Lessons of Enduring Value:
Henry George, A Century Later

C. Lowell Harriss

[A paper presented under the Henry George Research Program,
held at Pace University, New York, 4 November 1982]

I ask no one who may read this book to accept my views. I ask him to think for himself. (Social Problems, p. 242)[1]

Mental power is, therefore, the motor of progress … the mental power which is devoted to the extension of knowledge, the improvement of methods, and the betterment of social conditions. (Progress and Poverety, p. 507)

A century ago, Henry George was much the most widely read writer on economics. He wrote about matters of deep and broad concern. He wrote with conviction and style, passion and vigor. The selections here will, I hope, stimulate readers to seek out more of the writings of a master of brilliant style, dealing with topics of enduring importance.

Much of what George says has relevance, both direct and indirect, to present conditions. Some of it retains its original validity. Our critical faculties must not be dulled by admiration for what stands as valid. Today's world differs from that which George knew. Yet his insights and conclusions, resting in part on observations about human nature, are often valid and even more often serve his stated objective of stimulating us to think.[2]

Free Trade, Not Obstruction

"Trade is not invasion. It does not involve aggression on one side and resistance on the other, but mutual consent and gratification." (PFT, p. 46). This quotation from Protection or Free Trade is only one of hundreds that tell us something of enduring value. This one is not controversial. Some are.

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, one of the major issues of public debate was the question of protectionism - using governmental power to restrict imports. George fought against this.

Three quotations will illustrate:

Who would think of recommending a site for a proposed city or a new colony because it was very difficult to get at? Yet if the protective theory be true, this would really be an advantage. Who would regard piracy as promotive of civilization? Yet a discriminating pirate, who would confine his seizures to goods which might be produced in the country to which they were being carried, would be as beneficial to that country as a tariff. (PFT, p. 35).

What protection teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war. (PFT, p. 47).

If to prevent trade were to stimulate industry and promote prosperity, then the localities where he was most isolated would show the first advances of man. The natural protection to home industry afforded by rugged mountain-chains, by burning deserts, or by seas too wide and tempestuous for the frail bark of the early mariner, would have given us the first glimmerings of civilization and shown it its most rapid growth. But, in fact, it is where trade could best be carried on that we find wealth first accumulating and civilization beginning. It is on accessible harbors, by navigable rivers and much traveled highways that we find cities arising and the arts and sciences developing. And as trade becomes more free and extensive ... so does wealth augment and civilization grow. (PFT, pp. 51-2).

The struggle for human freedom against restriction of trade in America brought more defeats than victories for much of the half century after George began his efforts. Under the leadership of Secretary of State Cordell Hull, the United States took the initiative in reducing barriers, first on a bilateral basis, then on a broad scale.

The multilateral lowering of tariffs aided expansion of international trade after World War II. Such trade across political boundaries was part of the process that raised levels of living for hundreds of millions of human beings in countries rich and poor. Few Americans have any conception how much the tariffs obstructing our imports have come down. Nor do we appreciate how greatly our well-being depends upon exporting, and how it has profited from the reduction of barriers of other countries.

Today, however, forces for restriction here and abroad are discouragingly powerful -discouraging for human welfare. Non-tariff barriers - both observable and almost invisible but still powerful - now take many forms. Human ingenuity devises many methods of working harm. The supporters, of course, can give justifications that seem plausible - for small groups and special interests in the short run. Nevertheless, the fundamental principles of freedom that George enunciated remain valid.

Today, however, the discussion will involve relatively new aspects - floating exchange rates, new complexities in adjustment processes, governmental subsidies for exports and "unfair" competition, a several-fold increase in the number of sovereign countries, and wider, almost uncritical acceptance of the notion that politics and bureaucracy should exert a considerable influence on markets and economic life. Some governments, notably Communist governments, exercise full control. Others, in both developing and developed countries, intervene in economic affairs at many points in various ways.

What are the prospects that such intervention will help rather than hurt mankind? George's view of human nature and governmental processes enabled him to draw conclusions about the realities of intervention as actually implemented. For example:

The result is, and always must be, the enactment of a tariff which resembles the theoretical protectionist's ideas of what a protective tariff should be about as closely as a bucketful of paint thrown against a wall resembles the frescos of a Raphael. (PFT, p. 92).

