Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth's many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum. - Johm Updike

Thanks be to God that I am what I am

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Something Other Than Sex

I was talking to a caller from Texas.  As part of my persona, we stumbled into the topic of population shift.  Why this topic is part of my persona is a long story.  I'll tell you all about it some other time. He is a freelance reporter who has been tracking the subject through how it affects the Texas school system and high school sports.  I (and I do mean me, not my persona) have been tracking this dreadful trend through family farms.

People live where the jobs are and the majority of America's large employers are in or moving to large urban centers.  This is a sound business practice, for a number of reasons but, I feel that it is bad for the country.  It means that thousands of small towns in the United States are disappearing.  Young people move away to the city so they can make a living and they don't move back.  Schools close because there aren't enough children to keep them open and the towns die.  Small town Americans are becoming an endangered species.

I have a plan to change this and I told it to my caller.  There are millions of dollars available to support agriculture but, thanks to some hard core lobbying, that money is not available to family farms.  Instead, it goes to giant agriculture corporations like Monsanto.  Check out the news, what these companies are doing to the American food supply and the American farmer is truly chilling.
And these corporations do not need the money!  We need to change the guidelines about who can receive those funds and focus that money back on the place it was originally intended: the family farm.  In other words, cut off a lucrative stream of corporate welfare.  If farming were supported, more people would chose to stay on the farm.  More people would return to the farm.  Trust me when I tell you that a great many people living in large cities would run to the country in a heartbeat if they had a way to survive.  There are a whole bunch of us 'city folk' who really don't like living in a large city.

If we have more farmers, we have our population scattered more evenly across the country and those small towns will reawaken as business returns to provide services for the returning rural population.  This is a simplification.  I could go into greater detail but, I'm not going to get into that here.

The reason I am bringing this up?  Because I suspect that the caller I was speaking to is going to end up writing a story on this subject in the near future and I want it on record that I said it first.  He grilled me pretty thoroughly on my plan and then abruptly dropped the subject to talk about baseball.  When I asked me what he thought about my plan, he admitted that he had never thought about population shift that way and my plan sounded like a good one and went back to talking about baseball.  It felt like a trick that my mother would have pulled to get me to drop the subject and, hopefully forget about it.

So, here it is.  On the record.

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