Diagnosing Illinois’ Fiscal Sickness and Prescribing a Cure

Adam Schuster will present “Diagnosing Illinois’ Fiscal Sickness and Prescribing a Cure” to the Henry George School. He is working on a 5-year fiscal plan to save the state and pay off its debt. This is a free presentation.

6:15 pm to 8:15 pm
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Signature Office
333 S Wabash Ave Ste 2700
Chicago, IL 60604

Adam is budget and tax research director at Illinois Policy Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, he worked in the Illinois Department of Labor to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and on an initiative to tie state spending to measurable outcomes.

Registration is required for this event. Those attending will be required to pick up a badge from building security to come upstairs. Please tell us you’re coming by sending email to secretary@hgchicago.org or calling 312 362-9302.

Henry George School phone number is now 312 362-9302

Effective November 24, 2018, the phone number of the Henry George School shall be 312 362-9302. If the phone number sounds familiar, we had used it when we were at 417 S Dearborn and 28 E Jackson. At 30 E Adams, we used a phone number assigned by a VoIP carrier, prepaid for five years. When that time period was up, we ported it to a different VoIP carrier, but the first carrier failed to follow all proper procedures after porting out. Rather than be subject to the vagaries of a VoIP carrier we no longer use, we have reverted to using the former phone number.

Introduce yourself to Progress & Poverty this winter

Thrift Wisdom Education Prosperity
Thrift Wisdom Education Prosperity (photo by M*Pgh) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

We’ll present Introducing Progress & Poverty thrice in January, followed by the full Progress & Poverty course.

Introducing Progress & Poverty outlines the way the economy works, including the main causes of persistent poverty, and proposes a remedy that seems to have worked wherever it has been even partially tried.   It’s also an overview of our ten-session Progress & Poverty course, which provides a lot more detail and begins January 22.

This initial session is free.  If you choose to enroll for the remaining nine sessions, you’ll be asked for a $25 registration fee and given course materials.

Our session on Friday January 11 will be offered at Levy Center Evanston. 1:00 PM, 300 Dodge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

Our session on Saturday January 12 will be offered in the Irving Park neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago. 2:00 PM, 3330 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618

If you plan to attend our Tuesday January 15 session (6:15 PM at 333 S Wabash Ave Ste 2700), please note that building management REQUIRES THAT YOU SIGN UP IN ADVANCE SO THEIR SECURITY GUARD WILL HAVE YOUR NAME ON THE ADMISSION LIST.  You can do that by emailing us, or phoning 312 362-9302. Send email to info@hgchicago.org, subject Introducing Progpov Jan 15.

Two new books update Georgist teaching and practice

Henry George School photo

2018 has brought us two new Georgist books, one being a repackaging and update of the traditional Henry George School courses, and the other a guide to implementing Georgist ideas to benefit people in today’s world.

Understanding Economics: To Fix What’s Wrong (published by the Henry George Institute) is the newest evolution of the material traditionally taught in the School’s Progress & Poverty course, with some concepts of current interest taken from other courses.  Most of the content is adapted from existing course materials, also with extended selections (some abridged) from the Progress & Poverty text.  Those of us who took the courses years ago will appreciate the updates, particularly discussing actual experience with land value taxation and the expected effects of its widespread adoption.

To Fix What’s Wrong  is a great way to learn the causes of poverty, George’s proposed remedy, its feasibility and likely effects.  It’s not the same as having an actual instructor and fellow students, but for many folks it’s the most practical way to learn.

Rent as Public Revenue: Issues & Methods (a joint publication of the Institute and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation) is presented in its introduction as a continuation and expansion of the Committee on Land Taxation, to

…assist Georgists in demonstrating how the theory can be put into real world implementation and also show non-Georgists how practical [George’s] theory is…[as well as to show] the relevance of George’s ideas to broader applications…such as air rights, franchises, easements, and the electromagnetic spectrum.

The main body of the book opens with Lindy Davies’ presentation of the “Loads of Challenges” facing implementation of the remedy.  In the next chapter, Ted Gwartney disposes of one of these, practical methods of appraising the land values in the real world. Other Georgist luminaries address the land value impacts of transit improvements (David Wetzel), municipal experience with land value taxation (Josh Vincent), community land trusts (Gary Flomenhoft), taxation of forests (Mason Gaffney), Alaska Permanent Fund and the potential worldwide sharing of resource rents (Alanna Hartzok), problems with treatment of land income under current laws (Gaffney again), climate change and its relationship to economic justice (Davies again).  An appendix presents the original Committee on Land Taxation manual, which includes a number of Chicago-focused examples.

