The world is changing. We cannot stop or change that, nor should we want to. Global trade will grow, whether we choose to participate or not. Automation will reduce the number of people needed to produce the products we use, and even the food we eat, leaving many thousands of people around the world without access to a living-wage job.
Accusing West Virginia coal miners or rust-belt factory workers of being too lazy to find a job is beyond stupid and unconscionably cruel. It’s like blaming the victims of acute tragedies like floods, tornadoes, or an airplane crashing into the building in which they were working, for their misfortune. These mining and factory jobs, and desk jobs as well, existed for generations, and ignoring the plight of these workers is just not what Americans do.
I don’t know the long-term answer to this chronic problem faced by America and much of the world, but Donald Trump provided the short-term answer, without realizing it, of course — namely, we must provide education, local jobs of any kind and family economic assistance “until we figure out what the hell is going on.” The more fortunate among us may have to sacrifice a bit, but we’re Americans, aren't we?
Martin Bensky, Richland