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i ' ' Devoted to the Interests of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and Other Kindred Organizations. VOL. III. NO. 38. TOPEKA, KANSAS, WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 1892. $1.00 PER YEAR. A FAIR, JUST, EQUITABLE AND SCIEN TIFIC SYSTEM OF TAXATION. ; To the Editor of Thk Advocate. Taking up la this communication, the burden of my argument where I left off in my last article, we are now ready to examine the present condition of the farmer as relates to taxation under the j present system and hla relationship In 1 regard to the three items, rent, interest ' and profit, and also the changes in such condition and relationship that would be effected by the inauguration of the single tax system. Let us first glance at the condition of the tenant farmer. Single taxers Swill cordially agree that the landlord takes all he can get, henc the tenant farmer pays as much as any other man will offer, ""jr" This Is Mr. George's "economic rent," so that the tenant farmer will pay as a single tax, just what he now pays as rent. Oh, no, I have not forgotten the improve ments, nor the "bare ground" racket. Nor do I forget the fact that land under cul tivation, without buildings, rents for just about as much without buildings, as the same land does with buildings. Nor the further fact that in many localities, In fact nearly all over the northwest, one third to two fifths of the crop pays for a farm, Including house, pasture, etc., etc., while the same rent is charged for i plowed land, with no house or pasture. "But," says our single tax friend, "he would pay no other tax." Ah, there I I what about the tax upon "valuable I lands" in the cities and towns? Haye I not clearly demonstrated that the farm ers and their dependants, constituting two fifths of the consumers in the United States, must of necessity, pay two-fifths of the single tax levied upon all lands occupied for income producing busi nesses? "They do not now," you say? Certainly they do, and I admit that under the single tax system their taxes would be lightened by just the amount of di rect and Indirect taxes (not rent, or land tax) now Included In the price of goods, wares and commodities, j I am Inclined to believe that upon the whole, the single tax might lighten the burden of the tenant farmer. IIow Is it with the land owning farm er? Farming is, or should be a profit able or Income producing business. Under the present system, to be upon an equality with merchants and middlemen, the farmer should be .able to include in the price of his products the following items: Economic rent, (Interest upon value of bare land). Improvement rent, (Interest upon cost of improvements.) Sinking fund for Interest upon cost and for repairs and replacement of build ings' fences, work, stock, machinery and implements. AH taxes paid by him. . Food, clothing and fuel. Stopping at this point, the farmer is exactly upon an equality with the mer chant, who barely makes a comfortable living out ofhis business after paying all charges,including rent,lnterest and taxes. Anything more the farmer may receive Is the equivalent to the merchant's wages, or net profits. How then does it in fact fare with the land owning farmer? The following Item from the pen of Harry Tracy shows how It fared with a cotton farmer in the crop year of 1839 00: The annual balance sheet of a cotton farmer owning 300 acres of land and cultivating 260 acres, estimating wages at vm per monin, wouia show about as follows : To farm and improvements f 8,000.00 To stock and Implements 1,600.00 To provisions and provender. 600.00 To hire hands sufficient to secure crop at 20 acres to hand at 83 cents per day 3,ocr. 28 To use of Implements, land, Improve ments, and decline in value of stock, etc 400 oo To clothing for family of four persons loooo To doctors bills 60.00 To taxes on 1 10,000 75,00 Total investment 114,290.28 RECEIPT. By produce 2:0 acres of cotton 169 1-6 pounds lint cotton per acre, at 9 cents per pound $ 3,800.28 Farm Implements and pro- vlklons 10,000.00 13,800.28 Net loss to farmer annually f 484 10 I gather from above that the cotton farmer, owning 300 acres of land got for his year's labor superintending the pro duction of a crop of cotton, a bare, very "bare subsistence" Including coarse, common clothing, and literally came out in debt for his taxes and $9.00 besides. So far as his "economic rent" was con cerned, he got nothing, absolutely noth ing for the use of his land, or capital in vested in land, Improvements, work stock, implements, etc. If the annual balance sheet had been for the crop year of 1891-2 with cotton selling for 7 cents and less, our farmer must have borrowed as much as $1,000 to tide him over for another crop. This throws some light upon the causes which conspired to put the southern farmer In debt Now In the case of this farmer it is shown that he expended only the sum of $725 for provisions, provender, clothing, doctor bills and taxes, and had to borrow $84 of that As there is no tariff upon provisions or provender, or doctor bills, the only reduction in his expenditure the single tax system would have effected is say $25 tariff on his clothing and $25 tax included In the price of his clothing provision