Every now and again, some reporting generates such a level of outrage that one ought to let some little time pass before putting pen to paper, or in this day and age, fingers to keyboard. Well, here's the latest such. To be frank, I can't tell whether the Editors of the NYT are attempting to show the Trumpistas that even the Failing New York Times understands and has mucho sympathy for the plight of the highly paid yet uneducated and unskilled (and increasingly unemployed) in the Empty Counties.
Or, one might hope, the intent is to provide transparency into their arrogance and self-entitlement. Who knows?
At age 28, Mr. Zmija, like most of the coal mineworkers here, has not lost faith in the industry. He is considering applying for a coal job in Alabama, or he may return to his old mine job in Maryland, although it pays far less than the $106,000 he made last year at 4 West. A sign in his living room says, "I'm a proud coal miner."
Still, he grumbles about the turn of fortune at 4 West, saying, "It feels like a slap in the face."
Right. And how much does a school teacher, a person whom you've likely never paid any attention to, make? $35,000 minimum and $40,275 average. Now, that's fair, right?
So, for those who still think that micro-quants are the bee's knees and the macro-folk are just politics, consider such a distortion. Or not.
William Laviolette, a 26-year-old maintenance worker at the mine who made roughly $55,000 last year, said that if he didn't find another mine job, he would go back to school to get his high school degree.
Some how, I don't think his heart is in it. After all, he'd be taking a giant step down if he goes on to get a BA in education and gets a position teaching other members of the uneducated elite.