A Dead Weight on the Farming Industry

T.O. Thompson

[Reprinted from Land and Freedom, November-December, 1926]

In our efforts to enlighten the farmer I believe we should call special attention to his particular position as a land owner as distinct from land owners that are not farmers. As an owner of natural resources is situation in the economic field is different.

Taking the price of land, or of a farm, as the accumulated economic rent which the farmer must pay in order to get possession, the sum paid is the purchase price of an opportunity to work and upon which the interest can be collected and as far as his business is concerned remains dead capital. It can be recovered when he sells, and probably with an increase, but the burden is simply transferred to another farmer and therefore never leaves the farming class. It is a dead weight on the industry of farming.

The farmer is not now nor never can be in a position to fix the selling price of his products on the basis of capital invested, plus labor, insurance, taxes, superintendence and other items that enter into cost, while the goods for which his product is exchanged comes to him with all these charges plus Rent.

The condition of the farmer is hopeless under the present feudal system.