United States fact of the day

In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.

Hat tip to Paul Krugman.

Comments

That is beautiful.

Beat me to it, Xmas

Erik, I think the point is that instead of real farming, now we have cyber farming...

and we've outsourced even that to the Chinese...

I think it's really interesting how convoluted this statistic is. If you actually track back, you see that Tyler gets it from Paul Krugman, who gets it from Nicholas Beaudrot, who gets it from John Rogers, who originally posted the stat in March 2006.

We need more of them because each one produces for fewer others.

Why does this relationship matter? I think a more telling pair of numbers would be WoW players vs. Future Farmers of America participants (or 4H clubbers).

It just means that there aren't that many farmers around anymore. And compare to the time when there were a lot of farmers around we're consuming more leisure and better leisure at that. This is supposed to be a good thing. Even from Krugman.

What Krugman means is perfectly clear -- the title of his blog post is "The real America." He references Bush going to his ranch in Crawford to be with "real Americans."

How many farmers play WoW?

Krugmann is snarking at the fact that whenever the media wants a soundbite from an "average American", they make a beeline for a farmer, even though farmers aren't anything near representative in today's urban society.

whenever the media wants a soundbite from an "average American", they make a beeline for a farmer, even though farmers aren't anything near representative in today's urban society.

There are some honest journalists, but generally the media counts as entertainment. Who they pick to interview on news shows is of about the same importance as who they put on other "reality" shows. Frankly, I'd rather have Warcraft.
(My grad degree was in mass media communications, one of my wife's degrees was the same, and we were both involved in news production for a couple of years. Thank god that's over.)

1000 Gold in WoW is sold for about $80US online by WoW Farmers (IGN.com). I play a ton of WoW, and it would take me a 2 or 3 days to make 1000G, possibly a week if things are moving slowly. So real farmers make more than WoW farmers but....

I could get several WoW accounts and a program to play WoW for me (yes they currently exist) and now I bet I can compete with a real Farmer. Now I can make around $160 a day with 3 or 4 computers in a small room over a single internet connection.

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