Taking on two issues from Wednesday’s Opinion page:
Tom Crawford’s piece on coal mining laments that coal jobs are never coming back. I think he’s right, but the real cause of lamentation for me is that folks who used to have these jobs are never taken care of by the industries that used them up to make money. What if they got severance packages that would last them through the rest of their lives, like some of the CEOs get when they screw up and have to resign or get fired? What would those severance checks do for the economy of these coal communities? When are we going to make these corporate profit makers pay the real cost of the business they do?
Gene Cobb’s smackdown of struggling folks in his letter: Yes, some folks do manage to overcome the obstacles of poverty by their sheer will and determination and work. But there are many more that don’t. If you don’t know any folks who can’t get ahead despite their hard work, go talk to the folks that run any of the shelters and services for these people in our town. You will wake up to the face of poverty. That face is often the face of a child, who by no fault of their own, is getting a hungry, unstable start from the get-go. They are not in a position to be responsible for their own care and upbringing. Mr. Cobb, are you able to open your heart to this understanding?