Friday, March 16, 2012

The Demand for Cheap Food is Fallacious

The demand for cheap food is fallacious. Pressing down the cost of food has one or all of three results on the producers of it (and its effect on the producers is a vital concern with us as citizens of a State): We reduce the standards of living of the producers in our own country; we exploit the cheap labor and cheap lands of new and remote countries; or we live on the products of peasantry in other countries. These three are the same, considered in the human result. If we are glad to meet the problem of maintaining the standard of living for workingmen, we must be equally glad to maintain it for farmers. There are reasons why we should not attempt the same program for farmers as for workingmen: our problem is to be willing to pay as much for food and other farm products as is necessary for the maintenance of the standard of living on the farms. -L.H. Bailey, What is Democracy? 1918

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