By Charles Ashira and Stephen Gottlieb.
This is a film about a quest for justice.
It's the story of a man and his inspiring idea – a forgotten American hero whose passion for economic justice captured the imagination of his generation. It’s about a man with a plan, a strategy, a vision and a voice.
And it's the story of how that strategy can serve us in these troubled times.
The chasm between rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots, grows wider with each passing day. Everyone wants change – not just change they can believe in, but change they can see and feel, change that empowers, change they can put on the table, put in the bank, or put to work.
The age-old argument is about how to get there from here.
Economic democracy means that everyone – everyone! – has access to the resources it takes to create wealth and live well. How can society provide that access to the have-nots, without raising the specter of grabbing it away from the haves?
A little more than a century ago there lived a man who had an answer.
From his own beginnings in abject poverty, Henry George carved out a name for himself as a popular journalist and social reformer, singlehandedly fighting corrupt monopolies and exposing corporate and political greed. In 1879 he published his magnum opus, “Progress and Poverty,” which sold more than five and a half million copies. His proposed remedy for society's economic ills was a stroke of genius that made him one of America's most famous and beloved leaders. His brilliant yet astoundingly simple taxation strategy gained him passionate friends and determined enemies. After his tragic death at the height of his surging campaign for Mayor of New York in 1897, he fell (or was he pushed?) into obscurity. Today, few even know his name, let alone the elegant economic principles he brought to light.
We live in polarized times: conservative vs. liberal, statist vs. libertarian, free-market capitalism vs. regulatory control. Henry George's simple yet profound solution transcends the partisan enmities of left and right. A growing number of contemporary economic thinkers from across the wide political spectrum see this strategy – known today as Land Value Taxation – as an idea deserving of serious consideration.
The tragic paradox of economic stagnation in the midst of unprecedented abundance and technological progress defines the challenge: how can we transform inequality and widespread poverty into equal opportunity, justice, and prosperity for all?
"Abundance" will dramatize the genius of Henry George and restore the classical brilliance of his philosophy to the national conversation.