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“But you can't start. Only a baby can start. You and me - why, we're all that's been. The anger of a moment, the thousand pictures, that's us. This land, this red land, is us; and the flood years and the dust years and the drought years are us. We can't start again” - John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

There is danger in the American Dream, for dreams are the product of sleep and life is lived by the waking. A dream never paid off a mortgage or put food in a child's mouth; dreams have never kept a steel mill from shutting down or stopped an employer from slashing an employee's benefits. The American Dream is predicated on the notion that there is a direct relationship between effort and outcome. It tells us that womb we sprang out of and the home we grew up in need not have any bearing on the progress we will make. Our politicians and media outlets shower us with stories of coal miner's daughters and gangbanger's sons who defied the odds and willed themselves to success and happiness through sheer grit and determination. But odds are there for a reason and they don't have a damn thing to do with you. The narrative that has been spoon fed to us since we were yea high is one that showcases our ability to face adversity with the unspoken prerequisite that we must triumphantly overcome that adversity in order for our story to be told. This nation is filled with millions upon millions of people who run themselves ragged 'til they're nothing more than a mess of bone spurs and heartaches who spent their whole lives working to keep themselves from falling over.

Now, I'm not saying that some folks are just doomed to live a life of hardship because poverty was given to them as a birthright. I believe in self-determination and the power of individual action as much as the next guy, provided that next guy isn't Joel Osteen or the great-grandson of Horatio Alger. It's just that where you were born is often more instrumental in shaping the trajectory of your life than anything you did subsequently. For example, state-by-state tabulations of mortality rates and lifespan tell us that someone born in the deep south1 will, on average, live 3 years less someone born in the rest of the US. Such a stat doesn't suggest that a random child born in Hattiesburg or Mobile will die 3 years before a child born in Seattle or Pittsburgh. All it means is that the chances of that child living beyond a certain age are lessened based on the region of its birth. It's kind of like when you go to a golf course and they have a set of amateur tees staked out 30 yards in front of the regular ones. If you have two golfers of equal ability play a hole together with one using the amateur tees and the other using regular ones, there's no sure bet as to who will win. But, if you have those same two golfers play the hole that way 1,000 times, it's all but inevitable that the one shooting from the amateur tees will win the majority of the time. Our country's socioeconomic structure operates under similar principles, only it cranks the inequality quotient up to the point that some folks begin life 15 feet from the cup while others are forced to tee off from the parking lot.

If you drive through the Appalachian Mountains on I-70, through the upper crust of West Virginia and southwest corner of Pennsylvania, you'll notice that a hefty chunk of the media around you, whether its billboards or radio ads or bumper stickers, is really concerned with coal. There are billboards paid for by anti-Obama Super PACs saying that the President is anti-coal and has labeled Appalachia a “No Jobs Zone”, while the programming on the local NPR affiliate is sponsored by some company advocating for the use of clean coal technology, whatever the hell that is, and to an outsider it's just bizarre. With the global temperature beginning to spike and Greenland turning into a giant slushie, one would think it would be poor form to be openly promoting the use of something so ecologically damaging, but the one doing that kind of thinking would most likely not be a West Virginian.

Welch, VA resident Ed Shepard waiting in the gas station he’s owned for 62 years. Photo courtesy of Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post

Virtually since the state's founding 150 years ago, the life blood of West Virginia has centered in and around its abundance of natural resources, primarily its rich deposits of bituminous coal. Of course, it is equally true that the vast majority of West Virginians never reaped the benefits of all this black gold. Outside of American Indian and African-American populations, it is hard to think of a ethnic or regional group that has been more exploited throughout the course of our nation's history than the residents of Appalachia. Miners in the hills of West Virginia were paid next-to-nothing to risk their lives day-in-and-day-out, hauling anthracite out of mines so shoddily constructed that whenever a man went in, he couldn't be sure if he was ever getting out again. Especially in the southern part of the state, immigrant and local labor was exploited by businesses that turned mining into the Appalachian version of sharecropping, forcing laborers to lease their tools from the company while living in towns built and run by that same company. Thanks to the callous disregard for human life shown by these early titans of American industry, West Virginia holds the dubious distinction of being the state responsible for the creation of the US Bureau of Mines after an underground explosion at a mine in Minongah, West Virginia took the lives of 362 men.