Today, some of the most difficult problems of international trade, here and abroad, involve agricultural products. Some farmers face difficulties, partly because land prices have risen to levels that almost assure financial strain. A frequent response is the advocacy of restrictions on imports and on marketing that make food more costly. Britain had such restrictions -- the Corn Laws -- a century and a half ago. Eventually, the British consumer was freed of such burdens. What brought the change? Determined leadership was crucial. George cites a moving incident with words that suggest his recognition of the role of leadership and concerned, devoted effort to build a better world:

"Come with me," said Richard Cobden, as John Bright turned heart-stricken from a new-made grave. "There are in England women and children dying with hunger-with hunger made by the laws. Come with me, and we will not rest until we repeal those laws.".

In this spirit the free-trade movement waxed and grew. (PFT, p.277).

Governments, our own and many others, impose food policies -- including restrictions on imports-that raise the cost of eating. Sensible? Humane?

Henry George as an Economist

The great British economist, Alfred Marshall, who had more than a little disagreement with George about land taxation, called him a "poet." Professor Boulding writes that Progress and Poverty is "the one book in economics which could be set to music." (p. 5).

Was George really an economist? Some of his contemporaries teaching in colleges were critical. One quotation will help us see why George was not well received in the academic world:

And while colleges and universities and similar institutions, though ostensibly organized for careful investigation and honest promulgation of truth, are not and cannot be exempt from the influences that disturb the study of political economy; they are especially precluded under present conditions from the faithful and adequate treatment of that science. For in the present social conditions of the civilized world nothing is clearer than that there is some deep and wide-spread wrong in the distribution. . . of wealth. This it is the office of political economy to disclose, and a really faithful and honest explication of the science must disclose it.

. . . colleges and universities, as at present constituted, are by the very law of their being precluded from discovering or revealing. . . [the injustice]. For no matter what be the nature . . .the wealthy class must, relatively at least, profit by it, and this is the class whose views and wishes dominate in colleges and universities. As, while slavery was yet strong, we might have looked in vain to the colleges and universities ... in our Southern States . . . for any admission of its injustice, so under present conditions we look in vain to such sources for any faithful treatment of political economy. Whoever accepts from them a chair of political economy must do so under the implied stipulation that he shall not really find what it is his professional burden to look for.

. . . he who would really know what political economy teaches . . . can turn to the colleges and universities only with the certainty that, wherever else he may find the truth, he cannot find it there. (SPE, pp. xi-xii).

Impugning the integrity of professors would scarcely improve the prospects of getting one's writings accepted. The great Austrian-American economist, Joseph Schumpeter, tells us: "Henry George . . . was a self-taught economist, but he was an economist. in the course of his life, he acquired most of the knowledge and ability to handle an economic argument that he could have acquired by academic training as it then was."[3]

George failed to incorporate marginal analysis, which was published several years before his death, whose significance he failed to understand. Yet to me it seems that his major policy conclusions would hardly have been any different.

In contrast with so much of modern economics, George's work makes almost no systematic use of quantitative evidence. A century ago, data were scarce by modern standards. George observed and drew conclusions. He read widely. He utilizes illustrations from a variety of sources. Vividly expressive figures of speech abound. They do not necessarily substantiate the points he makes, but I find them more convincing than suspect.

Society is an organism, not a machine. It can live only by the individual life of its parts. And in the free and natural development of all the parts will be secured the harmony of the whole. (PP, p. 321).

George was a social philosopher. He ranged beyond supply and demand and the confines of narrow economics. Some of his value for us moderns lies in his observations about society. One quotation combines insights on two points - the concern for public affairs and the potential from enlarging the role of women:

. . .the progress of civilization necessitates the giving of greater and greater attention and intelligence to public affairs. And for this reason I am convinced that we make a great mistake in depriving one sex of voice in public matters, and that we could in no way so increase the attention, the intelligence and the devotion which may be brought to the solution of social problems as by enfranchising women. (SP, p.243).

