The American farmer is the backbone of the country. There is no doubt about that. Practically everything that we eat comes out of the ground and if it were not for the farmer, who slaves early and late to see that it does come out of the ground, we would soon stop eating. The farmer is a producer, most of the rest of us are middlemen, manipulators, consumers; all necessary to carry out the functions of our complicated civilization, but not all of equal importance. It is well for some of us to realize where we stand and not get too puffed up over our jobs. The farmer’s job still ranks first, the United States is still essentially agricultural though it is rapidly becoming industrialized. One reason for this is that our factories, protected by a tariff, are still able to flourish on domestic consumption and reap an additional profit by selling their surplus production at a small profit abroad. This is true only where mass production reduces the labor cost below that of foreign competition. We cannot and should not attempt to compete against foreign countries in crafts requiring skilled hand labor. Our wage scale and standard of living make such competition unprofitable.
The Farmer and the Merchant Marine
By Rear Admiral Luke McNamee, U. S. Navy, Commander Destroyer Squadron, U. S. Battle Fleet