"Reading Gene Logsdon's 2010 book "Holy Shit" again. Consider that the
most profitable farms in the US today are the Amish, typically on 50
acres, hand and horse powered, taking 920 hours per year in labor time.
Less than half a normal working year (2080 hours in the US today)"
I suspect the main thing is regulation. The Amish don't get farm bill money, which means they don't have to pay farm bill bribes. Naturally, such laws make food more expensive, not less. The Amish sue the black government when it tries to colonize them, and wins because they're serious.
However, it's also entirely possible that using a tractor costs you more money than you gain. Peasants vs. accounting; accounting wins in yet another walkover. I know for sure that cars cost more than they're worth, yet everyone has one. GM gotta get paid, I suppose; the purpose of the American voter is to be soaked by Fascist corporations. "You will own nothing...because we took it all."
Also the Amish food is organic, nutritious, and delicious.
Meanwhile the black government loves large farms, because the fewer farms there are, the fewer opportunities for its brain-dead bureaucrats to fuck up and let someone, like, run their own life. Ideally there would be one (1) farm in the entire country. They wouldn't lay off or furlough any USDA bureaucrats should this happen, of course. If you look, you'll find that USDA regulations make small farms de-facto illegal, and this is no mistake or accident. (Unless Amish, as above.) Or perhaps they make small tractors unaffordable using unnecessary and inefficient "safety" features like they do with cars.
Just make being poor illegal, and nobody will be poor. Easy! That's totally how it works, right? Someone without brain cancer can legitimately think so?
"You can get 58 acres for under 200k in Trinity County."
Broke: buying twitter.
Woke: buying a Benedict town.
Musk has to deal with black-State bureaucrats all day, and has approximately the same life-satisfaction as an Amish farmer. His billions make up for the fact he's not Amish or pseudo-Amish: it's not a great trade. Does Musk work more 18 hours a week?
In a warm climate like California, you could even work two farms by staggering the harvest a little, at 36 hours a week.
Because the farmers are putting a bunch of Veblenian consumption into the food-production pipeline, there's a bunch of unnecessary work that everyone else has to do to fund their Veblenian consumption; likewise, those feeding the farmer's status anxiety likewise feel immense status anxiety, and need their own palliative Veblenian consumption...
You know, if you worked on average 18 hours a week, maybe you wouldn't be stressed enough to need it.