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Vast Stretches Of Impoverished Appalachia Look Like They Have Been Through A War

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If you want to get an idea of where the rest of America is heading, just take a trip through the western half of West Virginia and the eastern half of Kentucky some time.  Once you leave the main highways, you will rapidly encounter poverty on a level that is absolutely staggering.  Overall, about 15 percent of the entire nation is under the poverty line, but in some areas of eastern Kentucky, more than 40 percent of the population is living in poverty.  Most of the people would work if they could.  Over the past couple of decades, locals have witnessed businesses and industries leave the region at a steady pace.  When another factory or business shuts down, many of the unemployed do not even realize that their jobs have been shipped overseas.  Coal mining still produces jobs that pay a decent wage, but Barack Obama is doing his very best to kill off that entire industry.  After decades of decline, vast stretches of impoverished Appalachia look like they have been through a war.  Those living in the area know that things are not good, but they just try to do the best that they can with what they have.

In previous articles about areas of the country that are economically depressed, I have typically focused on large cities such as Detroit or Camden, New Jersey.  But the economic suffering that is taking place in rural communities in the heartland of America is just as tragic.  We just don't hear about it as much.

Most of those that live in the heart of Appalachia are really good "salt of the earth" people that just want to work hard and do what is right for their families.  But after decades of increasing poverty, the entire region has been transformed into an economic nightmare that never seems to end.  The following is a description of what life is like in Appalachia today that comes from a recent article by Kevin D. Williamson...

Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death: Life expectancies are short — the typical man here dies well over a decade earlier than does a man in Fairfax County, Va. — and they are getting shorter, women’s life expectancy having declined by nearly 1.1 percent from 1987 to 2007.

In these kinds of conditions, people do whatever they have to do just to survive.  With so much poverty around, serving those on food stamps has become an important part of the local economy.  In fact, cases of soda purchased with food stamps have become a form of "alternative currency" in the region.  In his article, Williamson described how this works...

It works like this: Once a month, the debit-card accounts of those receiving what we still call food stamps are credited with a few hundred dollars — about $500 for a family of four, on average — which are immediately converted into a unit of exchange, in this case cases of soda. On the day when accounts are credited, local establishments accepting EBT cards — and all across the Big White Ghetto, “We Accept Food Stamps” is the new E pluribus unum – are swamped with locals using their public benefits to buy cases and cases — reports put the number at 30 to 40 cases for some buyers — of soda. Those cases of soda then either go on to another retailer, who buys them at 50 cents on the dollar, in effect laundering those $500 in monthly benefits into $250 in cash — a considerably worse rate than your typical organized-crime money launderer offers — or else they go into the local black-market economy, where they can be used as currency in such ventures as the dealing of unauthorized prescription painkillers — by “pillbillies,” as they are known at the sympathetic establishments in Florida that do so much business with Kentucky and West Virginia that the relevant interstate bus service is nicknamed the “OxyContin Express.” A woman who is intimately familiar with the local drug economy suggests that the exchange rate between sexual favors and cases of pop — some dealers will accept either — is about 1:1, meaning that the value of a woman in the local prescription-drug economy is about $12.99 at Walmart prices.

I would encourage everyone to read the rest of Williamson's excellent article.  You can find the entire article right here.

In Appalachia, the abuse of alcohol, meth and other legal and illegal drugs is significantly higher than in the U.S. population as a whole.  In a desperate attempt to deal with the pain of their lives, many people living in the region are looking for anything that will allow them to "escape" for a little while.  The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Chris Hedges which describes what life is like in the little town of Gary, West Virginia at this point...

Joe and I are sitting in the Tug River Health Clinic in Gary with a registered nurse who does not want her name used. The clinic handles federal and state black lung applications. It runs a program for those addicted to prescription pills. It also handles what in the local vernacular is known as “the crazy check” -- payments obtained for mental illness from Medicaid or SSI -- a vital source of income for those whose five years of welfare payments have run out. Doctors willing to diagnose a patient as mentally ill are important to economic survival.


“They come in and want to be diagnosed as soon as they can for the crazy check,” the nurse says. “They will insist to us they are crazy. They will tell us, ‘I know I’m not right.’ People here are very resigned. They will avoid working by being diagnosed as crazy.”


The reliance on government checks, and a vast array of painkillers and opiates, has turned towns like Gary into modern opium dens. The painkillers OxyContin, fentanyl -- 80 times stronger than morphine -- Lortab, as well as a wide variety of anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, are widely abused. Many top off their daily cocktail of painkillers at night with sleeping pills and muscle relaxants. And for fun, addicts, especially the young, hold “pharm parties,” in which they combine their pills in a bowl, scoop out handfuls of medication, swallow them, and wait to feel the result.

Of course this kind of thing is not just happening in the heart of Appalachia.  All over the country there are rural communities that are economically depressed.  In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, economic activity in about half of the counties in the entire nation is still below pre-recession levels...

About half of the nation’s 3,069 county economies are still short of their prerecession economic output, reflecting the uneven economic recovery, according to a new report from the National Association of Counties.

So what are our "leaders" doing to fix this?

Well, they plan to ship millions more of our good jobs overseas.

Unfortunately, I am not kidding.

Republicans in the House of Representatives are introducing "fast track" trade promotion authority legislation that will pave the way for rapid approval of the secret trade treaty that Barack Obama has been negotiating.  The following is how I described this insidious treaty in a previous article...

Did you know that the Obama administration is negotiating a super secret "trade agreement" that is so sensitive that he isn't even allowing members of Congress to see it?  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being called the "NAFTA of the Pacific" and "NAFTA on steroids", but the truth is that it is so much more than just a trade agreement.  This treaty has 29 chapters, but only 5 of them have to do with trade.  Most Americans don't realize this, but this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.  It will also merge the United States far more deeply into the emerging one world economic system.

Once again, our politicians are betraying the American people and millions of jobs will be lost as a result.

Not that the economy needs another reason to go downhill.  The truth is that our economic foundations have already been rotting away for quite some time.

But now the ongoing economic collapse seems to be picking up steam again.  For example, the Baltic Dry Index (a very important indicator of global economic activity) is collapsing at a rate not seen since the great financial crash of 2008...

Despite 'blaming' the drop in the cost of dry bulk shipping on Colombian coal restrictions, it seems increasingly clear that the 40% collapse in the Baltic Dry Index since the start of the year is more than just that. While this is the worst start to a year in over 30 years, the scale of this meltdown is only matched by the total devastation that occurred in Q3 2008. Of course, the mainstream media will continue to ignore this dour index until it decides to rise once again, but for now, 9 days in a row of plunging prices is yet another canary in the global trade coalmine and suggests what inventory stacking that occurred in Q3/4 2013 is anything but sustained.

