This is a question we often ask ourselves but are generally afraid to put into words to ask anyone else because we figure nobody knows what’s going to happen as the economy fails. So I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I do know where our failing economy is going to bring us. To start with we have to take a good hard look at the problem.
To attempt to explain how things came to be as they are we can begin by looking at how farm produce was priced in 1946. At that time farmers were receiving 100% parity for their products. In other words, the price of farm goods was proportionate to that of non-farm goods being produced and sold in this country. Then laws were passed concerning agricultural products, and the farmer gradually went from receiving 100% parity just after WWII to receiving less than 50% parity today. The money that the farmer doesn't see now shows up in the economy in such forms as taxes, interest, insurance premiums and government jobs. At full parity, everyone benefits; when the producers of new wealth, be it corn, natural gas or milk, receive fair compensation for their products, the money runs through the whole economy. This is how everyone gets paid, from the farmer or the miner, through the processing, manufacturing and marketing operations, all the way to the distributors and vendors of the final products. It is not a matter of bargaining; if the money doesn't enter the system at the raw materials level, it simply won't be there as capital for the rest of the economy to use. There is a direct relation between the price the farmer is paid and the price the average worker is paid; an increase in earnings for the first means an increase in earnings for the second, so that the plight of the farmer is in fact identical to the plight of the city dweller. When the farmer and the average worker are cheated, when businessmen steal the new wealth and hire foreign labor to process it, the money remains at the top of the economic ladder to be doled out as the bankers, politicians and businessmen see fit. The reason for our high level of debt is that since consumers cannot consume production from their earnings they must borrow to do it, thus profiting bankers and businessmen even further. It seems inevitable that as more and more of the nation's money is controlled by fewer and fewer people, the middle class will start to collapse, forcing more and more of the people to live at poverty level.
I think we all agree that this scenario is already happening in our economy. Many people think that a political move or a new technology is going to turn this situation around. I don’t believe this will ever happen. What I believe is the pressure and fear everyone is feeling about the economy will continue until it precipitates a new evolutionary break through in our cultural make up. This new evolutionary break through will consist of a leap in our conscious awareness from an economy where we produce what we need through our intellect and ego out of fear, to an economy where we produce what we need through an expanded awareness of our ability to produce out of love. As our intellect and ego prove less and less capable of relieving the pressure of the poverty mind set we find ourselves in, our soul consciousness will move us toward a situation in which we will be capable of producing our own new wealth through our ability to love.
I realize that this sounds too far fetched to consider as a solution to our economic problem so I will now post something my step-dad wrote when he first started our dairly business which has lasted over 20 years.
When we bought the cows( which was my wifes' idea)
everyone we knew agreed we had no chance of making it
work. I looked at the endeavor as a spiritual
experience right from the start. Getting the money to
buy the cows, finding and setting up a barn to move them to,
hauling away the manure with just a young green
pair of horses, and feeding them with no land and no
equipment was all one miracle after another for me.
For a year we milked the 30 or so cows we bought
and lived off the sale of the milk. Then one day the
man we were renting the barn from decided he was going
to quit his job and milk cows for a living. He
figured if idiots like us could make it, he should
have no trouble at all. So he wanted us out of his
barn right away. I remember telling Kathy we had to
wait for God to come into the barn.
Things got very tense after awhile because the
owner didn't want us there. I told a friend to watch
closely because I was going to pass a herd of cows
through the eye of a needle. And sure enough God came
into the barn in the form of a cattle dealer who moved
us to our third barn 50 miles away. After landing on
the farm a man I didn't know came up and told me he
was going to take back his mower. I told him that at
this point in my life I didn't think anyone had the
power to take away anything I really needed. He never
did take that mower away.
So with our increased conscious awareness we will start to deal more directly with nature. And with our soul consciousness leading us we will find ourselves more in harmony with nature and our sense of family and community will be empowered. Here is a post my mom wrote when describing our life style;
My husband Dennis and I bought a small herd of dairy cows ten years ago. Both of us
college-educated, both recovering from devastating divorces, we were 37 at the time, living
a simple life without telephone or television, hauling cord wood from the farm we were care
taking with our draft horses to support ourselves. We had a savings of $5000 and no other
possessions to speak of; yet a bank agreed to lend us the money for the cows.
Through the years the cows have remained the central thread of our lives, around which a
tapestry, so to speak, has been woven. One puts one's essence into them and they, thriving,
return the favor. For me the simple act of milking has time and again dispelled my fears.
For me it was the cows; for Dennis it was more the horses, at first simply his relationship with
them and later what they did together-- the spreading of manure, the planting, the harvesting.
And we are ever captivated by the idea of creating something out of nothing, the idea that through
the act of creating comes your sustenance. We have learned that somehow, if we milk our cows
work our horses and stay together, everything will be all right.
But at first it was just the struggle. We knew very little about cows and farming, and we
were renting a farm in Massachusetts where, it seems, farming even with tractors has become obsolete.
The barn was dilapitated and the machinery in varying stages of disrepair, so as we worked
and slowly paid off our loan we looked for a farm to buy.
There is no rational explanation for the fact that we settled on a 110-acre farm in Western
Pennsylvania previously owned by an old order Amishman. It simply seems that it was pre-destined.
when at last we moved we had the strong feeling of finally being where we were suppose to be,
and that we were suddenly protected from the onslaught of the raging and unfathomable forces
which constantly beseiged us and against which we had no defense.
From the beginning the Amish steadied us and helped us. We began to assemble the necessary
horse-drawn machinery and learn the fine art of farming the simple way. Often it was a
case of finding out how a neighbor was doing a certain task and doing the same thing. We
have developed variations, often because we have less help available.
As we became more interconnected with our Amish neighbors we came to understand the basic
premise underlying their philosophy; your own well-being and success depends on that of your
It was a hot, dry windy October afternoon when our barn caught fire. We were preparing for
our third winter in Pennsylvania by adding on a space to the existing barn for bred heifers.
We had both been sick off and on for an entire year and felt over-burdened by the amount
of work. Dennis' son, recently married, had decided against coming to live on the farm.
My daughter, Sue, was doing her best to help out with the chores and all the work of making a dairy work but in the end there was too much
stress and work, and something broke.
Within an hour the barn was down and probably half of the community had arrived. Our cows
were gathered in a neighbor's barn and trucked three or four at a time to surrounding
Amish barns. Meantime, the eldest Amishman arranged for a rental situation for us until
we could rebuild. The next day 20 Amishmen assembled at the rented barn to make things ready;
the following day we moved the cows in and shipped milk once again.
The following Monday a dozen teams and wagons hauled away the debris and with the fire
finally extinguished rebuilding started in earnest. Teams worked in the wood hauling logs
for beams, and each morning a crew of 20 men showed up for work at the barn site. Dennis
and I took care of the cows mornings; silage had to be moved over there and manure had to
be hauled; afternoons Dennis worked with the crew and sometimes I had time to bake a cake
or some pies for them. Evenings we returned to the rented barn to milk.
The barn raising took place exactly a month to the day later. Two hundred people
(mostly Amish, although some English farmers came too), ate two meals here that day, and
as the sun set the last of the metal roofing was nailed on. Three more weeks were required
to finish the barn.
The Amish foreman could see that we still needed help and agreed to allow his teen-aged son
David to work with us during plowing, planting and harvesting time. As David and Dennis
spend time together they learn from each other; our experience is truly an interesting
blend of two cultures.