|2008 Depression or The Grapes of Wrath?||Apr 8, ’08 1:24 AM
by little_running_deer for group lrdjournal
Jan 21, 2008 … The Grapes of Wrath, 2008. After 30 years at a factory making truck ….
so we have become the shamed, victims of a capitalism gone nuts. …
www.opinion-columns.com/praguewriter/2008/01/the-grapes-of-w.html – 37k –
A few lines:
Astonished indeed. There’s a lot of that going around these days. Living in Europe, I find myself astonished that the American dollar (upon which I depend) has dropped by half in value as well. While the financial pages debate whether or if a recession may or may not be on the horizon and what that means or doesn’t mean, Jeff and I are hip-deep in it.
Middle-aged men moving in with parents, wives taking two jobs, veteran workers taking overnight shifts at half their former pay, families moving West — these are signs of the turmoil and stresses emerging in the little towns and backwoods mobile homes of southeast Ohio, where dozens of factories and several coal mines have closed over the last decade, and small businesses are giving way to big-box retailers and fast-food outlets.
Tom Joad’s sharecropped land simply dried up and blew away in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Jeff Evans’ sharecropped employment fell to the planned, methodical, Harvard-bred maximization of quarterly profits. That fool’s errand has wrought as much havoc on the American working environment as the dust-bowl thirties did, drying up and blowing away a fertile Oklahoma agricultural environment.
Two sides of the same short-sighted nickel.
Here, where the northern swells of the Appalachians lap the southern fringe of the Rust Belt, thousands of people who long had tough but sustainable lives are being wrenched into the working poor.
The region presents an acute example of trends affecting many parts of Ohio, Michigan and other pockets of the Midwest.
Slammed by the continued decline in the automobile and steel businesses, Ohio never recovered from the recession of 2001-2, and blue-collar families who had made it partway up the economic ladder find themselves slipping back, with chaotic effects on families and dreams.
Poetic language, swells lapping fringes.