Soon economic conditions will get even worse for Appalachia and for the rest of the country.  The consequences of decades of very foolish decisions are rapidly catching up with us, and millions upon millions of Americans are going to experience immense economic pain during the years to come.


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Sat, 01/18/2014 - 12:22 | 4343918 UH-60 Driver
UH-60 Driver's picture

"about $12.99 at Walmart prices." 

Seems about right, with inflation and all "that".

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 12:40 | 4343962 john39
john39's picture

the united states is being turned into a third world country...  stripped of resources, polluted and wrecked.  fracking is just one example. 

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 12:51 | 4343987 flacon
flacon's picture

"You didn't impoverish that".

"If you like your poverty, you can keep it." 

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:22 | 4344048 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"“They come in and want to be diagnosed as soon as they can for the crazy check,” the nurse says. “They will insist to us they are crazy. They will tell us, ‘I know I’m not right.’ People here are very resigned. They will avoid working by being diagnosed as crazy.”


That's not resigned.   That's determined.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:32 | 4344198 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

This is the crap New Yawkers want to believe about America, especially the South.

Add in the marijuana money and the 'shine money, and they are doing all right.  Just don't mess around the back forty without a polite introduction.  If you look carefully at night, the grow lights in the basement give some of the houses that encounters of the third kind levitation look.  Really cool.  It's an illusion..., I hope.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:09 | 4344245 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

Goooo Omoaba ...

Mr. Peacenick And Nobel Winner ...



Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:11 | 4344270 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more."

Where's a good place to find more detailed info on these "provisions"??

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:38 | 4344316 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Two chapters leaked:  intellectual property and environment.

The environmental chapter does not hold any substantial powefull instruments in order to prevent or punish environmental pollution etc. After all why would one want environmental protection in the way of business?

I think just in the case of the 'free trade' agreement that is secretively negociated with the EU, the TPP will give legal representatives of big business arbitral power over national legislation.....

That's all I know. Perhaps somebody else has more info.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:49 | 4344475 Four chan
Four chan's picture

Winter's bone.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:05 | 4344509 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Yeah, that is what this story reminded me of as well. Interesting movie that portrays a subculture that I really had no idea of.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:30 | 4344547 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

They are poor white people. fuck'em.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:38 | 4344568 Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

The "war on poverty" debases all cultures reliably.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:12 | 4344649 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Appalachia is another demonstration how LBJ's crime against humanity ruined white people as easily as black. Pay people to be idle, to make fatherless kids, this is what you get.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:27 | 4344678 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

More casualty in "War on Prosperity". Boris remember when Soviet politburo rejoice for LBJ policy. What Soviet could not win by force, is won by collapse of American sense and value. But this is not matter of Soviet or America, this is dark cloud of progressivism despotism to descend on every clime, region, and tongue.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:47 | 4345261 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



None of this could possibly be true since, according to the article immediately preceding this one, one out of every 26 households in West Virginia is worth more than $1,000,000.00.


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:53 | 4345265 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

Time for a war so we can show them how rich America is.

When you see nice planes dropping big bombs you feel good about being American regardless of how poor you are.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 01:17 | 4345356 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture

"The Meek shall inherit the Earth."

...but little else....

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 07:45 | 4345587 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture







As soon as we lower the oceans.....we'll get to Appalachia.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 08:11 | 4345620 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Exactly right!

Obama needs to issue Executive Orders to correct these pressing issues. If he won't do it, we'll find a dictator who will!!!

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 09:35 | 4345662 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I'm sure 'they' are working on it already...

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:07 | 4345864 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Oh, I'm not so sure. Impoverished ,drugged people living in dispair and having no hope has never been a pressing issue to any government. Now, an intelligent, healthy, aware population that has potential to organize and fight back? Hmmm, whole different animal.


Sun, 01/19/2014 - 03:14 | 4345448 Lore
Lore's picture

Re: "Time for a war so we can show them how rich America is."

Take a look at some of these places in StreetView, and you find a whole lot of young men and women in the streets, ripe for military recruitment:  "Hello there, young man/woman! How would you like to SERVE YOUR COUNTRY?"  It may be the closest thing to a 'career' and 'future' that many ever see: clean clothes, hot meals, a place to sleep, discipline, direction, 'family,' and a chance to travel the world and blow stuff up like in 'Call of Duty.' 

In the old days of WW2, the eldest son was considered exempt, as there was a need to run the family farm.  Everyone else was fair game, unless you were 4F (unfit), in which case you were ostracized: "Why aren't you fighting for your country?" In Canada, you were expected to fight for "Queen AND country."  It's tempting to look down on our forbears and think them ignorant, brainwashed morons, except nothing has changed.  The old formula still works.  Set 'em up, knock 'em down...

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 07:47 | 4345602 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Obama's 'progressivism' did lead him to state that he wanted to level the economic playing field for everyone. People didnt seem to realize at the time that he meant he was determined to make everyone equally poor regardless of race or where one lived. Think of it as Detroit out in the country.  

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:36 | 4344560 Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

The Dystopian Tour Company.

"See Detroit, West Virginia, and Newark from the comfort of an armored, NBC protected tour bus.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:55 | 4344605 NuckingFuts
NuckingFuts's picture

You should read more of Daniel Woodrells fiction , or as we call it here in Missouri, real life.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 21:32 | 4345019 Zadok
Zadok's picture

SW Missouri (misery) ain't much different...

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:09 | 4344606 NuckingFuts
NuckingFuts's picture


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:08 | 4344642 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

Dear Tylers, Please make 4Chans avatar bigger.

I'm only going to ask a thousand more times.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:02 | 4344622 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Free trade agreements as they are called will make sure all those pesty small and medium enterprises are thrown under the bus. Nobody will openly trade a Manhattan for some glass pearls but trade "partners" will get an even worse
deal because they know shit about American Legalese.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:03 | 4350360 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Two points. 

First, obviously what these poor folks need is medical insurance with a $6000 deductible.  Lucky the teleprompter in chief took care of that one.

Second, isn't it funny that stories like this come out just when Obama decides to focus on his "war" on economic inequality -- a fancy name for poverty?  I'm sure it's a coincidence...  nothing to do with the progressives wanting to increase the minimum wage, or welfare to the free shit army.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 22:50 | 4345166 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

It would be interesting to know how many people are receiving government assistance in the "Vast Stretches Of Impoverished Appalachia"? 


Sun, 01/19/2014 - 08:31 | 4345605 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Literally half the country is receiving some sort of welfare subsistence. I am not sure if this also includes our vast army of newly disabled.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 10:27 | 4345706 BandGap
BandGap's picture

I lived in WV for 8 years. Made a great lliving. There are pockets of surprising prosperity and then utter dependency, sometimes side by side. Zoning is a joke.

