Dust bowls and rice bowls

A surprising fact from the same Nov 33 issue of Electronics as the microwaved “bun sandwich”:

More people than ever before live on the nation’s farms.

Not only has the drift of farm boys and girls to the city been stopped, after thirty years of continuous growth of the city population at the expense of the countryside, but for three years past the movement of the rural migration has been just the opposite way: it now is from city to country. In fact, in these past three years the replacement of farm population has more than equalled in numbers the total population withdrawn from rural districts in the preceding third of a century, so that now more people are living in farm homes than ever had farm homes before.

Most of these 6,000,000 farm houses are without electricity for lighting. Their radios must be battery operated. It is time the radio industry gave more attention to sets especially designed for this vast farm market.

FDR started to electrify those farms, and the radio industry did respond to the farm market.

I’ve always been suspicious of the standard narrative of the Dust Bowl. My ancestors lived in Okla during those years, stayed and prospered. I delved into the subject in detail here.

It’s true that many farms failed because of Wilson’s semi-forced growth. In WW1, government and bankers encouraged city people to try farming on shitty land. Nobody bothered to train them or guide them in selecting land; the bankers just wanted to create a bunch of mortgages. This failure happened in the mid-20s at the same time when the fake NYC boom was creating many unnecessary industries in cities, so the migration was toward cities. When the fake boom ended, the unnecessary businesses failed and the people returned to farms, which are NECESSARY.

In other words, population takes care of itself when allowed to move easily.

China has been FORCING movement in both directions, not just encouraging with fake booms. Mao destroyed farms to build industry, then in 1968 destroyed industry to rebuild farms. After 1980 China moved to the city again. Now Xi is switching back to 1968, destroying industry to rebuild farms. This constant forced movement leaves no time to develop the skills of farming.

Most of the video is synthesized English. The segments featuring a Henan farmer are linguistically interesting. I don’t understand Chinese, but I’ve heard enough of the usual urban dialects to tell the difference. He’s from the Chinese version of Arkansas. Slow and careful, much more music than the urbanites, longer diphthongs, clearer aspirates.