Henry George School
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Another way to explain how we’re being robbed

February 21, 2015


Scene of the Crime

For a time, HGS instructor George Menninger did a presentation entitled something like “How I Made $1,000,000 in Chicago Real Estate: I $tole it from You!”  George explained that he gained, actually, over a million dollars, simply by buying and holding an old apartment building in a gentrifying neighborhood. Over the years, rents on the apartments paid the mortgage and operating expenses, and after a time he sold the property for a seven-figure price.  He explained, in the presentation, that the money he gained really came from the community.

These facts are clear but perhaps a little dry. That’s why we drafted an interview version, where a naive member of the HGS staff would ask George questions, and his response would provide the explanation. George wasn’t enthused about this and moved on to other projects, but a draft script (pdf) remains.  Perhaps someone will find it of interest.

Note there are references in the script to “chart” and “pie,” these being standard components of the Progress & Poverty course explaining factors of production and avenues of distribution, respectively.  There’s also a reference to “savannah,” which would be linked to here.

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“The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.”
- Joan Robinson