The Farmer's Income Page: 2
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FARMERS' BULLETIN 746.
incomes of persons in other pursuits. The farmer lives at his place
of business and pays no cash rent for the use of his house, while his
fields and groves are nearly as much a part of his residence as the
rooms in the farm dwelling. The farmer derives two-thirds of his
food and fuel from the farm and pays no cash for them. When a
value is placed on these items it is a wholesale farm value, which is
much less than the price paid for the same articles by the city
dweller, who has to pay in addition a series of transportation charges,
commissions, and profits of middlemen. Furthermore, the products
supplied by the farm are generally superior in quality to those
obtained at groceries by the average city dweller. It is impossible,
however, to place a correct money valuation on this difference.
The farm owner's capital is his farm. This includes not only his
real-estate investment but also his entire working capital. The farm
generally represents all of his savings and the inherited savings of
his ancestors. The income derived from the farm is composed, from
this point of view, of four different elements---'the cash earnings of
the farm family during the year under consideration, the living
supplied by the farm, the annual return on the accumulated savings
of the farmer's own life, and the annual returns on the inherited
savings of his forbears.
In comparing the farmer with the city man who draws a weekly
wage for his labor and spends it in providing the necessities of life for
his family, the outstanding difficulty involved is the fact that the
farm business has as yet not been reduced altogether to a money
basis. The city man sells his labor for money and buys all he con-
sumes at the cost of money. He invests whatever savings he may
have or whatever capital he may have inherited in enterprises that
often have no connection whatever with his own activities. In other
words, the city man's life has been entirely reduced to a commercial
basis, his income and outgo may be measured in terms of the medium
of exchange, while the farm is still to a large extent a self-sufficient
unit producing values not all of which have been reduced to exchange
prices and an income that contains elements measurable only by the
amount of satisfaction derived by the owner.
The comparison of the earnings of farmers with those of other
classes of population, which is attempted in this bulletin, can be, in
view of the foregoing considerations, only of a very general nature,
and the results are only approximately representative of actual
EARNINGS OF FARM FAMILY.
It is estimated on the basis of the census figures that the total
value of crops produced in 1909 by the 6,362,000 farmers in the
United States and not fed to live stock amounted to about
$3,250,000,000. The value of the live-stock products of the farms
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Goldenweiser, E. A. (Emanuel Alexandrovich), 1883-1953. The Farmer's Income, pamphlet, 1916; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96403/m1/2/: accessed January 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.