Capitalism or What? The Need
to Solve the Land Question

Roger Babson

[A summary of Mr. Babson's commentary by the editor of
the Henry George News, July, 1943]

Roger Babson's syndicated column recently gave his four fundamentals as a forecast of the coming social and economic structure Mr. Babson said:

"Instead of socialism, fascism, communism, or even capitalism succeeding, I expect that all of these as now set up will change. The 'Single Tax' theory of Henry George, or the 'Eliminate Poverty' theory of Mrs. John Martin of Winter Park, Fla., comes nearer the desired goal. In selecting this goal, I make two assumptions as follows:

1. That soil, babies, education and religion are the four fundamental stones of any permanent economic and social system.

2. That the coming economic system will be halfway between capitalism and communism. The free enterprise feature of capitalism must be conserved; while a monopoly of the soil must be avoided. Home owners, who use the land must be protected.

The first problem to be tackled will be the soil problem. People will not (always stand for capitalism as it now relates to land holdings. On the other hand, the Russian system where all land and improvements are owned by the state crushes private initiative. Fascism is an attempt at a happy medium whereby the land is owned privately but the government tells the people what to do with it, how to use, when to sell it, etc This fantastic Russian system will not work in the long run."