Series Editors: Francis K. Peddle and William S. Peirce
Volume IV of The Annotated Works of Henry George presents the full and original text of Protection or Free Trade, and supplements it with annotations that explain George’s many references to the trade policies and disputes of his day. Professor Stephen Meardon contributes an extensive introductory essay, “Protection or Free Trade and the Political Strategy of Labor’s Emancipation.” It provides the historical and theoretical context for George’s debates with prominent political economists and trade advocates. A thorough index augments accessibility to the introduction and annotations and well as George’s original text, and their key terms.
Protection of Free Trade was read into the U.S. Congressional Record in its entirety in 1892, and remains one of the most well-articulated defenses of the free exchange of goods, services, and labor, exposing the monopolistic practices and the privileging of special interests in the trade policies of his time. While “free trade” today is often associated with a neo-liberal agenda that oppresses working people, PFT makes the case that true free trade, when linked with land value taxation or the systematic collection of economic rent, reduces wealth and income inequality, promotes international cooperation and peace, and elevates the condition of labor to far greater degree than any form of trade protectionism.
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