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his troubles, about being a victim, about being a poor farmer, that he has settled down to being a poor farmer.' There are those who deny that
Paternalism as revealed in our educa- paternalism is destroying self-reliance tional system is resulting unfortunate- and others who argue that government ly. Control of the schools is no longer interference does not increase our trouentirely local and professional boosters ble and that eventually government have begun to reform us through our aid will be a cure-all. But everyone children. There has been much talk agrees that taxes are too high. All of fitting children for farm life — im- candidates for office announce a deplying that their fathers and mothers termination to lower them. Even the have not been so fitted. The phrase very officials who have assisted in the ‘ruralized education' is used. I dislike creation of jobs, commissions, and so the phrase. It means class education. forth, bewail the lot of the farmer taxQuite aside from the fact that not all payer. We learn that the thing to do country children will — or ought to is to elect men who will lower the price remain on the farm, the present tend- of things we must buy and also force ency to use time in rural grade-schools the manufacturers of these articles to for so-called agricultural subjects seems pay more taxes. Most tax-reduction to many of us undesirable.
schemes are merely tax-transference. Education in elementary schools Taxes on farm property in this reshould be broad for a country child, the gion are absorbing over half of the net same as for a city child. Breadth is rental value. Consequently land values not secured by emphasizing from the are decreasing. Ownership of land, grades the details of one's life work. instead of being an asset, is becoming Education which assumes what a a liability. Between 1900 and 1922 child's occupation is to be is most un- expenditures of the State of Wisconsin democratic. Occupational education is rose from $2,997,155 to $32,191,049 inevitably narrowing, yet the great per annum. need is a public that recognizes the We need to re-recognize the function interdependence of all groups.
of government and the purpose of We farmers have been led astray in taxes. Recently in this county a special this matter of schooling by a lot of meeting of the county board was conzealots. We read frequently that the vened for the purpose of considering an education of the country child is in- appropriation to be distributed as loans ferior to that of the city child. The to certain farmers who had not carried reformers who state this — people for insurance and who had suffered severe the most part interested in education losses in a windstorm. (Taxpayers as a commercial proposition — point effectively protested and prevented the to the one-room school, the poorly appropriation.) It is and should be paid teacher, and the short school-year. the privilege of any man to carry or not However, they do not try to prove that to carry insurance. If it is to be paid the children who have remained on the from taxes then it becomes compulsory. farms have ever fallen down on the In a conversation with an instructor of job of production or that those who one of our state normal schools I menhave left have been unable to compete tioned the fact of the special meeting successfully in business or professional as indicative of the local trend toward work. Some of our reformers forget the paternalism. To my surprise this advantages of disadvantages.
teacher of teachers thought that there
with us the use
was nothing wrong in using public States – in the thirties or forties — money for such a purpose. His concern until it was bought by the county. All was with the men who disbelieved in this time it had been creating wealth insurance until too late rather than for its owners and had assisted in with us who believed in it beforehand. carrying public burdens. Since it has I asked if the use of county money for been used as a model farm not only such a purpose did not mean that the has it ceased to help carry the public county would become eventually an burden, but the farmers of other land insurance company. As we continued must carry the interest on its investthe discussion it appeared that he be- ment, its insurance, its taxes, and make lieved in increasing the functions of up its annual deficit. For the year endgovernment.
ing November 1, 1922, interest on the Taxes so low as to hamper the logical value of the farm, added to insurance, and original functions of government taxes, and $2115 deficit, meant that prevent appreciation of property. On the taxes of about twenty farms its own the other hand extra services and illog- size were required to carry it! Of ical use of government funds cause course if such misuse of public money rapid depreciation of property. If a were only occasional the increase in farm were not complemented with ade taxation would not be felt. But where quate schools, roads, police protection, many other institutions having no and so forth, it could not reach its logical place in a democratic governnormal value. But if schools, roads, ment are added, and when care of the and police protection are increased unfortunate is so elaborate as to make beyond the ability of the farm to main- it worth while to be criminal or intain them, and if a host of advising digent, the total cost takes tax money and interfering public officials also are which should be used on the farms for added to the farm's burden, then the washing machines, lighting systems, farm depreciates rapidly.
and so forth. Many years ago I asked my father There is no group of people who why the United States was so foolish would benefit so much by the eliminaas to sell land to pioneers for $1.25 an tion of public servants, offices, and acre when everybody knew it would go paternalism in general, as farmers. up in value. He replied that public We are an industry — I almost wrote land yielded no income, that not until the industry — in which it is impossible
is imporhead a settler made the land produce did it to add our taxes and other overhead have more than a potential value — to the price of our products. Probably that a combination of land and govern- prices of articles we buy will never ment resulted in no tax income, but a come down materially until we lighten combination of land and private enter the general expense of governing. This prise resulted in the creation of wealth, is not argued by those who have the assistance to the government, and that most time for speech-making and writthe assistance was in proportion to the ing, those who are holding jobs which success of the individual.
make the unbearable taxes necessary. Near by is the county demonstration We need help in the retrenchment of farm, of about 120 acres. It was bought public expenses. As for the other sane before the war. Various owners paid remedy — well, very few classes know taxes on the land in this farm from the more about thrift and wise managetime it left the possession of the United ment than the American farmer.
AND IN THE HANGING GARDENS
BY CONRAD AIKEN
And in the hanging gardens there is rain
And at one o'clock
The Vulcan under the garden wakes and beats
Of golden hair. And reads: 'From there I went
Northward a journey of four days, and came
With weed. And it was here my father died.
Throws off his covers, sleeps, and snores again.
The king goes slowly down the turret stairs
And at two o'clock
There in the northern desert, where the grass
Was withered, and the horses, all but one,
Perished — VOL. 134 - NO. 6
The princess drops her golden head
Upon the page between her two white arms
And at three o'clock
The moon inflames the lilac heads, and thrice
The Vulcan, in his root-bound smithy, clangs