Thursday, April 08, 2010

Back in the Hoover Administration

Let me quote a paragraph from a post on "News from 1930", which is really into 1931 now:
One part of following day by day 1930's news items that I find interesting is seeing that extra dimension about the period that I wasn't aware of. This week's example is the farm situation. The popular image of this is of poverty, drought, and a depression that struck earlier than for the rest of the country - and this is accurate as far as it goes. But what I didn't realize is that this happened in spite of multifarious fairly large farm relief programs and an apparently unstoppable farm lobby. Some news items in this category come up regularly, including the ups and downs of the expensive Farm Board price-support program, and the various drought relief measures that occupied the “just-adjourned” (in 1931) Congress. But, there are also those not-so-little extras that keep popping up - the Federal and joint-stock land banks, organized to provide agricultural credit; the Hoch-Smith resolution, enacted to lower transport rates for farmers (at the expense of the railroads); and, last but not least, the acknowledgement by the Journal's editorial writers that farm interests would probably have the muscle to pass whatever additional relief measures they wanted when the next Congress convened.
Wikipedia doesn't give the history of farm programs its due. The Federal Farm Board was really a test run for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, proving price support alone wasn't workable and establishing the precedent for working with commodity cooperatives.

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