If you have not taken, or would like to refresh your knowledge of, Progress & Poverty, you’ll have two opportunities to start this week.
At our Loop location, a Monday night class starts January 23 at 6 PM. This is the modern version, and Bob Jene will be the instructor
In the South Suburbs, our Saturday afternoon class starts January 28 in Blue Island. This class meets for five Saturdays, but each is effectively a double-session, 1 to 4 PM. More about this class is here.
Like all Henry George School courses, both of these are “almost free,” requiring only a $25 registration fee to help pay materials costs. All needed texts are included. And you’re welcome to sit in on the first session before deciding whether to register.
You need to have a unique (and twisted) sense of humor to find nuclear holocaust entertaining, but director Stanley Kubrick does a marvelous job of balancing his truely bizzare humor with the gut-wrenching terror felt in the Cold War era.
The political satire stars Peter Sellers portraying three roles, including the title role of Dr. Strangelove, as well as the U.S. President and Group Captain Mandrake, a British soldier under the command of the insane General Ripper (Sterling Hayden). Believing politicians to be unable, and untrained to deal with the growing Russian threat during the Cold War, Ripper breaks protocol and attempts to initiate nuclear war with Russia.
On Bob Jene will look at eight Republican presidential candiates, analyzing their proposals to “fix” the economy. (Yeah, there used to be more than eight, and by the time of the talk there probably will be fewer than eight, but Bob is working with eight.) He’ll also consider the views of their advisors, and evaluate the proposals from a geoist perspective.
Thursday, January 12, at 6 PM. As always, this talk is free and open to all, at 28 E. Jackson #1004, Chicago. Questions? 312/362-9302.
Successful land speculation is really a matter of capturing for yourself the gains that belong to the community. George Menninger is one of many who have done it. Far beyond any need to earn a living, George now spends some of his time explaining how the bad public policy he exploited not only made him rich, but led to continued poverty, unemployment, and even the current economic meltdown. Come to ask him why he does this and whether he is a traitor to the 1%.
George’s talk, on Wednesday January 18 at 6 PM, is also the first session of our Progress & Poverty course (modern version), which will continue on Wednesdays thru February 15. As with all our courses, the $25 registration fee need not be paid until the end of the first session, and George Menninger will provide a personal and accessible explanation of Henry George’s ideas. You can pre-register here, or just show up. You are also welcome to attend just this session; there is no obligation or expectation that everyone attending will enroll.
Traditional Henry George School classes, including Progress & Poverty, help us comprehend how an economy based on justice would never crash the way ours has over the past few years. But now that we’re in a mess, how do we get out?
After the Crash extends and applies Henry George’s analysis to the problem of today: How to help the economy recover and improve opportunity for productive work. The text is Mason Gaffney’s book of the same name, a copy of which is included in the $25 registration fee. Bob Jene is the instructor. Class meets Tuesdays, 6 PM, January 10 thru February 28, at 28 E. Jackson #1004. You can use this form to pre-register, or just show up.
The United States has no formal established church, yet matters of religion keep popping in political campaigns. What has the Judeo-Christian-Muslim religious tradition to do with questions of political economy?
One perspective is to ask how “God” advises us to organize our economic life. According to John Kelly (who created this course) and John Kuchta (who teaches it), the Old and New Testaments give clear directions about how communities and nations should treat landownership, debt, and taxes, to assure both justice and lasting prosperity. The course deals not only with religion and philosophy, but also with actual historical evidence. This term we offer Economics as if God Cared on Fridays at 6 PM, beginning January 13 and continuing each Friday thru February 6, at 28 E. Jackson #1004. As for all our classes, a $25 registration fee covers the entire cost of the course. You can pre-register here, or just show up.
This term we’ll offer four courses in seven sections, including our first south suburban class in decades (Progress & Poverty at the Blue Island Public Library.) The schedule includes links to the course descriptions. As always, each course requires only a $25 registration fee, and you’re welcome to sit in on the first session before deciding to make the modest investment.
In addition to classes, we have a range of free events including Bob Jene’s review, from a Georgist perspective, of the economic proposals of the Republican Presidential candidates. Dr. Strangelove will kick off our Saturday movie series on January 21, and there will be a number of other new and/or revised presentations during the term. These will be posted on the events list, among other places.
An inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, it is a reflection on economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and argues that free market economies are more productive and beneficial to their societies. The book is a fundamental work in classical economics. Henry George disputed some of Smith’s reasoning, but described him as the “founder” of the science of political economy.
This session will discuss the first half of Book I.
Political Economy Book Club meets 6 PM Wednesday, December 14, at 28 E. Jackson #1004. Free, donations, welcome.
[The following, originally posted in December, 2011, remains relevant and has received minor edits.]
The mission of the Henry George School is to make available to everyone an education in political economy and social philosophy, based primarily on the works of Henry George. Anyone who understands George’s ideas knows the cause of poverty, and knows what must be done to eliminate it.
But progress depends on widespread knowledge, and our School has very limited resources for making people aware of what we offer. With one exception (who earns a sub-poverty wage), everyone working for the School is a volunteer. Past and present supporters provide us enough for rent, supplies, and very minimal advertising. Additional help is needed to improve the manner in which our message is presented, and make it more broadly known.
December is the traditional time for making monetary donations, and the Henry George School welcomes contributions of any amount. We are recognized as a 501/c/3 charitable organization, so donations can be tax-deductible, and donors can be formally recognized by our membership program(pdf). Donations can be made by credit card, or by check mailed to the School (Henry George School, 30 E Adams St. #1207, Chicago 60603). Although we do not maintain a corps of smooth-talking gift planners devoted to estate planning matters, we are able to assist in setting up tax-advantaged gifts for those who may be in a position to participate in them.
In addition to monetary donations, we solicit the assistance of volunteers in all aspects of our work. Help is needed with promotion, design, office operations, archives, and all kinds of special projects. Just let us know what you might like to do.
“Responsible” politicians and pundits say that we face a tradeoff among higher taxes, reduced government services, and more public debt, lest current trends lead to ruinous inflation resulting in all three. Those aren’t the only choices, and certainly not the best ones, asserts HGS instructor Chuck Metalitz. Raising taxes on production leads economies to a downward spiral, but shifting taxes off of production can bring prosperity while raising needed revenue. And if public debts have become too big to pay, then perhaps it is best not to pay them. The problem is that holders of privilege largely escape taxation, while keeping the rest of us ignorant of the fundamentals of political economy.
Tuesday, December 13, 6 PM at 28 E Jackson #1004. Free, donations welcome.