Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Green Acres in America: A Recipe for Prosperity

Eddie Albert to the 81st Annual Convention of the National Farmers Union

The corporate presidents and academics who make up the CED, recommended the elimination of one third of the farm population within five years by enforcing low parity pricing. As they stated, the primary benefits of their recommendations would be:

1. Increased return on corporate investment in agriculture.
2. Over two million farmers and families entering the urban labor pool, which would tend to depress wages.
3. Lower prices of agriculture products which would both increase foreign trade and provide cheaper raw materials for domestic food and fiber processors.
4. "…invest in projects that break up village life by drawing people to centers of employment away from the village…because village life is a major source of opposition to change. Where there are religious obstacles to modern economic progress, the religion may have to be taken seriously or its character altered."


An economist named Kuznets, later a Nobel Prize winner, noticed that there seemed to be six most important sectors that dominated our economy. They were:

1. Farm income
2. Wages
3. Interest income
4. Small businesses and professionals
5. Rentals
6. Corporations

Hubert Humphrey expressed it even shorter: “A 3 legged stool — capital, raw materials and labor. Short change any one of those three legs and the stool falls over”. He was talking of balance.

Go back to six sectors. Kuznets states that to provide a healthy economy, they, too must exist in a reasonably precise balance in relations to our national income. For example, (1) farm income, which they intended to suppress, should share in about six to 8 percent of our national income; (2) wages, labor, etc. 66 or 67 percent, (3) interest income 1.2 percent; (4) small business 10.5 percent; (5) rents 3.8 percent; (6) corporations 12.6 percent.

Those were roughly the shares of those sectors of our national income during our prosperous base period, ‘43 - ‘52.



What an intelligent speech. Highly Recommended!

BTW, these last three posts can be taken as my contribution to the worldwide blogging about poverty event.