Damien Sullivan (mindstalk) wrote,
Damien Sullivan

Central Appalachian economy


A 2017 longform article that I just got around to reading, on the economic abuse of West Virginia/central Appalachia. Outcomes: high poverty, low income, low education, higher mortality, higher opioids...

It's an absentee extractive regime, like many colonies. Mines are owned by outside companies, coal wasn't taxed by the state until the 1970s, tons of profit simply exported. Quintessential company towns: workers living in company housing, paid in script, stuff with overpriced company stores. (Maybe less so now, but significant history.) Classist and underfunded schools. Public pays in pollution and land degradation, and now subsidizes the coal companies with outright money.

'Mullins made the National Honors Society. But in eighth grade, an administrator had talked him out of taking the advanced-track classes, telling him his course load looked like too much work for him to handle. Not that he needed much of a push—those classes were filled with the coal-boss kids, who bullied anyone whose dad actually entered a mine.'

'She told her mother she would go anywhere that had at least one stoplight.'

'They come from where even a community college is mostly unheard of. Especially thinking you could move away to a university—that’s not even in the realm of possibility.' See the comment count unavailable DW comments at https://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/565063.html#comments
Tags: appalachia, economics, history, socialism

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