Summery of “The Crime of Poverty” by Henry George.
The essay begins with Henry George referring to his audience as ladies and gentlemen. He then goes on to state that poverty is a crime. A crime not committed by the poor, but rather the poor as victims of the crime. He also does not wholly blame those perpetrating the crime, he also gives a kind of notion that the victim has a hand the situation he or she finds themselves in. He says the poverty is a curse that not only the poor have but is on every level of society even the rich. He says the rich also suffer because it is like the air all the community breathes. They too must breathe it. Henry George says poverty is the harbinger of crime and ignorance. After seeing men in chains taking away he knew that poverty had a role in the genesis of the matter. Then says nine tenths of human misery is due to poverty. Henry George touches on the subject of a man who chooses to be poor is his own decision but when he he has others he is responsible for it is criminality. With this he says poverty is not just a crime of and individual but that of the whole society. This is evident in the analogy of the man that sells soap and the priest. The man is in a dubious business but he’d rather that than be poor and unable to provide for his family to save his soul. Henry George then says that poverty is brought about not by a natural or divine means but by human action and likens it to a scourge worse than an a very bad epidemic.The evidence of this lay in the cities, with people seeking shelter and children and women suffering the most. He even goes as far as to say that in western civilization there are people in worse conditions than savage peoples. He posits that the problem of poverty is only noticed in civilized world, and not in nature. Animals in nature do not have some having plenty while others wanting. Th prevailing explanation for the current state of want in Henry George’s time was...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document