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Galpin, Charles J.; Cox, Alonzo B. (ed.) / Rural, social and economic problems of the United States
Bulletin No. 3 (June 1919)

Rural social and economic problems of the United States,   p. 1 PDF (285.6 KB)

Page 1

No. 111-1
A Catalogue of Problems Suggested by Rural Leaders in the
Various Sections of the United States.
The rural problem of the United States is both economic and
broadly social in character, with aspects so closely connected in real
life that any sound treatment of the one phase will require a cor-
responding study of the other.
That the general sections of the nation vary as to type of agri-
culture and as to stage of social and economic development, and
hence present problems widely different in character is evident and
significant. If it is true that in some sections farms are too small,
and farmers too plentiful, it may be true in other sections that
farms are too large, and farm families too few. While, moreover,
it is generally felt that the country as a whole needs a larger number
of people engaged in agriculture, it will not of course be lost sight
of that a disproportionately large number of farmers would render
farming unremunerative. All good farms seem to have their
farmers, in spite of the widespread alarm at farm people's leaving
the land; and in the human attempt to provide the poor people of
cities a place in agriculture, it will be noted that the general com-
plaint among farmers is that farming frequently does not pay, and
that altogether too many farmers are poor. It is not simply farm-
ers that are needed, but good farmers-farmers with ample capital
to make farming pay.
The agricultural economist has already come to problems need-
ing the point of view of the rural sociologist. The economic philo-
sophy of getting the most out of the land and winning the largest
labor income needs to be supplemented and modified by the doctrine
of doing the best by each farm family in any system of working of
the land. As the philosophy of largest industrial output has been
modified by the labor philosophy of a minimum wage and an eight-
hour day in order to protect the human worker and his family, so
the rising generation in country life requires the protection of
public opinion in a theory of agricultural production and living
which will not exploit the farmer, soul and body.
Farm labor furnishes an acute problem in some sections of the
United States; but no treatment of this problem on purely economic
grounds is sufficient. Proper housing is a distinct and important
element in the question for married laborers and doubtless some
form of continuation school is imperative for the unmarried work-

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