This lyrics were mainly written by bass player David Ellefson, whose family ran a farm in Hartland, Minnesota, but lost it to foreclosure. Ellefson blamed the policies of President Ronald Reagan for allowing the agricultural corporations to drive family farms out of business.
"It was speaking specifically about the hardships that the farmers were having, that started when I left home in 1983 when I went to California," Ellefson said in his Songfacts interview
. "It was a three-year time when we saw Farm Aid and really the implosion of the farming community that was largely based on Ronald Reagan's policies. It was the Cold War during the Ronald Reagan era - I believe there were sanctions against Russia where we stopped shipping grain over to Russia, which caused this surplus, which of course caused prices to crash and farmland to decrease in value."