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October 16, 1955 - Image 3

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Sunday, Oct-to m" Page Three
Parity, Charity larity
1y KENNETH E. BOULDING raise the awkward question of
Professor of Economics Justice. If we are to have income
supports for farmers, why not for
1. FARMERS HAVE been grum- Te' heses on Agricultural Policy everybody? Why should poor farm-
bling for at least 6000 years, not ers be helped and not poor shop.
wholly without justification. It is keepers or professors?
the food-and-fiber surplus from 10. THERE IS a lot to be said
agriculture-what the farmer pro- American commercial agriculture, of agricultural products in gen- S. ALTHOUGH the attachment for the proposition that the best
duces over and above what he eats 4. THE ONLY serious economic oral, at which a given quantity of to the parity symbol is under- agricultural policy is a general full
and wears-that feeds the non- problem in American agriculture the agricultural commodity would standable, it is nevertheless a employment policy. As long as
i agricultural population. In an is that of non-commercial agricul- purchase approximately the same grave obstacle to the framing of there is generally full employment
oppressive society the forces of ture-the two million small sub- amount of the goods that farmers a more rational agricultural policy, it is easy for people to transfer
law and the state combine to take sistence farms, mostly in the South buy that it commanded in some Because agricultural policy is out of agriculture to keep pace
this surplus away from the farmer and in the mountains. Here is "base period"--historically, 1909- price-centered and backward-look- with advancing technology and we
without giving him much in re- really rural poverty: here is our 1914. The idea arose in a mere ing, it fails to come to grips with do not face the "depression price"
turn. great domestic underdeveloped statistical calculation by the econ- the income problem and with the problem. The present decline in
area. omists of the Department of Agri- real problems of agricultural pov- agricultural incomes, for example,
Even in a progressive society culture. During the depression erty. is little more than a necessary re-
like ours however the farmer gets 5. NEVERTHELESS, it is the however it became the rallying adjustment after a period of un-
short-changed for a more subtle rich farmers who squawk the loud- symbol for agriculture discontent, High prices are only good for usual agricultural prosperity. Ag-
reason. In a progressise society, est, and the fundamental principle and it retains a powerful emotional those who se11 something, and are riculture did very well out of the
especially one in which agricul- of Democracy is Government by appeal to farmers. best for those who sell a lot. Hee war, and it is no more than justice
tural techniques are improving, S uawk. On the ahole, American price supports benefit rich farmers
Squak. n th whle, mercanthat their incomes should declinea
the proportion of people in agri- agricultural policy is designed to 7. THE ATTACHMENT to the more than poor, commercial farm- little relative to those who did not
culture steadily declines, tIn the make rich farmers a bit richer, parity symbol is not wholly sn- ers more than subsistence farmers. so benefit. This is not to deny the
United States, for instance, it has not to solve the problem of the reasonable, because a depression Even worse, high price supports existence of a few problem com-
declined from over 90 per cent at poor farmer. hits farmers mainly through a fall tend to "freeze" an obsolete com- modities and problem areas. Spe-
the time of the Revolution to It has been put over on the in the relative price-that is in modity structure and prevent nec- cial cases however demand special
about 16 per cent today. people partly because the agricul- the purchasing power-of their essary adjustments of output. They treatment.
There must therefore be some tural population is outrageously products, not through loss of jobs. therefore tend to create "sur- The political importance of the
force operating to chase people over-represented in Congress, es- Hence the labor movement is "job pluses" which are an embarrass- present small decline in agricul-
out of agriculture into industry. pecially in the Senate, but also conscious" and the farm move- ment to all. These surpluses cre- tural incomes is probably due
If this is not done with the stick because of an essentially mistaken ment is "price conscious." ate pressures which are seriously more to the fear that, as in the
it must be done with the carrot- concept of Justice. You cannot do In 1932 farmers were working inconsistent with our trade and 1920's, it preages a general collapse
that is, industry must be more justice to a commodity: you can- as hard and producing as much as foreign policies. like that of 1929-32. There are
attractive than agriculture. The not do justice to an industry: you in 1929: a bushel of their produce good reasons for supposing that
relatively depressed incomes in can only do justice to people. however purchased less than half 9. IF WE must "help farmers" this will not happen.
agriculture therefore are paradoxi- Failure to realize this humble truth as much as in the former year. It then a policy based on income sup-
cally enough the necessary con- is at the bottom of most of the is because agricultural production ports rather than price supports is e
sequences of agricultural progress. muddled thinking on agricultural stays up in a depression that agri- intrinsically much more sensible. . - f schef
policy. cultural prices fall so low. Because The defunct and not much lam- -- --4
2. THlE MAGNITUDE of the of this also, however, we eat just ented Brannan Plan had this to
differential between agricultural 6. AMERICAN Agricultural Pol- about as well, on the average, in its credit. Income supports, how- ~
and industrial incomes depends on icy revolves around the notion of a depression as in prosperity. The ever, smack of "charity," and have
the mobility tween the two parity price. This is the price, price of parity in a depression the reputation, at least, of being
groups-that is. one the ease with whether of a single commodity or would be hunger. politically unacceptable. They also
which the relative transfer of re-
sources from agriculture to indus-
try can take place. If farmers are 4
wedded to the land it takes a big
differential to divorce them. If
they can move easily, a slight dif-
ferential will suffice to effect the
necessary adjustments, }
3. IN AMERICAN commercial
agriculture of the North and West
the mobility problem is not serious
except in so far as government -
price supports have made it so. In
America we are witnessing a phe-
nomenon unique in history-the
disappearance of the rustic. All -
previous civilizations have rested
on a sharp differential between
urban (and urbane) culture and
rural, or rustic culture. The dif-
ferentiation has usually proved to
be their undoing.
Only in the present century is
a society emerging in which the
basic culture of town and country
Is the same. Never has there been
less justification for agricultural
discontent than in present-day P E R F U M E J E W EL.
Cover . .w g
Carl Milles' Orpheus Foun- L forever
tain dominates the front page
of the magazine section as it
dominates the Cranbrook land- With thisprespiec e
scape. This is a re-casting,
without the Orpheus, of the conversation piece
original fountain in Stockholm,
Sweden.-.executed in Milles' the perfume-filled
huge studio at the Cranbrook
Academy of Art. Milles headed 1r
the sculpture department there II new rabergette
for 21 years. . for the Love of Luxury b xed
The series of smaller pictures in engraved golden cas.
along the top of the page show,
in order rom left to right, gift

Milleo' ,u oa and the Bull; Dalton's classic cashmere pullover goes to town,
Str.' Nfe ng House on Cran- ti the French manner,
broo. Rmad qut of which the travels to the country, flies to Capri
iastitutoso grw; a pot by and so elegant ... 2.50
M. i ' Intli, ,ead of cera- Anywhere in the whole wide world, Dalton's
mch; an at stud t 'throwing'
a pot on a te-ale-wheel in the precious sweaters of 100% imported cashmere are the r choice o
ceramacs yoaar hoie o
e a d o finest. We're proud of our collection in magnificent
The Acadetl of iea r shown APH RODiSIA WOODHVE
in two views at I 'e 0, Im of new colors. sizes 34 to 40. $21.95
the page. At the left Stu- e
dents at work in .nr 5 the And, of court, ol Dslon Ce hmr.'a are durably mothprfed
painting studio. at at r ght
is the Academ a IerieC
seen from the soth. dh0Lmai4U0
The Orpheus Fountaid was
taken with Exacta e;G f 302 Soth State Street E. Liberty and 5th Ave.
1/100 by John hir t r I y 3 u
chief photographer.

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