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If economics really is the problem, than does anyone foresee a re-population of the countryside should agriculture become more economically rewarding?

Say oil prices make long-distance imports of bulk agricultural commodities too expensive, and imports of fresh fruits/vegetables impossible.   Furthermore, industrial mechanized agriculture goes out of style, either because it's too oil-dependent, or for ecological reasons.  All of a sudden, domestic agriculture, even in places like Japan, has a reason to exist, and there are jobs for people who will do it.  In this sort of situation, does anyone really think the countryside would be substantially re-populated?

I kind of doubt it.  I think the cultural/social factors are really, really strong.  Perhaps poor people would be imported to work on the farms.  But how many young people from the 80% of Americans who consider themselves "middle class", with dreams of upward mobility, college, etc., would choose to get into agriculture?

by Zwackus on Sat Sep 29th, 2007 at 09:02:46 PM EST

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