Nature’s Gifts: The Australian Lectures of Henry George on the Ownership of Land and Other Natural Resources, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Nature’s Gifts

The Australian Lectures of Henry George on the Ownership of Land and Other Natural Resources, 1st Edition

By John Pullen

Federation Press

240 pages

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In 1890, the famous American economist and social reformer, Henry George, arrived in Australia to begin a controversial 98-day public lecture tour. Following the international publicity generated by his book Progress and Poverty, with its challenges to conventional economics, he had made several lecture tours in Britain, attracting immense audiences. In Australia he visited 34 cities and towns and continued to promulgate vigorously and eloquently his radical program for the ownership, management and taxation of natural resources such as land, coal, and minerals.

Nature’s Gifts provides, for the first time, a detailed account of this important and progressive lecture series. Equal rights to land; land taxation; land prices; land rents; land nationalisation; and free trade and protection remain issues which are highly relevant today.

Engaging and insightful, this is a timely and critical study of the reforms proposed by Henry George and the possibility of establishing an efficient and equitable system for the ownership of natural resources.

Table of Contents

PART 1 - Henry George’s Lecture Tour in Australia

1. New South Wales: 6 March – 24 March

2. Victoria: 25 March – 8 April

3. New South Wales: 9 April – 16 April

4. South Australia: 17 April – 3 May

5. New South Wales: 4 May – 7 May

6. Queensland: 8 May – 25 May

7. Farewells: From Brisbane to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide: 26 May – 11 June

PART 2 - Australia and Henry George, 1890 and Now

Nature’s Gifts

Unearned increments: The caused-by-society argument and the caused-by-nature argument

The Single Tax

Free trade, land rights and the Single Tax

International implications

The right of private property: Two principles or one?

Private property or private possession

The ethics of income tax: Natural resources and human resources

Land nationalisation or land-value taxation

Trade unions

Town planning

Spending the revenue: Collectively or distributively

Spending the revenue: Local versus central government

Political feasibility of land-value taxation

Compensation or confiscation

Realised and unrealised increments: The ability-to-pay problem

Equal rights to the value of land and other natural resources

The dispossessed and the disinherited

About the Author

John Pullen studied at the University of Sydney (B.Ec.), University of Liverpool (England) (M.A.), and University of Newcastle (NSW) (Ph.D.).

He taught Economics at the University of New England for 33 years, with special research and teaching interests in Urban Economics and the History of Economic Thought. Publications in these areas include 10 monographs as either author, co-author, or editor, and 67 articles and book chapters. Eight of the published articles deal with the theories and policies of Henry George, and have led to this current research into the extraordinary, but hitherto largely undocumented lecture tour of Australia by Henry George in 1890.

John retired from teaching in 2006, and is currently engaged in research and publication as an Adjunct Associate Professor of the University of New England.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / Financial