Some locales actually pile up garbage all winter when they can't haul it, and throw it into rivers during the spring high water. There are some odd people and odd places in the state.

It is a beautiful statefor the most part.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:44 | 4344338 negative rates
negative rates's picture

If they keep drinking that water, they'll find the promised land for sure.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:04 | 4344506 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Here is an interesting artcile on TTP on RT:

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:56 | 4344366 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

All ye, bow down and give thamks to the arrogant, lying narcissistic illegal kenyan azzhole so je and the wookie can live there imperial grand life style while the peasamts and serfs eat ebt cake.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:38 | 4344571 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

Cloward-Piven,...full steam ahead!

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:34 | 4344687 InjectTheVenom
InjectTheVenom's picture

Yup !     Funny how i never see anybody  @MSM mentioning C&P  ... ?!    Almost as if they're trying to distract us from what's really going on !

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 07:27 | 4345591 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




When they come down from the 5 year climax.....I'm sure someone will mention it.


After they have a smoke that is.....

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 11:29 | 4345805 Spumoni
Spumoni's picture

Having done business in rural Appalachia for more than 30 years, I can affirm the author's views to some extent. The poverty throughout the region is astounding - but it did not happen last week, last year or indeed even in the last 20 years. Poverty has been the common thread of existence in the mountain areas since they were settled. Coal mining is a curse on the planet, and we as a species really need to find other ways to produce energy, but that is not the point I wish to make here. There are other 'anchor' employers in the region, and I sure ain't talking about Wallfart. There is still a small but widespread distribution of factories. Tree farming has, er...taken root in the region and provides a sustainable and diverse income. Most of what one sees are Christmas tree farms, but there are many small nurseries for hardwoods and ornamentals. Valley floors are farmed with grains and livestock. Here and there is a mine or quarry. Quarrying bluestone and granite has added jobs and money throughout the region. The Appalachian businessman knows that intrastate export means local dollar import, and exploits that dynamic well. If you get milk in cartons, your milk carton is made in a small town in North Carolina. 

The people of Appalachia are versatile and hardy. While they lack many services citytowners take for granted (trash pickup, water/sewer, decent grocery stores, etc), there are few who can do so much with so little. I may not agree with the prevalent politics, but I deeply admire the way they raise their children. Everyone can grow a garden, raise chickens, hunt/dress/preserve wild game, and carry on a conversation. For the most part, a man's word is still his bond-and if someone is a cheat or a liar, s/he is known and labeled so by the people around. As for the whisky, well, some will kill you, and some will make an old man feel mighty young for a few hours. Nowhere on earth is the fiddle or banjo played with more skill and less abandon.

Appalachians have a strong sense of neighborhood and community. They still look out for their neighbors, take care of their elderly and keep watch on the village young. If you "ain't from 'round here,' it might be a good idea to get an introduction before you go driving into some 'towns' you might see on the map. You could get lost. The poverty is so bad in some places that a person displaying too much bling stands an excellent chance of losing it. Better to keep a low profile and carry protection. A cell phone won't be much help. Bring a hospitable spirit with you, and you'll generally find one welcoming you in return. Avoid the place if you don't believe that your own excrement has a pungent and unpleasant aroma. 

One thing is certain- imbedded distrust of governments and their agents runs very deep and wide. If things come to a deep and true depression, life expectancy among Appalachians will be considerably higher than for those living in the city. I don't know what the financial services crowd is going to eat then - each other I suppose. 

The only poverty that limits a man is the poverty of thought and imagination. There is plenty of both in the mountains.


Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:11 | 4345869 juangrande
juangrande's picture

The above applies to the deep south, mountain west, and many parts of the upper midwest.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 15:42 | 4346427 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

so they don't trust government, which is fine, yet they'll take all the government benefits they can.


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:49 | 4344230 Moe Hamhead
Moe Hamhead's picture

That's crazy !

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:46 | 4344940 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

87% of moms in Appalachia believe that Mountain Dew wards off evil spirits. That's why each child from the age of 8 weeks consumes mass quantities daily. Look it up! It's science!

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 03:40 | 4345488 Lore
Lore's picture

Here in Canada, we drive away the evil spirit by purchasing "CARBON OFFSETS."  Science is so groovy.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:12 | 4345870 juangrande
juangrande's picture

I, too, was struck by the use of low grade poison as a trading currency.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:40 | 4344080 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Those people should keep electing those right-wing assholes that support free trade agreements if they like their poverty so much.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:49 | 4344106 Overfed
Overfed's picture

 Like Clinton, O'bomb-a and Swinestein? Get over the false Left/Right paradigm, dude. They are ALL working to sell us out and have been for over 40 years.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:34 | 4344208 therover
therover's picture

Damn right. When people start realizing it's a one party system, run by lawyers, and the fact that the first thing 'we the people' can do is vote out ANY lawyer in office and demand that NO lawyer be allowed to be in politics, is the first step to getting back OUR country.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:39 | 4344329 CH1
CH1's picture

the first thing 'we the people' can do is...

Stop Obeying Them. Walk Away From Their Game.

As long as we keep obeying, why should anything change?

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 08:31 | 4345604 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Got plenty of top leaders from both sides in the cult.


They'll let you join.....but fair's wicked expensive.


The cult is neither Democrat or's kinda it's own thing actually.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 22:46 | 4345163 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

It's been a real bitch getting down on a level playing field with China.  Thanks Nixon.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:44 | 4344466 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

Hey midtown idiot. Try doing some research before commenting, WV has been a Democratic strong hold for a hell of a long time. How about they stop electing democrat criminals that are to busy stuffing their pockets with coal miner union money. dipshit.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 07:56 | 4345609 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Same goes for Detroit.


Would you like somemore Koolaid to wash that down?

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:32 | 4344554 walküre
walküre's picture

You think the moles of Appalachia are voting? Can't blame the slaves when their masters are the only ones who get to vote on whether the slaves are being beaten with a blue or red whip.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 08:16 | 4345623 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Yeah, West Virginia is a great Republican stronghold. Moron.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:44 | 4344091 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Even Forrest Gump knew that "Stupid is as Stupid does".  In this day and age, the solution is simple:  LEAVE.  Some will call me naive for suggesting such a thing, but its not that hard.  But I guess the trauma of leaving might be more daunting than the relative ease of continuing your Entitlement State idyll.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:04 | 4344130 mumcard
mumcard's picture

Move on up like George and Weezy?  So country bumpkin with low IQ and no education moves to the city.  Gets section 8, food stamps and welfare.  Looks for a minimum wage job...get's hired on at McDs and thinks he's made it.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:11 | 4344151 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

At $10.10/hr, that's making it for sure. I'm not even kidding.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:14 | 4344158 mumcard
mumcard's picture

Until robo flipper takes his job, and he loses his housing because he's making too much.  So now he's homeless in the big city, living in shelters and rooting through garbage dumpsters.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:53 | 4344237 mumcard
mumcard's picture

Or I guess he could wind up in the prison industrial complex.  In any case, his life expectancy would probably be higher than staying in the hills.  But the hills are home.


