Monday, April 21, 2014

The West Virginia mining country is our ugly past and our ugly future

Poverty hasn’t come back in West Virginia because the War on Poverty failed. It’s back because the Republican Party worked for the past 30 years to repeal everything FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and yes even Nixon put in place to make lives better for working people in America. The Republican Party decided their sole clients were the very rich. Oh they paid lip service to the white racist vote, but most of the Republican policies were directed at depriving and disempowering all working people, white, black, Hispanic, everyone who worked for a paycheck. The Republican Party has diminished the lives and reduced the power of everyone who works for a living and enhanced and protected the wealth and the power of people who own for a living.

Here's an article from today's New York Times that discusses how hopeless lives are in West Virginia.

This is what the bad old days looked like before the progressives (Republicans and Democrats both) wrote workers’ rights into law. An ugly violent world of private corporate armies that prevented workers from organizing or demanding their rights. Few Americans have ever heard of the Ludlow massacre.

Why? Mostly because textbook companies don't dare offend the wealthy who perpetrated this horrible crime. Life was awful for working people a hundred years ago.

The mining companies owned not only the jobs but the houses miners lived in and the stores they were forced to shop in. When miners in Colorado tried to unionize the mining billionaire John D. Rockefeller Jr. sent in hired thugs who burned the miners out of their camp and then mowed them down with machine guns when they tried to escape the flames. It changed how Americans saw the working poor.

This is the future the 1% want. This is the future that the Republican Party is determined to give us. Rich and poor divided, with very few living a middle class life.

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