Lee Pitts: The new rich
Jim Rogers, a financial wizard who retired at 37 recently told the Progressive Cattleman, “In our history there have been long periods where the financial types were in charge followed by long periods where the people who produced real goods were in charge. In the past 30 years finance has been the masters, or the Kings of the Universe. In my view this is coming to an end.”
Guess who Mr. Rogers believes will be the new Masters of the Universe? Farmers and ranchers that’s who! Oh my, the changes we’ll see.
Spoiled rotten FFA’ers and 4-Hers will sign pre-nups and have French chalets in Gunnison. Old shriveled-up ranchers will try to entice beautiful women to marry them with 14 carat gold, diamond encrusted fence pliers. A “trophy wife” will be any woman who can deliver a backwards calf or drive a combine. The newly rich will live behind fancy gates and throw extravagant parties where beer will flow over a fountain of Waterford flutes. It will all take place at the new Waldorf Astoria in Ogallala. Friends will be greeted with fake kisses, air kisses and hand kisses instead of the old farmer handshake that could crack a macadamia nut.
Farm and ranch wives will get facials, practice pilates and drive all new Range Rovers when they go to town for parts or health papers. Instead of nose jobs and boob jobs they’ll keep their old jobs. (Some things never change.) Brandings will be catered affairs and feature designer cupcakes. Personal chefs will prepare dinner and farm families will have personal bodyguards of the Shepherd variety. Instead of being home-schooled, ranch kids will be raised by nannies, not of the goat variety. Doormen at the auction market and the parts house will snap to attention and greet you in a foreign language. Sheepherders will have butlers, farm wives will leave their husbands for tanned and muscular pool boys and Texas A & M will be the “new Harvard”… only have a much better football team.
Versace and Louis Vuitton will come out with a Farmer/Cowboy Collection in the Fall featuring fashionable drop seat overalls and plaid jeans. Carhartt will be bought out by a Billings conglomerate and Rolex will start making pocket watches. When farmers go to town to buy $600,000 tractors they’ll wear white capri pants, sweaters draped over their shoulders, boots with no socks, cuff links in their monogrammed Pendleton shirts and silk suspenders. Wild rags will henceforth be called Ascots.
Ferrari and Maserati will start making pickups and pistachio farmers will own private islands. Polo will replace team roping and farmers will take their land yachts to vacation at the Tulare Farm Show. Airports in Elko, La Grande and Cedar City will have to be lengthened to accommodate Gulfstreams and Lear Jets. Topiary gardens will replace veggie gardens, the infinity pool will be stocked with bass and condescending range bulls will be so well bred they’ll go around with their noses in the air.
Sale barn coffee shops and farmer cafes will become five star restaurants with no prices on the menu. There will be caviar, Champagne and truffle oil on your chicken fried steak. After dinner you’ll retire to an upstairs private club where you can smoke big fat cigars and drink scotch that cost more per bottle than your first truck. Cowboys will only drink water that comes in square bottles from Fiji.
Instead of Bugattis, rare books and dead guy’s art, farmers will collect rusty seats from Allis Chalmers tractors. Christies and Sothebys will be bought out by a sale barn. GQ will have a farm section and some pig farmer from Iowa will die and leave behind enough dough to have a new wing at the hospital named after his pet Duroc.
In the new economy New York will become a ghost town and places like Hickman, Hico and Holyoke will be the new centers of the universe. Wheat farmers will work banker’s hours and bankers will start getting up at four thirty. Investment bankers and venture capitalists will fly economy while rice farmers and bullwhackers snore away in first class. This is gonna be fun, fun, fun!
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