Those who have the required work skills, the academic ability, or the simple desperate native enterprising grit to do so get the hell out as fast as they can, and they have been doing that for decades

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:35 | 4344562 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

Appalachia is chock full of Scotch-Irish "not so brights".  If they were all green or purple, they would be a minority group eligible for the Federal dole.  Instead they are lilly white.  As such they are a part of the problem.  Hence they are considered to be part of the "opressors" who discriminate against the "victims" - even though they personally live in destitute poverty.  It sucks to be a poor white person.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:40 | 4344577 mumcard
mumcard's picture

I remember my high school guidance counselor would tell people that wouldn't be serious "well, the world needs ditch diggers too..."  Unfortunately now, that job has been mechanized.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:27 | 4344674 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

+1 for Caddyshack reference, intentional or not

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 04:37 | 4345512 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

How bad can it be? They have sexual favors and stuff.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 09:51 | 4345676 booboo
booboo's picture

I don't think Caddy Shack originated that phrase, millions of fathers gave that advice to their sons about the time the bankers realized they could monitize progressive thought tanks called universities, dads were less weepy, wore tighty whities and drank Falstaff beer cause it made them feel good and kept the bowels moving.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:18 | 4344661 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

BS. The war on poverty operated just as fiercely on these impoverished backwater whites as anywhere else it destroyed families and made dependence the respected way of life.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:02 | 4344853 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

It's ' Scots-Irish' dipshit. Scotch is a drink, and a damn fine one at that.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:09 | 4344869 akak
akak's picture

So who are the Butterscotch?

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:26 | 4344909 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

Maybe too much scotch b4 I posted. 

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:29 | 4344914 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

My apologies for the 'dipshit'. I may be a little too aggressive in defending my heritage.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:43 | 4344935 akak
akak's picture

Fuck, compared to somebody who is of 100% Polish descent in a profoundly ignorant America, you can hardly know what "defending your heritage" really means.  Wake me up when "Scotch jokes" are one-tenth as ubiquitous as Polack jokes.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:49 | 4344945 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

Perhaps I should have said 'defining' my heritage as opposed to 'defending'.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:55 | 4344956 akak
akak's picture

Gotcha, nc.

And sorry if I sounded a bit harsh in my previous post --- I did not intend it to be.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:58 | 4344963 besnook
besnook's picture

i married a polack. i should have listened to the jokes. she has turned me into one after 25 years.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:39 | 4345252 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Yeah. there's a polack or three in my history.  I loved them all.  The one I miss is called Christa.  Damn, she was hot!

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:44 | 4345257 Seer
Seer's picture

Jokes are one thing, outright bigotry and hatred are another.  My wife is "non-white," and, even folks here would denigrate her for such (never mind that she can out-work and out-think most here); and when things collapse I'm quite certain that a lot of bigoted, xenophobic fucks are going to be firing not at "Polacks," but at folks whose skin ain't white.

That said, I fully understand that such is not the sole domain of "whites," which is why I poo-poo the suggesting that folks should leave the U.S. for South America (or other such locations).

Divide and conquer is alive and well...

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:27 | 4344912 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

Butters' last name is Stotch.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 22:39 | 4345149 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Yeah mumcard, if homeboy got to the city and he can hold down a living situation and a small job, he's probably not on the hard stuff. If he is on hard stuff, perhaps with a low-skilled job to be automated soon, he's ending up in the PIC. Especially now that everything is a crime and not paying your fines lands you in jail in some places.

As the Hutts say on Tatooine, "bantha poodoo."

The key thing to making it out of trashy towns is not to get hooked on the hard stuff, or if you do, get the hell out of it before it eats your life. The poverty and lack of employment can be fixed, pending the fixing entire cities of hard-drug addicts, an impossible effort without first turning off the bigPharma and Afghani poppy taps. Once you're in the city, it's another battle. The markets are more concrete - you need cash - gotta do things, riskier things.

Low skills + hard drugs = jail time.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:55 | 4344244 mumcard
mumcard's picture

We're movin' on up!


"living in (over-fed, late model car, air conditioned, big screen tevee, Obamaphone equipped urban) poverty"

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:58 | 4344252 mumcard
mumcard's picture

America's new national anthem:


*from the comments:  This needs to play anytime the president comes to the podium.


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:40 | 4344694 InjectTheVenom
InjectTheVenom's picture

we need a president first !

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:23 | 4345225 Borrow Owl
Borrow Owl's picture

I gave you an upvote for your obvious enthusiasm... but....the sad truth is that we are in the mess that we are in because the herd has been brainwashed into believing that the presence of 'leaders' are a necessary prerequisite to their prosperity and survival- despite the fact that the aforementioned 'leaders' are, in fact, the single greatest threat to said prosperity and survival.


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:46 | 4345260 Seer
Seer's picture

Handshake/hug to you.  Need more people to understand this (need less party pussies).

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:38 | 4344570 mumcard
mumcard's picture

It really reminds me of that old Stacy Keach movie The Gravy Train where the two WV miners go to DC wanting to become bank robbers and restaranteurs.



Sat, 01/18/2014 - 19:51 | 4344833 Dugald
Dugald's picture



Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:04 | 4344508 Excursionist
Excursionist's picture

You beat me to the punch...

"So what are our 'leaders' doing to fix this?"  How about this for a fuckin' change:  what are the people in Appalachia doing to fix this?

I read a ZH post just prior to this one about where the millionaire households are.  North Dakota jumped 14 spaces.  Great!  Get in your pickup trucks or Greyhound buses and move to where the economy is prospering.  How's that for a revolutionary thought?

Why is it that illiterate peasants 100, 200, etc. years ago had enough common sense (and willingness) to get off their asses and go where the money is, but today such a concept for many is inconceivable?

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 19:17 | 4344765 401K of Dooom
401K of Dooom's picture

Oh it's simple!  You cannnot hold anyone acountable, except for White, Christian, heterosexual, Males who had ancestors from Europe.  We are the scapegoats for everything in our society now.  And these idiots in Appalachia are allowed to get away with murder in the false claims for entitlement enrollments that they make.  I have moved when and where I have to go in order to get a better job or opportunity.  Why should I pay these people to sit around and fester like boils?   Go ahead and vote me down, it will only prove that I am right.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 22:05 | 4345082 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture

When grandpa, and ma, and you, and your kid, ... when they all are covered in dirt, and have no teeth, and the only entertainment is watching your 7 year old son fuck a blow-up life size doll in front of the entire family of 50, ... Who do you blame?

