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Response to greatlaurel (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 20, 2014, 07:57 AM

4. I'd agree with you

It is not in the interest of those who exploit Appalachia for workers to have alternatives. If they create an economic situation in which the only choice is to descend into a black hole and dig coal, all the better for them. For example, the 2nd biggest employer in WV (aside from mining-related jobs) is Wal-Mart.

This job-poor economy is nurtured by a number of factors and one of the most glaring, as you've pointed out, concerns the schools and lack of access to higher education. Right now there's a crisis for schools in eastern Appalachia. As mining jobs disappear, so do the schools and the money to fund them. It's a terrible situation described in another thread I posted:

As families flee coal country, schools struggle

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Enrollments in eastern Kentucky public school districts are falling as the region continues its economic struggles amid a declining coal industry.
The issue has a direct impact on school funding. The largest factor determining how much money a public school gets from the state is its average adjusted daily attendance....

Both the state and federal governments are complicit in this national disgrace. Buried in the back of some newspapers you might trip across stories such as this one:

Kentucky govt. diverts economic development funds from Appalachian counties for basketball arena

Or find statistics such as these:

Some would argue that this is because of shortcomings of the people themselves, and would point to money that has been sent to the region to help Appalachians (e.g., Payne, 1999). However, the ARC reported that “the region receives 31 percent less federal expenditures per capita than the national average” (ARC, 2011, p. 4). As a result, “Appalachia has been unable to take advantage of programs that could help mitigate long-standing problems due to a lack of human, financial, and technical resources, geographic isolation, disproportionate social and economic distress, low household incomes, and a declining tax base” (ARC, 2011, p. 4).

These problems continue to compound themselves as mining-related jobs disappear without decent-paying jobs to replace them. Further, I see no indication there exists a national will (or even a regional one) to solve the complex and dire situation facing Appalachia.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
theHandpuppet Oct 2014 OP
appalachiablue Oct 2014 #1
theHandpuppet Oct 2014 #2
greatlaurel Oct 2014 #3
LineLineNew Reply I'd agree with you
theHandpuppet Oct 2014 #4
greatlaurel Oct 2014 #5
theHandpuppet Oct 2014 #6
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