Two paragraphs reveal, among other things, George's awareness of what we may call "externalities" and views on rewards:

For there is to the community also a natural reward. The law of society is each for all, as well as all for each. No one can keep to himself the good he may do, any more than he can keep the bad. Every productive enterprise, besides its return to those who undertake it, yields collateral advantages to others. If a man plant a fruit tree, his gain is that he gathers the fruit in its time and season. But in addition to his gain, there is a gain to the whole community. Others than the owner are benefited by the increased supply of fruit; the birds which it shelters fly far and wide; the rain which it helps attract falls not alone on his field; and, even to the eye which rests upon it from a distance, it brings a sense of beauty. And so with everything else. The building of a house, a factory, a ship, or a railroad, benefits others besides those who get the direct profits. Nature laughs at a miser. He is like the squirrel who burries his nuts and refrains from digging them up again. Lo! they sprout and grow into trees . . . The bee fills the hollow tree with honey, and along comes the bear or the man.

Well may the community leave to the individual producer all that prompts him to exertion; well may it let the laborer have the full reward of his labor, and the capitalist the full return of his capital. For the more that labor and capital produce, the greater grows the common wealth in which all may share. And in the value or rent of land is this general gain expressed in a definite and concrete form. Here is a fund which the state may take while leaving to labor and capital their full reward. With increased activity of production this would commensurately increase. (PP, p. 436).

Note that land values rise as the economy benefits from adequately rewarded human effort. Government can take the "positive externalities" that become land rent.

A Conservative Economist and Opponent of Socialism

George articulated the concept of "spontaneous coordination." This understanding plays a vital role in any effort to appraise the potential of centralization of economic life. He condemned centralized governmental management of the means of production-socialism. It would destroy spontaneous coordination. Two generations later this point became central to a major theme of the criticism of socialism. Today, another generation later, experience provides evidence to substantiate the point that George saw theoretically a century ago. Three quotations will illustrate:

Attempting conscious direction of work that requires spontaneous coordination] is like asking the carpenter who can build a chickenhouse to build a chicken also.

This is the fatal defect of all forms of socialism -- the reason of the fact, which all observation shows, that any attempt to carry conscious regulation and direction beyond the narrow sphere of social life in which it is necessary, inevitably works injury, hindering even what it is intended to help.

And the rationale of this great fact may ... be perceived when we consider that the originating element in all production is thought or intelligence, the spiritual not the material. This spiritual element, this intelligence or thought power as it appears in man, cannot be combined or fused as can material force. (SPE, pp. 391-92).

The last sentence contains truth too often overlooked. A second quotation reinforces the point and adds to its force:

In other words it is only in independent action that the full powers of the man may be utilized. The subordination of one human will to another human will, while it may in certain ways secure unity of action, must always, where intelligence is needed, involve the loss of productive power. (SPE, pp. 392-93).

The proposal which socialism makes is that the collectivity or state shall assume the management of all means of production, including land, capital and man himself; do away with all competition, and convert mankind into two classes, the directors, taking their orders from government and acting by governmental authority, and the workers, for whom everything shall be provided, including the directors themselves. ... It is more destitute of any central and guiding principle than any philosophy I know of ... It has no system of individual rights whereby it can define the extent to which the individual is entitled to liberty or to which the state may go in restraining it. (SPE, pp. 198)


Time and again George reminds the reader of poverty, so often desperate and degrading. But not, he believed, inevitable!

Monopoly and private ownership of the rent from land seem to be the chief causes of continuing poverty:

That amid our highest civilization men faint and die with want is not due to the niggardliness of nature, but to the injustice of man. vice and misery, poverty and pauperism, are not the legitimate results of increase of population and industrial development; they only follow . . . because land is treated as private property-they are the direct and necessary results of the violation of the supreme law of justice, involved in giving to some men the exclusive possession of that which nature provides for all men. (PP, pp. 341).

At times he shows awareness of the progress that was being made for many. Yet the impression of persisting, unremitting poverty stands out. His diagnosis must have been incomplete.

The enormous improvement in living standards in the century since George wrote occurred without at least the land tax reform he thought so essential. There were elements in the operation of the economy that have brought economic benefits for the vast majority beyond anything he predicted. Why?

Monopoly has been weaker and competition stronger than he probably expected. Certainly his belief that land ownership represented powerful monopoly differs from reality. Land is owned in plots, most of which are small in relation to the total supply. An owner of a plot of land finds his power to command extortionate rents limited by competing landowners. Each individual owner does have a monopoly, but rarely on much of a community's land.

