A reader alerted me to a NY Times article which appeared earlier this week about college graduates who become farmers.
It was harvest time, and several farm hands were hunched over a bed of sweet potatoes under the midday sun, elbow deep in soil for $10 an hour. But they were not typical laborers.
Jeff Arnold, 28, who has learned how to expertly maneuver a tractor, graduated from Colorado State University. Abe Bobman, 24, who studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, was clearing vines alongside Nate Krauss-Malett, 25, who went to Skidmore College.
I think this article demonstrate two separate trends that are happening, both of which are very interesting.
The first is something I wrote about a year ago. The U.S. is reverting to an agricultural economy “because all the jobs created by the industrial revolution are either moving to China and India, or are reserved for children of the rich,” thus people without connections to get into the quality career tracks are reverting to pre-industrial ways. My previous post was about poor people who farm, but we see that people from college-educated middle-class backgrounds are also doing it.
Secondly, there is also a SWPL connection. There is a subset of the SWPL community that is revolting against value transference, and they seek jobs that are more directly related to value creation and doing real work. For example, two of the male characters in the HBO series Girls, Adam and Charlie, were both carpenters. Despite the common perception that SWPLs are flaming liberals, this trend is actually very convservative. Maybe more hipster SWPLs will actually leave Brooklyn and move out to the countryside.