I used to give a shit about farmers, but I’ve watched for decades as the agricultural “heartland” elects conservative Republicans, seeks theocracy and oppression of women and non-christians, opposes all social safety nets except agricultural (and military) socialism, exploits and abuses immigrant farmworkers and livestock, fosters racists and racism, spews pesticides, denies climate chaos, and wraps itself in the Murikan flag, jingoism and ethnocentrism. Now, as all their folly comes home to roost, tariffs eat their profits, and their farms wash away or blow down, all I can say is, “That’s what you get when you keep putting neoliberal-neocons in office, decade after decade. Now see if you can pray your dumb asses out of this one. And, yeah, I know not every farmer in Missouri is an ignorant shit-heel, but that ain’t enough for me. And so, Missouri and all the rest, enjoy your tornadoes, floods, droughts, and back-alley abortions. You’ve earned them. And here–have some opioids for the pain, praise god…”
And they try to argue that progressives have been voting against their own best interests…
There was a day when farmers were forming cooperatives that gave them leverage in the market on prices for their produce, the ability to share costs for acquiring equipment which they then shared through the coop- all stuff that conservatives these days will go so far as to label communist. That stuff worked and was benefiting farmers till all this stuff that this article points out happened.
Turn it around in a heartbeat:
- Get your state legislature to institute Public State Banks Think: North Dakota model (doing brilliantly, thank you very much!)
- The co-op movement is well organized, highly analytical, successful models are available and adaptable and the support on the ground is ramping up as tweedle dee and tweedle dumb and dumber continue to hoist their petards
- Develop inter-industry cooperative networks
The abusive greed is utterly dependent on ginning up DEPENDENCY OF THE PUBLIC. Put the predators out of business, document the abuses of and impeach their tools in legislatures!!
For anyone who wants to start reading up on Cooperatives: Community Wealth.Org claim community wealth for communities NOT PREDATORS
Nothing like writing off an entire sector of humanity, I guess.
And, of course, conservative farmers do argue that progressives vote against progressives’ own self-interest, as Moss above. But by progressives, they usually mean something akin to “Democrats,” as strange as that sounds. Taken that way, they wind up calling “progressive” or at least “centrist” people who vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or Dianne Feinstein or Nancy Pelosi out here in California, so when they argue that progressives vote against their own interests, it’s not as though what they are trying to say is not correct.
Would we had at least one broad sector of the American electorate willing to vote in its own self-interest and able to do so! Little wonder, I suppose, that our interests are so often so roundly dismissed, and not only by our rulers.
Speaking of our interests, if we refuse to acknowledge an interest in farmers, can we not at least acknowledge that we are vested in the farms themselves? Granted, a lot of the food that Americans purchase is produced abroad or at least hundreds of miles away and packaged and transported by burning hydrocarbons at great environmental expense and with considerable loss of merchandise and nutrient along the way and then consumed or cast aside as waste. But it’s not as though this had nothing to do with farm policy or consumer decisions.
It’s not like agribusiness would likely applaud most of us growing our own food, but most of us could at least largely do this, and it might do a lot to reduce the hold of Monsanto and Nestle and Chiquita Banana and Whole Foods and Walmart off of the production chain. The ways most people are getting our food amounts to casting three votes for agribusiness 365 days per year.
Insofar as farmers are driven by money and market and debt, they pretty much have to respond to consumer decisions. Insofar as they are driven by subsidy, they have to respond to government.
The Old Goat has posted some excellent suggestions below, and these could be involved once again in growing near urban areas, a phenomenon still within living memory in much of the US.
Community land trusts are worth mentioning here, among the “highly analytical, successful models.” This can be done among very few people and is therefore open to a lot of people and a lot of means of transition.
Any suburbanites looking into a reverse mortgage, any young and energetic people looking to avoid succumbing to the difficulties of a thirty-year mortgage ought to consider the possibilities closely.
Very often two organizations are created, a profit and a non-profit, and the two can help each other.
A stake through the heartland
BS. He’s taking us taxpayers for a ride. I’m a descendant of farmers. They are simply the newest kind of welfare recipients. It’s embarrassing and pathetic.
Trump serves corporate interests, not public interests! Whether farmers, the fossil-fuel conglomerate, chemical poison industry, health insurance parasites, big-pharma, the for-profit war-machine, etc, etc, he serves profits and exploitation above all else.