Where do you send them? When there are 1,000's and 1,000's such familys not even OBAMA can rescue them, ...

{ p.s. Saw if for myself when I was a kid, I had a OKIE GF, and she took me home to MEET the family, and PA said "WANT TO see some cool?", I didn't reply, he looked over at a little boy about 5 years of age and said "FETCH SALLY", in a minute the little boy had a blow-up doll on the living room floor and dropped his shorts and was nailing the hell, and everybody in the family was clapping, including GRANNY. I excused myself and never went back to the house,... later the GF told me this was normal, almost every family she knew had such a doll.  Never went back to that town ... ever ... This was 50+ years ago ... }

Welcome to the REAL ameriKKKa

Escape for these PEOPLE? Where? How?

They can't leave their situation, because anything else would be boring, like we used to say, a virgin is a 5year old that runs faster than pa.



Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:38 | 4345249 Borrow Owl
Borrow Owl's picture

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that somewhere... in a secret underground bunker..or in a tiny, artificially lit cubicle- be it in Virginia, Utah or Bumfuck Arizona... that there are legions of  NSA virgins enthusiastically- nay, even viciously- strumming their grossly undersized genitalia as they read your post.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 21:43 | 4345041 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Sodium flouride discoloring their teeth...and other things, like IQ.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 21:55 | 4345065 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture

About 40 years ago, I got a good deal on some timberland in Idaho, I actually still own own it, ... 1,000's of acres far north, near the Canada border. { I will never sell, if I sold they would clear-cut, I'll leave it to Sierra or such }

In my time I built a cabin up there, and stayed summers, but what I found over the years, that the people in majority nobody had over an IQ of 90, ... maybe less.

It's all because of 2nd, 3rd, and now 4th generation welfare and hopelessness, and the parents are alcoholics and drug addicts, when I go back now, they got DOWNS SYNDROME and AUTISM almost 50% I kid you not, ... what I see in these rural areas is heading to an IQ of 50.

You can't live near this shit, ... its impossible, ... RAPE is rampant, everytime I return I hear the same story, young couple of teenagers high on METH, rape and rob some 80 year old guy and tie him to a tree, and they both butt-fuck him, and then use his ATM, where they get their photo, and get busted, ... but it never fucking ends. I mean, why would teenagers want to butt-fuck old men? That shows how fucking crazy the rural ameriKKKa has become, and why I don't want to be there,

Ahh, this is why I say you got to be armed there, when I go out any time in the woods or rural, of course you got to be armed, the METH kids only fuck with people that aren't ARMED.


But still its no way to live :(


Oh, my point, HOW can a 4th generation METH-KID jump on a bus, and go work in the OIL fields? Fucking IMPOSSIBLE, they have an IQ of 88, and no teeth and scabs on their face, who in the fuck would hire this? NOBODY

I'm talking real, its impossible, ... its like 30% of the USA population has culled itself, ... BY DESIGN? I don't think so, just the consequences of WALL STREET GREED.


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 22:53 | 4345173 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

Too many marry their cousins or worse.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 09:57 | 4345633 Zadok
Zadok's picture

I am going to jump in here and second the validity of the story with minor variations that occurred in SW Misery (Missouri). I have never in my life seen a dumber group of people. Inbred to the point there is NO stigma regarding inbreeding, half of the high school students have classical inbred deformities, drugs everywhere, good old boy network fully in play, Stockholm syndrome, fully supportive of the Red team oppressors (one more stupid example that it is one party rule by oppression), Lord have mercy the poverty, it just goes on and on.
They worst is how they love and fight desperately FOR their oppressors so they can continue in their dysfunctional, self destructive, and codependent ways and measure 'made it' by their ability to inflict it on others as oppressors.
My how I learned to loath that place!
Loath, but when stepping away from their clannish, oppression driven tactics of coersion, i really feel sheer unadulterated sadness at what it is. Made worst by their conscious efforts to maintain the oppression. So unbelievably sad.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:39 | 4345752 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I think I'll jump in here too. I live in Western Kentucky. One of the most beautiful places on earth. I have neighbors that look after one another, salt of the earth. We have every cardboard cutout described on this thread. Once you get to know them, you realize these are good people. They don't wear their education on their chests hoping to impress anyone. They don't go on about how superior they are to others. They don't waste their sunday mornings talking people down, so they can feel better about themselves.

Urban people live in nightmarish criminality, ambulances and police sirens around the clock. More locks on their doors than a prison cell. The pollution is off the chart. They might as well portion part of their paycheck to the insurance companies for property protection. How many of you well to do want to traverse Compton at night?  

Most of you blind to the sources of your slavery. Law, government, (their) education system, your water, food and air. Utilities, building regulations, fees without end. Still, it feels GOOD to parody and malign those that need your possible leadership or hand up. I mean, damn, you could be one of "them" someday, be in a position to abuse and and look down upon most of the population. What could be better than that? Eat in the best reataurants, wear the best clothes, drink fine liquors and stroll the decks of the best yachts. All paid for with the simple price of your soul, which judging from some comments, is pretty well discounted anyway.

The people of appalacia have learned to survive the best way they know how. They have been abused, poisoned and killed by the coal companies and state regulators that treat them as expendable human surplus. This is the result of all you enlightened, highly educated people with capital and zero conscience nor willingness to improve the humanity at your gates. This is the best you could do? To blame them and call them stupid parasites?

Detroit, Camden, Stockton, Washington DC, paragons of virtue and noblesse oblige. We can choose to remain enslaved, slobbering sycophants desperate to join their little "club" or we can choose to put our neighbors before Elites. We can withdraw the acceptance necessary to all systems of governance (law) and put our wealth, capital and labor towards the enrichment of every communty and every member that desires to contribute. We can still the whips and work gangs. We can reject the false paradise of the Elites that feeds off all our energies and channel these powers into safe, productive, communities.


Sun, 01/19/2014 - 15:50 | 4346447 Zadok
Zadok's picture

I didnt want to comment one more time but that was very well stated Sean.

I can say that with the typical exceptions that apply everywhere you have people, that was NOT my experience. It was like all the limitations of poverty level small town and inner city ghetto morals. Very, very few positives.

I tried to help while being carefull to respect heritage and the history but the self destructive behaviors are generationally engrained. I reached the end of my ability to cope with them. Withdrawal was my only option. I have lived and visited all over the world but i could not work out how to live there. There is a place i can not make due. It was educational to say the least!

So much of the moral corrosion applies everywhere, you really cant get away from it anymore. Some places have been more abused and oppressed than others and the horrific decay is more advanced there.

City or suburbs dont make it better but with more people comes a higher number of higher level life forms if not in percentages and there are a lot more options on how and where you reside.

