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Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechanical Association / Transactions of the Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechanical Association, including a full report of the industrial convention held at Neenah, Wisconsin, February, 1886. Together with proceedings of the Association for 1884, to January 1, '86
Vol. XI (1886)

Bright, C. M.
Taxation,   pp. 273-306 PDF (6.8 MB)


Page 291


AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL AssoCIATION. 291
Then wipe out the tariff laws. Wipe out the internal reve-
nue laws. Wipe out all taxation on property accumulated by
toil and enterprise. Place the tax upon the land, the common
property of the people, to be paid by whoever uses the land.
Do away with land speculation. Wipe out the landlords. Give
back to the people the broad acres of land held by the rail-
roads and other monopolies, given them in grants. Did you
ever think how many millions of dollars given away our
boasted prosperity for the past twenty-five years has cost the
people? Take from foreign owners the land from which
they are deriving splendid incomes from the fruit of Ameri-
can toil.
Oh, some say, but it cannot be done. Cannot be done!
Yes, it can. There is the power to do it, once that power
moves. I think it was Henry George, the soundest thinker
and the ablest and most fearless writer on economic sub-
jects this generation has produced, who said that the three
grandest words in the language are We, the People! When
the people of the United States think the time has finally
come to do a thing, it is done.
These questions are to be involved in our politics at some
time in the future. Their agitation has only begun. So long
as want and wealth increase; so long as men willing to work
are without bread; so long as there are wrongs to right, there
will be unrest. And these wrongs, here, as they have else-
where, will continue to deepen. Whether a new political
party shall rise up to redress them, time alone will tell. But it
is coming; and some day, in the fulness of time, some party
will become educated up to the grand idea that. in a free
country, every man is entitled to his equal chance with every
other man; that no class shall bear burdens to enrich an-
other class; that all have an equal right to natural oppor-
tunities. Then, with an actuating spirit that can remember
the grandeur of the past, with its victory for free speech, a
free press and free men, it will add to the glorious list free
trade and free land, that party shall do the work that is to
be done.


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