Third, for better or for worse the agrarian south which also included much of the west lost the Civil War partly because it couldn't compete with the manufacturing in the north eastern corner of the nation (New England plus New York and Pennsylvania).
Fourth, until the advent of commercial air travel most food was grown on the farm for farmers and for the folks in the farm villages around the farms. My dad who was born in 1903 as a child could remember only eating oranges for Christmas and never ever having orange juice in the refrigerator. Well, for one thing when he was growing up there were no refrigerators in the farmhouses because there was no electricity on the farms! FDR and the New Deal brought electricity to the farmer. But now we don't really know the origin of all the food we purchase at the store and few folks have a real garden today.
Then we had the post World War II era when America was the darling of the world partly because of its rescue of many nations from terrorism around the world during World War II and our economy was growing and growing and everyone wanted to see the USA in Chevrolet. But as we got closer and closer to the end of the 20'th century things became more complex. For one "how you going to keep them down on the farm after they have seen Paree (Paris)."
The big question for every boy back then was are you going to go to college or trade school or are you going to farm with your dad while working in a local food processing plant or some other type of factory.
And that leads us to today when we have a highly educated society with college degrees and post college instruction but we too are finding it difficult to find work that pays more than minimum wage. The motto today is if you have a job, keep it even if you don't like it much. But when well educated and hardworking people lose their jobs for what they see as no fault of their own making but the fault of world governments manipulating the marketplace there is tremendous built up anger.
Some direct their anger at the Middle East and the OPEC nations because of the oil price explosion. Others direct their anger at China and Japan and Vietnam for taking needed manufacturing jobs away from the U.S. Others blame India for taking service industries jobs for all their call waiting programs to service companies right here in the U.S. Others want to blame the poor folks who got loans for houses financed by Fannie and Freddie for leading to the housing crunch which led to the mortgage funding crunch which led to the Wall St. crunch which led to the worldwide financial crunch.
So when I look at that tractor I think that green vine growing thru the tractor must symbolizes all the anger we have in America right now. Left, right, Democrat, Republican, religious, irreligious, urban, suburban, rural farmer, the rich class, the poor class, the huge middle class, everyone is fighting mad and will "damm well tell you so at the drop of a hat!"
I find myself biting my tongue a lot these days. I don't like anger and I don't like being around angry people so I try to watch what I say for fear of hurting someone else's economic mindset or for fear of getting yelled at!
What I really want to do is pour some pesticide on that green vine! But after that I don't know what to do. Should we try to take the rust off the old tractor too since it symbolizes not only our economic history but our economic future. Do we need to get some rope and tie this tractor to something to pull it out and into the tractor repair shop by having these economic bailouts of President Bush and Secretary of the Treasury Paulsen. Or is that a futile big economic mistake.
I tell you your guess is as good as mine. I'm willing to state my ideas on the subject and I'm willing to listen to yours because let's face it we are all in this muddy field right now. But let's just keep the talk civil and on topic and not personal. I hate hearing folks back up their point of view by saying things like well, if he had a brain he would think like me, act like me and vote like me. We all may be in this muddy field but we all have a little different take on the situation depending on where we are standing in the field economically and what we are perceiving thru our vision.
Let's talk as Joan Rivers would say but let's keep it civil. And I would love comments from people from other countries. I wonder how they perceive America now that we are in this financial crisis.