Home JackpineRadical Rooms JPR Reading Room Two excellent articles about poverty and drug abuse

  • DoctorJ (441 posts)
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    Two excellent articles about poverty and drug abuse

    Probably not what your Republican friends want to hear, since the authors don’t blame Obama, or Pelosi, or San Francisco, or FDR, but depressing, enlightening reads nevertheless.

    From Naked Capitalism

    The most gripping story is the first, that of Tyler Moore of Mingo, West Virginia, who is meant to stand as the poster child of “low mobility”. But the reason it would be better if he could get out of Mingo is that the town and area are collapsing due to the closure of coal mines, which had been the anchors of the economy.

    And it isn’t that Moore is not willing to go, even though he would prefer to remain near his aging father. It’s that the only thing that has kept him alive is family and community safety nets.

    Even though the story doesn’t dwell on it, it is not hard to discern that Mingo is awash in drugs and despair. From Bloomberg:

    The 23-year-old had run out of options. He’d applied for dozens of jobs within an hour and a half of his hometown of Lovely, once a coal-mining stronghold. Instead of opportunities, he had found waiting lists.

    “Minimum-wage jobs, fast-food restaurants, Wal-Mart, anything like that, a lot of them has already been took,” he says in an Appalachian drawl, explaining that the backlog just to interview was as long as a year. “There are no jobs.”..

     

    Deeply depressed and unemployed, he moved into an old Airstream camper propped on cinder blocks behind his father’s house, at the entrance to the litter-strewn trailer park that the older man owns in the misty hills of Lovely. There, surrounded by long-unemployed neighbors and rampant drug use, Moore began to abuse his medical prescriptions. “I guess I used it as my crutch, in a way,”…

    and it links to an article at Bloomberg

    Because of where the structurally unemployed live, what they’ve done, or the skills they lack, employers can’t or won’t hire them. The problems that keep today’s jobless stuck on the sidelines are different than those of past recoveries: a complex web of often interrelated issues from disability and drug use to criminal records.

    Behind the statistics are people with 20 million unique stories. Here are five.

    xynthee, zoolook67, historylovr and 3 othersPunxsutawney, jwirr, like this
    The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. - Matt Taibbi, "Insane Clown President"

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  • jwirr (3279 posts)
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    1. IMO this is not a new story. I have lived in these types of areas for decades

    since I went to college. Hopelessness is just spreading to more areas since our jobs went missing. What I think is new is that no one in our corporatist government is doing a damned thing about it. They are not even trying. This time the hopelessness seems to include most of the 99% and has issues like climate change and wealth inequality behind it.

    I have also seen this turn around on a reservation that once had few jobs and alcoholism. They started running their own Casino and the attitude flip flopped. Education is important – they have jobs to get ready for. Addiction is seen as a threat to their children and not an escape route. The old junk cars are now for many newer and nicer cars and that includes many things that they could not afford before. It is really unbelievable the difference between then and now.

    So if we had a government and people in the country who cared about anyone besides themselves – this can be made better. Unfortunately the Trump government seems dead set on making it worse.

    • DoctorJ (441 posts)
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      2. Well, we need a trillion dollars of infrastructure upgrades

      Time to revive the WPA, and get Medicare For All and guaranteed education going.

      The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. - Matt Taibbi, "Insane Clown President"
      • jwirr (3279 posts)
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        3. Exactly. There is a lot that could be done.