May 05, 2016

Prophetic words. And others

I'm in the middle of a research project on the timely subject of why WV is poor. Along the way I rediscovered this prophetic 1884 report from the WV Tax Commission, which was alarmed by how quickly out of state business interests were gaining control of the state. Here's how it ended:

The wealth of this State is immense; the development of this wealth will earn vast private fortunes far beyond the dreams even of a modem Croesus; the question is, whether this vast wealth shall belong to persons who live here and who are permanently identified with the future of West Virginia, or whether it shall pass into the hands of persons who do not live here and who care nothing for our State except to pocket the treasures which lie buried in our hills? 
If the people of West Virginia can be roused to an appreciation of the situation we ourselves will gather this harvest now ripe on the lands inherited from our ancestors; on the other hand, if the people are not roused to an understanding of the situation in less than ten years this vast wealth will have passed from our present population into the hands of non-residents, and West Virginia will be almost like Ireland and her history will be like that of Poland. 
The rest is here and it's well worth a look. Golly gee, wouldn't it be terrible if they were right?

Slightly off topic, here's an interesting post from Ken Ward's Coal Tattoo about Donald Trump, black lung and coal. Here's an excerpt from an interview Trump gave back in 1990:

I like the challenge and tell the story of the coal miner’s son. The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son . If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination–or whatever–to leave their mine. They don’t have “it.”

Imagine the outrage if something like that came from the mouth of other candidates...

No comments: