Greg's impassioned statement about the pressure facing farmers reminds me of a new framework I heard last week: We face a choice between "Sustainable, renewable capitalism" and "Terminal capitalism." This is from Steve Cady, Exec. Director of the NE Pork Producers. Steve was talking about concentrated power killing competitive markets from the top down.
Greg quoted his grandfather. I remember a mentor of mine, John Berry Sr. (Wendell's father), who used to call me up and get me to listen to his stories. The key was one about his father coming home from the tobacco warehouse right before Christmas having sold the product of their year's work. The family was excited, but John's Dad had to tell them that their crop didn't bring the selling commission. John as a little boy told himself that he was going to do something to make sure that fathers didn't have to come home to their children that way. He helped organize farmers to voluntarily block their production and bargain with the tobacco "trust." It never worked for long. Along came the New Deal, and John helped create the New Deal farm programs that used government to help sustain what Steve Cady would call "sustainable, renewable capitalism."
If you want to see more from John Berry Sr. (and where Wendell got some of his eloquence), I've attached some excerpts from testimony to congressional committees in the late 40s.
Center for Sustainable Systems
433 Chestnut St., Berea KY 40403 USA
Phone: (606) 986-5336; Fax: (606) 986-1299
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