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Newspaper Page Text
OREGON HAS PLAN TQ END POVERTY AND
BY WILLIAM S. U'REN
Of Portland, Ore., Father of Initiative
and Referendum and One. of Lead
ing Progressives of America.
How would Oregon's adoption of
the People's Land and Loan Law, by
taking all land rental values (sep
arate from building and other im
provements rents) for state and
local public taxes, affect the men and
women who work? What would be
the effect on production? How
would it affect mortgages and loans?
In answering these questions we
must bear in mind always that all
taxes are paid by products of labor,
and therefore only the people who
work pay taxes. Many people get
tax receipts who do not work, but
they have some special privilege,
granted by law, which enables them
to get for their own use the product
of other men's labor.
The usual share rent for farms is
one-fourth to one-hajf of the crop.
The .average is not less than one
third of the total crop, which means
that every worker must pay to land
lords of various kinds at least as
much as 100 days' work, or one-third
of what the average farmer pro
duces in a year. At least that much
in value is taken by the different
landlords, as a whole, from the gross
product of all the men who work.
For public revenue the average
family gives at least one-eighth of
its working time for state and local
taxes. Including the landlord's pri
vate land rent tax of 100 days, and
(he public state and local tax of 37
days' labor, the average family must
labor nearly half its working time to
pay private and public taxes.
The full rental value land tax pro
posed by this law will save every
family the entire amount now paid
for state and local taxes, which is
equal to the farmer's production for
at least 37 days. Taking all the land
rental values for public taxes will
about double the state and local rev
enue, of which eery family will get
its share in more and better schools,
roads and other public service. In
addition to that, and far more impor
tant, there will always be employ
ment It is plain that the effect of this in
crease will be felt by all useful labor,
and especially by v those having the
smaller incomes. Laborers, clerks,
farmers, retail merchants, renters,
mechanics and all those who now get
about $750 a year or less, will find
their income increase to be at least
a thousand dollars for the year's
work when this law is in force.
But of greater value to the com
munity at large than the increased
production will be the certainty of
employment and the independence
and freedom that '. comes to every
man with the knowledge that em
ployment is always waiting for him,
and that he may quit his job as a
hired man at any time to work for
himself on his own land.
As to mortgages on improved prop
erty, they seldom exceed the value of
the improvements. Therefore, the
lender's security will be as good as
it is now. In the case of -loans on va
cant land the lender is a sort of part
ner with the speculating owner and
must take his chance with him.
This law will add industrial fre'e- ,
dom to the political liberty Ameri?
cans now have. The good effects of
such freedom cannot be over-estimated.
Every man will then have
something better than a boarding
house or a rented farm to fight for.
It will take from every hired man the
heart-breaking fear of losing bis job.
The People's Land and Loan Law
will make Oregon a state of free men,
instead of a state of hirelings and "
renters who depend altogether on the
permission and successful enterprise
ot oiners tot opportunity to earn
their daily bread. '