And yet, for all of its flaws, coal was what bound the state together and, in some areas, what gave them purpose. One such area is McDowell County, a small southerly area situated square in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Before coal mining came to the area, it was about as rural as rural got, with a population of around 3,000 people in 1880 and their recently declared county seat of Welch consisting of only 3 houses and a general store. However, after the coal boom took hold around the turn of the century, McDowell County's population skyrocketed, increasing to just over 90,000 in 50 years time. By 1950, McDowell County was one of the 3 most populous counties in the state as well as one of the wealthiest. That was before the coal bubble burst and jobs started vanishing almost as quickly as they had appeared. Much of the younger generation saw the writing on the wall and set off elsewhere as soon as they got the chance, determined to avoid the poverty that was becoming as ubiquitous in McDowell County as it was debilitating. When the floor finally fell out from the under the state and coal mining employment was cut in half during the 1980s, McDowell took a disproportionate amount of the damage because they were pretty much a one-trick pony. They did coal and they did it well, and when the coal jobs left there wasn't anything to replace them with.

Today, there are only about 22,000 people living in McDowell County and most of them are doing well if they can tell you that they're just getting by. 36 percent of county residents were living below the poverty line, including nearly half of all children under the age of 18.2 Income inequality isn't really a problem in McDowell County because both their median income ($20,695) and their mean income ($31,854) were well under half of the national average. In fact, there are more people in McDowell County making less than $10,000 a year than there are making over $50,000. Put simply, they are poor and they are hurting. They've been poor and hurting for a long time now, but no one ever hears their story because very few people know they're even there. Lodged deep in the belly of a state that is already the 2nd poorest in the nation, there is only one US highway, US Route 52, running through the hollows and hills of McDowell County, which makes it almost as inaccessible as it is impoverished.

There is very little chance I would have ever heard of McDowell County if it weren't for a remarkable documentary film project called Hollow, which I serendipitously stumbled upon this past week. The project, directed and produced by documentarian Elaine McMillion, is an interactive media experience that looks at McDowell County, West Virginia through the prism of the people that live there. 20 of the 50 documentary vignettes that make up the Hollow project will be filmed by residents of McDowell County in an effort to let the people whose stories are being told guide the narrative that is ultimately the product of their experience. Now as anyone who has been following Virally Suppressed since we started last Spring knows from my repeated gushing over Lisa Biagiotti's phenomenal documentary deepsouth, I try to spread the gospel of projects that I think are innovative, captivating and relevant to the challenges of the world we live in. I will try to do the same thing for Hollow, which should have an interactive web release in May of this year. Until then, here is the trailer for a film project that I hope will be as powerful as it is unique:

"I can't make old friends" from Elaine McMillion on Vimeo.

----------------------------------

1The deep south is defined as: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

2http://factfinder2.census.gov/...

Originally posted to Virally Suppressed on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 02:53 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Appalachian Journal, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Results from 2012 Presidential Election (9+ / 0-)

    McDowell County......

    Obama    34.1%    2,109   

    Romney    64.0%    3,959   

    Other    1.9%    120   

    Fairly close to the statewide totals.  Obama took 35.5% of the vote statewide.  In some counties in WV Obama polled less than 25%.  Romney took every county in the State......We've come a long way since WV tended to vote D during presidential elections...
     

    •  one of my African American students..... (15+ / 0-)

      was validictorian of his high school in McDowell County and now, after working really hard and lots of encouragement to persist, he is working on his dream to be a physician.  i bet his family voted for Obama.  McDowell was a place with African American coal miners living in segregated towns and working in segregated mines.  Cabell, Mingo, Logan and Kanawha county also had larger African American populations.  This state has trended Reagan Republican since the 1980s, with a real possibility of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because people like her and Bill here.  People didn't like Romeny but didn't like Obama more.  One factor is that both are very well educated.  The NRA gun love is strong here.

