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Mechanisation

Book Review: Slaves of the Farm U.S.A.

Seldom do town workers have an opportunity of seeing for themselves the conditions of life of their fellow beings, the farm' workers. Mr. C. McWilliams, in “Ill Fares the Land” (Faber and Faber), gives valuable information regarding the conditions obtaining in rural U.S.A., that great land of “opportunity, freedom and democracy.”

 The author was a member of the La Follette Committee, which was self up to investigate the disclosures of another book, “Grapes of Wrath,’ by J. Steinbeck. That book was fiction, whereas this one is an authoritive statement on the effects of large-scale big-business farming on the agricultural community.

Rationalisation In Agriculture

 The March issue of the International Labour Review contains two very interesting and informative articles on Rationalisation in the U.S.A. and Canada, "The Economic Depression in North America ” and "More Mechanisation in Farming.”

 In the United States, between the years 1919 and 1929, the output per head in manufacturing industries increased by 45 per cent. In agriculture the output increased by more than 25 per cent., and as a consequence during this time three million workers left the land to seek employment in the towns.

 So much is American capitalism in the grip of rationalisation, that American capitalists estimate their costs and profits on the basis of providing a complete re-equipment of machinery every two or three years.

Book Review: A Striking Coincidence

 Although written by a man who lived too early to have studied Marx (and who, in addition, stated, he was no economist, and merely wished to learn from the public men of his day) the following analysis of the causes of the misery following upon the close of the Napoleonic wars is as applicable in its main points to-day as when written over a hundred years ago.

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