A Dollar Reason

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Bolton Hall

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The taxation crank used to hold up a dollar to his audiences and say: "I will give this dollar to anyone who will give a good reason why you tax a man more for improving his lot than for holding it idle."

When the audience asked who was to judge the goodness of the reason, he would say: "The man who gives the reason shall be the judge himself." Still nobody claimed the dollar, till one night a man said: "I can give a good reason."

"Give a good reason why you should tax a man more for improving land than for doing nothing with it?"


"Well, what is your reason?"

"We don't know any better," said the man.

"Here is your dollar."—Bolton Hall, in "Life" for Easter, 1904.

  • Bolton Hall, “A Dollar Reason,” Life 43, no. 1119 (April 7, 1904): 330.
  • Bolton Hall, “A Dollar Reason,” The Public 7, no. 316 (April 23, 1904): 42.