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My family's ancestral home is West Virginia and from the end of the Civil War the men worked in the mines. Finally, in 1920, my great-great grandfather got tired of watching his brothers die either on the job or far too early in retirement, and knew he had a duty to spare his sons this fate. They moved first to Texas to try their hand at oil before ending up in Florida, where the family patriarch, my great uncle, still lives. Florida meant malaria at that time and my great grandfather had it all his otherwise full and complete life, but they never looked back.
We need to do this as a country. If we turn our backs on the coal industry for good, some will suffer and some others may die. But it's the future that matters, and this bullshit is a sin of the past which doesn't deserve continued public support.
The fate of American workers that listen to the false promises of Republican politicians:
During the Republican primaries in 2016, Donald Trump was more popular in McDowell County than anywhere else in America, winning 91.5 percent of Republican primary voters.
McDowell County was once the coal capital of America. Now it’s the poorest county in West Virginia. Life expectancy for men in McDowell County is lower today than it was in 1980, and is now equal to that of men in Ethiopia.
One thing all right wingers will agree on, fuck the American workers and let them die.
The benefits can easily mean the difference between a middle-class retirement and economic hardship, since many retired miners are too young to qualify for Medicare. Others have chronic or debilitating health problems that would require expensive supplemental coverage — currently provided by the retiree plan — even with the Medicare benefit.
Norm Skinner worked for more than 20 years as a miner in eastern Ohio and had triple bypass surgery in 2010. Without the retiree health plan, he said, the surgery “would have broke me,” even with Medicare picking up much of the bill.