We have lost a great friend, Board Member, and contributor. The world has lost a great man, a great advocate of progressive economics and equality for all, and a true believer of the teachings of Henry George.
Paul Francis Justus passed away unexpectedly while on a walk in his Englewood neighborhood. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dr. Andrea Radwell.
Born in Kansas City, Paul spent decades in Northwest Arkansas before moving to Salem, Oregon. Paul earned a BA in Economics from Saint Louis University, an MA in Urban Design from the University of Kansas School of Architecture. He spent much of his career as a Regional Planner with the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission.
Much of Paul’s life was dedicated to service. He joined the Peace Corps at a young age, working in the Government Statistics Office in the island nation of Tonga. He was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, an Eagle Scout, and served on the boards of a number of public service non-profit organizations including the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, the Public Revenue Economic Council, the Ozark Regional Land Trust, Council of Georgist Organizations, and Common Ground USA.
He enjoyed playing his guitar, practicing Spanish, singing in choirs, spending time in nature and advocating for progressive solutions to fight climate change. He also published a children’s book about Georgist economic policy, “Young George and the Dragon: An Economic Fairy Tale”.
Upon joining the RSF Board, Paul was asked what he believed to be the “core of the Georgist viewpoint.” Paul answered “In my opinion the core of the Georgist viewpoint is that people own what they create and that land (natural resources and natural opportunities) rightfully belongs equally to all people. By shifting taxes off authentic human production and, instead, taxing land value we will see our society move towards more economic freedom, more social and economic justice, and a much improved economy not subject to the recurrent tragedy of boom-bust cycles and other negative effects.” Paul brought those insights to everything he did with the Foundation and we encourage you to read his final RSF blog, “USING A CARBON FEE AND DIVIDEND: A TOOL TO OVERCOME THE CLIMATE CRISIS”
As anyone who knew him will attest, Paul combined a keen intellect with humility and a sincere concern for others. His contributions to the community of people who look for inspiration to the works of Henry George were many and important. His death is a great loss to the organizations to which he was devoted. I personally will miss him in our deliberations.
Yes, echoing Ed’s observations above, Paul was clear-thinking, never-excessive, a model of humility even when carrying about as big a Big Idea as there is to be found by the mortal parts of us cosmic souls. Cheers, Paul!