      Coal is dying and gas is holding the gun.  The irony is amazing.   Coal companies made coal seem like a religion and now it is clear they are jsut after the money.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:09:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Free and Independant State of McDowell (5+ / 0-)

        In McDowell County there is a rule in play that is in play in a lot of our former coal boom towns.

        I call it "Survival of the unfittest"

        The idea is that when the jobs left nearly everybody with anything on the ball left.

        So the only people who can actually continue to live there are people who qualify for some sort of check, like SSI.

        Now don't get me wrong, one of the smartest guys I knew in college was from Kimball,  and I had a super sharp co worker from Welch, so it's not EVERYBODY. Both of those guys live in California now.

        But if the only people who are left have some sort of mental or physical disability, or at least the only young people left, then you wind up sort of  robbing the community of any innovation or entraprenurial spirit.

        Also that means that the next generation is genetically selected to be able to survive there which means able to qualify for a check.

        I've tested lots of people in Panther, and Jolo, where the snake handling church is, and it's rare to have an IQ over 80  there. Rare.

        When you think about what a boom county McDowell used to be, even had a huge red light district cinder bottom, and how it is now, you truly understand the curse of coal.

        Not only is there no real transportation system into the place, but the coal companies own most of the land that might be able to be developed.

        Plus the "survival of the unfittest" concept has sort of cut down on the population having enough people who could work.

        •  That's amazing (0+ / 0-)

          One is aware of the stereotype of the redneck hillbilly. I never had much belief in it. One of the smartest people I ever knew was a former neighbor who grew up in WV coal country. Never made it passed the 8th grade, worked hard and moved to Chicago as soon as he could. Made a good life for himself.

          I had always rather believed that the ones who stayed were like him but apparently rather the opposite. Brain drain on a massive scale.

    •  McDowell Co. has a black legislator, too (7+ / 0-)

      Delegate Clif Moore has been in the WV House of Delegates since 2005.

      •  I think this state is so old and unhealthy.... (6+ / 0-)

        that health care will eventually make things better here.  I think strict enforcement of tighter EPA rules will eventually make things better.  And we really need new drug rehabilitation facilities.  The young are dying of heroin overdoses, prescription drug overdoses, and their young children are abused and neglected by their families. and the state is cutting into the bone of their higher education system.  

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:17:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful diary, thank you. (12+ / 0-)

    I'm at the edge of coal country in Va, and spent a lot of time decades ago in some of the coal counties in both Va and W.Va. It's a sad economy, and has been forever, with scrip and company stores, company housing, etc.
    It's too bad that the residents never saw the value of other uses for the land. Now so much of it is gone.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:48:37 PM PST

  •  No Anthracite in WV (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, concernedamerican

    Only Bituminous Coal.
    Gas is booming right now, it will bust. It's as dirty as coal.

    I really don't think coal is going anywhere.
     How can you refine metals without coal? How do you propose we maintain a technologically advanced society? What is your computer made from? Where do those metals come from? Can you produce them on your own? Can you live without them?

    I want to create my own culture, I don't want to be entertained. - Lawrence Lessig (-7.25/-5.54)

    by barz9 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:37:56 PM PST

    •  with the reduction in building.... (4+ / 0-)

      the folks who own the metalurgical coal are leaving it in the ground until steel production takes off.  And laying off the employees who drink and drug, waiting for the jobs.

      February 22 all the mines in WV shut down for at least one hour in 24 to have a safety lecture because 4 had died in accidents in the previous few weeks and six since November.  http://www.insurancejournal.com/...

      This is a dangerous business and people feel they can't  speak out when they could lose their job or shut down their employer.  unions used to help but that isn't seen much anymore.  

