Farmers in America are more likely to kill themselves than people who work almost any other job and almost nobody is talking about it.
When we talk about climate change, we often focus on polar bears and walruses because we can see the effects immediately on these animals, but it's affecting people too, and the people who depend on the land for their work are getting it hard. Droughts, floods, and unpredictable weather are pushing them to the brink and diminishing their ability to be productive and it's devastating.
To make matters worse, lack of oversight of large farming corporations have allowed mergers that have rigged the entire system against family farmers. These big corporations are putting small farms out of business because government regulators refuse to break up trusts and monopolies like they used to before the 1980s.
On top of that, the big banks have become so cold and brutal that people who are struggling never have a chance. Gone are the days of the community banker, of the George Bailey who will give you a little more time. They are out for money, and when folks don't have money, the banks are out for blood.
Then you look at the lack of healthcare. In a system of employer-based healthcare, farmers are left out in the cold, and even when they have healthcare, it's often not available in small rural communities where doctors cannot make money due to the low populations. And there is certainly not much in the way of mental healthcare available in rural America.
Throw some tariffs on top of all that and no wonder farmers are hopeless in America. They are more under threat than they have ever been before and farming is not only their jobs but their lifestyles. Many times they are farming on the same land their parents and grandparents farmed on and they would rather die than hand it over to the greedy bankers who will subdivide it and make it into the newest community.
And the politicians do nothing except continue to give handouts to the millionaires and billionaires who cause this crisis. They continue to support policies that lead to more devastating climate change regardless of how clear the research is, they continue to support the big banks, they refuse to break up the trusts and monopolies that rig the system against the little guy, they continue to support the high profits of the insurance companies even if it costs the lives of people.
They do all they can to help the rich and do so little to help people who are struggling, and then they wonder why I ally with folks who call themselves socialists. I am a pragmatist. I support policies that work and that make life better and that fix problems. I am about solutions, not about labels, but when the people are suffering and a small group of rich fat cats has gotten everything from our government for so long, and done so at our expense, we need politicians who will fight for the people and not the corporations.
People can call me a socialist if they want, but I support people over corporate profits and that isn't going to change. The millionaires and billionaires have run the show for too long.