Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers – Evonomics
Up until a few centuries ago, almost everybody worked in agriculture. That left an affluent upper class free to loaf around, live off their private assets, and wage war – all hobbies that don’t create wealth but at best shift it about, or at worst destroy it. Any blue-blooded noble was proud of this lifestyle, which gave the happy few the hereditary right to line their pockets at the expense of others. Work? That was for peasants.
In those days, before the Industrial Revolution, a farmers’ strike would have paralyzed the entire economy. These days, all the graphs, diagrams, and pie charts suggest that everything has changed. As a portion of the economy, agriculture seems marginal. Indeed, the U.S. financial sector is seven times as large as its agricultural sector.
So, does this mean that if farmers were to stage a strike, it would put us in less of a bind than a boycott by bankers? (No, quite the reverse.) And, besides, hasn’t agricultural production actually soared in recent decades? (Certainly.) Well then, aren’t farmers earning more than ever? (Sadly, no.)