Policy Directions for U.S. Agriculture: Long-Range Choices in Farming and Rural Living

Policy Directions for U.S. Agriculture: Long-Range Choices in Farming and Rural Living

Policy Directions for U.S. Agriculture: Long-Range Choices in Farming and Rural Living

Policy Directions for U.S. Agriculture: Long-Range Choices in Farming and Rural Living

Excerpt

This book has been written in the conviction that the time is ripe for a critical re-examination of long-range agricultural policy. The rationale for this view is discussed briefly in Chapter 1 and again later.

The purpose of this book is to present briefly as comprehensive a view of agriculture, in a broad sense of that term, as we are capable of doing. We consider farm people, farm labor, rural living conditions, migration of farm people, rural institutions and services, rural towns, the spatial organization of agriculture, and its capital structure, in addition to the usual subjects of agricultural output, demand, trade, price, and income. We do not include, except incidentally, agricultural marketing and the agricultural supply industries. This is obviously a wide range of subject matter; no book of this limited length could possibly deal with all these subjects in detail, but there are such advantages to a book of this length that some detail will have to be sacrificed. Perhaps no single author can deal with all these topics adequately, and no doubt critics will find places where they consider the treatment to be inadequate, mistaken, confused, or otherwise open to criticism. There are also serious limitations on the ability of anyone to deal with contemporary problems in complete objectivity and adequate historical perspective, but agricultural policy makers need help on current problems now. The book does not present, much less advocate, a specific agricultural program. Hopefully, it will help to clarify what the real choices for future agriculture may be, and what some of the problems will be in any choice. An underlying assumption is that choice is possible for the nation's agriculture-that public programs are not beyond public control.

This book is directed at everyone seriously interested in the long-run future of American agriculture and the welfare of rural people. More specifically, it is directed at farm people, agricultural organization leaders, public officials in federal and state . . .

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