Although much of the material in both these books is freely accessible on the internet, the full text of neither book is posted as such.  Both are offered for sale by the Henry George Institute, and Rent as Public Revenue can also be purchased from the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.

CGO 2018 Conference presentations being posted

Even if you couldn’t attend the Council of Georgist Organizations’ conference this week in Baltimore, you can watch some of the presentations which have already been posted. Here are two:

Bill Batt on Progress in East Asia (alternative link)

Victor Ramirez on Puerto Rico (alternative link)

Find more as they appear by searching “Council of Georgist Organizations” on Youtube or Hooktube. There are also, of course, a number of presentations posted from prior conferences.

No fake economics here: Progress and Poverty in Evanston

bridge into fog
Find your way thru the economic fog (image credit: Heike Quosdorf; CC BY 2.0)

This fall, HGS instructor Bob Jene will teach our Progress & Poverty course at the Levy Center in Evanston.  This is a just a couple blocks north of Howard Street.

This class meets Friday afternoons, 1 to 2:30, September 7 thru October 12.  Bob will teach the “modern” version of the course, which uses a text revised and abridged for 21st-century readers (all the important ideas from Henry George’s 19th-century book are there, and you can use the original 1879 text if you prefer).

Evanston’s Levy Center is at 300 Dodge Av., served by CTA routes 93(California/Dodge) and 97(Skokie). For more about why you might want to take this course, review comments from our previous students.

You can sign up for this course our Eventbrite link, or by phoning or emailing us.  By special arrangement with the Levy Center, the normal $25 registration fee is waived for this section.

RIP Dorothy Venturella (1927-2018)

Dorothy Venturella cuts the ribbon to open the Sam Venturella Memorial Library in June 2007 (Henry George School photo)

Dorothy Venturella, widow of longtime HGS head Sam Venturella, passed away Monday (April 30). Dorothy was active in and for a time President of the Henry George Women’s Club (which later admitted men and appropriately retitled itself), while raising four children with Sam. An obituary is here.

Donations to the School in memory of Dorothy Venturella have been received from colleagues of her son, Vincent, from CGO and the Better Cities Committee, from Scott and Sue Walton and from Heather and David Wetzel.

Free hardcopy of Progress & Poverty

Progress & Poverty abridged for modern readers

Henry George’s masterwork Progress & Poverty has long been available free on-line, as text or audiobook, also in most public libraries.  The “Resources” tab above will take you to various editions. Also, everyone who registers for our Progress & Poverty course is given a copy.

Now, for what we suppose is a limited time, a hardcopy of the modernized & abridged edition will be mailed to you, free on request. Just use this form. The offer comes from the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, publishers of Henry George’s works (and a lot more).  They’re good guys, they won’t spam you, and if you really don’t want to be on their list they’ll take you off quick.

Still not broke, still introducing Progress & Poverty

Image credit: Seth Anderson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

We’ve done a number of presentations under the names Introducing Progress & Poverty and Illinois is not Broke during the past year or so.  Each one is updated to reflect current conditions as well as the expected interests of the likely audience.

Our March schedule includes three of each, a total of six presentations, at three locations including one which is new to us. Details are on our Events page.  We hope also to begin one or more courses this spring but schedules haven’t been set.

To keep up-to-date with what’s going on at the Henry George School, be sure to sign up for our update list.

Earn $25 in one hour to learn economic principles

Paid one hour focus group 6:15 pm 2/15/2018 to listen to and comment on presentation of the economic philosophy of Henry George

When: 6:15 pm, Thursday, February 15, 2018

Where: Signature Office, 333 S Wabash Ave Ste 2700, Chicago, IL  60604

Instructor: George Menninger

You can learn fundamental economic principles in an hour.

The Henry George School has developed a “One Hour Henry George” presentation. We need a diverse focus group of college students and graduate students to give us feedback. High school students are also welcome.

After this hour, you will understand:

  • How both liberty and justice are essential to the success of any economic system which works for everybody.
  • Why poverty worsens for some despite opportunity and prosperity for others.
  • A better way to lessen poverty and bring prosperity to all.
  • Why existing programs to alleviate poverty are unsuccessful.
  • The failure of “economic development” programs.
  • A method of public finance likely to end poverty and prevent economic collapse.
  • How some people (including George, and maybe you) have become wealthy by exploiting unfairness in the way we organize our economy.

The presentation will take an hour, plus we will ask 30 additional minutes of your time for discussion.  At the conclusion, you’ll receive $25, plus a voucher good for a free Henry George School course should you wish to learn more.

The size of this focus group is limited. Please let us know you’ll attend by sending an email message with your name and address, college, academic level, and course of study to


Or, you may call us on 312 450-2906. Please leave your name and telephone number and a good time to call you back.