May God help them...and me to.

Best wishes ZH!

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 16:17 | 4346502 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

There are some ugly places in America and around the world. I understand your frustration, I just don't care for some of the comments being made here. 

Poverty in America is much worse than it has ever been before, because it is intertwined with drug addiction, poisoned food and drinks from multinationals and the loss of jobs through globalization. A system that forces the consumer to seek out the lowest priced goods because their currency no longer has value. It is the company store gone global.

Leaders have gone for the money and left society to rot in hell. Instead of the hell of poverty, we now have the hell of cancer, autoimmune disease, autism, learning disabilities, impoverished education systems of questionable worth, nutrient deficient foods, the list goes on and on. These people are not just poor, they are under siege and poor. 

We are a society with zero empathy nor understanding, happy to climb onto the backs of the unfortunate and crow about our "success". A success usually associated with insider information, government racketeering and central banking criminality. Life is hard enough when the playing field is level, but when you start climbing an ever increasing incline, it is difficult to find purchase.

When we pride ourselves on our success, we are priding ourselves on supporting such a vile and evil perpetration, we make Stalin and his 40 million murders seem like a walk in the park. Murders committed by the same people that run our system now. We are accessories to the greatest crime in humanity's history, but we have time to blame the Appalachian poor. 




Mon, 01/20/2014 - 10:15 | 4347914 Zadok
Zadok's picture

Your perception is refreshingly accurate and filled with natural human empathy. Can you contact me offline? I don't know how to do that wo broadcasting my contact info...

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:58 | 4344724 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

The solution will not be simple, and it will not be easy, the solution is to FIGHT.

If I come into your house and threaten you and yours and aim to take your wealth and food, you would fight me to the best of your ability. Why then let criminals in suits do the same?! Fight back. Not only stop them, but take back what is yours.

The Four Rs
Reject them and their criminality: Refuse to pay, obey or play.
Revolt against them: Revolt against their criminal oppression and rule.
Retribute: Rinse society of them.
Restore: Restore the Constitutional republic.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 21:47 | 4345048 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture


Well that's what did it for me, I can't live in USA city's with all the spy cameras and cops and bullshit 24/7

But I can't live in the rural areas either with all the METH kids and crime, and theft, shit when you live in the woods or deserts of rural ameriKKKa you pretty much have to be armed all the time, or otherwise you would be just stupid

Who wants to live like  that? I don't want to stay inside a box, ... I want to be outside, but you can't be outside in a city, and you can't be outside in the rural areas cuz its all 4+ generation welfare. Nobody has a job,... there no happy places to go, ...

I'll see in the city's you can go in a decent bar and have a micro-brew, fair enough keep your mouth shut, .. but in the rural, at best you might find a dive bar, but all bar's are just a flea-market to trade METH, the can of PISS beer they sell is just water, the real high is from METH, and if they figure out your not FAMILY, then your a target, if you stupid enough to tell them where you live, you will get a visit.

Just saying how it is,


Sure you can live in ASPEN, or some fucking such place, ... but the cops are acutally worse, dogs on the leash, and if you decide to not look and dress like a 'beautiful person' your   a fucking target.


My point is most USA city's suck dick, and most rural areas are like 'walking dead', and most haute mtn paradises  are just TOURIST TRAPS,... so fuck all of it, there is NO where in the USA I want to live.


Even the hippy kids when they TRY to make a rural community, mostly what  they attract are CITY criminals, ... Lazy people on Thorazine, ...To make a commune work, people can't be lazy parasites, most 'rich kids' are such,...


Ok, maybe up in BC, in the GULF Islands, if it was summer all year round I could DO IT, ... but its not summer all real round :(

Canada sure beats the USA.

They still have big islands up in BC, with no cops and everybody grows there own 'POT', and its really nice, ... Off the grid, ... good people, ... except the winter :(


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 18:22 | 4389583 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

" I can't live in the rural areas either with all the METH kids and crime"

STFU you hump I live in rural America and I don't even bother to lock my door when I leave. No crime outside of the kind linked to alcohol stupidity and the incredibly expensive drug war, reef not meth. Fuckin dipshit running your fingertips on subjects you know NOTHING about.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:47 | 4345262 mt paul
mt paul's picture

tax the citizenship

for being impoverished

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 12:59 | 4343994 Stackers
Stackers's picture

I'm not sure on this one. Declining ? That area has been economically depressed since people moved there in the early 1800's

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:17 | 4344035 atomp
atomp's picture

Until 50 years ago, when LBJ fixed it. (I think he fixed it for the lulz)

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:27 | 4344053 Stackers
Stackers's picture

And 30 years before that FDR fixed it with the TVA

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:19 | 4344175 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Today's problems are the result of yesterday's solutions.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:46 | 4344226 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

The Pacific northwest is another area that the Federal government favored for a long time.   Massive hydroelectric projects would make the area into a utopia.   Today its a meth / poverty / unemployment hell that makes Appalachia look good.

Government projects which favor one area over another never do any net good.   And now Obama wants to favor the Choctaw indians for some reason.

God help the Choctaws.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:24 | 4344410 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

If you want to see abject poverty in the Untied States, visit the average Native reservation. Yet another successful government program.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 04:05 | 4345502 Lore
Lore's picture

They aren't reservations anymore. They're "First Nations."  Not sure where the "First" or the "Nation" part came from, but it sounds patriotic and distracts from harsh realities.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:25 | 4345886 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

The only successful reservations in our area are those with Casinos that are relatively close to San Diego. I drive by one every day. EACH member of the tribe receives 10k/month. They live much better than I do. I have a friend that refurbishes cars he buy from them and resells them (they do no maintenance on their cars and just buy a new one). The sad thing is they are all so horribly obese it's tragic, even the young children.

I'm glad to see they have found a way out of poverty sucking money from the idiots that patronize their establishment. For real poverty in native Americans drive through New Mexico and Arizona and see the Navaho


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:27 | 4344418 CH1
CH1's picture

Drove through there not too long ago.

Very, very sad.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:28 | 4344424 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I'd really like to know what's behind the Choctaw help. 

Only thing I can think of is their success with the casinos.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 19:17 | 4344767 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Government always accomplish the opposite of the stated goal. always.

That is because government is nothing more than an institution of organized criminality--organized theft and violence.

If the unorganized cooperation of people with others creates a thriving economy by way of the "invisible hand," then the organized coercion and theft by government destroys that economy via a not so "invisible hammer."

All one has to do is view places visited heavily by the "invisible hammer" of government to see and understand this. But then one could also determine that the people of the ghettos and Appalacia want to live that way. However one would then have to contend that millions of middle-class folks wanted to join them as well.

I am an American citizen, not US subject.

"Is it time for the guillotines yet?!"

