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This highlights the fact that there are quality, good paying jobs in the US. A good portion of the unemployed are unemployed because they overvalue their skills or aren't willing to make changes necessary to become employed.

I find this article to be interesting in light of your comment. It's about 20-somethings scrimping, working crappy jobs, lots of sacrifices, just so they can live in NYC:


I'm sure that it's a quality job, but most people are more interested in a quality career, and they generally perceive that not too many quality careers happen in rural Kansas. Not that aren't any, but there are probably exponentially fewer than in the nearest large city.

If food prices keep rising, there'll be a lot of quality careers in Kansas.

Since the food prices are rising primarily due to the price of gas, perhaps there'll be a lot of farming jobs (even careers!) nearer to major cities.

I am under the impression that people around me have taken a "Start Trek" life for granted:

* Food magically appears in stores

* Water magically flows from taps

* Trash magically disappears

That could explain why reality-checking jobs like farmer are off the radar. Why, aren't there robots or something doing such things?

"Why, aren't there robots or something doing such things?"

I'm actually kind of curious about what is preventing this equipment from actually becoming a robot:

'“I can teach them easily,” he says. “My equipment is goof proof, it has to be.” By that, he means that an employee need not even know how to drive straight, the tractor is guided by a sophisticated guidance sytem hooked into three satellites. “If I overlap six inches on fertilizer or seeding,” he says, “it wastes nearly $10,000.”'

What's the need for a human being in the machine at all? What could he or she do in there but screw things up?

They need humans driving the tractor for the same reasons we aren't all commuting to work in robot cars and buses.

I thought there are robot harvesters guided by GPS already?

(Because people can't stand the thought of robots touching their food with their shiny metal robo-claws!)

Farming on private property is an entirely different scenario than having robot vehicles on public roads. I doubt he'd need anybody's approval to set things up that way.

It would also help if robots that could do the work actually existed.

In most scenarios where robots would be replacing human labor (especially in safety-critical areas like trucking), the engineering problems are a lot more tractable than the political ones.

GPS-guided farming seems like one of the simpler scenarios, and if finding labor is as difficult as the original post claims, one of the more likely ones, as well.

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