      Interestingly, they are still investigating Don Blankenship here for prewarning employees of mine safety inspections.  Folks would clean up their acts. briefly and then go back to violating the safety regulations.  Evidently a plea bargain by a former Massey coal employee,  David C. Hughart, named Massey as a co-conspirator in the safety violations.  headlines hear, where the deaths at Big Branch are still raw.  Another crack in the Big Coal Daddy loves you facade.
      http://wvgazette.com/...

      And in the editorial news from Macdowell County, folks warning that we don't want to raise the minimum wage or the jobs will flee.
      http://bdtonline.com/...

      As someone here pointed out, the prices in WalMart are the same across the country.  we should raise the minimum wage to give the multitude of minimum wage earners here a raise.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:38:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Met" coal not left in the ground (2+ / 0-)

        It's being shipped to China and India form a premium price. I'm well aware of the shut down in WV, I work in the mines in sw PA. Six died in 25 days, more have been injured.

        I agree minimum wage needs raised. Before going to the mines, I never made more than $12.50/hr. Minimum wage should be $10/hr at least. That's what I started in the mines at, for the first 6months.  With the price of everything increasing, it's hard. We are being shown who owns us.

        I want to create my own culture, I don't want to be entertained. - Lawrence Lessig (-7.25/-5.54)

        by barz9 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:14:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  as a native of WV (21+ / 0-)

    Who has spent all of my adult life in the deep south (Alabama and Mississippi), I thank you for this. West Virginia is a mystery. The natural beauty battles with the natural resources for the affection of the people. The land has been pillaged, the people were complicit, and they now have nothing to show for it.
     All they want, all they ever wanted was a little something to call their own, a little dignity and a living wage. Those of us who left still hear the mountains call to us but all that is left are ghosts.

    •  I teach the children of ghosts then..... (12+ / 0-)

      I see the ambitious and eager, trying to learn and fearing they aren't smart enough.  Folks here have a major insecurity complex that they aren't good enough or smart enough.  I write grants to get funds to take technology and robots to the rural areas with some amazing teachers.  I know amazing people teaching the teachers math using the internet- and the teachers work all day and then go home and study math at night to do a better job.  My mantra is, "There are smart people everywhere."  I know McDowell county is a problem, bit another one of my McDowell county students left here to get a Ph.D. in biochemistry- smart kid.  And in one of my first biotech classes I had 3 (three!!) WV kids complete their Ph.D.s and all are doing post-docs.  Last year three of my graduates left for medical school- one for an MD/Phd.  My job is to give them the pep talk and help them devise a strategy to get them where they need to be and encourage them to rebuild the world.  My job is to tell them they will change the world for the better- they are the future and will see amazing things.

      And lest you think I am some sort of saint, last week there were 100 undergraduates presenting their research data at the state capital and each of them had someone like me doing the same thing- giving pep taks, writing a grant to fund them, sponsoring them for summer research, editing their writing with them, showing them PubMed and EndNote and telling them to take the GRE and dream big.  And none of us are paid enough and we all breath the same dirty air and lament the same desctruction of the environment.

      I appreciate the unvarnished truth of the films of McDowell county.  But when the film makers want to come to the Appalachian film festival, they come to my town and we show up for their films.  If we can celebrate locally grown food, we can also celebrate locally grown education and entrepreneurship.  

      We need some seed money and microloans to take these film makers to the next level.  We can't just encourage people to flee the state and wring our hands over the hopelessness.  We need to sustain the project and amplify the voices in the hills, not just post statistics that say the state doesn't like Obama,  so write them off.  I know that isn't directly to this commenter, but to the whole theme of Appalachian despair vs how to foment the change to make this a vibrant place with happy people.  Appalachians are more unhappy than people living in the inner cities.  They are often fatalistic and accepting of fate, expecting a better world in the afterlife.  But the young students I have love technology and cell phones and the internet- and I have tremendous hope for the future.  Just don't write us off.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:24:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i am sorry i sounded dismissive (5+ / 0-)

        Not my intent. I am doing what you do, but in another easily dismissed corner, the Mississippi Delta, where our robber barons are Monsanto and the corporate agriculture lobby.

