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The people who do the work don’t enjoy the wealth.
This simple fact has haunted me since the lightning bolt of political awareness struck me in the Wellsville High School auditorium circa 2006.
Back then, another extractive industry (one in an endless parade of them stretching back centuries) was imploring the good people of Wellsville, OH on the merits of turning coal into jet fuel. It was a shitty idea that never came to pass, thankfully.
Other bad ideas prevailed though. Fracking came along in the 2010s and set a new bar for Appalachian extractive industry.
Appalachian Basin daily natural gas output has doubled during the past six years to top 35 billion cubic feet. Today, Appalachia by itself is outproducing all but two of the nations on the list of the world’s top liquified natural gas exporters in 2021: the United States and Russia.
That’s right. 35 billion cubic feet of natural gas comes out of the ground here every single day.
Surprisingly, our streets are not paved with diamonds. It’s hard to quantify the hard-scrabble reality around here, but a friend from New York came pretty close. When I brought them home over the holidays, they said it looked like District 12 from the Hunger Games.
Pick a flyover town in the USA and the story’s the same - the people doing the work don’t enjoy the wealth.
Instead, 700 billionaires run the world and enjoy all the wealth that working people everywhere create. I think we should talk about that until it changes. Don’t expect it from corporate media though.
When’s the last time you turned on CNN and heard that 700 Batman villains are running the economy full throttle off a cliff, like Thelma and Louise, taking all the short-term profits while they can, and planning to bail right as the car with all of us in it rockets over the cliff into oblivion?
Yeah, never. They’ll never say that even though it’s true because corporate media is funded by the 700 Batman villains and the system they’ve set up for self-preservation.
Someone needs to say it, or it will never change.
That’s where you come in. That’s what your paid subscription does. If one person working part-time, on a shoestring budget, with a phone and some editing software can reach more than 8 million people with a central message, think of what 10,000 of us could do.
There’s an entire de-centralized media network that could dwarf the reach of Fox News and their ilk right under our nose! Media that’s for the working class and funded by the working class is possible. You just need to find it and help it grow.
I’m so thankful to all of you who’ve contributed so far. If you haven’t yet, please contribute today.
The Holler is funded by people who want pro-working-class media to grow. Be a sustainer by subscribing for $5/mo ($60/yr) right now, please!
Oh and P.S.
I’ll be writing short blurbs with highlights from this year and donation requests over the next few days. My day job is 30 hours a week at a rowdy Appalachian dive bar where I negotiate with drunk people and go to bed at 6am. So if said blurbs are in…very plain English… that’s why.
Love you, bye.
I am in Kansas, John, not too far (and thankfully not SUPER close, either) to the Keystone Pipeline’s biggest spill ever -- also not one you’ve heard much about! Your work this past week on the train derailment is excellent. Glad I can support you a little bit with my subscription... thank Heather Booth for forwarding your work to me.
Spread the word yall!