Planting in the spring: It's not just for farmers | Wis.Community

Planting in the spring: It's not just for farmers

[img_assist|nid=46026|title=Air campaign|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=220|height=147]Over at the always stimulating Real Economics blog (URL below) comes a thoughtful post on effectively portraying progressive ideas on the national economy in a few memorable words.  Wrote Jonathan Larson:

My grandfather had a colorfully weird bachelor-farmer brother who loved to entertain us kids with his collection of aphorisms that passed for wisdom in his life. "Everything comes to him who waits--especially poverty," he once told my sister in all seriousness.  His big advice to me was, "There is only one thing you really must know in life and that is this: if you want a harvest in the fall, you must plant in the spring."

In other words, we're in trouble without investment and hard work and output that is of genuine, tangible value -- and not the kind that led to phony assets and the financial meltdown. But Mr. Larson should have taken his tale a step further.

In our society, it's not enough to plant in the spring and tend your garden until it produces a crop. You must guard your plantings, lest vultures among other opportunists swoop down and eat your seed.  Then, there's no crop, and all your hard work will have been stolen, and the entire community suffers from a loss of production. The entire community except, that is, for the vultures.

What's going on in the Wisconsin Capitol, in statehouses around the country and in Washington, D.C., is nothing less than free market (but only for them) vultures trying to make off with the seeds and seedlings that average, hard-working Americans sow, nurture and turn into the nation's true wealth and sustenance. That theft is behavior that ultimately will doom the vultures themselves, but they only think in short-term, quarterly ways. We must, as a society and a civilization, think way beyond that, for our own sakes and theirs, as well.

Native Americans made it their business to consider the outcome of every tribal decision seven generations into the future. Most of modern America is conditioned to the now, and can't even think one generation ahead, which is why Republicans find it so easy to propose destroying Medicare for people already in their 50s. Why, that wouldn't happen for ... at least a few years! Mr. Larson notes that one of the things working against us is that so many citizens have been removed from understanding or participating in the means of production and the theory of investment that those duties are now left to a rather small band of self-aggrandizing and increasingly wealthy hot-heads, who take their lucre and spend it to influence us into still more bad choices.

Time to gather your seeds, set out the scarecrows and keep an even more watchful eye on the wealth you produce.


April 22, 2011 - 10:20am