May. 24th, 2017

To continue with the book launch on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, we saw a video of Mason Gaffney himself, in which he described his first Georgist publication, "Taking the Professor for a Ride," printed before World War Two. The article described Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1941; as I recall the article, things were a mess, with speculation having pushed the borders of the town far beyond where people actually lived. Land was for sale, with a sign, "Yesterday's Speculators Are Today's Millionaires." When young Gaffney told his professor at Harvard about this, the professor said, "Land speculation? You must have been reading Henry George," making it sound like a crime.

"Who's Henry George?" Gaffney asked perversely.

"A primitive writer, back in the 19th century. They lived on farms, surrounded by land, and thought land speculation was important. Today it's trivial."

Gaffney wished that he could take the Professor for a ride, and show him the situation in Des Plaines.

This was published in The Freeman, edited by Frank Chodorov.
To continue with the book launch on Tuesday, August 16, Frank Peddle and then Bill Batt spoke about Mason Gaffney. There was a Q&A session, and reminiscences about Mason Gaffney.

Someone suggested that instead of "land," we might do better to say "natural resources."

Lindy Davies, himself a Friend, spoke about John Woolman, the 18th century Friend (Quaker) who opposed slavery. Supposedly, Woolman said something about the ethics of landowning, and said that people should pay the community for the land they held. Lindy doesn't recall the exact quote.

I spoke up to say that I had been a Georgist for many years before I learned just how land speculation leads to recessions. I learned from a talk by Polly Cleveland, with Mason Gaffney sitting beside me, while she presented his model, and improvement over Henry George's own account.

Ed Dodson described a Georgist forecasting service to Mason Gaffney, who should have been the leader of it. Phil Anderson has done something along those lines.

There were other questions and comments, and then basically the end for the day, with the evening devoted to informal socializing. We heard more take the next day.
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:31 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios