Letters: Dutch farmers program, death of the Industrial Age

Letters in a computer with red mailbox flag

Kai Ryssdal: We did a couple of stories this past week that really piqued your collective interest. The first one was about Dutch farmers who were invited to Iowa to start dairy farms. About a quarter of them went broke, so then they went home. Eric Reuter farms vegetables on two acres near Columbia, Mo. He says what happened in Iowa is a good example of what's wrong with agriculture policy today.

Eric Reuter: The best way to benefit family farms and independent American agriculture is to get out of the way; reform destructive or counter-productive subsidy programs, reform overreaching regulation, stop trying to force the price of food to unsustainable lows, and make choices that allow more of food's retail price to reach the actual farmer.

The other story that got a lot of comments was my interview with author Seth Godin about his new book and his publishing venture. Seth said, at one point in our conversation about the way the economy's changing, that the Industrial Age is dying. Linda Lewis wrote from Salem, N.Y., to say that actually it's still very much alive -- just, not here.

Linda Lewis: The Industrial Age, and all of its worst features, has been outsourced to other places, to poor countries all over the world. Most Americans are almost perfectly unconscious of the conditions in the factories that now manufacture most of the products bought by the American consumer.

And, said Steve Bailey of Albany, Calif., that benefits those at the top of the wealth structure... not the rest of us.

Steve Bailey: I think that we will eventually regret the decision to allow our manufacturing capabilities to slip away to other countries. Bravo to entrepreneurs. But entrepreneurs without workers only have an idea.

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