“Though custom has dulled us to it, it is a strange and unnatural thing that men who wish to labor, in order to satisfy their wants, cannot find the opportunity.” “There can be no real scarcity of work . . . until human wants are all satisfied.” Today, nearly a century after Henry George wrote that, and with nearly 40 years of the New Economics, we are right back at square one. Federal fiscal and monetary policies prove powerless to soak up surplus labor, even while creating two-digit inflation. Prominent economists seem confused and helpless faced with the most basic malfunction of the system, that is, shortness of work along with short supplies and soaring prices, and we are at once overwhelmed and diverted by the spawn of derivative evils. Why cannot these idle persons find work to fill those shortages? If economics cannot solve this elementary but stubborn riddle, it is not good for much.
In Arthur Lynn, Jr. (ed.), Property Taxation, Land Use and Public Policy. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1976, pp. 99-166.