        By ghosts I meant that, for many of us who left, our heritage is there. My family on both sides goes back generations, but everyone is gone. My home town is sliding off the hill and burning to the ground, literally. The future of WV is hopeful because there are people who will stand up and find a new way forward. My sadness is for the way of life that is gone. True everywhere but a personal sadness for me.

        •  As someone who lives in the Delta... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          side pocket

          I cannot recommend highly enough that you check out the trailers/teasers for the film deepsouth by Lisa Biagiotti. I have been shamelessly shilling for this thing for going on a year now because it is so incredible.

          It takes a look at the lives of three folks living in the deep south and dealing with HIV/AIDS in one way or another. There's a AIDS advocate from AIDS Alabama (Kathie Hiers, a remarkable woman), a woman from Lousiana who has been living well with HIV for over 2 decades now and who runs a retreat for folks in her area living with HIV, and a young gay African-American man in Mississippi strugggling to gain a foothold on what it means to be Out and Positive in the South with a family that doesn't support him.

          The website is: www.deepsouthfilm.com

          I have seen the thing more times than I can count and even brought the film to the University of Maryland-Baltimore this past November for a screening because I know it is something my fellow future social workers and nurses and doctors needed to see.

          There is actually a screening of the film in Oxford on March 26th  and it will be at the Crossroads Film Festival in mid-April.

      •  For me the real question is not... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hazey, annan

        whether or not there are intelligent young boys and girls in places like McDowell county who will go off and earn PhDs and Masters degrees, but how it is that we get them and their equally gifted classmates to come down and revitalize the region.

        This isn't just a problem in McDowell County and West Virginia at large, but all across the South and rural America. Great teachers like yourself can only prepare these children for success in the wider world...you can't make them come back.

        If ever there was a place for Federal funding for workforce development and innovations, Appalachia is it. Hopefully the innovations center the Obama Administration has funded in Youngstown, OH presages a move towards investment and development of rural America that helps folks transition from the traditional manufacturing jobs taht have dried up to newer tech/health care jobs that are booming.

  •  Here's a scene that gives me shivers (9+ / 0-)

    from the movie "Matewan" directed by John Sayles.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:11:35 AM PST

  •  Tipped, rec'd, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Virally Suppresed, glorificus, hazey

    ..republished to Appalachian Journal. I've followed US 52 down a ways into West Virginia, but that was years ago. Don't recall if I got as far as McDowell County or turned around short of there.

    Cogito, ergo Democrata.

    by Ahianne on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:27:29 AM PST

  •  Fantastic post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo

    Thank you for calling attention to the struggles of people living in WV (and other parts of Appalachia). The Grapes of Wrath reference is fitting. Three cheers for giving heart to the struggle of these folks.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:33:00 AM PST

  •  In 2010 (0+ / 0-)

    Mrs. Nuthanger and I made Coalwood our vacation destination. Saw Homer Hickum's house and the field where he shot off his rockets when he was a boy. We did that trip because we love that area, and always have, but there was simply nothing for us as newlyweds to keep us in WV in 1983. It saddens us to this day that we had to leave, but we had daughters to raise. Life, and the decisions we must make sure can be hard, sometimes, eh?

  •  Beautifully Sad Diary - Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio, melo

    My best friend is from West Virginia.  I imagine he will cry when he reads this and watches the video - then the film when released.  I have tears in my eyes.  Eminem's song about Detroit always brings me to tears when I watch his video.  As an older American whose DNA holds solidarity (son of a Steelworker father - Feminist/FDR Liberal mother)I am deeply saddened about my country and its loss of a great middle & working class, as well as its loss of compassion for the poor.

    We are in an Alice Through the Looking Glass world in the US now - thanks to the extreme right wing and the Reagan legacy.  Deeply Sad.

  •  Mountaintop removal mining (0+ / 0-)

    is now destroying the surface of the land, and polluting rivers, in order to export coal to China and elsewhere -- using more machines and fewer jobs than underground mining. More information here. This is just so wrong on so many levels.

