Henry George And Jean Baptiste Say Revisited
Author: Benjamin Battersby
Description: As a practicing engineer for many years subjected to the sinusoidal curve of capital investment boom and bust, I decided to investigate the nature of our Capitalist economic systems’ instability and questionable sustainability – as well as the apparent injustice of increasing wealth distribution to a minute percentage of our population and the persistent shrinkage of the once healthy middle class. Over a period of between 15-20 years, the writings of classical economists were studiously reviewed, as were the few dissident economists, who were generally ignored. Perceiving that virtually all classical (political) economists were, or had been, in thrall to either government, industry, or academia, the author began an intense study of Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty,” which work opened up a world of rational relationships between the three factors and beneficiaries of wealth production, namely Land, Labor, and capital. Here was a remarkable book which appeared to answer the various questions to which I had been seeking answers. However, a fly in the ointment of Henry George’s remarkable illumination of our economic system appeared in the course of writing this polemic, namely his professed belief (in 1879) of the virtual equality of power residing in labor and capital. This important conclusion appeared to me as manifestly impossible, given the era of the Robber Barons riding roughshod over labor during the time of George’s authorship. Segueing to the work of Jean Baptiste Say, wherein he propounded what came to be called “Say’s Law,” poorly expressed as “production being the mother of consumption,” the true nature of capitalist production as following the spatial geometry of an expanding spiral subject to stoppage and reversal and requiring increasing inputs of capital to maintain dynamic stability became apparent to this author. The author, who is now nominally retired, through his studies has concluded Capitalism is demonstrably unsustainable, a conclusion reached independently of the current world financial crisis. Millions are also experiencing at present the clear injustice of the system.