When Will Prices Fall?

When Will Prices Fall?


The markets of the world are in a strange condition at the present time. Prices have reached a level that they have never reached before. Wages Are abnormally high, and there is a disposition on the part of most working people to keep one eye on the clock. People everywhere are complaining loudly about the high cost of living, but it is worth observing that extravagance and improvidence are marked characteristics of the majority of the people of this country at the present time. People are demanding luxuries of one kind or another. They seem to be able to find the money to buy them, and they are not concerned about the future. Our cities are over-crowded--filled, apparently, with carefree, extravagant and pleasure-loving people, who live from day to day, taking no thought of the morrow. The conditions which exist in our over-crowded cities to-day are a plausible explanation of the high cost of food, clothing and articles of luxury, for the producers of Canada are in the minority. One man’s guess regarding the future trend of prices is pretty nearly as good as another’s, but it seems evident that the diminishing army of producers of necessities and luxuries are not able to increase their output very much under existing conditions. Unless the consumers of this country substitute thrift for extravagance, or become active producers themselves, the demands for all kinds of necessities and luxuries is going to remain greater than the supply, and high prices will continue.

It is significant, however, that manufacturers complain, almost universally, about their inability to obtain raw material. Labour is perhaps largely responsible for this and the time may come before many expect it that plants will be obliged to slow down or shut down, thus throwing a considerable amount of labour on the market. This labour may be absorbed as it is released and an equilibrium maintained but it is possible to see in the not distant future a condition that will purge life and commercial enterprise from this country from much of this extravagant artificiality. Such an event would be bad for industry and bad for farming but in the end we might be better for it because prices would seek a reasonable level, this great uncertainty would be dissipated and we could then go ahead with greater courage and satisfaction.


Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture