I agree, but have been wondering why none of the farm-philosophers on the list have raised the issue of why we still view labour substitution so favourably. After all, a strong case can be made that substituting machinery and chemicals for labour has contributed to global warming, accelerated rural depopulation (and the concommitent disintegration of rural communities), increased unemployment, exacerbated soil erosion/deterioration, promoted farm consolidation and otherwise engendered many of the problems we discuss on this list.
There have also been positive effects, at least in the near-term, of course, but I am intrigued that no one voiced the view that more farm labour might be a good thing. I wonder how high the price of gasoline or diesel would have to be to make labour competitive again...?
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