With state and local governments in financial disarray, they might want to evaluate the big tax breaks given to owners of Illinois farmland. Chuck Metalitz will present a [forthcoming] HGS Research Note discussing the potential benefits of a realistic tax rate on farmland, including an estimate the amount of land which would move out of state as a result of higher taxes.
As farmland yields to “higher-value” uses, how (and how well and how inexpensively) will we eat? Bob Jene reviews data from a leading agricultural preservation organization, the American Farmland Trust (AFT). Among other things they buy development rights from landowners to insure continued farming use, and attempt to facilitate community supported agriculture which makes family farms more viable. A Georgist fiscal reform encourages more conservative and productive use of all land and reduces sprawl, thus preventing encroachment on farmland. An alliance with AFT would benefit us both.
Otto Preminger’s adaptation of Nelson Algren’s psychological portrait of a drug addict (Frank Sinatra) trying to go straight in his pre-gentrification Division Street neighborhood. Released from prison, he faces the challenge of making a living and staying clear of heroin. Variety said “Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm is a feature that focuses on addiction to narcotics. Clinical in its probing of the agonies, this is a gripping, fascinating film, expertly produced and directed and performed with marked conviction by Frank Sinatra as the drug slave.”
Initially the movie was denied certification by the MPAA because it showed drug addiction. Nonetheless, it was nominated for three Academy Awards as well as other honors.
Otto Preminger — USA — 1955 — 119 minutes
America’s only Political Economy Book Club discusses Candide, Voltaire’s 1759 masterpiece that ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies and philosophers through allegory. As Jean Starobinski notes,”The fast-paced and improbable plot—in which characters narrowly escape death repeatedly, for instance—allows for compounding tragedies to befall the same characters over and over again.”
It’s only a hundred pages or so depending on the translation and format, and is available in English translation free from Project Gutenberg (in several formats) as well as from the Internet Archive, where there is also an audiobook.
PEBC coordinator Bob Matter would appreciate an RSVP, if possible, from those planning to attend.
Right on the streets of every American community, robbery takes place every working day. You might not realize how much value the people of Chicago (and every other community) create, simply by going about our daily activities. What is this wealth, how do we create it, and where does it go?
Originally conceived as a field trip for Progress & Poverty students, this stroll — about 2 km and 90 minutes — presents some answers for those interested in finding out. Additionally, we’ll take a look at recovered loot of a long-ago theft, learn how Thomas Jefferson would have solved the problem of financing Chicago’s public schools, and see an economic development incentive that costs less than nothing. We might stop for snacks along the way (individual settlement).
Detailed sourced notes will be provided. This is now a free tour, no donation required, although we do appreciate (tax-deductible) contributions from those who can afford it and find the event worthwhile.
A 20th-century adaptation of Voltaire’s 1759 social satire novel Candide, ou l’Optimisme. Set in the World War II-era, it follows the adventures of Candide, an orphaned Westphalian brought up in a baron’s chalet. He falls in love with the baron’s daughter, Cunégonde, and is thrown out of the house when the baron discovers them kissing. When war breaks out in 1939, Candide is drafted and then captured by the Nazis, but escapes and joins the International Red Cross. Candide’s improbable adventures take him into a concentration camp to rescue his tutor, Pangloss; then he is off to South America (where he endures a series of revolutions), Borneo (where he is imprisoned by a primitive tribe), Moscow (where he accidentally foments a missile crisis between the Soviet Union and the United States), and New York (where he gets mixed up in a racial clash). Finally, back in France, he retires to a country house with Cunégonde, Pangloss, and a mysterious lady who saved him from a firing squad, and settles down to write his memoirs. [from Wikipedia]
Directed by Norbert Carbonnaux — France — [dubbed English]— 90 min
For information regarding this focus group click here, where you can also request an invitation. Attendance is limited and confirmed reservations will be required.
The talents of top director Roberto Gavaldón, novelist B. Traven (Treasure of Sierra Madre) and cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa combined to produce this gentle, moving fable on human morality. The title of the film comes from the name of a young peasant, despondent over his inability to provide for his family. On the Day of the Dead, he meets Death, disguised as another peasant, who trades him the power to cure the dying for a portion of turkey. Macario’s fame quickly spreads, and he soon has a flourishing business — until a local doctor decides to call in the Inquisition.
This was the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and also was entered in the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.
Roberto Gavaldon — Mexico — 1960 — 91 minutes
As always, refreshments and discussion will follow the film.
We’ll discuss Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men. Rousseau sets out to demonstrate how the growth of civilization corrupts man’s natural happiness and freedom by creating artificial inequalities of wealth, power and social privilege. Contending that primitive man was equal to his fellows, Rousseau believed that as societies become more sophisticated, the strongest and most intelligent members of the community gain an unnatural advantage over their weaker brethren, and that constitutions set up to rectify these imbalances through peace and justice in fact do nothing but perpetuate them. Rousseau’s political and social arguments in the Discourse were a hugely influential denunciation of the social conditions of his time and one of the most revolutionary documents of the eighteenth-century.
Henry George was evidently familiar with these ideas but didn’t fully agree with Rousseau.
Political Economy Book Club meetings are free and open to everyone, tho donations to help pay the rent are appreciated. PEBC Coordinator Bob Matter requests an RSVP at the phone number or email above.
An evening with Bob Jene to compare the Georgist fiscal reform to the TARP bailout, “Fair Tax,” Flat Tax, Bush tax cuts and government money creation. A gist of each proposed or attempted solution to the “great recession” will be given including QE I, QE II and QE III. Attendees will rank the proposed remedies on a scale of 1 to 10 based on 8 criteria.
"Poverty is the want of the things that work produces on the part of those willing to do reasonable work."
- Henry George