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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 8 (May 1948)

Badger bookshelf,   p. 23


Page 23


Otherwise the heavy feeding of grain
probably would have continued, and the
total available food supply would have
been reduced accordingly, for one must
remember that when an animal is being
fattened for the market, it takes seven
to ten pounds of grain to produce one
pound of meat.
  Those who are advocating a return
to price control with ceiling prices on
grain fail to realize that a ceiling price
on a scarce commodity is a sure way
to prolong the period of scarcity. A
ceiling price tends to freeze production
at a level lower than is desirable and
to invite consumption at a higher level
than we can afford, thus intensifying
the shortage that it is intended to
correct. If there is a shortage of grain
and a ceiling is placed on the price of
grain-but not on the prices of meat,
poultry, eggs, and dairy products-
         NEXT MONTH
     W.A.R.F. REPORT. In the fall
  of 1925 there was organized on
  the University of Wisconsin
  campus a corporation with the
  avowed purpose to "promote,
  encourage, and aid scientific
  investigations and research at
  the University." Between then
  and now the Wisconsin Alumni
  Research Foundation has been
  alternately damned and ex-
  tolled. Here is the Foundation's
  own story. By WARD ROSS,
  '25, general manager and
  counsel, as told to THE
  EDITOR.
grain, despite its scarcity, will find its
way into those other products, and the
lieved, will be made more acute.
  In Canada and Argentina, where the
price of wheat is fixed by government
edict, wheat acreage has been reduced
at the very time when there is need for
every bushel of wheat that can be pro-
duced. In this country, on the other
hand, where the price is free, acreage
has increased. In the crop year 1945-46
the land planted to wheat totaled less
than 69 million acres. This year, two
years later, under the stimulus of ris-
ing prices, it is expected to be nearly
79 million acres.
  With a shortage of grain an estab-
lished fact, there are only two known
w a y s of matching consumption to
supply. The first is by allowing prices
to seek their natural level according to
supply and demand, and the second is
by strictly controlled rationing at the
consumer level. Peacetime rationing is
a long step in the direction of a com-
pletely controlled economy, and even the
most stout-hearted advocates of con-
trolled economy back away from ra-
tioning at the consumer level; so it
appears that the only way to increase
the supply of grains is through prices
high enough to stimulate production
and discourage consumption.
  After the next crop is harvested, the
world food situation should be con-
siderably easier for Europe can be
expected to produce more of its own
food. Acreage seeded will increase, and
gradually as currencies become more
stable, normal conditions of exchange
and distribution will be restored. Also
the weather is almost certain to be
more favorable than it was in the crop
year 1946-47. It is not likely that
Europe will have a repetition of last
year's calamitous floods, drouths, and
extremes of heat and cold.
  When Russia and her satellites took
over Eastern Europe, and particularly
Eastern Germany and Poland, Western
Europe lost its bread basket. That is
-why there is so much pressure on our
food supplies. But Russia is not an
industrial country, and it is unlikely
that the countries of Eastern Europe
will be able to obtain from Russia the
manufactured goods that they require.
Therefore the resumption of trade be-
tween Eastern and Western Europe is
at least a possibility. With food moving
once more from Eastern to Western
Europe, the need for food from over-
seas would be considerably lessened.
  Under the stimulus of high prices,
production of grain in this country will
undoubtedly continue high. The 1948
wheat crop may not equal that of'1947,
but with good weather and increased
acreage production should be large.
Also, if the people of the United States
realize the importance of conserving
grain and increasing the food supply,
they will plant vegetable gardens as
they did during the war. If they grow
vegetables they will eat them, and the
more vegetables they eat the less they
will eat of other foods. A million well-
tended vegetable gardens would go far
toward solving the country's food prob-
lem.
  So we see that there are three pos-
sible developments which, w o r k i n g
singly or together, might result in
starting food prices back t o w a r d
normal:
  1. Increased food production in Eu-
rnn n pariclarlv   Aove1 the. extreme
lows of last year. This will probably
happen this year.
  2. Arrangements that would lead to
Eastern Europe's selling its normal
surplus of food to Western Europe.
This might happen this year.
  3. Continued high production of food
in the United States. This appears
likely, if the weather is favorable.
  There is a fourth way that prices
could be reduced, and that is by a
depression in the United States. This
would dry up buying power not only for
food but for everything else, and we do
not want it to happen....
  The people of Europe are desperately
in need of food. We cannot help them-
just by sending them money. They can-
not eat dollars. If our heln is to be
effective, we must send them food.
  There is one other thing we can do.
That is to make and keep our American
system strong and productive. If we
know that we are strong, we will have
little to fear in taking measures to give
assistance and incentives to other na-
tions so that they in turn will go to
work to produce food for themselves
and to manufacture goods they can sell
to us and to others in order to pay for
what they need. Then, and only then,
will peace have returned to the world.
Then we shall look back with satisfac-
tion on having done our part in 1948.
*12aIy'e4, 12cwG~d4_
BRIGHT WITH SILVER. By Kathrene
  Gedney !Pinkerton, '09. W i I I i a m
  Sloane Associates, Inc., Publishers,
  New York City. $3.75.
  Once in a while, even in the twen-
tieth century, this country still sees
enacted the kind of drama that made
America what it is-the story of men
tapping an unsuspected natural re-
source and adding another great in-'
dustry to the national economy. One
of the most astonishing of these latter-
day frontier sagas is the story of the
Fromms, who, in the early 1900's, were
the four youngest sons of a large fam-
ily on a wilderness farm in Wisconsin.
  Kathrene Pinkerton (Mrs. R. E.) was
born in Minneapolis and graduated
from the UW. Until her marriage she
was field secretary of the Wisconsin
Anti-Tuberculosis Assn. She and her
husband, a former newspaperman, have
collaborated on many adventure stories
for magazines and books. She has
written Wilderness Wife, the account
of five years of living in the northwoods
of Canada, Three's A Crew, the story
of several years of cruising the coast
of Southeastern Alaska, and a series of
adventure stories for young people
about fox-farming in Canada.
IMMORTAL HELEN. By Elizabeth
  Corbett, '10. Doubleday & Co., Inc.,
  New York. $2.50.
  This is the story of Christopher
Hastings, known as the Duke, who
ruled the town of Marmion, Wisconsin,
in the 1870s. He owned vast timber-
lands, the bank, the politicians, and a
magnificent estate overlooking the town
he had built. And     except for his
daughter, he dominated everyone, espe-
cially his wife, Helen.
  A native of Aurora, Ill., Miss Cor-
1-.M4 ý+--   -;ý   ýa a,       n~r+ Oa- h
UW, has been nationally acclaimed for
her previous novels.
ELIZABETH CORBETT, '10
23
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