Henry George – 1839-1897
In 1879, George published Progress and Poverty, in which he proposed the so-called single tax. Government, he wrote, should be financed by a state tax on “economic rent”—the income from the use of the bare land, not any improvements on that land—and all other taxes should be abolished. The idea took fire as the country struggled to recover from the major panic and depression of 1873–1878, and George became a celebrity. His ideas continue to serve as the basis for many ambitious tax reform schemes.