he industrial pyramid manifestly rests on the land. The primary and fundamental occupations, which create a demand for all others, are evidently those that extract wealth from nature; and hence, if from one exchange point to another and from one occupation to another we trace this check to production, which shows itself in decreased purchasing power, we must ultimately find it in some obstacle that checks labour in expending itself on land. And that obstacle, it is clear, is the speculative advance in rent, or the value of land, which produces the same effects as (in fact, it is) a lock-out of labour and capital by landowners.

his check to production, beginning at the basis of interlaced industry, propagates itself from exchange point to exchange point, cessation of supply becoming failure of demand, until, so to speak, the whole machine is thrown out of gear, and the spectacle is everywhere presented of labour going to waste while labourers suffer from want. Though custom has dulled us to it, it is a strange and unnatural thing that men who wish to labour, in order to satisfy their wants, cannot find the opportunity.

e talk about the supply of labour and the demand for labour, but evidently these are only relative terms. The supply of labour is everywhere the same - two hands always come into the world with one mouth; and the demand for labour must always exist as long as men want things which labour alone can procure.

e talk about the "want of work," but evidently it is not work that is short while want continues; the supply of labour cannot be too great, nor the demand for labour too small, when people suffer for the lack of things that labour produces. The real trouble must be that supply is somehow prevented from satisfying demand, that somewhere there is an obstacle which prevents labour from producing the things that labourers want.

from Progress and Poverty, 1879