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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Holding up Wheat

Holding up Wheat.

Along with falling prices comes cheaper wheat. America reports the lowest wheat price for fifteen years. Cheaper food is not bad news for the unemployed, but it is not good news for the farmer and producer. For a few days the American Farm Board—largely capitalised by the State—was represented as helping the farmer in his effort to hold up the price of wheat, but later press communiques have tried to discount that impression. There are, of course, two opinions concerning any State-supported price-fixing movement affecting the supply and price of staple food, and the American Farm Board does not seem quite to know whether it is going or coming. The paradox of an over-production that cheapens commodities to some while it denies employment to others is being met with in most parts of the world. New methods need less labourers. In that case, says Sir Oliver Lodge, the labourers should work less hours. But he also says that they should work their less hours for less wages. And there's the rub!