SEARCH BLOG: ECONOMY
As Americans take a day off to enjoy the defacto end of summer with a made for fun holiday, there are many who by choice or by need work this day. Once the vast majority of Americans earned their living off the land. Today, those who do so are in a small minority. But they represent a picture of America that is closer to its soul than anything else.
He invests more to keep his farm productive, competitive, and efficient than most businessmen will for their businesses. His livelihood depends on his shrewdness, his risk tolerance, and sometime a lot of luck. He has to deal with the whims of the government, the whims of the weather, and the whims of the marketplace.
He raises crops, but often not for sale, but rather to feed the animals that either are his products for sale or produce his products for sale. He deals with the organic; the crops, the animals, the manure, the flies, the smell of living off the land. Sometimes his product gets tainted and the news reporter in his blue suit and red tie reads in a most aghast tone that his animals were raised where there was manure and flies and smell... as if somehow those eggs or that milk or those chickens or that beef came from sterile laboratories. What should be surprising is that most of these farmers can and do produce high quality, healthy products for our table in spite of nature. These farmers have their pride and their lives wrapped up in what they produce and do not take their task lightly.
100 years for a family farm is not really a long time, but it's a big deal if a manufacturer lasts that long. Sometimes there are four generations living and maybe even working on a farm. Kids who are too young to drive on the roads are navigating rutted fields in equipment that dwarfs a tractor-trailer. They may not be able to manipulate money in a hedge fund, but they actually produce things that this nation needs... and get paid a lot less for their efforts.
So, while the unions and the rest of us sit around and enjoy our morning omelets or afternoon grilled hamburgers or steak or chicken, these gritty Americans get up before the sun and do what has to be done for the rest of us... and a lot of other people around the world. They know that every day is a labor day.