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photo credits: English Wikipedia

Agrarian Justice


Agrarian Justice is the title of a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine and published in 1797, which proposed that those who possess cultivated land owe the community a ground rent, which justifies an estate tax to fund universal old-age and disability pensions and a fixed sum to be paid to all citizens upon reaching maturity. It was written in the winter of 1795–96 but remained unpublished for a year, Paine being undecided whether or not it would be best to wait until the end of the ongoing war with France before publishing. However, having read a sermon by Richard Watson, the Bishop of Llandaff, which discussed the "Wisdom... of God, in having made both Rich and Poor," he felt the need to publish under the argument that "rich" and "poor" were arbitrary divisions, not divinely created ones.
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original title: Agrarian Justice
date of publication: 1797

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