The Gutting of Rural America – What Happened?

The rural America that once fed us dependably from family farms is seeing its last days – Abandoned farmsteads and dollar stores mark the graves of once prosperous communities

There’s an economic term to describe this phenomenon, it’s called stealing.
  – John Helmuth, House Agriculture Committee Economist 1979-1987

$8.24 retail value:
$5,010 total retail value doses not include $173/hd. by-product value. Retail price is 1.85 times the rate of inflation.

So, my dear grandson, you asked what happened? Middlemen gained enough power to extract the wealth and the life out of rural America.

Patriot article provided by NFU historian, Tom Giessel, Larned, Kansas

From Robert Taylor, economist and long-time advocate for the family farmer, rancher, worker, and independent business:

Deja Vu all over again:

The “Farmers Revolt” against the “Robber Barons” led to formation of the Grange. The platform of the Grange was simple:

“We are opposed to such spirit and management of any corporation or enterprise as tends to oppress the people and rob them of their just profits. We are not enemies to capital, but we oppose the tyranny of monopolies. … We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. … Corruption dominates the ballot box, the Legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the Bench. The people are demoralized…the newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, our homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. … The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages … The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes, unprecedented in the history of the world, while their possessors despise the republic and endanger liberty. … The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of the people and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited.”

The Granger’s declaration of 1874.

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2 Responses to The Gutting of Rural America – What Happened?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes and when Congress eliminated parity pricing in 46 the stage was set for Reagan to further drain rural America with his farm programs and then Senator Dole and the Freedom to Farm bill seemed to provide the finishing touch.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Mike. Am not a meat eater but had many Welsh relative sheep farmers in eastern Nebraska whose farms are now vacant or inhabited by raccoons and fields managed by large corporate farmers or other entities. The Welsh church of my childhood, visiting family only, we never lived in Nebraska, shrunk to three families and was torn down for the wood. The once lovely towns with distinctive banks with brass cages at the windows and usually an impressive front stair case are now Used clothing and furniture stores, and yes, those awful Dollar Stores are everywhere. Given the enormous depopulation, I thought the Buffalo Commons idea sounded potentially positive…… Best, jrj

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