The trade deals he and his wrecking crew come-up with are formulated - designed - to serve parasite profits and vulture capitalism, not the people or family/small or organic farms - some no doubt designed to drive the last remaining small farm families out of business and off their lands so Big-Ag can steal them.
trump is a tool of exploitation and parasite do-nothing suits that never worked a goddamn day in their lives. He empowers and serves the absolute worst of society that preys on the public as he himself has done his entire worthless life!
The tin-pot malignant dicktator is taking everyone but his corrupt world of predatory exploitation and pollution for a freakin ride!
Man, that’s harsh Ed, but I hear your frustration and read and see the truth in your words, but…
There are farmers and farmers and not all are part of the ugly world you paint. Many farmers used to support “democratic” ideals and were good stewards of the land, but were manipulated or ignored by corrupt politicians of both parties and hurt by economic/financial pressures…
Corporate Ag and industrial livestock operations poison the Earth, air, water, and small farm families, who struggle just to survive - suicides are now epidemic; Those people are not part of Big-Ag but victims forced into it - a vulnerable legacy of what farming once was before vulture capitalism, corrupt politicians and other forces/influences destroyed farm life.
Big Ag, the chemical poison conglomerate, predatory Wall Street middle-men, commodities manipulations, enormous debt/interest burdens,unsustainable taxation, unstable weather and prices for their crops/products and very hard work, all serve to make smaller farm families victims.of the “new model” of agriculture - farm life - victimized/indoctrinated by greed, weak education, “religious” dogma, carny hucksters and politicians lies…
We must not abandon those worthy farmers, but help save them - along with ourselves…
Thanks. I agree. I don’t usually post my angriest rants (I write and delete ten comments for every one I post, but I was so extra pissed when I wrote that I posted it anyway–time to readjust my filter). I was over the edge with the news of Missouri Republicans piling on and casting women out of health care. When willful, religious ignorance takes charge, I become pretty scathing and, in this case, projected that contempt onto all farmers in the so-called “heartland” (“sphincter-land” is more like it). That’s my bad and both you and “bardamu” are right to call me on it. I concede: not all farmers are uneducable, clod-hopping, Christian morons with only one “good” book, but there are enough of them who are to keep treasonous, hypocritical Republicans in office throughout the Midwest and South year after year, decade after decade, and look where that’s leading. I’m tired of automatic memes around farmers as salt-of-the-earth, deeply rooted scions of some idyllic past and purveyors of a higher, work-honed, earth-wise morality. I loved Stan Rogers and once owned every one of his records and saw him every time he came to Ann Arbor until he died, and “Field Behind the Plow” is one of his very best songs among so many, but it is just such a meme (after all, he didn’t write about the other hard-workin’ farmer over on the next parcel who beat his wife and screwed his daughters–that would be a terrible song!).
So, yeah, I’m “frustrated.” No, more than that, I’m outraged. But barfing in public doesn’t help (well, except that it provoked a couple excellent replies), so I’ll try to keep that out of here. The delete key is my friend…
My thanks and respect to you Ed. I experience much the same in anger and editing. We must keep fighting and advocating for real change and reforms, and the defeat of the trump regime, including the mindset of those that voted for him,r didn’t vote in 2016, thus allowing his hideous tenure - in large part due to the anointing of HRC by the DINO establishment corporate wing.
You were so fortunate to have seen Stan in person, wish I had! Here is another of his many wonderful gifts to us - for remembrance sake.
I crewed on a racing sloop for several years and after the Halifax Race I stood on a “Halifax Pier” as in his ‘Barrett’s Privateers’ - wonderful memories all the way… Peace to you!.
Stan was a treasure (and his brother still is). He played a venue in Ann Arbor called The Ark, which suited them well. I still remember coming home from a brother’s wedding out of state. I met up with a friend with whom I played music. We played “Forty-Five Years,” and I mentioned looking forward to his next concert. My friend looked at me and said, “Oh, I hate to have to tell you this, but Stan was on that plane that burned on the ground last week. He didn’t make it.” What shitty news that was.
When I have traveled cross-country I have been shocked at the amount of farmland dedicated to the production of biofuel nowadays. Although biofuel is not as messy in extraction as regular oil and gas, it still goes into pipes that leak, and burns the same polluting way.
The article talks about corn and soy mainly. I’m just guessing that this article is talking then about supporting the production of biofuel, which by the way, uses up more of water resources than natural oil and gas in production.