The Appalachian Myth

Here is an interesting observation that is being passed around the internet. This is from Politico, written by Erica Martinson.

Jay Rockefeller bemoans ‘Appalachian myth,’ lax regulations at spill hearing

WV Spill

Sen. Jay Rockefeller lamented “fatalism” and an anti-regulation “Appalachian myth” on Tuesday as a Senate environmental panel began examining last month’s disastrous chemical spill that cut off drinking water to 300,000 people in West Virginia.

“I came from outside of Appalachia, so sometimes I see Appalachia in ways that are different than others,” the West Virginia Democrat said, adding that the myth is “the idea that somehow God has it in his plan to make sure that industry is going to make life safe for them.

“Not true,” Rockefeller said. “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it.”

He also talked about “Scotch-Irish culture … I’m sorry, fatalism.”

“The world is as it is — we accept the world as it is,” Rockefeller said. “And the point is you don’t accept the world as it is, but as it should be, and you make it in that posture. I’m just — I’m here angry, upset, shocked, embarrassed that this would happen to 300,000 absolutely wonderful people, who, you know, work in coal mines and that stuff, but they’re depending on the fruit of the land, wherever it may be, for survival. They’re making it, but barely.”

“I think I’ll stop there for my own good,” said Rockefeller, who is retiring after this year.

Now there’s another good definition of Capitalism:  “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time …. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it.” Anything for a profit no matter how many people it kills or inconveniences. Greed is only good for the greedy.

WV spill

Another interesting point is that the recent revisions to the bankruptcy laws under the Republicans allowed the corporation that caused the emergency in West Virginia—the corporation that would face endless expenses and law suits—to rapidly declare bankruptcy and collect their legal Get-Out-of-Jail card. It’s pretty clear that Jay Rockefeller is right: they can do anything they want and the best government money can buy is ready to protect them at the expense of the people of West Virginia.

But don’t worry, God is going to protect the citizens of West Virginia; they don’t need government and those blasted regulations. I wonder: would the true believer disregard the government warnings and drink heartily from the kitchen tap?


Read more at Politico.

2 responses

    • It’s so very hard to convince people that their myths are not real and might even be bad for them … look at the public relations campaign that became Christianity … and they still believe after all these years.

      I live down here in South Carolina now and it’s all around me. Sometimes you just have to shake your head and open another bottle of water.


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