I just heard a nice little piece on NRP’s All Things Considered that really says it straight, and it’s the kind of honesty that you don’t often hear on mainstream media.  An excerpt: 

I’m thinking about getting a job in the mines instead of going to college. After seeing my friends go into the mines, it seems like the only way to support myself. The coal industry pays miners decent wages to do dangerous work, but the industry also tears down our mountains and pollutes our water. I guess that’s a part of living in a poor place: feeling like you have to do things that are not the best choices for you or your community. You do it because it seems like the only way you’ll survive.

Right now, everyone is talking about a recession — what this country needs and what we don’t have. But a lot of that talk seems to be about interest rates on million-dollar homes. And I understand recession is scary for most folks. It’s just that where I live, in eastern Kentucky, we’re not on the verge of recession; we’ve been in one for the last 50 years.

Not only is this a refreshingly honest take of the capitalist economic reality, but it even points to a key part in the solution of our environmental problems, namely: people don’t choose or want environmental destruction in their communities, it’s only that corporations (and their owners) make huge profits from it.  People with an economic need are going to allow such things not by choice, but by necessity.  That is the capitalists idea of freedom: wage slavery or starvation.  If we solve the problems of division of labor, we’ll also go a long way in solving our problems of environmental destruction.

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