The new age of agriculture is becoming more and more dependent on machines capable of doing the work of hundreds of men in half the time, and like the prototype tractors of the 1930’s, its driving out farm workers. Machines with the capacity to till, plant, and harvest hundreds of acres have been developed over the past few decades, some of the ones highlighted in this article show how a strawberry picker that is being finalized will only miss on in three berries, meaning a machine is now able to perform very complicated tasks that would normally be done by men. The development of these machines is not enticing farmers in the California area to give up more labor-intensive crops and instead switch to those that can be done mostly by machines, this is causing many potential immigrants to instead remain in Mexico or other countries that are developing more industrial industries or, in the case of asparagus, growing those crops exclusively in other countries. The author of this work seems discouraged about some of the secrecy and uncertainty of this mechanized era.
A world population predicted to reach 9.1 Billion by the year 2050 would mean that agriculture in developing countries would need to almost double and remain stagnant to support this growth. The author expresses growing concerns for both the dietary health of consumers and feasible resource usage. At one point in this paper, the issue of sustainable water was addressed and almost ignored as it was instead filled with more detailed numbers and facts on the nutrients in compatible soil. The article stresses that even though populations are rising exponentially, the rise has decreased over the past few years and that the primary rise has been seen in developing countries which, personally, show that progress is being made that could potentially help address the issue of feeding the world market. Although data from older models was not addressed in this article, the United States faced similar issues during the time period of the Midwest migration. A mass influx of people came to the west coast in search of work and within a matter of months the food sources were either low or not affordable for most, we face similar issues today. Not only would individuals have to change dietary and life choices, choices like consuming more sugar, fat, and saturated fat; the developing countries would have to find way to cheaply produce these crops or raise the livestock and develop these food sources without starving the population that is helping produce them.
This article introduces a new idea to this curation, instead of agricultural policies and economics, this instead examines the racial political tensions in today’s elections. Arpaio is a former sheriff from Arizona who was pardoned by President Donald Trump after facing jail time for ignoring a case of racial injustice that came through his department. Arpaio is currently running for Senate and has had massive amounts of backlash for racial views and apparent anti-sematic views. The author of this article remains mostly unbiased by does lean to the left slightly when describing the vague statements Arpaio makes about his campaign goals. The most prominent issue from this candidate is his perspective on DACA children, which is to deport all illegal immigrants, including children, and then release documents to these individuals to file in order to return legally. Arpaio’s views relate to the law enforcement seen in the Grapes of Wrath, seeming to mirror the idea that those who were born in a certain area deserve more right to the jobs there than those moving in and that those who are coming to this new land should be turned away, either peacefully or by force. Of course, there are no reliable articles on any accusations of Arpaio supporting violence towards different ethnicity, there have been news articles released that show possible ties to Pro-White organizations.
The Dust Bowl in the Midwest at the beginning of the 20th century was primarily caused human factors and ignorance to practical and sustainable agricultural practices. It was these manmade factors combined with poor rainfall that resulted in the destructive sandstorms we characterize with that period today. A very similar circumstance is occurring today in California, large farms are overtaking the land near arid climates and large populations are continuing to rise in major cities that are located in the middle of heavy desertification areas. Most of the water used for the cities of Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the farms near that region, and families of surrounding counties comes from the Colorado River Basin, which is drying up at increasingly dangerous rates. Political issues among this have risen to power with the fear of drought and farmers have begun flooding fields in order to make the most of the water that is left as this 110-year drought continues to worsen. Legislations have released water sustainability documents urging civilians to manage water more efficiently, meanwhile the rich complain about having equal water usage even though they pay higher property taxes and the poverty-stricken population steals water from neighbors or stores rainwater in underground barrels. The issue correlates to the reason why the Joad’s left Oklahoma; drought ultimately caused the worst of the dust bowl, and as the land lost value the banks which owned the land forced them off in order to maximize profits in this nearly profitless land. Today we see a similar issue, drought is slowly depleting this area of the nation of all its resources and livelihood, meanwhile “water Lawyers” are fighting to keep certain businesses and individuals high on the list of water usage to better the ability to continue to profit from this environmental disaster. The author of this article seems to feel frustrate as they describe and introduce the issues of this drought.