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 21:32 | 4345022 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture


Let's talk real MA&PA are meth users, picture that scene in BREAKING-BAD, when the kid goes to the house to get his money back from the METH couple, and he finds a 'child' the child is stupid, but the kid has pity. Now that CHILD, will always have a  sub 90's IQ, and nothing can fix, not even OBAMACARE.

1/2 the rural communitys in the USA, are on 2 to 3 generation of METH, its in the blood and the IQ has dropped well below 90,


Long ago almost all these communitys had good jobs, loving family, and church. Then the CAPITALIST assholes 'clear-cut' and the sustainable forests were gone, people can live under any condition, with no education, and no possibility of escape generation after generation remain, but make no fucking mistake.


Once upon a time TEDDY ROOSEVELT passed a law making all mining and logging sustainable, but the WALL-STREET assholes killed the protection, and post WWII 1950's all was clear-cut andstrip mined,

Today you have what you USA CAPITALISM (FASCISM/NAZISM) at its best.

Funny the USA didn't turn to FULL shit until post 1950's when the NWO post 1947 NSA/CIA went into full implementation.

Never mind, move along rural ameriKKKa died of METH poisoning a long time ago, with no hope of recovery.

Get over it bitches defending USA capitalism is just as fucking stupid as defending BITCOIN.


Hell YES the PNW makes appalachia look like an picnic in bonnie&clyde movies

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 02:04 | 4345389 Golden_Rule
Golden_Rule's picture

Capitalist can't buy land that people won't sell, and they can't sell shit that people won't buy.  The consumer drives the economy, they choose which competing businesses succeed and fail.  If sustainable logging and mining is important to you, then YOU should do something about it.  Inform the consumer on their poor decisions or out-compete the resource producers with sustainable practices.  Its LAZY to look to the government to provide solutions to all our problems, and on top of that we're living in a period where its been shown it doesn't work!!  AND, some people would find extreme fulfillment in doing tasks commonly done by the government, feeding the needy and healthcare and environmental protections etc, but are stymied because of the government's (inadequate) existing role.  This-- the government and its lulling ability-- is what destroyed America.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 04:54 | 4345519 SilverSavant
SilverSavant's picture

What crap about the NW.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 21:47 | 4345051 Zadok
Zadok's picture

OT, kind of, in engineering we rarely 'solve' problems, we shift them around. Kind of the same game until we restore the republic to stop the negative sum game of desperate decline.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:28 | 4344055 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

If everyone wants a wake up call of what this area is like go to YouTube and search on "whites of WV". You will get quite the education in rednecks.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:25 | 4344184 mumcard
mumcard's picture

You get a "red neck" by working the sun...making something...not in a cubicle.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:58 | 4344248 Moe Hamhead
Moe Hamhead's picture

Red-necks were Civil War deserters who vacated to Florida, which was a new state 1845 and fairly unsettled during the 1860s conflict.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:56 | 4344487 max2205
max2205's picture

Drug addition and alcoholism are a communitys death spiral.....its been that way for generations and most likely will for the same.   This is the white getto only with trees around.  


But FSA comes in many colors and places....

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:58 | 4344253 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Quite so. 

Go a few miles west, and you'll see some of the most expensive horse flesh in the history of the planet.  Anyone ever hear of the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, or maybe even the Hamiltonian?  Work the race circuit in the summer, and hunt & fish the rest of the year.  And the greater fool is???

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:33 | 4344308 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

I grew up in a race track town.  The folks who work the paddocks  (from hot walkers to owners) are not worthy of veneration.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:09 | 4344395 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Not my cup of tea, either, Miss.

Just pointing out that poor folk in America have options, and are quite aware of their choices.  If they chose meth, godhelpum, because no one else should.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:08 | 4344265 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Actually the term red neck comes from the Scotch presbyterian fighters of the English civil war who wore red scarfs around their necks to tell friend from foe during battles since they had no uniforms.  Coal miners to this day still wear red neck scarfs as a sort of tradition.   It only later came to mean people who work outside.

Any real red neck is a Scotch protestant white person.    A black, catholic or Mexican can never be a real red neck no matter how red their neck may be.    Red necks have always been fighters.   If you pick a fight with one you will not only get your ass kicked but their ancestors will be coming around to kick your ancestors asses 5 generations later.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:17 | 4344527 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Well in that case I'm a red neck.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:52 | 4344600 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"yet another article out of the JFK playbook." The huge explosion in homelessness has occurred in Massachusetts as all the government programs get wound down under "Obamacare." "Appalachia" is sitting on the the biggest energy boom in world history right now "waiting to be tapped"...and they're not devoid of assets that I mean "Government that is bought and paid for" (probably in more ways than one" and an industrial base and a vast and varied transportation "grid." Working in those coal mines is exceedingly dangerous...but it can be made safe. Throw in a natural gas boom and dirt cheap electricity (yes, they have that too. Toyota's are made in Eastern Tennesee...and Jim Beam just got sold for over 5 billion!) and this could very well become quite rich in a very short period of time "as North Dakota spreads east." The idea that you need sound money for a booming economy a bunch of b.s.--all you need is poured re-inforced concrete. My view is pretty simple: "if you have the sound economy, you might as well have the gold standard too." Believe me...that will get Americans back to work quicker than you can say "Andrew Carnegie."

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:24 | 4344670 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War, Joe Bageant

an excellent book on America's so called red necks

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 20:09 | 4344870 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

SCOTS are people. Scotch is a liquor. Scots Presbyterian is a religion, scotch presbyterian is a mixture of scotch, club soda and ginger served in a collins glass.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:10 | 4344519 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

First most of my friends call me a redneck, I take it as a compliment. Second I live in West Virginia, and what the locals refer to as a redneck (or mountain TIC) is someone that is a back woods criminal. They show up in the middle of the night and steal your shit. Dumb as a box of rocks. Did you even go to Youtube like I suggested above? If you did you would understand what I am refering to. I own a small farm, what the fuck do you make outside? Honestly I have to call bullshit on this article. The area of WV they are talking about has always been a shithole. Ever hear of the Hatfields and McKoys? That all occured in that area and is the areas only claim to fame. That and the fact that the area is the only place in the history of the US airforce that they dropped live bombs on US citizens on purpose.  This was related to the coal miner riots of 1921.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:00 | 4344617 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

actually I think Ronald Reagan did it to Berkley once too: man, don't have Presidents like that anymore...

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:43 | 4344090 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:32 | 4344154 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture





That was my first thought but when you think on a larger scale and actually drive around America (off the beaten path) there are a lot of area's that look pretty bleak.  


Remember obama reneged on his NAFTA campaign promise?  


