|COMMENT 2010 By Bob Weaver|
"Grandpa, how come this apple came all the way from China?" asked Billy, crunching down on a Golden Delicious which had its' origins in Clay County WV.
"Billy, it may be hard for you to believe, but there was a time when our families grew the food we ate. We shared it with each others at markets, and then a lot of people got in the big farming business and raised thousands of acres of food products to sell around America," said the white-haired man.
Billy asked "What happened, grandpa?"
"Well, our political leaders and those big international corporations decided it would benefit them to globalize the food market and grow the produce in countries where labor was really cheap, no benefits with no environmental controls."
"The stockholders could make lots of money and the CEO could make millions of dollars in salary and perks," said grandpa.
"How come we don't hear about this on the TV?," ask Billy.
"Well, it's a done deal, while people were sleeping. Besides, it wouldn't sound too good now that the country's economy has fallen apart because of those same big boys," he continued.
"But it is part of the unemployment problem, millions and of jobs gone abroad," Billy said.
"That's old news," grandpa responded, "It's just too much to think about with this recession being caused by the banks and money guys."
"If you didn't know better, you might just think those big boys are in cahoots with the government," Billy lamented.
"Over a decade ago in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, there were orchards that produced four million bushels of apples, now there are only a handful of growers," lamented the old man.
He remembered there was a grower over there in Berkley County named Garland Elliott that was one of the last holdouts, but he too cut down his trees after 30 years and sold his land to a real estate company.
"Just can't compete with those global big guys and their cheap prices," Grandpa said. "Last year when ole Garland tried to sell his harvested apples, he was offered the prices he received in 1989."
"Billy Bennett of the US Farm Services Division says over the past five years, most of the apple growers have bit the dust," he continued.
"This sounds like a bad thing, grandpa, much of our food supply coming from places far, far away," said Billy.
"Well, our leaders say this is good for America, and we must trust them sonny. We must trust them," he replied.
"We still are producing a few products here and there. But it won't be long...," mumbling, as his head fell forward, taking another nap.
2017 - President Donald Trump has promised America's working class that he will Make America Great Again by returning or creating those jobs and businesses that went abroad, a middle class dilemma that has been building for 30 years or more.