Toward Farm Security



Source of Digital Item

National Agricultural Library



THE CLOSER IN POINT OF TIME one is to a period, the less certain he is that any summary judgment is the correct one. And of course, when one attempts to characterize a period that is just beginning he is, to no small degree, engaging in prophecy. He is so close to events that he often cannot correctly see the "shape of things to come." When time has erased many happenings of a period, leaving only the enduring accomplishments, those things that seemed significant at the time have often faded into insignificance.

The period that is just passing and that seems to be gradually evolving into a new period in agricultural affairs has been marked by a struggle to achieve an improved situation for those engaged in farming. Soon after the World War the slogan of the farm groups was "a fair share of the national income." It was pointed out that farmers as a group were receiving a smaller and smaller proportion of the total national income and that ways and means must be found to restore the balance that existed earlier in our history. It was hoped that price improvement would bring about the desired condition, hence the attempts to secure farm-product price advances by means of tariff increases, McNary-Haugen legislation, and the Federal Farm Board. During the latter part of the period "price parity" was the watchword. This was the standard that guided the activities of those administering the original Agricultural Adjustment Act. Later the price-parity concept was changed to "income parity" — another expression of the determination to achieve a more desirable balance between agricultural and nonagricultural enterprises. In recent years much progress has been made toward the goal of better relative prices and incomes for farmers. The situation has not yet improved to a point where it can be said that farmers are on a basis of economic equality with other groups. But it is nearer that point than it has been for years. Possibly the momentum of improvement will continue so that economic balance between agricultural and nonagricultural groups will be reached.


Toward Farm Security