    Holly Near's "Mountain Song" (sung here by Holly with Emma's Revolution) captures the strong resistance movement.

  •  These areas are what Chris Hedges calls (0+ / 0-)

    "sacrifice zones" - hear and watch him describe the phenomenon of the problem of areas that are thrown away:

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    FN

    Please watch as many of Chris's video as you can!!

    "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

    by FakeNews on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:37:02 AM PST

    •  This is more to the point - video (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Virally Suppresed

      https://www.youtube.com/...

      posted for history's sake. and my own records.

      "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

      by FakeNews on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:46:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for the link... (0+ / 0-)

        Great interview concerning the industrial wreckage of globalization and corporate bloat. I can't speak as much to places like Camden, NJ & Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, but the work I've done/seen on Southern West Virginia validates everything that Hedges talks about.

        My only issue with his appraisal is when he essentially dismisses Pittsburgh's economic resurgence as just a bunch of folks flipping burgers and working at hospitals/universities. If the manufacturing jobs that fled to Mexico & Southeast Asia aren't coming back, where else do you propose to get economic opportunity for working class/lower-middle class than service/tech/healthcare?

        •  Yeah, I saw those statistics as surprising too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Virally Suppresed

          As a matter of fact, while we were watching this video for the umpteenth time my wife asked me why the Pittsburgh unemployment was much better than Camden.  She said it may have been the crime rate in Camden prevented small businesses from emerging, umm.. probably not. We finally settled on how the stats were taken. Pittsburgh itself is not representative of the areas that lost manufacturing jobs (steel, car parts, appliance sheeting). I think if you did a compare of the surrounding areas, McKeesport, North Braddock, Braddock, Dravosburg, West Mifflin, Duquesne, Glassport, Versailles - I think Camden and those areas would line up a lot better. Pittsburgh (the city) is really not in bad shape and Hedges probably has not experienced the area - I know a lot of people (just like the D.C. area) who will say they are from Pittsburgh even though they live 30 miles outside the city...

          Just a thought VS

          FN

          "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

          by FakeNews on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 01:52:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, I got bored and did some searching... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FakeNews

            Hopefully that image shows up, but what it is/should be is a map of the unemployment rates for all of the counties in Pennsylvania circa December 2012, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Allegheny County (the orange anvil looking one in the bottom left), where Pittsburgh is located, had an unemployment rate of 6.8% (the city of Pittsburgh was 7.1%, so no real difference), 0.8% lower than the national average at the time. Camden County, not pictured here, had a an unemployment rate of had an unemployment rate of 10.5% over the same period. However, the city of Camden had an unemployment rate of 18.5%

            Also, if you look at the map, I think it's interesting to note that in addition to hyper-wealthy Chester County outside of Philly and Montour County (which I have no clue about), the only other county in the state with unemployment numbers below 6% is Centre County, where Penn State is located.

            Thus, I'd imagine a lot of Pittsburgh's success has stemmed from University of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Mellon, as well as their immense hospital system. And, as it turns out, of Pittsburgh's top 6 businesses, one is U of Pitt, two are hospitals (including #1 UPMC) and two are state and US government jobs.

            •  Good compare. (0+ / 0-)

              I guess this says alot for the term "downward spiral". In a place like Camden where even the public library is a hollow shell I suppose that degeneration of an area without a backstop like you described in Pittsburgh does make a difference. Thanks for the research VS.

              BTW: My relatives in the Pittsburgh area tell me that the Southside area which used to be nothing but warehouse space is now the "in place" to club.  So where Camden went downhill without any re-investment or money to rehab it looks like the Three Rivers area took advantage of lower real estate to revitalize itself.

              later guy!
              FN

              "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

              by FakeNews on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 03:47:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  2008 election results (0+ / 0-)

    In McDowell Co

    U.S. President
    Contest Code: AA   
    Candidate    Party    Votes    Percentage    State Total
    Barack Hussein Obama    Democrat    3,430    53.34%    303,857
    John Sidney McCain III    Republican    2,882    44.82%    397,466

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