Henry George (1839–1897)
Henry George was a self-educated American economist from a poor family. In 1879, his book Progress and Poverty sold millions of copies around the world. In it, he presented his ideas on how to solve the problem of poverty.
It is true that wealth has been greatly increased, and that the average of comfort, leisure, and refinement has been raised; but these gains are not general. In them the lowest class do not share. . . .
This association of poverty with progress is the great enigma of our times. . . .
. . . There is a vague but general feeling of disappointment; an increased bitterness among the working classes; a widespread feeling of unrest and brooding revolution. . . .
. . . The civilized world is trembling on the verge of a great movement. Either it must be a leap upward, which will open the way to advances yet undreamed of, or it must be a plunge downward, which will carry us back toward barbarism.
Which line from the passage suggests that poverty could lead to unrest?
What is the main idea of this passage?
Demographics of US Cities
–Progress and Poverty,
Henry George, 1879