Industrial monopoly has also been less extensive than he probably believed. As employer? The picture of a single mill as the dominant employer in a community applies to only limited portions of the economy. The ability to depress wages below marginal productivity encounters the worker's desire for income and, in this country, significant ability to seek out better jobs. Population moves. Wages plus fringes have risen with productivity from decade to decade.

Poverty has declined but by no means disappeared. The record of the "War on Poverty," associated with President Johnson, and the vision he articulated in 1964, offers insights into complexities that George oversimplified. Large sums have been provided. Many approaches have been tried. Site value taxation was not among them. The position of the lowest fifth has improved. Much has been accomplished by many forces - those of markets and governmental programs. No miracles. Problems persist. Conditions differ from those of George's time. One cannot reasonably expect him to have foreseen the complexities we face today. One can be reminded of the challenges remaining.

Redistribution? Not by Compulsion

Bitterly as George hated poverty, he did not propose compulsory redistribution as a remedy. His attitude was far removed from that widely held today, which puts heavy reliance on government redistribution using coercion of taxation. He believed in incentives. He believed in rewards, in the justice, under natural law, of private ownership of property:

It would not merely be gross injustice to refuse a Raphael or a Rubens more than a house-painter, but it would prevent the development of great painters. To destroy inequalities in condition would be to destroy the incentive to progress. To quarrel with them is to quarrel with the laws of nature. We might as well rail against the length of the days or the phases of the moon; complain that there there are valleys and mountains; zones of tropical heat and regions of eternal ice. And were we by violent measures to divide wealth equally, we should accomplish nothing but harm; in a little while there would be inequalities as great as before.

This, in substance, is the teaching which we constantly hear. It is accepted by some because it is flattering to their vanity in accordance with their interests or pleasing to their hope; by others, because it is dinned into their ears. Like all false theories that obtain wide acceptance, it contains much truth. But it is truth isolated from other truth or alloyed with falsehood. (SP, p. 50).

Another expression of George's conviction that the producer deserves his rewards would probably strike the Western world today as so conservative, even reactionary, so out-of-step with modernity as to strike at our concepts of progressive taxation and "welfare-state spending":

This and this alone, I contend for - that he who makes should have; that he who saves should enjoy. I ask in behalf of the poor nothing whatever that properly belongs to the rich. Instead of weakening and confusing the idea of property, I would surround it with stronger sanctions. Instead of lessening the incentives to the production of wealth, I would make it more powerful by making the reward more certain. Whatever any man has added to the general stock of wealth, or has received of the free will of him who did produce it, let that be his as against all the world - his to use or to give,, to do with it whatever he may please, so long as such use does not interfere with the equal freedom of others. For my part, I would put no limit on acquisition. No matter how many millions any man can get by methods which do not involve the robbery of others-they are his; let him have them. I would not even ask him for charity, or have it dinned into his ears that it is his duty to help the poor. That is his own affair. Let him do as he pleases with his own, without restriction and without suggestion. If he gets without taking from others, what he does with his wealth is his own business and his own responsibility. (SP, p. 87).

Two elements of this quotation are striking: One is the emphasis on strengthening the protection of property. As we today see so many intrusions on the owner's ability to use property (or the preservation of value in times of inflation/, do we stop to think of the effects on human willingness to make the sacrifices required to add to real wealth? A second point involves what seems to me one of the more perplexing aspects of life - unlimited power to transmit property to heirs. Land value would be an exception for George. Yet is not land acquired with the fruits of energy and thrift more like than different from other property? He faced the issue and came out in a quite different position. For example:

Though the sovereign people of the state of New York consent to the landed possessions of the Astors, the puniest infant that comes wailing into the world, in the squalidest room of the most miserable tenement house, becomes of that moment seized of an equal right with the millionaires. And it is robbed if the right is denied. (PP, p. 340).

One wonders what George's pen would write today about the fortunes accumulating from the ownership of land under which oil and natural gas are found. Consumers pay prices which bring vast fortunes to persons who did nothing to put the oil under the surface of the earth. Beyond the costs of exploration, development, and marketing there are huge payments to passive - and lucky - owners of land.