This all fit's into the globalist plans for a new world order.  America's middle class is being decimated on purpose. NAFTA was a tool.  I wouldn't have a problem with trade agreements if they were fair but these are not only unfair but they do away with our sovereignty one agreement at a time.


There's more to flooding the country with illegal aliens then meets the eye. A nation of peasants are easier to control after all.  


We all know what bush said about a NWO.


Now think clinton though some say it was just bush's plan and excuse him for it by claiming it was a done deal and he had little choice but to sign it - not true clinton ACTUALLY lobbied hard for NAFTA (among other things like deregulation of the financial rules with Glass Steagall).


Fabian Socialists like wolves in sheep clothing are on both sides of the political aisle and are in all area's of commerce and education. You have to remember this was a plan years in the making.  



Sat, 01/18/2014 - 17:48 | 4344590 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

We could either:

A) increase immigration for the brilliant ones throughout the world (from every racial and ethnic group) who will, through their actions, create more jobs than they take, thereby helping our economy to flourish, or 

B) open up the borders to those who have a greater potential to become dependents of the State and as such will vote for liberal governments and distribution programs.  

Clearly any rational person would select option B as the way to go.....


Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:17 | 4344170 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Yeah, see my post way down at the bottom.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:31 | 4344196 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Sorry - I didn't mean to step on your post I was just replying to the comment above.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:39 | 4344077 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Ol' Remus has a low opinion of Mr. Williamson:

Appalachia is sure-fire material for standup comedians and hatchet-job movies. We know what to expect from the first y'all. What to keep in mind when reading snark like The White Ghetto is the difference between stereotype and caricature. Stereotypes don't arise from nothing at all, and they're unfair only to the exceptions, whereas caricature is unfair by intent and admits no exceptions. Mr. Williamson's essay has no purpose but caricature.

Goopey layers of it pile up in his first sentence, "... the Big White Ghetto, the vast moribund matrix of Wonder Bread–hued Appalachian towns and villages stretching from northern Mississippi to southern New York, a slowly dissipating nebula of poverty and misery." The requisite tone of cosmopolitan contempt struck, he deploys the ten foot pole:

If the people here weren't 98.5 percent white, we'd call it a reservation.

Apparently it annoys Mr. Williamson quite a lot that Appalachia is, um ... white. Don't look for him to describe actual reservations as Cherry Cobbler-hued though, only Appalachia can be insulted without limit or consequence. In fact, extra points for inventiveness, and he racks up the points, to wit:

These little towns located at remote wide spots in helical mountain roads are hard enough to get to if you have a good reason to be here. If you don’t have a good reason, you aren’t going to think of one.

Which is his way of saying he doesn't belong there, so nobody he wants to know does either. The locals, or those with a bugout in their plans, may read his description differently. Come the collapse we'll keep the infrared light on for him.

He continues with an homage to the idyllic beauty of the place, beautiful but tragically defaced by the native untermenschen's sorry shtetls, they're stay-behinds you see, worthies having long fled, ipso facto, self-selected inferiors remain. Unlike Baltimore or Boston assumedly, where ancient row houses collapse after a good rain but otherwise improve what was formerly a patch of unsightly wilderness, as do their wise and ambitious inhabitants who, we are assured, 'struggle' toward a decent life, but in the multi-generational meanwhile need seamless, near-total forbearance and a perpetual temporary "hand up."

Article Continues

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:06 | 4344137 mumcard
mumcard's picture

They have to make the most out of Appalachia, it's the (singular) great white ghetto.  Pick any major city for the great black ghetto.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:18 | 4344176 atomp
atomp's picture

Thanks for the link, RM.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:32 | 4344199 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Probably the most shaky part of the caricature is the Univ of Kentucky is the best dentistry school in the US.  Big money comes out of that university, regardless of basketball.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:57 | 4344249 ebear
ebear's picture

Writers gotta write; haters gotta hate.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:09 | 4344267 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Well done, Sir.  I rarely have the patience to respond to the long winded tripe and Trollope in kind.

You play a great game of whack-a-mole;)

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 15:49 | 4344351 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Disagree with his supposed 'carciacture' all you like then simply go look at the economic and demographic indicators for these Appalachia counties.  I have driven enough through SW PA and the northern parts of WV to see it firsthand especially if you get off the Interstate.  You have some temporary fracking and natural gas which will be a short term boom but doesn't do anything to the complete deindustrialization that has been going on since the 70s in these areas.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 18:02 | 4344623 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

I'm not criticizing them.  I would do the same if I were them.  But one of the principal reasons why we have lost so many jobs that once were filled with semi-skilled labor is China.  They grossly devalued their currency in 2004, gave free land, no-tax incentives and immediate construction approval for companies to build factories there, and had decades worth of an abundant, low cost labor force.  Thus entire industries and attendent supply chains have relocated to China and SE Asia.

Again, I do not fault them for looking after the best interests of their people.  They have moved hundreds of millions of their citizens out of poverty and onto a path of middle class existence.  But it has come at great cost to our working-class citizens.  

Unfortunately, our leaders are motivated by other things (climate, government-control, social justice abstractions - and distractions) and seem not to understand either the causes of the collapse in domestic labor or the things that they could do to restore economic incentives towards hiring domestic labor and thus increainge the productive (and tax paying) side of the economy.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 23:00 | 4345185 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

Nixon got the ball rolling on that one.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 15:01 | 4352384 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Well, look at the bonus. The pollution is so bad in China they may collapse from LUNG DISEASE before reaching a balance of automation.
Humans are better than machines for damn near everything EXCEPT: #1 repeatedly doing the same thing without a required factory upgrade, until replacement/maintenance time...
and breathing.
Machines need cooling, certainly caustic atmosphere is a problem for various circuits, gears, bushings & such... but mere pollution isn't necessarily caustic, just dangerous for human lungs.
I suppose if build up of particulates gunked up the machines that would stop 'em cold & require a lot of cleaning & repair but I'm not sure of the total mix of the smog that's even getting inside buildings in China.
If it doesn't stop the machines but they didn't BUILD enough machines because they have so many human workers... a lot could stop. Fast.
The pollution is hitting everyone all at once. This is key.
if you harm the younger generation before they enter the work force there's no one to replace the ill & dying workers already in the work force.
That could restore balance to North America's trading power vis-a-vis China.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:47 | 4344096 Mesquite
Mesquite's picture

I'm amazed, sort of, that that #@%$&!! hasn't been impeached yet...

And a few others too..

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 16:37 | 4344444 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

I'm not surprised.  They all work for the same team ($) and the American worker isn't on 'the team'.  They play opposite sides when the mic and/or tv camera is on, but behind closed doors its a different story.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 14:03 | 4344131 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

My experience has shown over and over that if you blame your addiction on your conditions, you will remain a slave. Take some responsibility for yourself and reject the handouts and enabling of the government.

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