Capitalism or What? The Need
to Solve the Land Question
[A summary of Mr. Babson's commentary by the editor
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
"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