There are many ways to juxtapose Tom Joad to the immigrant worker moving to America to escape political injustices and scarce employment opportunities. The immigrants coming to America today are families grounded in agricultural work, who understand the labor and skills needed to effectively cultivate modern crops, although they are often met with more isolating and withholding financial standings than before. Most workers are of Hispanic descent and are escaping “economic instability, political unrest, (and) population growth” and it is these people who work our fields, filling 40% of all farm jobs. This article depicts the insecurities of these workers, expressing how many hide in homes provided by farm owners in order to hide from authorities that could deport them. This population is every-growing in today’s time and remains, for the most part, invisible. It is in this hiding that workers experience similar hardships to the Joad family, both underwent abuse, substandard housing, and violence from farm owners. It is in this that the author sympathizes with the families enduring these modern hardships; it is through this that correlations can be made to the injustices faced by families from the Grapes of Wrath.
John Steinbeck reveals the hardships of immigrant farm workers during the early 1930’s and does a phenomenal job at expressing the damaging effects of poor farm-worker management during this time by the first agricultural corporations. Nonetheless, the detail of this novel does not directly address the numbers of this time period, nor does he contemplate the reasoning for the mistreatment. In this article the author describes how the population change was one of the main causes for this depression. According to the data from this publication California’s population before migration was approximately 5.7 Million, however the rush of immigrants came in waves that accumulated to almost 1.3 million. Not only did this large population boom caused by environmental damages in the Midwest ravage the economy of the time, it prompted the first negative views of communism. Workers migrating into California were fighting for equal work, an idea that correlates strongly to the concept of stabilizing communism, which frightened farm owners who had spent so long trying to grow their farms large enough to feed a population already so large after the gold rush. This sequence of large numbers of seasonal workers arriving unexpectedly lead to “a breeding ground of social unrest,” that was later consumed by riots, strikes, and legal battles to create a livable wage. The author of this article seems to favor both sides quite equally by explaining how the population increase could understandably trigger an already very populated state still stabilizing from its conception, while also pointing out how media sources from California at this time leaned in favor of the farm corporations, who were profiting greatly from the migrant workers. The author describes how this idea of maintaining growing profits kept steady until strikers were killed by farm owners. This murder in the tabloids, fueled by artists, such as Woodie Guthrie and Anne Loftis, lead to the formation of Worker Unions which would set wage requirements and suitable living conditions.
With rising communism in China and discrimination among lower-class families, many Chinese families attempted to escape the new government system, however most families were withheld and did not migrate. Those who did move or find methods of moving were generally working men, and were transported on ships owned by American companies, especially those helping fund the railroad. The ships that transported these workers were often in deplorable conditions, and the author of this article emphasized the discrimination that occurred both on these ships and after arrival. These workers, and the few families that made it across the pacific, can be juxtaposed to the Oklahoma migrants during the time of the dust bowl; both groups were facing issues with bank or government changes altering their life, and both were soon to encounter discrimination and lack of work in their new land. After the Chinese workers arrived they soon found that their only means of work was railroad construction which was both dangerous and straining. After the railroad work had concluded these immigrants struggled to find a life in the system and took many companies to court or fought laws that withheld them. The author consistently expresses sympathy to these people and the journey they have gone through.
As the increasing destructive power of the man-made environmental dangers ravaged the land of central America, the inhabitants who moved here in hope of agricultural consistency and wealth in the form of farmland. Drought soon came to this land of prosperity, meaning less income for farmers who lead to inevitable bank foreclosures. With growing rates of poverty, farmers soon looked to the state of California—which had previously been regarded as a land of opportunity after the gold rush. Decent climates, resources, and the compelling landscape where just a few of the attractions that led Okies to the west. Soon after arrival the immigrants realized life was not all that was promised and were treated as “scum” due to regional differences between the migrants and Californians at the time. Rising tensions eventually led artist Dickinson to paint the famous painting “Valley Farms,” which emphasized the harsh climate in comparison to the oasis-like expectation of the state. Soon the Farm Security Administration (FSA) sought to document the migration in the form of photographs in order to prove that the hardships were more than just tales. Between the years of 1935 and 1944 photographers such as, Dorothea Lange, took over 80,000 photographs, the most famous of which is an image of a mother in dirty, tattered clothes as she holds her infant in her lap and looks into the distance while her two older boys hide innocently behind her. The author seems to be trying to withhold any bias for the sake of historical significance, however this article only introduces facts about migrants which leans this more in favor of immigrants. All of the information from this article was based on events and news from the 1930’s, correlating this to the time period of the novel.