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.

Assessor fails, then Progress & Poverty begins

image credit: Karolus_BR via Open Clip Art

Still a few seats available for “How the Cook County Assessor Fails Taxpayers,” with ProPublica Illinois (and former Chicago Tribune) investigative reporter Jason Grotto. It happens this Tuesday (January 9) at 6:15pm, is free but you must preregister.  Details.

Also, two sections of our Progress & Poverty course start next week (January 16 in Evanston and January 18 in Chicago).  Find out more by attending Introducing Progress & Poverty this Thursday (January 11), or see the class schedule.

For Evanston, preregistration is strongly encouraged, while for Chicago it is absolutely required due to the way building security works.  Preregister by email.

Progress & Poverty events and courses in January

image credit: Bob Simpson CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

We’ve scheduled two sections of our flagship Progress & Poverty course in January, one in the Chicago Loop and one in Evanston. These instructor-led ten-session courses are based on Henry George’s classic book, but are being revised somewhat to use concise video presentations created by Lindy Davies of the Henry George Institute.  While students are encouraged to read the original text, Bob Drake’s “abridged for modern readers” version, which exists both as text and audiobook,  is also available, as are other options.

This course is intended for thinking people who want to understand how the economy works, and particularly why poverty continues to be a problem even as productivity multiplies. You need not agree with Henry George’s conclusions to find the course worthwhile (See what some of our students have said.)

To find out more about what we have to offer, attend one of the free Introducing Progress and Poverty sessions, in Evanston or Chicago. Note also that you’re welcome to attend the first class session of any course without registering and without paying the $25 registration fee which is the only charge for the entire ten-session course.  But due to building policies at our loop location, you do need to let us know that you’re coming so we can put you on the list for admission to the building. This can be done by simple email message.



“Progress & Poverty is important,” say a BIG bunch of folks

Emma Lazarus (Wikimedia)

Thanks to HGS graduate Robert Blau for reminding us that Emma Lazarus was a fan of Progress & Poverty, even writing a sonnet about it. En route to confirming this info, we tripped over a list of about 200 significant individuals (including sources and quotes, starting about halfway down this page) who have endorsed Progress & Poverty and/or Henry George. And found that Progress & Poverty has dozens of reviews at Goodreads, mostly 5-star with comments such as “Once you read it, you’ll never see the world the same again,” “profound and transcendent,” and “literally the most important book ever written.”  

To find out more, come to our free presentation “Introducing Progress & Poverty” this Sunday, October 29, and/or sign up to receive occasional announcements of our events and classes.


Fall events at new locations, revised courses, more to come


image credit: David Wilson (CC BY 2.0_)

Our Fall program includes talks Introducing Progress & Poverty   (twice) and asserting that Illinois is not Broke. These are in locations new to us, including an upscale Chicago Loop conference space, a northside storefront, and a major Chicago Public Library branch.

We hope to resume the regular Progress & Poverty course in January.  This will be an improved version, taking advantage of some video materials which Lindy Davies of the Henry George Institute developed, aided by the other Henry George School.  Details will be announced.

To be notified of scheduled courses and events, sign up for our announcement email list.

Orwellian economics, Henry George Day, New P&P, and Illinois still is not broke

All graduates of any HGS course are cordially invited to our Henry George Day celebration in Evanston on September 4.  More information and RSVP here.

Distinguished philosopher and community organizer Dan Sullivan will help us see how economic terminology has been hijacked and distorted on Wednesday, September 13 at Overflow.  More info and RSVP for his talk on Orwellian Economics is here.

Because nobody in Springfield seems concerned about collecting the state’s earnings, an update of Illinois is not Broke will be provided next month also, but time and date are not finalized.

We have a new edition of Progress & Poverty, courtesy of Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. It’s annotated, which means that in addition to HG’s original footnotes it has lots of explanations and elaborations of George’s historical and philosophical references.  The entire text has been re-set, and now requires only 488 pages (including three prefaces, two introductions, and contributor bios) compared to 600 pages in the 1971 edition. Also it has a new index.  The original book and chapter numbers are retained. The 2017 edition is available for $65 (sale price) from Schalkenbach. It can also be obtained at higher prices, in hardcopy and DRM versions, from Barnes & Noble  and Amazon.

And there will be a Progress & Poverty course starting in October, with another in January.  Stay tuned.

Segregation in Chicago: What does it cost us and what can be done to change it?

Race & Ethnicity in Chicagoland 2010, from Wikipedia

“Segregation is not only an issue in low-income communities or communities of color. Everyone pays a price, measured in lost income, lives and education.” Alden Loury, Director of Research and Education for the Metropolitan Planning Council, will present some findings from the Costs of Segregation study which he’s been conducting along with the Urban Institute. Having found that “segregation holds back the entire Chicago region’s economy and potential, costing all of us,” the project is now moving on to recommend solutions.

Join us on July 11 to learn more about how this work was done, what solutions might be recommended, and how it relates to our study of political economy. We’ll meet at 6:15 at Overflow, 1550 S. State.  Of course the event is free.