have seen, is solely because she has been degraded and shackled; her truths dislocated; her harmonies ignored; the word she would utter gagged in her mouth, and her protest against wrong turned into endorsement of injustice. Freed, as I have tried to free her, in her own proper symmetry, Political Economy is radiant with hope.
Henry George from Progress and Poverty
Our Top Priorities
off our work, our companies and onto natural monopolies
the proper focus for the tax base. The community creates land value and so should share in it
tradeable water rights should be taxed according to their value
the nation would enjoy a comparative advantage if we could utilise the fairest and most efficient tax system
Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.