Untaxing Structures, Taxing Land

This heading shifts the typical emphasis-in a way that seems to me useful for presenting policy choices. First, however, an opening quotation with a point of growing relevance - a potential source of revenue largely beyond threat from the underground economy:

As land cannot be hidden or carried off, a tax on land values can be assessed with more certainty and can be collected with greater ease and less expense than any other tax, while it does not in the slightest degree check production or lessen its incentive. It is, in fact, a tax only in form, being in nature a rent - a taking for the use of the community of a value that arises not from individual exertion but from the growth of the community. (PFT, p. 288).

The unreported economy, we hear, grows; it provides an increasing total of untaxed income and consumption. Land, however, cannot be hidden. Does it not offer a base of taxation which defies attempted evasion?

The second sentence of the quotation introduces George's conviction of the moral principles: land rent should be appropriated for the use of society as a whole. George's passion for human betterment shines out in this discussion. The narrowly economic aspects are not alone in making the case for taxing land rent. The moral justification in George's view was not limited to future increments. On this point my personal conclusion differs.

Nevertheless, George's message on the taxation of land has much merit today. There are persuasive reasons of justice and equity without pretending to reverse the past. There are persuasive reasons to expect better allocation and use of land. Here, however, I emphasize the possibility that it offers for helping to reduce the taxes on man-made capital. Not a single tax.[4] Government spending has grown beyond any feasible possibility of finance by tax on land alone. For his own time, I believe, he overstated the case. He oversimplified the ethical-equity issue. But can one reasonably deny the justice of taxing "unearned increments" that profit landowners "as they sleep"? one can speculate - dream - about the differences today if communities had been able to finance local services from land rents - or the growth of land rents through a century, half a century (e.g., since the Great Depression), or the last three or two decades of land price increases (above inflation). If man-made capital had been subject to little or no property taxation, would not we have more such capital and the benefits it brings? Yes. Moreover, that capital would probably have been allocated more productively.

Many opportunities have been irretrievably lost. Yet the country will be here for a long time. We and our children can have a better future, it seems to me, if local governments move in the directions George indicated a century ago. Not every state need act, nor every locality in a state which permits the change.

The logic of reducing tax rates on structures and getting rent is the ideal land (location) value, the logic of such a change has been stated many times by many economists in many places.

George was certainly right in perceiving that economic rent is the ideal subject of taxation. (Boulding, p. 8)

Land is one productive resource whose supply will not be reduced by a (high) tax. It does not move. Much of its value results from the actions of persons other than the owner, especially governmental spending on streets, sewers, schools, and other such facilities.

One change would be increased influence on owners of land to put it to its best use. Holding land in a use far below its potential would involve higher costs. The character of use of each plot affects those around. Market forces reflecting the total of considerations, of opportunities, would be reinforced by tax forces. progress toward better use would be greater as owners had to pay larger amounts of tax on land. The need to pay more dollars each year would add to the incentive to get income at once, as speculative withholding from "the highest and best use" would be less attractive.[5]

The lower tax on man-made capital, however, would increase the ability to build and to improve land. A cut in the tax on new construction would tend to enlarge the demand for land. Such forces would raise land values and benefit owners. Landowners would find the development of their property easier to the extent that cost of capital would be reduced.

The present form of property tax on man-made capital has serious disadvantages --disadvantages beyond the effects which inevitably result from getting funds to pay for government. More space than is available here would be needed for a full discussion of the adverse effects of high taxes on new and better buildings, on the improvement and upgrading of older buildings. The unfortunate results may be slight where the effective tax rate is 1 percent or so a year. But where the tax rate is 3 or 4 percent on full market value each year the burden is high in relation to the annual net real product of the capital. Thinking of the tax as compared with the flow of annual income, one sees it large enough to influence decisions-to discourage the flow of new capital.

Localities with high tax rates impose burdens and obstacles which cannot help - and must certainly hinder-the building of new structures and the improvement of old. Taxes are needed to finance local government. All taxes have nonrevenue effects. The tax on man-made capital has far more adverse nonrevenue effects than would an equal-yield tax on land. The tax on man-made capital, for example, operates to discourage the construction of larger and better rooms and thus to take advantage of the potential of the "law of the cube" - expense of construction per cubic foot declines with size, through some meaningful range. Excess burden results; i.e., there are losses of real benefit to human beings that do not result in revenues for the government.