and provender, and also the $75 he paid In direct taxes, leaving his expenditure at $(500 with an addition of the single tax "economlo rent," of $300, or 5 per cent 'upon $6,000, the value of the "bare land," allowing $2,000 for Improvements. Thus we easily prove that the single tax would worst our cotton planter just $175 for the year. It will b readily understood that If the price of cotton is so low that the cotton grower is unable to "shift" his economic rent, i. 0., Include In the price of his cot ton the interest upon the value of his bare land, the single tax would have to come out of his principal that Is to say, he must mortgage his land for money to pay It How Is it with the grain growers of the west and northwest? Equally with the cotton growers the victim of a damnable conspiracy between the plutocrats of America and England, his great staple, wheat is lowered In price by the demonetization of silver, the legal tender basis of his principal wheat grow ing competitor. So completely is he the victim of adverse'circumstances that all business rules and laws of commerce are reversed to aid In his robbery and spolia tion. The 'dealers from whom he buys his machinery and implements, and gro ceries and clothing, and his fuel, all add the cost of transportation to the first cost of the commodities they sell him. But when he sells his wheat he must deduct from the price of It the cost of transpor tation over 1,500 miles of rail and across 3,000 miles of water, although if his mer chant were to boy his bread in Liverpool the cost of transportation would come out of his pocket Thus the tariff upon wheat held up to the farmer as a blessed protection, Is, in fact, a curse, as without a tariff New York would be bis market instead of LIverpool.and he would escape the cost of ocean transportation. In im mense blocks of granite and brick are legalized gambling halls, called boards of trade, wherein the products of the farmer are made the plaything of com mercial gamblers, who buy and sell enor mous quantities of mythical products and bet on prices going up or down. What then would the annual balance sheet of a western or northwestern grain and stock farmer look like? I shall en deavor to answer this question by tabu lating the result of the crop of 1891, for the whole state of Kansas, thus present ing an annual balance sheet for the farri ers of Kansas, as a whole class. Kansas, in the year 1891, raised a wonderful crop an exceptionally gocd one and the re sult of such crop will put the best possi ble coloring, and present the most favor able aspect of the business of farming In Kansas, as' a profitable or Income pro ducing business. The official figures given by Mr. Martin Mohler, secretary of the state board of agriculture, will be used as far as practicable. As nearly as I can figure out, there are 200,000 families, of five members to the family, engaged In the occupation of farming in Kansas, and they are cultivat ing 200,000 farms, of 125 acres to the farm, or 25,000,000 acres of land, Includ ing pasture and hay lands. These are, however, only approximate figures, in the absence of the exact facts, as ascer tained by the census. Mr. Mohler gives the total product of the state, with approximate quantities 0! each product available for market and sale: . IlwheU. Winter and spring wheat 68 630.63 Kept for bread and seed 13,650,053 Available for market 43,000,000 Corn crop for 18!)1 139,303,061 Amount fed on farms.. 104,303,991 Available for market 36,000,000 OatS crop Of 18!1 39.5)04,443 Amount fed on farms 26,904,443 Available for market I4.ooo.ooo Kyo and barley, 1891 .'. 0,449,410 We have then for sale: 43,ooo.oro bushels wheat & coc 127,000 009 36,000,000 bushels corn 30c io.500.ooo 14.000,000 bushels oats 64 200 2.800.OCO n.oi lO.iioo bushels rye and bar lev at hoc. 4,000,000 140.000 head horses and mutes a lao.. . . Ii.200.coo 2,049,056 bushels flax Qi f 1 2,049 06& za.zuMyi pounas Droom corn w 30 847,843 114,644 bushels castor beans a f 1 114,041 Total 158.611,642 Horticultural products S 1.119.468 Garden products 8i.0& Wine i7o.s;9 Total value of the products of live woe, animais, siaugnierea ana sola for slaugnter, wool clip, butter and cheese, touitrv. eecs and milk sold.. 26.001 000 Total amount of white and sweet pota toes, muieiana Hungarian, tame ana prairie bay, sorghum, cotton, hemp, tobacco and wood sold 4,000,000 Total products sold x9,700;i3S Deduct: Harvesting wheat t 3.S00.100 Threshing wheat 4,600,100 Cribbing corn 4,000,107 regular nirea neip, esu- I maiea 100,000 men six montni atj is per month. 8,760,000 Total 120,760,337 120,750,337 Balance available ScasM.ooo Net amount to each family of five Indl- - vwuau 9344.75 Deduct direct taxes, estimated to each wmuy ai 24.7 Net to each family 320.oo It will be noticed that in the foregoing estimate every available item for market la accounted for, the quantities given as sold of each item, being the official fig ures as given by the secretary of the state board of agriculture, In his official report for the year ending December 31, 1801. The total estimate of gross amount of products sold varies from Mr. Mohler's estimate as given to the press and to Bradstreet's Commercial Agency in July, 1891, in the sum of only $390,543 his estimate having been $00,090,880.