Thursday, December 11, 2008

Farm Sense = Common Sense

Part of what I am trying to communicate here is that despite the abundance and luxury and seeming opportunities, America seems to have grown stupid.

I say stupid not as a put down, but the younger generations do not know the same things that their parents or grandparents knew. I in fact do not know many of the things my parents and or grandparents knew through life experience.

Every generation has it advances, and laments the traditions that seem to have died with parents, friends and others.

Sometimes I try to say to people something strange sounding as a means to convey what common sense used to mean. I want to convey something perhaps visual in describing a time when 95% of America was involved in farming.

With that I say something like “common sense” used to mean “farm sense”. Meaning that if you lived on a farm, you tilled the soil, planted crops and harvested them. You also fed your chickens and cows and pigs. Otherwise, you die with your unfed farm livestock.

I make that allegory in order to illustrate just how far away we all are from the source of food and the need to follow through and maintain the food cycle. Working on a farm is hard work but there is a closeness to the rhythms and cycles of nature that we also do not touch upon or even understand anymore.

The west sometimes more now than anytime in the past century or before seems to be lost in a box made in a factory somewhere else.

How do I describe a factory to somebody who has never seen or heard or smelled one or where half your relatives have had a job there or are working in that factory?

I mention these things because I think it might be every two generations that sees a more dramatic turning of time and manners and culture. This is such a time.

Two generations ago or forty years ago, America still made things. America not only made things but fixed things. How many modern washer-less faucets are in our houses? My father for ten or fifteen cents would buy replacement washers for a leaky faucet. Part of the cult of adult males, from the turn of the last century to less than a generation ago, was being able to fix your own plumbing. Now if the faucet leaks, you replace it and at great expense. Is it expensive or is it charged on a credit card?

What does an obsolete word like husbandry mean? Is the meaning of that word worth reviving?

There is so much in the way of a disconnect that has happened in a mere generation and probably owing to the power of computers. Does anybody know what a typewriter is or how to use one? I might as well describe some weird science fiction object than be able to pass on any useful information to my children regarding archaic machinery.

So too as I stated in the previous article, economics or its understanding is something of a sham or a scam if the tenured people talking economics are only dealing with spreadsheets and are wrapped in a bubble that does not necessary see or touch the real ever changing economy.

Human beings seem to have been factored out of a lot of economic formulas worldwide. Outsourcing talents or skills may save money and inspire paper profit but where is the balance? In life, for thousands of years, has been a concept of balance. If you change the workplace, do you know where you and your neighbors are going down the road.

If you spend more money than was allocated in the government budget, then the budget must be balanced by cutting back somewhere else in the budget or raise taxes.

Classical economics will never go out of style and is much more practical than the mess now masquerading as professional economic theory.

The current financial meltdown seems to suggest that not all the answers in life are found in our universities or in corrupt and or delusional political or corporate bubbles.

It is time for America to symbolically and in a real sense to start building and fixing things again.

Feed the pigs or starve!

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