Taxing land values-absorbing much, most, or all of the annual rent--aroused fear in George's time and will today. Opposition must be expected when talk centers on higher tax on anything. Yet the Georgist program for taxing land more heavily also involves the abolition or reduction of other taxes. Man-made capital would have been freed from property tax. i Under modern American conditions, at least in most areas, full untaxing of structures seems out of the question;' but substantial rate reduction can be achieved. For the community as a whole, tax bills should not' change.

Nothing in the proposal would lead to higher governmental spending. Total taxes, therefore, would neither rise nor fall. What taxpayers would lose on one score (land), they would gain on another (man-made capital). For particular properties the net result would depend upon the relation of land value to building value compared with the relation throughout the taxing jurisdiction.

What about homeowners - the bulk of voters? Conditions differ from one locality to another. Generally, however, would not most homeowners be rather near the average as regards the relation of land values to man-made capital? I should think so. There would be some large losers, and they would complain. Some large winners would reap windfalls. But the great majority, I think, would experience no great loss or gain. And gradual implementation spread over, say, five years would keep changes individually modest yet eventually significant.

A quotation with which I close conveys economic wisdom of a high order, on property taxation and taxation in general:

To abolish the taxation which, acting and reacting, now hampers every wheel of exchange and presses upon every form of industry, would be like removing an immense weight from a powerful spring. Imbued with fresh energy, production would start into new life, and trade would receive a stimulus which would be felt to the remotest arteries. The present method of taxation operates upon exchange like artificial deserts and mountains; it costs more to get goods through a custom house than it does to carry them around the world. It operates upon energy, and industry, and skill, and thrift, like a fine upon those qualities. If I have worked harder and built myself a good house while you have been contented to live in a hovel, the tax gatherer now comes annually to make me pay a penalty for my energy and industry, by taxing me more than you. If I have saved while you wasted, I am mulct, while you are exempt. If a man build a ship we make him pay for his temerity, as though he had done injury to the state; if a railroad be opened, down comes the tax collector upon it, as though it were a public nuisance; if a manufactory be erected we levy upon it an annual sum which would go far toward making a handsome profit. We say we want capital, but if any one accumulate it, or bring it among us, we charge him for it as though we were giving him a privilege. We punish with a tax the man who covers barren fields with ripening grain, we fine him who puts up machinery, and him who drains a swamp. . ..

To abolish these taxes would be to lift the whole enormous weight of taxation from productive industry. The needle of the seamstress and the great manufactory; the cart horse and the locomotive; the fishing boat and the steamship; the farmer's plow and the merchant's stock would be alike untaxed. All would be free to make or to save, to buy or to sell, unfined by taxes, unannoyed by the tax gatherer. Instead of saying to the producer, as it does now, "The more you add to the general wealth the more shall you be taxed!" the state would say to the producer, "Be as industrious, as thrifty, as enterprising as you choose, you shall have your full reward! You shall not be fined for making two blades of grass grow where one grew before; you shall not be taxed for adding to the aggregate wealth."

And will not the community gain by thus refusing to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs; by thus refraining from muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn; by thus leaving to industry, and thrift, and skill, their natural reward, full and unimpaired? (PP, pp. 434-35).


  1. Sources of quotations and page numbers refer to Schalkenbach Foundation issues: PFT = Protection or Free Trade PP = Progress and Poverty SP = Social Problems SPE = Science of Political Ecomonics
  2. I must acknowledge two recent scholarly sources: Leland Yeager's address at St. Johns University, March 1982, "Henry George and Austrian Economics"; and Terence M. Dwyer, "Henry George's Thoughts in Relation to Modern Economics," The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, October 1982, pp. 363-73; also Kenneth E. Boulding, "A Second Look at Progress and Poverty in Richard W. Lindholm and Arthur D. Lynn, Jr.,Land Value Taxation; The Progress and Poverty Centenary (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1980), pp. 5-17.
  3. Joseph A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, (New York Oxford University Press, 1954), p. 865.
  4. When George wrote, government in this country was predominantly local government. The national government had some veteran's/military expenditure, carried the mails, operated some courts and a diplomatic service, and had a few other functions. Costs were low. States did very little in the days before spending on highways, aid to localities for schools, and other functions.
  5. The power of such taxation would, of course, depend upon the tax rate and the quality of assessment. Would there not be danger of premature development? Perhaps. Careful planning and design are in order. They are possible.