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Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/188

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74 LoN L. Swift the land at eight per cent. Of all of these forms of loaning money on farm mortgage security, the most prevalent method employed throughout the State is for the man who sells the property to receive from one-fourth to one-half of the value of the land cash in hand when the transfer is made and for him to take a mortgage on the land for the balance at the rate of six or eight per cent interest and give the buyer plenty of time to pay the balance. This facility is a great aid to the landless farmer. It can be made better if owners can be in- duced or compelled to sell small tracts of their farms to dif- ferent individuals at a reeasonable price and at a low rate of interest. The two principal classes who sell farm land are those who are getting too old for active work and those who wish to move to town and retire or change their occupation ; and, secondly, those who hold land for speculation, who are called landed capitalists. If public opinion is not strong enough to bring great pressure to bear on these classes and on others who wish to sell land, to dispose of their farms in such a way that they may become more beneficial to society, the government should have a right to interfere and direct any and all transfers of farm land so that the community as a whole will be benefited rather than injured. Society must meet new problems that arise as civilization becomes more complex ; among these, one which is by no means of small importance is the system of land tenure. The District Credit Associations of Germany* might not be practicable in the United States, but it at least gives us an idea towards reform- ing our present system. The percentage of encumbered farms belonging to farmers classed according to ages and of hired farms classed in the same way, shows at what ages mortgages are greatest and at what ages tenancy is mostly employed.

  • Prof. Taylor's "Agricultural Economics," pp. 226-233.----